Game Developers Conference 2006


Hello! Some of you may remember last year's coverage of Game Developers Conference, rather than report on many different sessions and topics, I'd prefer to mention a couple of very special products as well as common themes.

Loco Roco:
The upcoming PSP title, Loco Roco, has got to be one of the cutest characters out there. Imagine what it would be like if Pacman, Kirby, and Gish had a three way baby—something like Loco Roco is what would pop out. Although it may look like a flash game, it certainly is not. The music is delightful and quite simply put, just plain fun. This wonderful title is slated for release sometime this summer.

Train Your Brain, Brain Age is supposed to exercise your brain by having you perform various math and logic problems as well as reading. It also contains plenty of Sudoku games as well. Currently I have a 36 year old brain.

Nintendo DS Lite:
I got to play with one of these on the expo floor at Nintendo's booth. Not much I can say about this other than 'yay, for Apple'. Just released earlier this month in Japan, there's no denying the DS Lite is super hot, but I'm holding out for the Ice Blue model 'cause I'm just a sucker for things that are blue.

More of my ranting after the jump…

Although I was unable to attend the first two days covering Mobile and Serious Games (hey, a girl’s gotta earn a living!), I was there for the remaining three days. This year GDC was a bit hectic for me as I was there for work as well as for CH. However, even though I wasn’t running completely rampant like a journo loon, there were things I picked up on and places I can direct you to for more in depth coverage of the interesting bits I was (and was not) in attendance for.

Phil Harrison gave the Playstation keynote, entitled Beyond the Box, which touched upon all three of the platforms: the PS2, PSP, and upcoming PS3. Something of interest to note was the announcement of two PSP peripherals: a GPS unit and a Camera (both connect via USB). But as you can imagine, the speech was primarily focused on announcing upcoming features for the next-gen system as well as interlacing some pretty beautiful and more often than not interesting demos. Both Wonderland and GameSpot have some notes and insights.

The following day I attended Satoru Iwata’s keynote, Disrupting Development. Not only did I swoon over his speech like I did images, IGN, and Wonderland.

I also attended most of Will Wright’s lecture, but as the lovely Jane noted over at game girl advance and as I experienced GameSpot‘s go at it. All in all, there’s nothing like the real thing.

Overall there was a massive sentiment towards the growth of casual games and digital distribution. With the current success of Xbox Live Arcade, Nintendo’s upcoming Virtual Console and the future PS3’s open Network Platform (Kotaku), it’s no wonder. However, how profitable these alternate streams of revenue will be have yet to be seen in the long run as well as its impact on current forms of distribution. It will most certainly be interesting to see how this new method of distribution inspires developers to create richer gameplay environments and content.

Game Developers Rant 2006 (Wonderland)
Game Design Challenge 2006 (GameSpot)

Game Developers Choice Award for Game of the Year
Shadow of the Colossus

Independent Games Festival Award for Game of the Year