A blog post from Chris Dryden, Commercial Director
Full disclosure up front: I’m not a gamer – I’m still trying to get the hang of the 1970s classic Pong!
But somehow, despite being a game‐luddite, I managed to find myself at the Mecca of computer games, the Game Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco (with Andy Baddeley) on a research mission to learn more about this amazing industry.
Here are my top three sound‐bites and lessons learned from the event.
‘Users don’t care where they get functionality from.’
Amy DiGiovanni from Unity made this really great point during the session on Explorations in XR Creation Tools. This and ‘Systems must be decoupled to facilitate rapid UX development’ struck a strong chord with me. I have long been an advocate of open collaborative innovation, so this just made perfect sense. In established markets (like games dev), if we want our products and content to be used as standard, then it must be able to plug and flow right into industry standard tools (like Unity).
‘Immersion is more important than accuracy’
I don’t know who actually said this during the Co‐op for Humanity session but it was a good point very well made. In this context, it was about the fact that understanding how an astronaut performs under stress is way more valuable than he or she just learning a procedure. This reminded me of the first time I ‘let go’ in VR and was willing to look (feel) beyond the pixels, be immersed in the experience, let it tap into my subconscious, and genuinely end up in a completely different place. Obsessing about accuracy is not always the right path.
‘Set goals based on benefit and not on task’.
I loved this from Mark Bridges and Kieren Crimmins from Criterion Games, developers of Star Wars Battlefront – X Wing VR Mission, when they talked about bringing tears of joy to game fans. Super‐wise words, and not just for the gaming industry.
And finally, the key lessons for me were:
- Graphics in games are absolutely mind blowing – ‘Industry’ needs to embrace this or it will look dated.
- Relative size means economies of scale – gaming is driving some really amazing stuff
- VR is even closer to gaming than I previously thought
Right, I’m off to buy a Sony Playstation VR…
Chris Dryden, Commercial Director