Last week I had a hectic week in the city of Cologne, Germany.

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Why Cologne well simply because Cologne was serving as host to both GDC Europe and Gamescom 2013.

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I had the opportunity to meet many of my European colleagues and represent the UK developer ecosystem on the ground for two of the most important gaming conferences in the world.

2013 is a important year and a year when Microsoft can say we have the best 3 screen experience with Xbox 360 and Xbox One as the best gaming console and Windows & Windows Phone as the Best Off-Console Gaming Platforms:

During GDC and GamesCom we used the full selection of devices, with an unprecedented level of presence including a total of over 40 devices with dozens of games from top UK publishers and indies.

I had a packed four days with meetings and evenings with gatherings hosted by the likes of Pocketgamer, Rovio, UKIE, UKTI and Crytek.

I met with dozens of UK developers and companies from all over the world, and discussed and identified many new opportunities relating to Windows Phone, Windows 8, Azure and XboxOne. From an academic perspective I got to meet an array of world wide academics and student developers and had a great session with the IGDA 2013 Scholars.

One of the many highlights of the week was watching AJ from Dlala Studio, give a truly excellent presentation at GDC. His talk,

Building Tomorrow’s Blockbuster Today Across Phones, Tablets, and PCs

Speakers:

Anthony James Grand-Scrutton, Chief Executive Officer at Dlala Studios & Kristina Rothe, Game Development Evangelist at Microsoft

Abstract:

Your games’ success depends on reaching the most gamers on as many devices as possible. Targeting a broad range of hardware doesn’t have to be expensive or painful. Microsoft’s gaming platform offers access to more screens, in more countries with more flexibility than any other platform. Whether you are a small Indie game shop or a member of a large, multi-year cross-team development pipelines – This session will show you how to design, build and publish your game in the most effective way to capture the most players across multiple screens and how Dlala did it.

Device & Services

2013 is the year that “Gaming Takes Many Forms”, and specifically that only Microsoft allows you to have deep immersive experiences across Console, Desktop, Laptops, Convertibles, Tablets, AllinOnes and Phones. 

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We had a variety of devices on site at GDC Europe – Windows 8.1 which proved to great discussion starting point

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HP
Dell
Samsung
Microsoft
Toshiba
ASUS
Sony
Nokia
Samsung
HTC

Envy x2 +Revolve 810
XPS 10, XPS 12, XPS 18
ATIV Smart PC range
Surface RT + Surface Pro
Kirabook
ZenBook Prime + 27inch AllinOne  
Duo11
920, 1020, 925
ATIV S
8X   

     

GamesCom

Gamescom has become — it’s the world’s largest gaming event with over 340,000 visitors, more than 6,000 journalists, and 635 exhibitors from 88 countries attending in 2013.

Selection of Photo Pre and during Show.

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The week was full of action, and Cologne was an amazing host city. We’ll certainly be returning next year, and we’d love to welcome any of our new German friends to visit our office in LA whenever they have the opportunity. The pork knuckle might not be as big, nor the beer as strong, but we promise to show you just as good of a time!

Project Spark

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One of the things I think will really exciting to the academic world is Project Spark.

Project Spark was officially disclosed at E3.

Project Spark is game builder at Gamescom project Spark had a huge presence and brought plenty of details on the game creation project.

The following video is a sneak into what future game designers and developers will see  when the project is released.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKKm0l0Vvpk&feature=player_embedded 

Here are some of the highlights from the Project Spark Gamescom presentation.

  • A pick-and-choose style menu system makes game creation easy.
  • Motion tracking.
  • Facial recognition utilities.
  • The new HD Kinect, allows Project Spark users to record motion sequences and overlay them onto characters.
  • Add facial movements or voice recordings using the HD Kinect as well.
  • Users can share their creations or co-operate on projects over the cloud.
  • World can be created as large as a user wishes them to be.

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