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GDC 2014 round-up, Round Two: FIGHT!

S. Prell, @SamPrell

The 2014 Game Developers Conference is wrapping up, and so, like Frodo and Sam making the long walk back from the mouth of Mt. Doom, so too must the Joystiq crew leave the mystical land of San Francisco. Oh well, at least we get to keep all our fingers.

If you haven't already gotten caught up on all the GDC 2014 news, check out the first edition of our GDC round-up. It's chock-full of announcements, hands-on previews, features, dev talks and a special breakout for Sony's virtual reality headset, Project Morpheus.

Done? Excellent. Kick back, grab a bowl of popcorn and let us regale you, young adventurers, of GDC 2014, and when Joystiq went there and back again.

Announcements & Reveals

  • On-rails shooter Blue Estate is coming to the PlayStation 4, developer HeSaw announced. We gave the game, which was previously exclusive to the Leap Motion, a two out of five star review, so we'll have to wait and see if the PS4 version makes a better impression.
  • IN A WORLD where the gaming market lacks games which combine action movie beefcakes and card battles, ONE MAN DEVELOPER will CHANGE THE WORLD. Crytek presents: The Collectables. COMING SOON to iOS and Android. *explosion*
  • Obsidian is dipping their toes into the waters of free-to-play with the upcoming Armored Warfare, a PC game about - what else? - armored warfare. At least no one could accuse the South Park developer of false advertising.
  • On the surface, Bit Brawlers looks like low-res version of Super Smash Bros. But publisher Tiny Build Games promises there's much more lying in wait for players, including the ability to customize your character's equipment, abilities, and even the world itself.
  • Games on the Ouya currently require some form of free access, be it a demo or free-to-play business model. That will change next month, Ouya - the company, not the console - has announced. Oh well. Tis better to have been free and lost than never to have been free at all. Or something like that.
  • Tetropolis is a game about a defective Tetris block's quest to escape destruction. No. Really. It's kind of like Wreck-It Ralph had a baby with Portal, which, okay, sounds pretty interesting if nothing else.
  • Yu Suzuki is "researching" the idea of funding Shenmue 3 via Kickstarter, but until the crowdfunding site begins to accept "hope" and "optimism" as donations, we won't hold our breath.

Behind The Curtain & Sneak Peeks
  • Octodad: Dadliest Catch developer Young Horses admitted that, while their game of cephalopod subterfuge sold enough copies to keep the studio afloat financially, reviews and player feedback forced them to institute several changes that will appear in the upcoming PS4 version.
  • Isn't the feeling of power you get playing as a superpowered space marine or unstoppable soldier just the best? Well, prepare to feel awful, because This War of Mine shows the side of civilians caught in the middle of modern warfare. It isn't pretty.
  • The Creative Assembly knows that their upcoming Alien: Isolation has a lot of trust to regain after the negative reaction of Aliens: Colonial Marines, so they talked to Joystiq's Xav de Matos about what it means to them to tinker in the Alien mythos. Just don't hurt us, Creative. We've been hurt before.
  • Monaco creator Andy Schatz walked us through the vision of his upcoming game, currently being referred to as "Armada." The game will blend of RTS and MOBA genres, and ... that's all we know right now. Schatz announced his game very early in the development process because, in his words, "fuck it." Hard to argue with that logic.
  • Not only does Joystiq provide the best gaming news content on the web, we are also the most elegant, as senior reporter Jess Conditt demonstrates during her interview with Adriaan de Jongh, designer of mobile dancing game, Bounden. Poise and grace, in yo face.
  • A long time ago, in a company far, far away, David Fox wanted to make a Star Wars game. He was a founding member of LucasArts, so this was the perfect fit. Or so he thought. During a postmortem panel about the studio, Fox recalled his days at LucasArts, and how an attitude of "anything but Star Wars" defined his creative approach.
  • Any game development period is subject to bugs, but Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki shared a couple of particularly entertaining ones during his speech about the game's development. Highlights included cats that shared walking animations with humans, and every NPC in a certain district disappearing from the streets. No wonder Ryo couldn't find those sailors!
  • Pie? Did someone say pie? Oh, we are all about pie. Where's the-- oh, pie charts. Well, when they're pie charts in upcoming Vita game Metrico, the excitement is just as warranted. We talked to Digital Dreams CEO Thijmen Bink about how this game about statistics is shaping up.
  • Subset Games are advancing on their plan to bring FTL to iPad via the updated FTL: Advanced Edition. The process hasn't been easy, but the team seems confident in their abilities - not to mention the new features being added to the game. Captain Kirk (and/or Picard, we don't play favorites here) would be proud.
  • Massive Entertainment revealed more about their Snowdrop engine, and how it's affecting development of upcoming game, Tom Clancy's The Division. The game "never goes offline," according to Massive's Rodrigo Cortes. You heard him: The snow never stops. Winter is coming.

Sights & Sounds
  • This History of Nintendo booth makes us nostalgic for the good old days. Also, Nintendo, not saying we're gonna steal that N64 display, but we're totally gonna steal that N64 display.
  • We found a copy of Quadrilateral Cowboy straight out of 1987. Dang it McFly, you're not supposed to leave anything behind when you time travel!
  • Board games played on boards are so last-gen. Only a board game on iPad can deliver next-gen graphics and framerate.
  • Don't worry about when the machines will rise up and enslave mankind. They're already here, and they've got disc-spinning technology years ahead of what your primitive mind could hope to understand.
  • Devolver Digital, publishers of Hotline Miami, decided to invite press to their meeting space while wearing masks from the game. It's not terrifying at all!
  • It's not just game designers who are exploring the space of virtual reality. Sony R&D has also been working with NASA during development of Project Morpheus. What's that like? "Cool."
  • At GDC, everyone can hear you scream. And they will put it on the Internet.
  • I'll have a Numer 7 combo, with a mana potion to drink, please. Actually, wait. Make that diet.

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