Today at GDC, Microsoft revealed the newest version of its graphics API, DirectX12. As we’ve been expecting, it’s a “thinner,” lower level API, with less abstraction between software and hardware. That means more involved development, but access to much better performance. Microsoft said that it allows for console-level efficiency on PC, a point they stressed with a ported tech demo of Forza Motorsport 5 running on PC. Forza was running on an Nvidia Titan Black, however, which is a much more powerful GPU than the Xbox One's.
It's here. GDC 2014 is the biggest gathering of game developers and creators ever, and PC Gamer is here all week. We'll be on the show floor in San Francisco's Moscone Center talking with developers, attending panels, podcasting with special guests, going hands-on with new games, and reporting all of the biggest news from the event. Expect coverage from both the US and UK teams on the games industry's most creative-centric show of the year.
In preparation for our not-too-distant subjugation by skull-faced machine-men, I thought I'd bone up on the latest advances in electro-brain design and stop by this year's GDC AI summit. Kicking off the summit was a trimuvirate of talks about the AI behind PCG-fave XCOM, stabby sequel Assassin's Creed 3 and the super-shiny “space ninjas with machine guns” shooter Warframe. The talks showed a fascinating variety of uses for AI: XCOM's combat AI was the most immediately familiar, but supremely clever in insinuating the personality of enemy types - and a far cry from the use of AI to determine Connor's foot placement in AC3. Warframe, meanwhile, deploys AI as a dungeonmaster, cobbling together levels from pre-built components to fit the needs of its players. It's smart stuff. Perhaps... too smart? Read on to unpick alien plans, parkour and player-centric dungeon design.
Gamasutra's survey of Game Developers Conference attendees shows some startlingly pronounced changes to the industry - changes which are extremely good news if you happen to own a PC. 49% of attendees are making their next game for PC and Mac while just 11% said they were developing games for PS4 and the next Xbox.
The Game Developers Choice Awards are the other side of a coin that also contains the IGFs. Sure, indies are allowed into this GDC organised awards show, but they have to promise to be on their best behaviour. And wash behind their ears.
The nominations for this year's award - chosen by a panel of game developers - have been announced, with The Walking Dead and Dishonored scoring plenty of nods. Not the most, though - that honour goes to Journey, which is apparently a PS3 game about collecting scarves. Or something.
At GDC EA finally lifted the lid on SimCity, a reboot of one of the PC’s most loved series. Alongside a pre-rendered trailer, Maxis VP Lucy Bradshaw revealed some details of what the SimCity team are aiming for: letting players co-operate in a region online, creating a tactile and lively visual style, and taking full advantage of the power of modern PCs to create a new simulation engine.
Oh. And it’ll let you draw curvy roads.
There can be only one topic of discussion this week: GDC. Josh leads Chris, Dan, and intern Lucas on a fantastical podcastical journey as they discuss their favorite game announcements and experiences from this years' convention.
Have a question, comment, complaint or observation? Leave a voicemail: 1-877-404-1337 ext 724. Remember, the next 7 questions we play on the podcast will receive a code good for any game on GoodOldGames.com for free.
PC Gamer US Podcast 262: GDC Roundup
The 2011 Game Developer Conference starts in San Francisco today, and we're there to bring you every story as it happens or, more realistically, shortly after we've typed a post about it.
GDC started as a chance for developers to discuss ideas. But like any big gaming event, it's become a milestone in the calendar for publishers to release major new info and let people try their games. We can't complain - it tends to be really exciting stuff, and every year there are still fascinating and candid talks and panels from the industry's sharpest minds.
Stay tuned to PCGamer.com and check our GDC 2011 tag to follow all our updates from the conference.