GDC Day 5 News Round Up

This past week, more than 20,000 game makers flocked to San Francisco to show off and learn about all the new and upcoming things they have to look forward to.

Some companies rent out entire movie theaters, while others rented out a hotel room, all with the same purpose – to show off their new games. However, the top FIVE talked about games this year are as follows:

The Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Goggle made its comeback this year at GDC. Valve is planning to release its popular first person shooter Team Fortress 2 for the Rift. A consumer version of the VR will hopefully be released next year.

Jay Wilson, the FORMER Diablo III director talked this year about how the Auction House service “really hurt the game.”

Now, my husband and I both played Diablo III for awhile. We were right there in line at midnight in order to pick up our copy, and I fully agree that the Auction House is one of several aspects that hurt the game.

Before Diablo III was launched, the company thought the Auction Houses would reduce fraud and provide a service to players that they believed we wanted. They originally thought that only a few players would use the service. Instead, several players were using the houses to make money, which suddenly became a higher motivation for gaining “damaged item rewards” than the actual gameplay where you kill Diablo. Prices on items began to fluctuate, and suddenly the system was doing much more damage than good.

“I think we would turn it off if we could,” Wilson said during his talk. But the problem is “not as easy as that;” with all of Blizzard’s current players, he says the company “has no idea” how many players like the system or hate it. Blizzard is hesitant to remove a feature that a lot of players want (myself not included; I’d be happy to see the system GO to HELL-o Kitty) but for the time being, they’re just trying to find a solution that everyone will be happy with.

Apple is planning to launch its iOS gamepad. Although it’s still conceptual, Apple was said to have discussed with several game developers its idea for this project. It’s possible that even an iPhone could be used as a game controller when this finally happens. Apple is expected to hold an “iPad-centric event in April,” so it’s possible that this controller may be officially unveiled in just a few weeks!

However if they don’t, I might just accuse them of behaving like Microsoft… “We’ll bring it out now, no…now. A little bit now, a little bit more later…” Just release the damn thing!

So there are some of the things that really caught my eye. 🙂 Those, and of course the fact that my idol Felicia Day was speaking out about stereotypes when it comes to women and gaming. She was joined by Anna Kipniss, Robin Hunicke, Kiki Wolfkill, Jane McGonigal, and Colleen Macklin.

It’s good to see women like myself who are really making strides to create a more serious place for women in the gaming industry.

Hope you all enjoyed GDC 2013!

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