Develop in Brighton Round Up.

Develop wrapped up on the 12th and you would say it was a success. With many key people from the industry attending and gathering here in the UK, giving information packed keynotes. We picked out a few stand out keynotes that were uploaded onto the develop Youtube page which we will imbed in this post.

Mark Cerny of Cerny Games and Sony. He talked early days of development of the Sony PlayStation, how they bought in small teams like Naughty Dog who only had small teams working on games, an artist and an developer in some cases. Giving these small teams and chance and now developing smash hit games like Uncharted and Last of Us.

 

Robert Morgan of Sony London talks about improving video game story, keeping the player emotionally attached. This personally was an issue with Last of US. The cutscenes and periods of gameplay that were not heavily focused on shooting were varying gripping. But as soon as the game started throwing hordes of enemies at you, it took you out the emotion and it really felt like a game.

 

Dragon Cancer was shown at develop conference. It was developed by Ryan Green and Josh Larson in America. It is a bout Ryan Green’s son Joel’s battle with cancer. It recreates and retells a moment in the battle in point and click type adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

PlayStation First Program.

Sony is really going after the hearts of developers. They made a good start in February when they announced the PS4 and said how developer friendly the PlayStation4 will be compared to its predecessor. Then at E3 they really went after the indie developers with gaming them space and time to be shown at the Sony’s press conference.

Now, Sony is going after up and coming developers at universities with its PlayStation First Program.  The PlayStation 4 will be added to the program and made available to educators.

This really shows Sony’s push to gain more developers for the PlayStation platform. Indie developers like Jonathan Blow spoke volumes about the developing for the platform and how Sony has made it easier and friendlier.

The head of Academic Development for SCEE, Maria Stukoff said, “The next generation of Independent developers are now in education, PlayStationFirst is at the helm enabling students to gain skills for the future and for PlayStation console development by providing access to real professional tools”

This is the perfect platform for the next generation of developers and Sony is backing it all the way.

Gamescom

This years Gamescom will kick off on 21st of August. Europe has got its games conference we’ve always wanted, yet not as glamorous and or has media frenzy as E3 in LA, it still will see the big three in industry show up.

Gamescom opens open to trade and the general public, which E3 has been restricted to developers and press only. This gives the public access to demos and coming soon games on the show floor.

What should you expect on the show floor? There will be playable versions of PS4, Xbox One and the Wii U. Rockstar could have a playable version of their much anticipated GTA 5 game that is due to be launched September 17.

Microsoft have announced they will be looking to hold a press conference, maybe to fix their shambolic showing at E3 and their Xbox One announcement. After the 180 on their DRM policy Microsoft will be looking to win over the gaming industry with you would hope some features and unannounced first party titles which Microsoft have been working.

Sony has promised Gamescom to be the Sony Vita show. There was a lack of focus on the Vita at E3 that left the adopters of the handheld a little disappointed. There was a mention of Walking Dead: 400 Days coming to the system, along with a new bundle but that was about it. Sony will look to announce titles for the Vita as the library of games is looking bleak. But the indie presence on the system is ever growing with more and more developers opting to develop for Sony system, games like Limbo and Hotline Miami being released.

Nintendo bailed on Gamescom last year’s show but this year they return, to show off no doubt its first party titles.

Other publishers attending this year include Bethesda, EA, Konami and others.

Be sure to check back on blogs about us talking about what went on at Gamescom.

Social Media in Gaming Industry

Questions is, does Social Media in Gaming Industry have any influence ? We earlier reported on DRM and its positives and negatives for the industry. Looks like the hashtag campaigned worked…

A few days ago, Microsoft announced that they are changes its DRM policies. In other words, doing a complete 180 on what they told us is the future of entertainment.

Don Mattrick the President of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft took to their website to announce that they listened to you, us, about used games and how important it is to lend, share and resell games. They are also doing away with the Xbox One always needing to be online, enabling you to play your games offline in a remote location where there is no Internet connection. It will only require one time system setup when you first get your console. There was much rejoicing on the internet! Giantbomb.com got three time the more traffic then they did during the E3 press conferences, they were one of the first to break the news.

Something like his has never happened in the Video Game industry. Sony in 2005 had a massive backlash from the gaming community about the price of the PlayStation 3 being too high and questioning the importance of Blu Ray, but Sony stuck to its guns and slowly gained a loyal following, especially in Europe with PlayStation 3 outselling the Xbox 360.  But also Social media was not the beast it is at the moment at that time, Facebook was used in colleges and Twitter was not launched.

Do places like Twitter, Facebook and websites like NeoGaf and Reddit have a major influence on the gaming industry? Soon after Microsoft announced its strict DRM policy, a thread on on NeoGaf was created, urging people to tweet and retweet the ‘hash tag’ #PS4NoDRM urging Sony to not adopt the same polices. Come Sony E3 keynote, they announced they will not be supporting the same policies and the audience erupted with cheers.

Some people in the industry rejected that the hashtag campaign and the outrage on forums had influenced Microsoft back track, more blaming the lack of pre order’s compared to the PlayStation 4. But Adam Boyes the Head of Publisher Relations at Sony had said on the Giant Bomb’s E3 coverage that they had listen to the hashtag campaign and the forum thread on Neogaf.

We think at the end of the day consumer’s won. Microsoft’s Xbox One’s policy was very anti consumer, and would have hurt them in the long run as bulk of their player base would choose its competitor in PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Wii U which also does not adopt these policy.

Long live Social Media in Gaming Industry

 

Indie Games

First of all, what are ‘Indie Games’?  They are small groups or individual game developers without the financial support of a video game publisher to create independent games. They work from home, basement, rent rooms or if lucky rented office space.

Indie games started on PC back in the 1990’s, known as shareware. Which had small independent companies become huge leading game development studios such as Epic Games and id Software. Gamers were given the chance to try games like Demonsgate, before investing money in them and in return gave those companies exposure.

Fast forward to mid 2000’s with the launch of Steam and Xbox 360 we saw the number of indie games rise.  Games like Fez, Braid and many other games were released and were critically acclaimed, some even the best game’s in their genre. Thanks to Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade development tools and Adobe flash let developers create and sell their games on their desired platforms.

We will continue to see the rise of indie games in the next generation console’s, especially on the PlayStation 4. Sony took to the stage at E3 in Los Angeles and showcased a myriad of indie games. Games like Transistor from the makers of smash hit Bastion was shown off. They gave the developers time to be on stage and talk about their games and vision. This is rare publicity on the big stage at E3 been given to indie publishers, you would normally see a larger presence of indie developers at Penny Arcade Expo. This shows where the industry is going and the support companies like Sony, Valve and in the past Microsoft is giving to these up and coming developers.

Power to the Indies!