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5:38 PM on 03.19.2014

Shenmue: from peach tree prototype to Virtua Fighter RPG to final release

At Yu Suzuki's GDC postmortem of Shenmue, he fully detailed the classic Dreamcast game's development, from an early prototype to a Virtua Fighter RPG to its final beloved form. Many details, images, and concepts were shown for the first time ever, which was a total thrill for me as a huge fan of the game and Suzuki's other works. 

Dale North

4:41 PM on 03.19.2014

'When will Shenmue 3 be released?'

Yu Suzuki took the very first question after his GDC Shenmue postmortem just now, probably knowing exactly what would be asked. You can guess the question.  Suzuki replied, "Of course I want to make one if I have the rig...

Dale North

4:30 PM on 03.19.2014

Animal Crossing is so successful because of its diverse team

Almost half of the people that worked on Animal Crossing: New Leaf are women. When its director Aya Kyogoku started with Nintendo in 2003, she was the only female game designer there. A decade later and that's no longer the c...

Steven Hansen



Nero: First-person visual novel is part Journey, part Myst photo
Nero: First-person visual novel is part Journey, part Myst
by Dale North

Imagine the exploratory experience of Journey, the first-person puzzle solving of Myst, and the look of the world of Avatar, all mixed together in one new game. That's how Storm in a Teacup's Executive Producer, Alberto Belli, describes their upcoming title, Nero.

They call it a visual novel, though it's nothing like the Japanese text-based titles you might imagine from that label.

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12:05 PM on 03.19.2014

Epic Games' new Unreal Engine 4 subscription plan detailed

Epic Games announced a new subscription model for Unreal Engine 4 this morning. Any user can gain full access to their tools and source code for only $19 a month and 5% revenue. Developers can deploy to PC, Mac, iOS, and Andr...

Dale North



Epic Games announces new $19.99/mo Unreal Engine 4 subscription plan photo
Epic Games announces new $19.99/mo Unreal Engine 4 subscription plan
by Dale North

Anyone can gain access to Unreal Engine 4 now with a new subscription plan, priced at $19.99 a month. This was announced this morning in a GDC press conference by Epic co-founder Tim Sweeney. 

With this new plan, users can deploy to four platforms: PC, Mac, iOS, and Android. Developers will pay 5 percent of revenues for full access to Unreal Engine 4. This fee gets you the tools, access to full C++ source code (via GitHub), documentation, and forum support access. This new plan is available today, letting new developers download tools and get started right now (or in a few minutes -- the site is down right now).

Sweeney calls today the start of something new for Epic Games. He said that they’ve been working quietly behind the scene on new technology for awhile now. The future of the engine is inspired by a lot of changes in the game industry. The assumption was that bigger and better was going to be the continual goal for the future of gaming, but things have changed since, with mobile and VR entering the scene in a big way.

The newest form of  Unreal Engine 4 was built to be highly usable for developers of all sizes.   Sweeney says that even if you don’t know how to program, you could build a game in Unreal Engine 4. He confident enough about its ease of use that noted that the engine could potentially be a new outlet for the motivated Minecraft player.

It used to cost many millions of dollars and lots of licensing paperwork for AAA developers to use UE4 to make games. Sweeney admits that this is an outdated plan now. They’re shooting for practicability and accessibility with their new business mode; every developer on earth will have access to all the tools Epic has when they develop their AAA games now. For $20, cancelable at any time. How great is that?

As an example, they showed off a game they made with the tools, called Tappy Chicken. It was developed in two days with Blueprint in UE4, with no programming. Other examples of the tools were shown -- more on these later today.

You'll find the full details on this new plan here.

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10:01 AM on 03.19.2014

Oculus on virtual reality competition: 'We're excited'

When we met with them yesterday morning, the people at Oculus VR were not surprised to hear my questioning on what they thought of the rumors of a potential Sony VR headset announcement at GDC. We spoke with them just hours b...

Dale North



Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 pre-orders open today, priced at $350 photo
Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 pre-orders open today, priced at $350
by Dale North

As of this morning at 8 a.m. PST, pre-orders are open for the Oculus Rift development kit 2 (DK2). They're priced at $350, and will ship beginning in July of this year. Oculus tells Destructoid that the kits will be shipped on a first come, first serve basis, so you'd better get that order in now if you're wanting to get yours in July. 

For that $350 you're getting the newest Rift, one that benefits from all the work they've put in since the Kickstarter days of the platform. This kit features OLED displays running at 960 x 1080 per eye, supported by internal tracking that runs at 1,000 Hz and positional tracking that has seen upgrades since the last time we've seen it, which wasn't even that long ago. Oh, and the camera that does the positional tracking -- that comes with the kit, too. 

Oculus were nice enough to give us a sneak peek of DK2 yesterday, so read on for our impressions of the new kit. 

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Capy Games' Nathan Vella talks Super Time Force, Below, and the IGF Awards photo
Capy Games' Nathan Vella talks Super Time Force, Below, and the IGF Awards
by Max Scoville

Literally the first thing I did at GDC this year was sit down with Capy Games president Nathan Vella and talk about their upcoming games Super Time Force and Below, as well as his hosting duties at this year's IGF awards.

Also, a woman in the background knocked over a lamp and broke it, which I thought was pretty funny.

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8:35 PM on 03.18.2014

EVE Valkyrie, Thief coming to Sony's Project Morpheus VR headset

Yay! Titles! Sony announced that CCP's EVE Valkyrie and Square Enix's Thief will be among the playable demos tomorrow on the GDC show floor for their newly announced Project Morpheus virtual reality headset.  Aside from ...

Dale North

8:30 PM on 03.18.2014

The technical details of Sony's Project Morpheus virtual reality

After tonight's reveal, Sony spent some time at their GDC talk to discuss some details on the technical goals for their new VR headset, codenamed Project Morpheus.  Project Morpheus calls on Sony's electronics divisions ...

Dale North



Sony announces Project Morpheus, their VR future for the PlayStation brand photo
Sony announces Project Morpheus, their VR future for the PlayStation brand
by Dale North

You knew it was coming, and today during their GDC Future of Innovation talk they made it official. A virtual reality future for the PlayStation brand was revealed by Sony bosses to a completely packed panel room this evening. Shuhei Yoshida, President of Worldwide Studios at Sony, joked that the audience has "no idea what we're going to talk about."

Yoshida calls virtual reality the next innovation from PlayStation that will shape games as we know them. They used modified versions of their existing HMZ headset line as a test to explore VR, and after seeing the possibilities they began developing their own headset in their R&D departments years ago. 

They call it Project Morpheus, a culmination of work over the last three years to realize VR for PlayStation. A prototype was unveiled during the presentation -- a cool white visor that is not unlike Sony's exisiting visor displays. This prototype is by no means final, notes Yoshida. 

The plan integration with the PS Camera and PS Move in the future, with the goal of expanding the ecosystem of PS4. 

Yoshida announces that the prototype will be available for testing on the show floor of GDC tomorrow. We will be there first thing tomorrow to try it out.

For early technical information, see our story on Project Morpheus' specs.

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Here are a bunch of upcoming Xbox One indie games photo
Here are a bunch of upcoming Xbox One indie games
by Jordan Devore

This week at the Game Developers Conference, Microsoft has shared more details about its self-publishing program for Xbox One, ID@Xbox. A couple different lists of who all is signed on to make games for the platform have come out since the program's announcement last August, but this latest list, viewable in full below, summarizes 25 specific titles.

With tons of indie game confirmations for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita these past few months especially, it's great to see Xbox One play catch up here; everyone wins. These relatively new platforms need as much software as they can get and it's always nice to have smaller developers pick up the slack between big-name, AAA releases.

Also, Super Time Force, Hyper Light Drifter, and 1001 Spikes on Xbox One: freakin' yes.

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Sentai studio sim Chroma Squad could be my XCOM replacement photo
Sentai studio sim Chroma Squad could be my XCOM replacement
by Steven Hansen

I played a lot of XCOM last year, between running through Enemy Unknown late and Enemy Within. The blend of on the ground, turn-based combat and back home base management simulation hooked me.

Chroma Squad is basically that. Except you're directing a Sentai with actors in colorful spandex dancing around lots of explosions and turtle and plant monsters.

It's pretty great.

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4:15 PM on 03.18.2014

I danced at GDC today in front of God and country playing Bounden

I danced in the park today. While everyone else was in meeting rooms, I did turns and pirouettes in Yerba Buena Gardens as the sun beamed down and cherry blossoms fluttered by in the soft spring breeze. This all may sound lovely, but I looked like a dork out there in front of everyone. But I'm not ashamed because it was a lot of fun.

Dale North





3:45 PM on 03.18.2014

Reminder! Destructoid's GDC party is tonight!

Update: The Me So Hungry food truck will be parked at our party! Doors open at 8pm, and the event is sold out via EventBrite. If you RSVP'd via Facebook or are super BFFs with Dtoid crew we will try to accommodate y...

Mari Monzo