I had a blast at GDC and exploring the show floor. I only attended for two days but it was enough to explore what the show floor had to offer.
One of the first products I saw was the NeuroSky monitor headset. They were showing off how it can read your brain waves and did a tech demo on what you could do. The one I tried had me focus my attention on one object making it explode and another had me relaxing to have a ball float up.
It was an interesting technology and the company stated that they were looking for developers to use their tech in games. The focus was in rehabilitation for people disabled by injuries as the machine will help the player learn how to control their brain waves. These brain waves could be used in mobility devices so instead of a user physically moving a part of their body, they can just think it and the appliance will move as if it’s part of the body.
The screen showing the Brain Waves
Making the Ball Float
Me with the headset on
When I first glimpsed Boryokudan Rue, I immediately thought back to the adventure games of the 90s. The game is built on the Adventure Game Studio engine. What immediately stood out for me was the use of a cover system and gun fights. Adventure games I’ve played were always light in heart, had comedic violence, and no real enemies that could kill you. Just delay you or reset you to an earlier part of the level.
The level being showcased at GDC was the tutorial level and the character you play, Delta Six, is a experimental subject who has lost his memory and the tutorial serves as a way to teach you the basic movements. Once the scene got to the gun tutorial, I was hooked. The player goes into cover and you have to manually choose when to go out of cover and aim. Once you aim there is a quicktime like meter where you have to hit the right range to get the headshot or a regular body shot. I didn’t see what happened after but as I understand, eventually you must figure out how to get the gun and break out of your containment.
Below are links to the developer’s twitter and the development thread.
Monaco was the gem of the show for me. I got a brief 5 minute play of it but the game, event though it’s 9 months from release, it’s amazing. Monaco is a 4 player coop game where you and your 3 friends must steal a trophy and escape while avoiding guards with guns and bystanders who will report you on sight to the nearest guards. All you need is the movement keys, and your ability key. Interactions with doors, windows, and alarms can be done just by walking into it. Each character has a different ability such as shutting off alarms, instant lock picking, spy cameras, and sedatives for guards.
If one character gets killed, another just has to walk over and revive them. This proves tricky however if the dead buddy happens to be in the line of sight of a guard. What the players need to do is either sedate him with the yellow character or distract him by having the guard chase another player. Teamwork is an absolute in order to survive and reach the end in this game. This is one game I’m looking forward to.
3d Games at GDC
The 3d games at GDC did not impress me. For one, the 3d glasses did not fit over my eye glasses. The games didn’t really look special with 3d on and it didn’t really pop out at me. The 3d effects suffer from the small pc monitor sizes and the distance to the monitors. The ones I tried had you 5-6 feet away from the monitor and the 3d was contained within the monitors unlike in the movie theatres. The problem I think likes with the fact that in theatres, the screen fill sup your entire field of view so everything you see is in 3d while on the show floor, you had the environment to contend with.
I don’t think 3d games will be big until people get larger screens into their homes to fill up their view. Also, the glasses never sat right on my nose and some of them I had to hold in place in front of my eyeglasses.
Overall, GDC was a nice experience. I think I’ll go back again for 2011 and might pay for the higher priced passes so I can attend the summits.