GDC 2013 Day 3

Hey guys,

I apologize for not writing this post last night. I totally forgot to do it. I’m not used to writing on my blog regularly yet.

To start off, I initially planned to check out GDC Flash Forward in the ballroom in the West Hall, but I didn’t need to. I can check out what was going on through the screen outside. So, I decided to do that before heading off to the next panel about 45 minutes earlier.

I stated in my last post that I was deciding between attending Hideo Kojima’s talk or attending Overview of PS4 for Developers panel. Since the former will be recorded and the latter will not, I went with the latter. There was somewhat a short line at first. Eventually, the line got very long. I didn’t expect this panel to be this popular. I was glad that I made it in time.

I sat somewhere in the center of the section. Everybody had to squeeze in to fill every seat. The room seemed small, so I imagined a lot of people left sitting outside or left. The speaker told everybody in the room not to video/audio record nor take pictures in the panel. So, I prepared to write down a lot of notes as I can on my iPad.

So far, the PS4 is a next-generation hardware that is designed to stay connected, even on standby, and utilize innovative input experiences. Its target audience, obviously, is core gamers. Its user interface should follow 5 principles: simple, immediate, social, integrated, and personalized.

As for most of its hardware specifications, you can easily find them online. I’m gonna focus on stuff I probably haven’t heard before. Its CPU will use 8 cores with 8 hardware threads. Its GPU will run 800 MHz and use extended DirectX 11.1+ feature set with SCE custom features. The shaders will use a proprietary shader language called PlayStation Shader Language (PSSL), which is similar to HLSL. The PS4’s GPU can be used for general-purpose computing.

Its development environment supports 64-bit version of Windows 7. Its tools can be integrated into Visual Studio 2010 and 2012. Its compiler will be LLVM with Clang front end. SCE will put up updates to newer versions regularly. The development environment will be fully integrated into Windows Explorer. It will also include command line tools in case the developers need to write custom scripts for custom building. Its debugger will allow you to debug as you would on PC code.

At the end of the panel, we were shown a video of bees attacking everybody in Oprah Winfrey show. Then, the speaker told us to take out whatever is under our seats. Some people got red slips, while others got the blue. I got the latter. Those with red slips get 1 year of Playstation Plus subscription, while those with the blue ones get PlayStation Vitas with 8 GB memory cards. These Vitas were not Wifi-only models, but 3G/Wifi ones! I already own a Wifi-only Vita. I plan to use the new one for my other PSN account.

After I left the PS4 panel, I decided to go the expo floor and check out Sony’s booth. I talked to somebody there about becoming a licensed Sony developer. It turned out that I no longer need to provide them my financial reports with the developer application. I mainly needed a static IP address for DevNet access and I have to be physically located in North America and other areas SCEA supports. He also recommended that I have a corporate entity and have an Employer’s Tax ID number. This should make my life easier to become an official Sony console developer.

I spent most of the rest of my time at GDC on the expo floor looking around and dropping off my business cards with people. I checked out Silicon Studio’s booth and checked out two of its products it was showing off, Bishamon and Paradox. Bishamon is a visual effects tool and Paradox is a C# game engine. I also played the arcade game called Gunslinger Stratos at the booth. I’ll have to continue playing before I get fully used to using two gun peripherals at the same time.

When the expo floor closed, I went to the West Hall’s ballroom to attend the IGF Awards and Game Developers Choice Awards show. Its host changed from Brandon Boyer to Andy Schatz. I preordered his game Monaco and will play his game next month.

Here is the list of winners in IGF 2013:

Excellence in Visual Art: Kentucky Route Zero
Nuevo Award: Cart Life
Excellence in Audio: 140
Excellence in Narrative: Cart Life
Technical Excellence: Little Inferno
Best Student Game: Zinneth
Audience Award: FTL
Excellence in Design: FTL
Seumas McNally Grand Prize: Cart Life

At the end of IGF, the color of the lights changed from overall orange to blue. This change signaled the start of Game Developers Choice Awards. Tim Schafer, the host, appeared and showed a change in his physical appearance: he shaved his beard off.

Here is the list of the following winners in Game Developers Choice Awards:

Best Downloadable Game: Journey
Best Narrative: The Walking Dead
Best Visual Arts: Journey
Best Technology: Far Cry 3
Best Game Design: Journey
Best Handheld/Mobile Game: The Room
Best Audio: Journey
Best Debug: Subset Games
Innovation Award: Journey
Audience Award: Dishonored
Game of the Year award: Journey

That is all I have to write about my day 3. If anybody has questions (especially about Playstation 4), then feel free to post comments. I’ll do my best to answer them.