From new trends in the industry to the latest tools and more, these are the highlights of the Game Developers Conference 2022.
A Look at Everything We Saw at the Game Developers Conference 2022
It has been a long time since many in the game industry have had a chance to gather for a major live event. Despite the challenges and tribulations of the last few years, the Game Developers Conference 2022 presented an opportunity for many to meet up once again. The week long event presented those in the game industry the chance to learn from the leaders and to network among peers. The event took place from March 21st to March 25th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
8Bit/Digi was there to cover the event and to gain some insight from professionals in the industry. After a week of learning from industry experts and meeting new people, these are the highlights during our time at the GDC.
The Expo Floor
The expo floor had a good number of studios and publishers setup who wanted to share their work while also on the look out for new talent. Each booth allowed guests to learn about the company and the projects they are working or sample a demo of their upcoming game. Here are some of the booths and setups that got my attention during the week.
Unity Games is responsible for creating, maintaining, and licensing one of the most popular engines in the industry. During the GDC week, they were showcasing the many new titles that have been built using the Unity engine. Developers also got the chance to chat with the Unity team to learn more about the engine.
The Museum of Arts and Digital Entertainment (The MADE) was showcasing some of the classics at GDC. Guest could enjoy classic titles like Dungeon for the Atari, the SNES version of Wolfenstein 3D, or team up to play a game of Halo: Reach for the Xbox 360. At the same time, guests could learn about The MADE’s work in preserving video game history and culture while finding a way to contribute.
Micro-Star International (MSI) is one of the leaders in the gaming PC market. During GDC, they were present to showcase their laptops and other gear that are ideal for developers. Ideally, these are PC’s and laptops that have been built for those in the creative space such as artists, animators, and game developers.
Limited Run Games is a distributor that specializes in the release of digital or retro games in modern physical media. They were present during GDC to reach out to other studios and showcase their work. They also had a solid presence at the GDC gift shop.
The Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA) has been working to unionize tech and video game workers. They were present to bring awareness of the need to unionize as means to better protect their rights and ensure fair contracts. They also brought awareness to the union-busting tactics used by major companies.
Original Gamer Life (OG Life) is using the Metaverse and the power of blockchain to build better awareness for health and wellness. Build using the Unreal engine, the concept allows players to create their own world as a means to channel their creativity. While currently in the beta stage, there are plans to bring it to the world of VR. Those who wanted to learn more could have a chat with CEO Brandon Sivret while exploring the demo that was present.
Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards
The Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards was an opportunity for the industry to honor the best works of 2021. Here is a rundown of all the winners from both award ceremonies.
Independent Games Festival Award Winners
Best Student Game – Live Adventure
Excellence in Visual Art – Papetura
Excellence in Audio – Inscryption
Nuovo Award – Memory Card
Excellence in Design – Inscryption
Excellence in Narrative – Inscryption
Seumas McNally Prize – Inscryption
Game Developers Choice Awards
Ambassador Award – Steven Spohn
Lifetime Achievement Award – Yuji Horii
Best Debut – Valheim
Best Audio – Unpacking
Innovative Award – Unpacking
Best Technology – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Social Impact Award – Boyfriend Dungeon
Best Visual Arts – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Best Narrative – Psychonauts 2
Best Design – It Takes Two
Audience Award – Valheim
Game of the Year – Inscryption
Off-Site Mixers and After Party
Given the significance of GDC, there were plenty of off-site after parties and mixers to checkout. For anyone who wants to break into the game industry, these are the places to go just to meet the right person. Here are a few that I got to check out:
Tripwire GDC 2022 Mixer was hosted at the Natoma Cabana (located at 90 Natoma Street) on March 22. This free event allowed GDC guests the chance to mingle and network with the team behind hit games like ManEater and Chivalry II. Food and drinks were provided for all who attended.
Writers and Narrative Design Meetup was an opportunity for those in the industry or looking into the writing and narrative design to network. This was a free event hosted at the Yerba Buena Gardens.
Ending the week was the Level Up Mixer + After Party at Temple SF, one of the most popular events during the Game Developers Conference. The Mixer allowed guests to mingle while also listing to a panel featuring Raj Ramayya, CEO of Strawberry Hill Music and industry legend, along with Jonathon Troughton, CEO of FramePlay. The After Party was all about hitting the dance floor and having a good time.
Did you attend the Game Developers Conference 2022? If so then please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Disclaimer: GDC provided me with press credentials for the week.
8Bit/Digi is an independent media outlet that provides an insight into the video game community and industry of the San Francisco Bay Area.