After postponing this year's Game Developer's Conference two weeks ago amid health concerns over the spread of coronavirus, the conference's organizers have announced that two key parts of the show will continue as originally scheduled—only now they'll be streamed online instead of being physical events.
Over the course of next week (March 16-20), the GDC Twitch channel will stream a series of pre-recorded talks that were scheduled to take place at the physical conference. Talks will be streamed for eight hours each day from 9 am to 5 pm PDT, which is great news since one of the best parts of GDC is the spread of developer-oriented panels that offer insight into creative methods and philosophies, new technology, and the development of recent and classic games.
Understandably, not every talk that was scheduled for GDC will be streamed online, and GDC doesn't have a finalized schedule quite yet. On Friday, March 13, you can head to this page to see the full schedule of presentations that will be streamed online.
"In addition, all streamed GDC 2020 talks will be available for free on GDC Vault and many will be posted to GDC's YouTube channel in the next few weeks and months," the announcement reads.
Another great part of GDC is the IGF and Choice Awards, which celebrate independent games from the previous year. It's a little bit like the Sundance Film Festival of gaming. The fate of the award ceremony was up in the air in the aftermath of GDC's cancellation, but we now know the show will continue as planned on March 18 at 5 pm PDT, only it won't be streamed in front of a live audience.
At 4 pm, an hour before the award ceremony, GDC will also stream a "virtualized" version of its Day of the Devs showcase, which is a great way to check out upcoming indie games.
Last week, I spoke with many indie developers who are struggling to recoup the thousands of dollars they had spent on travel, accommodation, and miscellaneous expenses to attend GDC—not to mention the lost opportunity to network and meet with publishers. It's clear that GDC's sudden cancellation left a huge hole, so it's nice that at least some parts of the show will still happen.