2018’s Game Developers Conference is coming to a close in San Francisco, and this year has been interesting. The conference is an annual event where companies and individuals can gather, interact, and present their work and processes. Big companies in the industry such as Nintendo, Sony, EpicGames, and Blizzard held panels, demonstrations, and mixers. That isn’t to say GDC is exclusive to Triple A developers; independent developers from Studio MDHR (the creators for Cuphead), Team Chucklefish (Stardew Valley publishers), and the dev team behind Night In The Woods were present among the crowd.
Epic Games showcased games using Unreal Engine and gave a talk about the projected future of UE4. The Nintendo Switch has moved to the forefront of indie developing as a platform. Some of the biggest news to come out of this year were roundtable discussions and speculations about the unionization of the video games industry. That is, creating a fair labor environment for developers and workers. The open discussion, hosted by Independent Game Developer Association and titled “Union Now?? Pros, Cons, and Consequences of Unionization for Game Devs Roundtable”, saw debates from multiple perspectives. While no definite conclusion has been reached, organizations like Game Workers Unite have seen a recent rise in coverage and support as a result.
In less surprising news, Nintendo’s Breath of the Wild and independent title Night In the Woods saw arguably the biggest successes. Legend of Zelda: BoTW took Game of the Year, Best Audio, and Best Design. Night In The Woods was awarded Excellence in Narrative and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Other popular titles such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Cuphead, and Nier: Automata also received awards.
Image courtesy of @Official_GDC Twitter