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GDC 2018 -- Ship of Heroes Will be There!

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:55 pm
by Consultant
I'll be heading to San Francisco for most of this week for GDC. This is my third consecutive year of attending this conference, and I always enjoy it. Many of the best minds in game development are giving talks about different elements of game design, development and marketing. There is always a lot to learn.

For example, one talk jumped out at me for Wednesday -- how to design a really immersive boss battle. If I can manage it, I want to see that talk. Of course the question is, is this a general discussion about the 20 possibilities for incredible boss battles, or is it a primer on using dodging techniques as part of an active combat system? But that's part of the fun with GDC. Some talks are intrinsically important and you can't always tell from the title.

We'll be meeting some old friends there, and some new ones, and also meeting a few members of the press. For the press we have one new item to show -- and yes, I'm just teasing that item right now -- but I'm sure we'll release it shortly and some of the press guys may want to show it too. We'll see.

Anyway, look for a few pictures on Twitter next week. We'll be tweeting as we see things of interest.

Re: GDC 2018 -- Ship of Heroes Will be There!

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:30 pm
by GladDog
Woohoo! Looking forward to seeing whats gonna happen!

Re: GDC 2018 -- Ship of Heroes Will be There!

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:52 pm
by Golden Ace
That sounds awesome. Enjoy the trip. looking forward to seeing the tease, and results.

Re: GDC 2018 -- Ship of Heroes Will be There!

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:39 pm
by Blue Yankee
Have a safe trip!
Here are some generic questions you can ask if you are not interested in a talk, but need to feign interest:

"So what was the most surprising aspect of this project?"
"What aspect of the project are you most proud of?"
"Which parts of the project were more difficult (time consuming) than expected?"

You need multiple in case someone uses the one you planned to use.

I'll be heading to San Francisco for most of this week for GDC. This is my third consecutive year of attending this conference, and I always enjoy it. Many of the best minds in game development are giving talks about different elements of game design, development and marketing. There is always a lot to learn.

For example, one talk jumped out at me for Wednesday -- how to design a really immersive boss battle. If I can manage it, I want to see that talk. Of course the question is, is this a general discussion about the 20 possibilities for incredible boss battles, or is it a primer on using dodging techniques as part of an active combat system? But that's part of the fun with GDC. Some talks are intrinsically important and you can't always tell from the title.

We'll be meeting some old friends there, and some new ones, and also meeting a few members of the press. For the press we have one new item to show -- and yes, I'm just teasing that item right now -- but I'm sure we'll release it shortly and some of the press guys may want to show it too. We'll see.

Anyway, look for a few pictures on Twitter next week. We'll be tweeting as we see things of interest.

Re: GDC 2018 -- Ship of Heroes Will be There!

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:22 am
by Consultant
LOL, thank you Blue Yankee. Now I am ready to attend!

Re: GDC 2018 -- Ship of Heroes Will be There!

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:13 pm
by TheAmazingFezz
Anyone have any updates on this?

How did it go?

Re: GDC 2018 -- Ship of Heroes Will be There!

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:54 pm
by Eulb
By the looks of the pic's Mr. McGeever got to talk with UE4 a lot ... and i know he will have grate info. for us soon...

Re: GDC 2018 -- Ship of Heroes Will be There!

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:35 am
by Consultant
My reflections on GDC 2018:

1. About Epic Games: Epic had a huge booth, as usual, not too far from the Amazon Lumberyard booth. There seemed to be less of a focus on engine developers this year, except for these two. Epic was in fine shape, and we had some very meaningful tech discussions with them and made a couple of new contacts for the future. This year Epic was busy explaining how they made Fortnite, in an entire series of talks. This was, in many ways, the technical highlight of the convention for us. We're still watching and re-watching the videos form a couple of these talks. One of the key conclusions was that upgrading to UE 4.19 is very significant for any team making an MMO with Unreal. Shortly we'll have a newsletter out about what we are doing with the SoH engine version, and why. But changes in 4.19 are significant enough that a lot of key tech suppliers are also releasing updates geared around the 4.19 release from Epic.

2. We were able to speak with a lot of industry insiders and experts at the convention. Not only do they often present, but they are generally accessible before and after their talks, as well. We walked the show floor multiple times as well, speaking with devs from SpeedTree, TrueSKY, and many others about their technology.

3. We were able to set an appointment in place with the founder and CTO of PopcornFX, with their superb game FX technology. This was really exciting, since Epic is moving away from their Cascade system and toward a newer system called Niagara, but has fully enabled PopcornFX in the Engine. We are going to be doing much more with PopcornFX (this also relates to engine version for us), which is part of our strategy to upgrade and also level the FX from superpowers in Ship of Heroes. It's hard to convey how exciting the Popcorn stuff is, when you see it. But our community is going to be seeing more and more of this kind of advanced stuff in-game.

4. On a personal note I had a number of very meaningful meetings and lunches. I have a favorite little Thai restaurant near to the Moscone Convention Center. i was able to meet Gordon Walton of Crowfall for lunch there one day. Gordon always offers me insights into MMO development -- he's an incredibly smart and generous person that I first met several years ago at GDC 2016. I also had a really fun meeting with Andrew Ross of Massively Overpowered. This was the first time I'd met Andrew, and we had a wide-ranging, fun talk, which became a very in-depth interview on MO. If you have not read it, it is worth looking at.

http://massivelyop.com/2018/03/23/gdc-2 ... -mcgeever/

But one of my favorite moments was meeting up with one of our coders in person at the show. As some of you may realize, SoH is a small team, but we've still managed to get two guys named Casey, two named Chris, two named David and two named Justin. We also have two surnamed Smith (no relation). So here we were, in my favorite Thai spot -- the two Casey's, talking shop. As a virtual team, this was an unexpected bonus to the trip.

5. Summarizing: we spoke with many people, listened to many talks, and visited many booths. Some of my takeaways are the following:
-The big move in MMOs is toward having more players on the screen. This is a good thing for SoH, as the underlying tech issues for this feature are significant, and every tech company that helps with this feature is directly good for SoH's development.
-In single player games, the big trend continues to be in the direction of movie-quality visuals.
-AI is big and gets bigger every year. Applications are apparently unlimited, from writing dialog to monitoring chat.
-I think there is a move back toward subscriptions for MMOs and multiplayer in general.
-More and more people and organizations are pushing back against toxicity in gaming.
-I did not see anything that suggests to me that a niche game like SoH will not succeed. Just the opposite in fact.
-I am always interested in the stories of other development teams and what kind of market research they utilized, when they decided to make a new game. I think this is an under-published field, along with some confusion over the difference between features and benefits, in gaming. Features are about the game. Benefits accrue to the player.


Anyway, this post has become far too long. But I enjoyed the conference, as I do every year, and I learned a lot. We're still following up on meetings we had last week. Now it is back to work for me. :)

Re: GDC 2018 -- Ship of Heroes Will be There!

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:51 am
by GladDog
Man, I wish I could have been there... While I have zero visual programming experience, I understand enough to be impressed (not befuddled) by people talking about it

It sounds like you had a very good time and found the trip very fruitful. I'm sure I speak for everyone on these forums when I say, "I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT COMES NEXT!"

I am super happy to see that toxic communities was a big thing. Nothing tears up a large MMO like a toxic community (see Age of Conan) and nothing builds up a small MMO like a great community (see CoH). There is less and less room for toxic players every year. Once they find they have no place to go, maybe they will start becoming... less toxic? The change to subscription models will help this a lot, since if someone is banned from a game, it costs $$$ to get back in, putting a heavy price on their insults and bad behavior.

Re: GDC 2018 -- Ship of Heroes Will be There!

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:21 am
by Golden Ace
Could not agree more GladDog

Re: GDC 2018 -- Ship of Heroes Will be There!

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:19 pm
by PowerAce
Less toxicity in mmos? Can I get an Amen! 😀

Re: GDC 2018 -- Ship of Heroes Will be There!

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:39 pm
by TheAmazingFezz
Consultant said:

... how to design a really immersive boss battle


Consultant,

You didn't mention anything about the presentation on Wednesday: immersive boss battles. Did you go?

Re: GDC 2018 -- Ship of Heroes Will be There!

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:58 pm
by Consultant
Yes I did. The talk was really pretty interesting, and called back to console and other games, and showed a lot of fabulous boss battles of the past. I see there is a lot of focus on the actual size of archvillains, for one thing. But there are a lot of other issues that have appealed to players over the last few decades.

Re: GDC 2018 -- Ship of Heroes Will be There!

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:18 am
by JestersGhost
I miss GDC :/

Really can't afford to go these days, but I live in hope I'll be able to go back someday. I miss the learning and stretching my mental boundaries.

Glad you had a both enjoyable and productive time, Consultant :)

Re: GDC 2018 -- Ship of Heroes Will be There!

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:34 pm
by Turtlesandwich
My reflections on GDC 2018:


-I think there is a move back toward subscriptions for MMOs and multiplayer in general.
Hi Consultant
Can you elaborate on this point? I'd be very interested in how the industry is responding to the SOH model.