Game Developers Conference returns in virtual form
Gaming's annual event where developers attend talks and share industry knowledge returns today for its 35th year, now as a fully virtual event.
Why it matters: Game Developers Conference is arguably one of the most important events of the year for developers because it focuses on education and networking.
- While shows like E3 drum up consumer excitement with announcements and gameplay, GDC can help developers hone their craft and find jobs.
- The conference typically takes place in San Francisco every March, though COVID restrictions have kept the show virtual since last year.
- Although the virtual show recreates some of the conference's appeal, it's still missing its most important component: in-person connections. This makes the event's price tag — ranging from $349 for the expo, to $1,499 for all access, harder to justify.
Flashback: Organizers originally intended to throw GDC 2021 as a hybrid in-person digital show, before rolling that plan back into three different virtual events.
- A collection of virtual workshops called GDC Masterclass took place on March 4 and 5, followed by a free showcase that ran later that month.
Highlights: There are hundreds of panels to attend throughout the course of the week, with dozens taking place — occasionally at the same time — each day. A few to look out for:
- July 19, 1:20–1:50pm PT "Pokémon GoFest 2020": Global Challenge Arena
- July 19, 4–5pm'"Death Stranding": An AI Postmortem
- July 21, 2:30–3:30pm Live Fireside Chat: Amir Rao and Kelly Wallick on "Hades"
- July 21, 4:30–6:30pm IGF/GDC Awards
- July 22, 8:30–9:30am Through the Storm: Shipping "Assassin's Creed Valhalla" During a Global Pandemic
- July 22, 4:20–5:50pm "Resident Evil Village": Our Approach to Game Design, Art Direction, and Graphics
- July 23, 8:30–9:00am Classic Game Postmortem: "Quake": The End of the Original Id
What's next: GDC 2021 will resume as a physical event in San Francisco from March 21–25.