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Why GDC 2015 will be a glimpse into PC gaming's future

Hayden Dingman | March 2, 2015
Heart racing. Vision a bit blurry. Head starting to ache prematurely. Stress rising. Palms are sweaty. Knees weak. Arms are heavy. There's vomit on my sweater alread--wait, where were we? Oh yeah, I'm pretty stressed, which must mean GDC is right around the corner.

And what about Mantle? AMD's API has been surprisingly quiet lately with Microsoft beating the DirectX 12 drum and glNext gearing up for the fight.

In the realm of "not a graphics API but still important," there's also Epic to consider. Last year Epic's Wednesday morning panel debuted a new $20-per-month pricing scheme for Unreal Engine 4 that both shocked attendees and (if my anecdotal and not-at-all-scientific evidence is to be believed) seemingly put a dent in indie developer usage of competitor Unity over the past year.

Epic once again has a 9:30 am Wednesday panel on Unreal this year, so we'll see whether there are any similarly-shocking announcements to come. It'll be hard to top last year though.

Games, games, games

Of course, it is the Game Developer's Conference. Expect a ton of gaming news next week, especially from indie developers. Since E3 is primarily focused on big publishers, GDC's become a bit of an indie show in recent years. Both the IGF Pavilion and GDC Play areas run demos of indie games on the show floor.

Wednesday night is also the IGF and GDC Awards, which are gaming's perpetually-in-competition-with-the-DICE-Awards-and-whatever-Geoff-Keighley-is-doing-this-year version of the Oscars. The IGF Awards focus on honoring the year's best indie games and developers, while the GDC Awards are open to all games released in 2014.

Or you could just read PCWorld's 2014 Game of the Year list instead. — though admittedly we didn't rent a stage to hand out awards.

Also interesting every year: GDC's Classic Game Postmortems. These are by far my favorite panels at GDC. Basically, GDC highlights a few classic games and gives the developers a chance to discuss what development was like. This year Howard Scott Warshaw is giving a presentation about developing Yar's Revenge, Brian Moriarty will talk about Loom, Warren Robinett will discuss Adventure, and a panel of three (Paul Reiche III, Fred Ford, Rob Dubbin) will reminisce about Star Control.

And a safe bet: Game announcements. Lots of game announcements. Some more important than others.

It's going to be a packed week — games, hardware, and even some gaming hardware. And you can follow it all right here on PCWorld, where Gordon Ung and I will be writing up a storm. For breaking news, you can also follow me on Twitter, where undoubtedly I'll be swearing a lot, taunting my editor Brad Chacos, and mocking various presentations the whole week. I've been training my fingers like marathon runners.

Anything you have questions about, feel free to comment or email/tweet at me before or during the show. We're here to serve you!

 

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