Game Developers Conference 2010 Highlights

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Just this past week, the Game Developers Conference was held in downtown San Francisco, CA. If you're unfamiliar with GDC, it is the "world's largest professionals-only game industry event." In other words, everyday gaming enthusiast can't just walk in off the street to take a look around. GDC is held every spring and is basically a forum for learning and networking for the creators of computer, console, handheld, mobile, and online games. Hundreds of companies come out to present their latest wares, preview upcoming titles, and also interview thousands of potential game developers.

Intel used GDC 2010 to
announce their latest processor, the Core i7 980X Extreme Edition. Codnamed "Gulftown", it is the first 32nm, six core processor that that can process up to 12 threads through the use of HyperThreading technology. At Intel's booth, we saw several systems that were running applications enhanced for this new platform, including Sega's Napoleon Total War and Ubisoft's RUSE. We even had a chance to attend a dinner event  thrown by Intel to demo the Extreme Edition processor in action, installed in Alienware's ALX system. For more information, specs, and benchmarks, check out our Core i7 980X coverage here.

GDC 2010 Video Highlights

As you would guess, game developers of all kind come out in full force for this particular event. There were hundreds of booths set up and plenty of big names were on hand to chat with attendees. While there were plenty of names we've never heard of, all of the gaming industry's big dogs were on hand. On the expo floor, we spoke with many companies, which included Intel, NVIDIA, ATI, ARM, Blizzard, Crytek, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Sony, Palm, Microsoft, and many others. Unlike CES, the majority of the booths were not designed for press coverage. Instead, we witnessed long lines of people seeking a chance to interview with these companies in order to land a spot in their respective gaming divisions. Still, there was plenty to see and we found a few hardware related topics to cover.


Hardcore Computer


   
Hardcore Computer's Reactor X featuring Intel's Core i7 980X Six Core Processor

Hardcore Computers has been around since 2005. We've come across Reactor systems at a few events in the past couple of years, but this is the first time we actually had a chance to actually get up close and personal. Without a doubt, this system is an impressive sight and very unique. So, what's the scoop? In a nutshell, all of the Reactor's heat producing components are fully submerged in coolant which uses both natural and forced convection for circulation. The CPU, NB, GPU, and power supplies get coolant pumped directly to them while the rest of the system makes use of natural convection. All told, you get a quiet, cool, and expensive PC that if filled with the fastest parts available. The base model starts at over $5K so the target market for the system is a very elite crowd of enthusiasts. Nevertheless, we know you want to see what this baby can do so we're going to try and score one for review and evaluation in the coming weeks.


VisuMotion

3D technology was the biggest theme at CES 2010 with almost every major company featuring new 3D-related products. A recurring criticism of 3D is the mandatory use of glasses, however, which can look rather unappealing and might get uncomfortable after awhile. That's why we were drawn to this small booth on GDC's show floor which featured a 3D monitor that did not require users to wear glasses. VisuMotion provides the answer to this problem with their extensive line of 3D products that take glass out of the equation. The monitor we saw on display was 22" with a retail price of almost $2K and is available now. We're still not totally convinced that 3D gaming is the way to go since image quality takes a hit at the expense of creating the effect, but its always interesting to see the technology take a step forward.


Six Courses in celebration of six cores

During the week, there were a myriad of meetings, lectures, and break out sessions that focused on how to make superior games on every platform imaginable. It was both exciting and impressive to see how these companies make use of the hardware and related technologies that we normally review, in an effort to provide more entertaining and realistic games. GDC 2010 drives home the realization that without faster, more powerful hardware, breakthrough advancements in applications and games wouldn't be possible. In all, it was a fantastic experience and an event we look forward to attending next year.

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Wow - as soon as that VisuMotion comes down in price, I WANT ONE!

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3vi1:

Wow - as soon as that VisuMotion comes down in price, I WANT ONE!

 

I couldn't get a good idea of the 3D effect on the video. Matt, what did you think about it, was the 3D effect significant enough to make you want to drop $2k on it?

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Those Reactor systems are just awesome, and the 3D without glasses is a real glimpse of the future I think. With GPU's going as high in functionality as they are today, and with the next releases the taxation on a single display will got down considerably as long as your GPU is top of the line ATI or Nvidia. 

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indeed the VisuMotion display is sweet! I have gotten to see one of those in real life, it was a blast to play with

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I can't wait to move to California. I've never been to a convention...ever. I know that they have them in Boston and such, but I live in SC, so my options are....ill to none. 

Anyway, I know I keep saying this. But the next 20 years....AWESOME. 

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Marius Malek:

I can't wait to move to California. I've never been to a convention...ever. I know that they have them in Boston and such, but I live in SC, so my options are....ill to none. 

Anyway, I know I keep saying this. But the next 20 years....AWESOME. 

 

GDC is especially expensive. My friend went and said it was great. Got free stuff like the Droid phone. Apparently, he name was drawn for a prize drawing to win some sort of Xbox 360 and Modern Warfare thing (worth $1k) but he was doing an interview. His brother was there but didn't have the courage to claim the prize for him...

 

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Been to all of them on a regular basis except this one :(
 
E3, Sigraph, comic con, All just a real blast!!
 
Plus the Swag is always fun to collect, all are geeks paradise!!

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animatortom:

Been to all of them on a regular basis except this one :(
 
E3, Sigraph, comic con, All just a real blast!!
 
Plus the Swag is always fun to collect, all are geeks paradise!!

 

Never heard of Sigraph before.

 

Only conventions I've been to are Anime-expo and Fanime. Only been to both once. Not sure if I will go again. It was kinda expensive (especially the hotel) and I didn't really like Fanime that much. Driving to San Jose from Orange County was a pain.

I really want to go to TGS and E3.

 

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Never been to TGS, although my GF is Japanese, that is enough of a game show for me :P
Seems like everyone is trying to do Fanime now. That is why it is so hard to be original, and even harder to hold onto your ideas. Because everyone is so starved.
That is why I always rant about all the remakes of movies, and copying of ideas! It is kinda hard to think of anything that has been original in the past 15 years. Even the Matrix was just a compilation of various Anime filmed in live action.
Sigraph is for the professionals in the fields of computer arts and animation, game development and the likes. Even then it is expensive to get into. E3 used to be mainly for the pro's as well, then they figured they could get more money and exposure if they open it up to everyone.

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animatortom:

Never been to TGS, although my GF is Japanese, that is enough of a game show for me :P
Seems like everyone is trying to do Fanime now. That is why it is so hard to be original, and even harder to hold onto your ideas. Because everyone is so starved.
That is why I always rant about all the remakes of movies, and copying of ideas! It is kinda hard to think of anything that has been original in the past 15 years. Even the Matrix was just a compilation of various Anime filmed in live action.
Sigraph is for the professionals in the fields of computer arts and animation, game development and the likes. Even then it is expensive to get into. E3 used to be mainly for the pro's as well, then they figured they could get more money and exposure if they open it up to everyone.

 

LOL. Liked how you compared your GF to a game show.

 

Thanks for the Siggraph link. Seems like they hold it all over the world and quite frequently too.

 

Yeah, E3 went through a few changes. Before it was great. Then they dumbed it down because companies said they were spending too much on E3 and getting no returns on it. So I think it was media only for a few years.

 

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