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Game Developers Conference (GDC)

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The annual Game Developers Conference unites game makers around the world for a week of panels, awards, and demos in San Francisco. Digital Trends is on the ground at this year’s show, where we’ll be catching up with developers about their upcoming projects, and reflecting on the current state of the video-game industry. Get ready for a week of previews and exclusive interviews from some of the industry’s rising stars.

A colony of ants wanders in Empire of the Ants.

This strategy game about photorealistic ants will have you bugging out

Empire of the Ants is a real-time strategy game starring photorealistic ants, and it's just as wild as that premise sounds.
Mecha Break robot head with glowing blue eyes

Mecha Break’s robot customization shakes up the battle royale formula

Based on what we've played so far, Mecha Break's battle royale mode might have what it takes to stand with the best of them.
Link looking shocked holding rice.

This beloved feature almost ruined Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

At a GDC panel, the Nintendo developers of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom gave a rare peek at the difficulty of creating the game's physics system.
Nor holds a gun in Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn.

Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn is pioneering the ‘Soulslite’ genre

We got a closer look at Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn, showing off its more approachable stab at the Soulslike genre.
The Moscone Center's North Hall is covered in GDC signage.

As the internet raged, game developers at GDC screamed for change

This year's Game Developers Conference acted as a forum for frustrated game makers dealing with layoffs, harassment, and a collapsing industry.
Person standing on octagon grass tiles

BitCraft is a fully editable survival-crafting MMORPG

Clockwork Labs encourages you to build your own civilization in BitCraft, an MMORPG featuring a fully editable sandbox world. Here's what that world looks like.
A banner with GDC on it outside a conference center.

GDC 2024 in review: Path tracing, upscaling, and CPU-killing tech

After spending the week at GDC, here are my big takeaways from advancements in the world of PC graphics and tech.
A cutscene from Sopa.

We played tons of games at GDC 2024. Put these ones on your wish list

We played a ton of bold, weird, and wonderful games at this year’s GDC. These ones are worth adding to your wish list.
A conversation with Bloom in Ubisoft's AI tech demo.

Ubisoft’s impressive smart NPC demo reveals AI’s quiet gender bias problem

Ubisoft showed off an impressive AI demo at GDC filled with smart NPCs. But the company has one problem to fix: AI’s inherent biases.
Hermit crab holding up pitchfork

Another Crab’s Treasure is an approachable Soulslike with a comedic twist

Another Crab's Treasure is an approachable Soulslike with a sense of humor. Here's what you should expect from Aggro Crab Games' latest gem.
A character in an AI-driven dialogue tree by Nvidia.

I was wrong — Nvidia’s AI NPCs could be a game changer

I was disappointed by the first demo of Nvidia's AI-based dialogue in games. But after a recent demo, I walked away impressed.
Key art for Epic Mickey Rebrushed.

Epic Mickey: Rebrushed’s control tweaks reinvigorate a Wii classic

We played Epic Mickey: Rebrushed at GDC and got a much better idea of what’s been redone in the Wii remake.
A built structure in World of Goo 2.

World of Goo 2 might just be the Nintendo Switch’s next must-own co-op game

World of Goo 2 is shaping up to be the last hurrah for chaotic co-op games on Nintendo Switch.
Gameplay from Call of Duty: Warzone mobile

Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile is out to eliminate mobile gaming’s stigma

Activision believes that Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile will be the shooter that changes people's minds about mobile gaming. Here's why.
Captain America and Black Panther face off in a screenshot from a Marvel game.

Unreal Engine just demoed ‘film-quality’ visuals running in real time

At the State of Unreal 2024, Unreal Engine revealed how its latest iteration will create densely detailed environments in real time.
epic games store ios android 2024 egs mobile

Epic still plans to bring its Games Store to iOS and Android this year

Epic Games is committing to getting the Epic Games Store on both iOS and Android by the end of 2024.
The main character of Dungeons of Hinterberg blows into a giant horn.

Dungeons of Hinterberg is the breakout indie to watch this year

The stylish Dungeons of Hinterberg already has us impressed thanks to a strong GDC demo that showcases its satisfyingly fluid adventuring.
Captain America and Black Panther clash in Marvel 1943: Rise of Hydra footage.

Amy Hennig’s Captain America and Black Panther video game finally has a title

Marvel 1943: Rise of Hydra is the name of the Captain America and Black Panther video game from former Uncharted creative director Amy Hennig.
Key art for Lunar Lander Beyond.

Lunar Lander Beyond makes a classic Atari game even more stressful

Atari classic Lunar Lander is making a comeback, and it’s bringing a stress system that calls back to GameCube cult hit Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem.
A demo of AMD GPU work graphs featuring in-game scenery including a castle and a town.

AMD is making the CPU more and more obsolete in gaming

AMD just shared a demo of Work Graphs with the additions of draw calls and mesh nodes, and the results are impressive.
An enemy in Hyper Light Breaker.

Hyper Light Breaker is a colorful mix between Risk of Rain and Dark Souls

We tried Heart Machine’s latest game, Hyper Light Breaker, at GDC and left with our butts firmly kicked.
Apple Arcade characters stand on a chess board.

The method to Apple Arcade’s madness? ‘Bring us an incredible game’

With Apple Arcade's five-year anniversary approaching, Apple sheds some light on how its mobile gaming service continues to thrive.
AI-generated NPCs sit at a bar.

As the use of AI rises in games, SAG-AFTRA is fighting to make the tech ethical

As this year's GDC brings more AI gaming projects, SAG-AFTRA explains why its fighting for an ethical use of the tech.
Three characters shoot at a boss in Remnant 2.

I tried 3 of Remnant 2’s classes and already have a clear favorite

We tried out three of Remnant 2's new character archetypes and we have a clear favorite: the machine-gun-toting Handler and their canine pal.
A plaza in Escape Academy.

Escape Academy’s competitive escape room mode is the Mario Kart of puzzle games

We tried our hands at Escape Academy’s Tournament of Puzzles mode at GDC, which turns its escape rooms into PVP battles.
A top down view of the Framework Laptop 16 against a blue backdrop.

The Framework Laptop 16 is officially my most anticipated laptop

Framework has announced the fully modular Framework Laptop 16, and it's got me excited about the possibilities.
El Paso, Elsewhere's main character leans on the hood of a car.

El Paso, Elsewhere pays tribute to Max Payne with style and substance

El Paso Elsewhere turns Max Payne into a vampire-filled neo-noir, and there’s a lot of substance under all that style.
ra boom preview gdc mvc beat em up key art

Ra Ra Boom looks to fix the beat ‘em up genre’s biggest problem

Ra Ra Boom bends all the rules of the beat ‘em up genre to create a side-scrolling brawler that feels like Marvel vs Capcom.

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Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to Inverse, Fanbyte, The Inventory, and more. He was previously a segment producer on Polygon’s daily gaming show Speedrun and he currently hosts the Left Trigger Right Trigger podcast. Four Tetris 99 wins, and counting.