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GDC 2013 in 3D, Part I






Each year, Kris Roberts covers GDC like few others can...as an experienced game developer and long-time VR/3D enthusiast!  Some of Kris' industry highlights including being a Senior Game Designer for Rockstar Games San Diego, and a talented Game Designer with Sony Online Entertainment.  Each year, we are honored to get his unique perspective on things.  Of course - in the true spirit of MTBS - all the coverage has been shared in 3D!  So, take it away Kris!

Leaving GDC this year, I kept thinking about this quote:

“More and more now, there's all kinds of electronic goodies which are available for people like us to use if we can be bothered, and we can be bothered." - Roger Waters, Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii 1972

The emergence of audio electronics in synthesizers, amplifiers, multi-track recording equipment and distortion effects changed music. The changes didn’t just happen spontaneously, but there do appear to have been points in time when whole collections of technologic innovations came together and opened up new doors for expression in music as an art form that simply had not existed before.

It feels like we are on the cusp of significant change in video games at the very core of how players experience the medium. The general interest and enthusiasm for virtual reality, specifically the Oculus Rift at the conference was overwhelming. It has always seemed like VR could be great, and we have seen bits and pieces now and then for years, but for the very first time – this year, my impression from the general developer community is that not only is it going to be awesome, it is actually going to happen. Starting right now.


Before the week was out I was seeing updates and tweets from friends and colleagues who have received their Rift devkits – and the excitement is contagious. While at GDC, it was often the topic of conversation in the hallways, between sessions and at parties. I would ask people if they had seen “it”, and without being any more specific they started telling me about what they thought about virtual reality. These are the people who will make it happen, they are getting new electronic goodies, and they can be bothered to figure out how to use them.

In the conference program there were multiple sessions focused on virtual reality. They were all very well attended, generally standing room only, and many of the attendees - maybe the majority - confirmed that they participated in the Rift Kickstarter or pre-ordered devkits.

In the first part of this series (which isn't completely written yet!), I'm going to talk about the presentations put together by Oculus VR.