Learn to make better VR games through applied psychology at GDC Europe

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Virtual reality, at it’s best, can make you feel like you’re somewhere else — and that means VR developers can benefit greatly from even a moderate understanding of how people think and feel.

At GDC Europe 2016 next month, game designer and Exozet Berlin VR consultant Thomas Bedenk will deliver a talk on “Psychology of Virtual Reality: Presence, Agency, Social” that aims to provide just that.

From Bedenk’s perspective, the key outstanding elements of VR are its social possibilities and its capacity to foster presence and agency among players.

During his talk, he’ll share ideas for how to improve your VR productions by catering to players’ perceptions and psychology, and offer concrete examples of how such improvements can be made. Don’t skip it!

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At GDC Europe you’ll see how The Witcher‘s living world was built

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With GDC Europe 2016 right around the corner, organizers want to quickly remind all current and potential attendees not to miss a great talk from CD Projekt Red about the design and development of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s remarkable world.

In “The Living World of ‘The Witcher‘”, CDPR lead technical designer Matthew Steinke will take the stage to discuss the trials and triumphs he encountered while designing and developing an open-world experience with sandbox gameplay elements like alchemy, crafting and the economy.

It was a significant challenge, and in his talk Steinke will discuss lessons learned about creating a role-playing game that offers an immersive, rewarding experience for players who choose not to engage in its primary quest lines. He’ll also showcase how the Wild Hunt team integrated feedback from players into their work on the game, and outline some key decisions made to create one of the standout games of last year.

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At GDC Europe, get tips on being more creative with your backend tech

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With GDC Europe 2016 just weeks away, know that conference organizers have lined up a great session from Playfab’s Mark Val about all the ways you can creatively improve your games’ backend ecosystems.

In his talk, “Expanding Your Creativity Within the Backend Services Ecosystem,” Val will take you on a tour of the leaders of the backend services ecosystem and how they can help you make better games.

From multiplayer, game design, monetization, analytics, support tools and more, attendees of his talk will learn new ways to expand their backend services and use them to be more creative when making games.

It promises to be a useful talk for anyone who helps make games, from indie devs to big-time publishers. Don’t miss it!

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Come to GDC Europe and learn how to make the industry more diverse

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We’re weeks away from this year’s big GDC Europe conference in Germany, and organizers want to quickly let you know about a great panel on game industry diversity and accessibility that’s taking place at the show.

In a session titled simply “Who Needs Diversity? Everybody!“, Threaks programmer Mena Jacobs, Kongregate exec Melinda Montano, University of Tampere game researcher Annakaisa Kultima, SAE Instititute Hamburg instructor Patrick Moechel and indie game developer Sos Sosowski will discuss why diversity in the game industry is so important — and what everyone can do to make it more accessible.

It promises to be well worth attending, and those who do check it out can expect to walk away with useful takeaways about how to improve game industry diversity — and the practical benefits of doing so.

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Embedded, not outsourced: Hitman devs share collaboration tips at GDC Europe

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Most developers think of a remote contractor as an outsourced entity working on a very concrete and specific aspect of a game.

But at GDC Europe in Germany next month, Io-Interactive producer Markus Friedl and Mi’pu’mi Games CEO Gregor Eigner will take the stage to showcase how the intense collaboration on Hitman taught the developers that with the strong vision of the stakeholders and the setup of an intertwined working environment, a distributed team can do much more than just outsourcing work. It can act as an embedded team.

GDC Europe attendees will have a chance to sit in on their talk, “Working with an Embedded Team on Hitman,” and hear the pair earnestly discuss the vision, the setup, the problems and the possible next steps of such a collaboration.

They’ll cover each aspect from the (often significantly different) angles of the two collaboration partners and therefore provide learnings and insights to both representatives of larger, publisher-owned studios as well as smaller, independent game development teams. It should be a great talk!

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Survey: The UK and Sweden remain Europe’s top game dev hot spots

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Heads up, devs: To better understand the state of the European game industry ahead of GDC Europe, Game Developers Conference officials have surveyed over 800 European games industry professionals who have attended a past GDC event.

The data gathered from that survey has been compiled into the fourth annual GDC Europe State of the Industry report, and it offers both an interesting snapshot of the European game industry as it stands now and some perspective on how it has changed over the past year.

Last week we shared some highlights from the report that suggest devs are growing happier with the state of video game tax breaks in Europe, and interest in VR development is rising fast — though PC and mobile still reign.

Today, we dive even deeper into the results of the survey to share data on who, exactly, Europe makes games for — and where European devs believe the best games are being made.

This data was collected, organized and presented by the UBM Game Network, which also runs GDC, VRDC and GDC Europe. You can register to download the full report at the GDC Europe State of the Industry hub.

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At GDC Europe, see how Smite dev Hi-Rez won by going all in on eSports and video

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With the big GDC Europe 2016 August conference in Germany just around the corner, organizers want you to know that show attendees will have a chance to catch a great talk from Hi-Rez Studios exec Todd Harris about how the studio succeeded when it went all in on eSports with its popular MOBA Smite.

Harris is chief operating officer at Hi-Rez, and in his talk “Smite & HiRezTV: Going All in on Video and eSports for Community Growth and Retention” he’ll explain how the company used video content marketing and eSports to help grow Smite to over 20 million players.

Video marketing required only a small budget to get started but has since scaled to large event broadcasts with multi-million dollar budgets, according to Harris. To wit, attendees of his talk will walk away with a better understanding of video content marketing and how it shapes a game as an eSport.

Furthermore, they’ll gain insights on the importance of using video to market their own games or identifying publishing partners who use video to grow and retain community. Don’t miss it!

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PSA: Wednesday is your last day to save by registering early for GDC Europe!

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Heads up, game devs: GDC officials would like to remind you that this Wednesday is the last day you can register early for GDC Europe at a discounted rate. The event itself promises to be Europe’s premier game development conference, and is slated to take place next month, August 15th and 16th in Cologne, Germany.

Those who register to attend GDC Europe before 11:59 PM Eastern Wednesday, July 20th can save up to 200 euros off the price of an All Access badge. That badge grants you full access to both GDC Europe and Gamescom, which is co-located with the Game Developers Conference.

In addition to a comprehensive schedule of excellent talks from leading game industry experts on topics like virtual reality development, the business of eSports and the future of mobile game design, GDC Europe attendees will also have the opportunity to see some of the leading lights of innovative European game development at GDC Europe’s third annual Innovative Games Showcase.

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Survey: Devs are growing happier with the state of video game tax breaks in Europe

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To better understand the state of the European game industry ahead of GDC Europe, Game Developers Conference officials have surveyed over 800 European games industry professionals who have attended a past GDC event.

The data gathered from that survey has now been compiled into the fourth annual GDC Europe State of the Industry report, and it offers both an interesting snapshot of the European game industry as it stands now and some perspective on how it has changed over the past year.

Yesterday, we shared some highlights from the report that showcased how PC and mobile still reign as the top platforms European developers make games for — but interest in VR is rising fast.

Today, we dig even deeper into the survey results and share some data on how respondents feel about the perennially popular topic of tax incentives for game development in Europe.

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Come to GDC Europe and see how Remedy coded Quantum Break with D

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GDC Europe 2016 is just weeks away, and you should know that conference organizers have arranged for an excellent talk from Remedy Entertainment’s Ethan Watson about how the studio built its hit 2016 action game Quantum Break using the D programming language.

It’s a notable talk about a language that’s rarely discussed in game development, and Watson aims to answer important questions like: what benefits does D have over C++? Is it ready for mass use? Does treating code as data with a traditional C++ engine work?

His talk will cover Remedy’s usage of the D programming language in Quantum Break and also provide some details on where the studio wants to take usage of it in the future. Make sure to check it out if you’re interested in gaining knowledge of a realistic alternative to C++, an understanding of D’s real world usage and insight into what the possibilities could be for your own usage.

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