The 2019 Game Developers Conference is happening next week in San Francisco, and PC Gamer's US team will be there to attend panels, interview devs, and cover the big keynote presentations.
GDC is a place for developers to connect and share learnings, a place to job hunt for some, and a place for middleware companies to sell their (middle)wares. It's not like PAX in that it isn't fan-oriented, and it's also less consumer-facing than E3. While that means there are fewer big reveals, it's plenty interesting for other reasons.
Sometimes, there are big announcements—Valve announced SteamVR at GDC 2015—and we expect surprises like that this year, but what I enjoy most are the panels, during which developers talk about problems they've solved and their processes. Some are highly technical, while others discuss business and cultural issues, or the creative process. Last year, for instance, we learned that Nier: Automata was inspired by a Coca-Cola ad. There are also games to preview, including experimental stuff like this giant pair of scissors. It's a good time.
Here's a brief preview of what we expect from GDC 2019:
- Google is holding a big keynote presentation on Tuesday. We expect major announcements, especially after learning that Jade Raymond has joined the company. It could have to do with the cloud streaming tech Google's been working on, but it feels like there's more to it than that.
- Valve is hosting a "Steam Business Update" presentation on Thursday. We'll have the news from that.
- Epic is doing the same thing, with an Epic Games Store "Update and Q&A," also on Thursday. We'll be covering that, too. (If I worked at Epic, I'd copy a slide from the Steam presentation as a joke, and then be fired.)
- Oculus will be demoing the Oculus Quest this year. We'll also be covering other hardware-related business at the conference.
- Larian is hosting a panel on the making of Divinity: Original Sin 2 on Wednesday, and we'll have a recap sometime after. It's unlikely there'll be any mention of what Larian is up to now, but the panel might help us make educated guesses (and also just be interesting, because we love OS2).
- We have a bunch of game demonstrations scheduled, as well as dev interviews, so look forward to those throughout the week!