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A Preview of Game Developers Conference 2014

Over 20,000 people will take part in GDC 2014. Show up with your business cards!
Over 20,000 people will take part in GDC 2014. Show up with your business cards!
Ross Miller from Joystiq

On March 17th, over 20,000 gaming enthusiasts will flood San Francisco to take part in the Game Developers Conference 2014 (GDC 2014). This is the 27th year for the conference which is considered to be the second biggest gaming industry meet-up behind only E3.

Among the featured presentations Sims 4, the new steam controllers, Sony's Virtual Reality, and Rant Apocalypse are among the most highly anticipated.

'Sims 4'

There has yet to be any information or screenshots leaked from 'Sims 4'. This should all change at GDC, where there will be three panels from members of the team behind 'Sims 4'. The first panel is "Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Improving Visualization of AI Info" presented by Bill Merrill, Charles Gast, and Mika Vehkala (Tuesday, March 18th from 11:15 am -12:15 pm). The second panel is "Concurrent Interactions in The Sims 4" presented by Peter Ingebretson and Max Rebuschatis (Wednesday, March 19th from 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm). The third panel is "Multi-Actor Behavior Sequencing in The Sims 4" presented by Brian Bell (Friday March 21st from 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm). These presentations are labeled as part of the programming track and are geared toward developers.

New Steam Controllers

Valve recently released photos of its newly redesigned Steam Controller and all signs point to these controller being out on the floor for a hands on experience during GDC 2014. The controller is geared for PC gaming and seems to follow the design of previous console controllers. Unique to the steam controller is two circular touchpads that imitate the players' precision and feel of using a mouse.Valve is also rumored to be dabbling into music as well as Virtual Reality.

Sony's Virtual Reality

Sony is set to unveil their virtual reality prototype at GDC 2014 stealing the show from the Occulus Rift (also set to showcase the next version of their VR headset). Sony has taken a very different approach from Occulus by polishing their model versus the Occulus' approach of releasing a rough prototype out to developers. The two panels to watch from Sony are "Innovation at PlayStation" and "The Future of Gaming" on Tuesday, March 18th.

Rant Apocalypse 2014

The most buzz worthy panel of GDC for the past 10 years has been the rant sessions organized by Jason Della Rocca and Eric Zimmerman. This year's rant will bring back the best previous ranters in a "Mega Session". Featuring Clint Hocking, Heather Chaplin, Brenda Romero, and many other surprises. Expect some shouting from this no holding back format. All topics are of the utmost importance to the industry today and the goal of the panel is to breakdown these problems and propose solutions. If you are at GDC 2014 (I will be there too), then this is a panel you are going to want to get there early for.

Outside of Sims 4, new steam controllers, Sony's Virtual Reality, and the Rant Apocalypse you can also count on big things to come from the indie developers, as well as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. To find out more information on GDC 2014, visit the conference's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, or Twitter.