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GDC - Physics in Half-Life 2 93

Jay Stelly is a senior engineer at Valve, and on the last day of the conference he kicked off the morning with a discussion on Physics in Half-Life 2 (HL2). The physics simulation, and inventive physics-related puzzles used throughout the game, were complicated elements to implement. He discusses the problems they faced, relates some of the humorous demos they used to flesh out their ideas, and laid out the ways that good engineering can make design that much better.

Game Devs Burn Another House Down 47

Another year, and another session of the 'Game Developer's Rant'. Last year saw Warren Spector making some comments that were heavily talked about for months after the GDC had ended. This year, some more talented people got together to talk smack about the industry they work in. (Cussin' and afightin' behind the link, be warned.) From Alice's transcript: "The name of this conference is 'what's next'. This year they're gonna tell me, I'm going back to my desk, I'm going to know what to do, and it's going to be easy! Right? Iwata-san. Totally inspiring. Can't wait to see the Revolution happen. Went to see Will Wright. Love him! Love his process! So intimidated. But his stuff was so hard to think about. I lost some brain cells thinking about it, so I want to say thank you to ATI and the art institute for showing me what's next in games: hawt chix! ?"

GDC - Game Design Challenge 19

For the past three years, Eric Zimmerman (of the gameLab group) has brought together a trio of designers to tackled a difficult game concept. Last year's Emily Dickinson challenge was a surreal poetry experience. This year Mr. Zimmerman took a more serious tack, by putting forward the concept of 'The Nobel Peace Prize' for the participants to ponder. Read on for notes on the presentations from Harvey Smith, CliffyB, and Keita Takahashi.

Will Wright Talks Research, Astrobiology 44

Yesterday saw Will Wright give a keynote ostensibly called 'The Future of Game Design'. The creator of the Sims took the opportunity to address two of the topics that went heavily into the background work on his current title: Spore. Mr Wright was attempting to make the point that lots of research in the pre-production phase of the project is one of the best ways of knowing what it is you're setting out to do. Folks at Kotaku, The Game Chair, and Game Girl Advance have some notes from the talk. Read on for my own brief impressions from the event.

Zelda On The DS, Sega on the Revolution 263

At the Nintendo Keynote today, Company President Iwata reiterated the same 'think differently' ideas that he espoused at last year's GDC. This time he had concrete data to back up his industry disruption message, detailing the millions in sales their 'Brain Training' line of games have racked up. Along with his message, he announced a new Zelda title on the DS, and the fact that Sega Genesis games will be on the Revolution, a part of the online library of games they're offering.

GDC - Trials of Tabula Rasa 37

Richard Garriot has been lauded over his long career for his work with the Ultima series. Last night he received a Lifetime Achievement award for that work, a testament to his perseverance. This morning he talked about the "Trials and Tribulations" of creating a MMOG, specifically his ongoing project, Tabula Rasa. Read on for notes on his discussion of the long road his project has taken.

IGF And GDC Awards Presented 14

Wednesday night at the GDC means awards time, for the Game Developer's Choice Awards. The nominees are chosen by members of the IDGA, and then voted on by every member of the organization. Some very deserving games got the nod last night, and Gamasutra has coverage on the winners. They also have a piece looking at the winners of the Independent Game Festival, a program looking at the best games from outside the normal commercial experience. The winners from that event not only get recognition, but a cash reward to continue their development. From that article: "Dan Paladin and Tom Fulp's stylish Flash game Dad 'N Me won for Best Web Browser Game, and the Audience Award, which was conducted by GameSpot and saw over 2000 votes, was won by French strategy-MMO Dofus. Elsewhere, the $5,000 award was given to RabidLab, who developed finalist Dodge That Anvil!."

Region-free PS3 356

An anonymous reader writes "IGN writes that "In a QA session following the platform keynote address at GDC 2006 this morning, Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios President Phil Harrison confirmed what was heavily demanded for import gamers all over the world and yet previously thought unthinkable for a major corporation: the PS3 will be region-free for gaming." There's no chance that the MPAA members would allow the same for movies but at least it's a step in the right direction."

GDC - BANG! Howdy 28

I do so love Three Rings. Last year's GDC talk was about Puzzle Pirates. This year they're here talking about their Western-themed title 'BANG! Howdy'. Spiced Rum was the liquor passed around last year, while Jim Bean was the drink of choice here. Patent bribery is always appreciated. Read on for notes from their talk about their upcoming Wild West strategy title.

GDC - Ron Moore Keynote 180

Ronald Moore may have done a lot for the Trek series of shows, but recently he's been making new fans with his work on the Battlestar Galactica title. He was invited to speak at GDC to relate ways in which intelligent folks can adapt an existing franchise. He focused on not only adapting and improving the original, but maintaining the core goodness of the inspiring work. Read on for notes from his talk. Update: 03/22 22:11 GMT by Z : Fixed Adama/Psylon spellings. I need a nerd-friendly spellchecker.

GDC - Sony Keynote 172

In San Jose, the first big keynote finished up delivery about twenty minutes ago. Phil Harrison from Sony laid out some of the future plans the company has for the games industry on the whole. The PS3 featured heavily, of course, but new announcements centered on the PlayStation Network and online functionality. Read on for my take on Sony's chance on the big stage, here at the Game Developer's Conference 2006. Update: 03/22 21:57 GMT by Z : Fixed some typos. I was typing fast and was already late for the Ron Moore Keynote. Additional views on the event can be seen at the Wonderland blog and Joystiq, with Kotaku offering impressions from the Q&A that followed.

GDC 06 So Far 26

It's the second day of the Game Developer's Conference 2006, and so far there isn't much to relate. Yesterday saw some interesting talks, with Linden Labs CEO Philip Rosedale offering up a discussion on serious games entitled You Can (Not) Be Serious. There was also some Talk of Mobile gaming with Nokia offering up some views on that part of the industry. Earlier today Jesper Juul gave another view of serious gaming, A New Kind of Game. He discussed how games have evolved, and where they're going now that they've begun to gain broad cultural acceptance.

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