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Highlights from the Game Developers Conference 2008

Ross Miller

The Game Developers Conference has come and gone. Five very hectic days and over 250 posts later, we've still not caught up on sleep (and probably won't until the week before E3). As much as we'd like you to read every single post, one by one, and adding polite comments to each and every one of them, we're pragmatists.

Join us in the next few pages for a primer on all things GDC 2008. Comments can be found on the last page (Update: comments have been turned on for every page, so go crazy!) as well as a very special image for some of our readers who feel a strong infinity with writer Ludwig Kietzmann. Read on as we recap last week.

Gallery: GDC08: The Experience | 147 Photos

The Microsoft Keynote

While Sony and Nintendo shared keynote spotlight in 2007, Microsoft was the only console maker to deliver the big speech this year. So what did we learn from the Microsoft GDC keynote (photos)? For starters, the Xbox Live community arcade, offering titles from the XNA community to for play on the Xbox 360 or Zune. More information came from the Blogger's Breakfast later in the week as well as the XNA booth itself, which had a mysterious shroud up until the keynote and was later uncovered to reveal playable versions of Dishwasher Samurai and JellyCar.

Team Ninja's self-proclaimed badass Tomonobu Itagaki took the stage to announce a June 3 release for Ninja Gaiden 2 as well as show off some bloody disgusting (but in a good way) gameplay (photos, video). An Xbox Live tab appeared claiming a NG2 demo was "coming soon," but that turned to be just video of someone playing the demo. Lame.

Lionhead founder and nudist extraordinaire Peter Molyneux presented the latest Fable 2 build (photos), showing himself to be a woman (in-game) whose husband is untimely vanquished as a result of the new co-op mode. Also, monsters will no longer line their bellies with currency and drop gold upon defeat; instead, you'll have to earn your living through trade skills (i.e. jobs) or by gambling in a Fable 2 Xbox Live minigame.

The big reveal of the night came from CliffyB, lancer in hand, announcing Gears of War 2 (surprise!) was coming out November 2008 (photos, teaser trailer). You can watch us try to (unsuccessfully) get some other GoW2 details from Epic's Mark Rein, Tim Sweeney and Cliffy B. We did learn about Epic's new additions to the Unreal Engine, especially Mova's awesome contour facial capture system (interview) and the state of Unreal Tournament 3 mods for consoles (good for PS3, bad for Xbox 360).

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