GDC 09: It’s happening, we’re here, and here’s a preview

Game Developers Conference 2009 has kicked off in San Francisco today, and guess what? We’re here! As you’d expect, we’ll be poking around all week to bring you all of the excited (and perhaps not so exciting) details from the event.

So what’s going on? On Wednesday morning, Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata will be giving a keynote entitled “Discovering New Development Opportunities”; what that actually means is anyone’s guess. While GDC isn’t normally full of huge announcements, some are speculating that Iwata could reveal something we haven’t seen before. Since the DSi is Nintendo’s current focus, don’t be surprised if the “new development opportunities” are tied closely to DSiWare. 

On Thursday, Solid Snake’s daddy Hideo Kojima will be giving a keynote speech as well, “Solid Game Design: Making the ‘Impossible’ Possible.” Again, Kojima isn’t expected to break any game news (people are here to learn, you know), but we’re hearing he has something interesting to show gamers this week… but maybe not at the keynote. 

Hit the jump for more information on what we know we’ll be seeing this week. Some of it’s pretty damned cool.

We’ll get our first look at the Dexter game for the iPhone, which we hope will use the acceleromter for some kind of blood-draining mini-game.

Double Fine will presumably be showing off some Brutal Legend gameplay. We say “presumably” because they invited us over to see something Brutal Legend-related; it could be a cake that looks like the game’s lead character, Eddie Riggs. Who knows?

Did you know there was a Duke Nukem game coming out for the PlayStation Portable and the Nintendo DS? We’re as surprised as you are! It’s called Duke Nukem: Critical Mass, and publisher Deep Silver will be showing it off along with Cursed Mountain (Wii) and Risen for Xbox 360 and PC. They will also be serving Popeye’s chicken. For serious.

Apparently, this Monster Hunter franchise is a big deal somewhere, and Capcom is ready to make a splash with it in the United States. They’ll be having an event showing off the upcoming PSP game, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite this week.

Vogster’s bringing an updated build of CrimeCraft, its PC third-person shooter MMO, to GDC. This will be a nice break from capping fools in real life.

Hudson is showing us Help Wanted (Wii) and Miami Law (DS), along with some “unannounced” games for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and WiiWare. Let’s announce them, shall we? Diner Dash and Military Madness are coming to Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation Network, and WiiWare. The other game is Water Warfare, a first-person “super soaker” game. Really!

Activision wants to show us Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Wolfenstein. But you won’t hear about that stuff this week — we’re embargoed on that stuff until next week.

We’ll get to see Monte Cristo’s wild-looking”one sim to rule them all” Cities XL in action.

Boom Blox: Bash Party, The Sims 3, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra are all Electronic Arts games and we will see them. Battlefield 2 is important enough to justify getting its own event one evening this week.

Batman: Arkham Asylum will be played using our hands and we will make Batman beat up thugs and maybe a giant lizard-man. Lots of them. We will use a digital John Connor to shoot at machines in Terminator: Salvation, too.

We’ll attend Harmonix lead designer Dan Teasdale’s Friday morning session (nine in the morning? really?) about designing Rock Band, because word has it the Destructoid logo is featured in his slide presentation. And we’re fame-whores.

Insomniac Games is going to talk about sharing their PlayStation 3 expertise (dubbed the “Nocturnal Initiative”), and cooperative gaming.

Sucker Punch is going to talk about inFamous some more, and we’re going to shock them with our lightning abilities until they admit who the awesome musician is that’s doing the game’s soundtrack. Because we know, and we just want to hear them say it. (Note: It’s not Timbaland.)

First-person MMO Huxley actually, and we’re going to see it!

Speaking of MMOs, Atlus Online is working on some steampunk MMORPG called Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent. We’re going to find out how shattered said continent is and we’ll get back to you when we know.

Tecmo originally told us they were going to announce a game at GDC, something we had never heard of. They even went as far as to tell us the information was embargoed. Then they announced Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 for the PlayStation 3, which makes our job easier. We imagine we’ll see a trailer of the game in action, and that it will feature blood, ninjas, and breasts.

We’ll see Crytek’s CryENGINE 3 in action. We’re confident it will feature foliage and explosions, although that’s unconfirmed.

You know what’s cool? Dragons. Dragons are cool. Seeing BioWare’s Dragon Age also sounds pretty cool, so we’ll do that.

Anthony Burch is going to like, 115 sessions with names like “The Indie Advantage,” “Narrative in theory and practice,” and “Human play machine.” This may mean nothing to you, but it will, because he’ll look to make sense of it for your sensitive brains.

Friday afternoon’s “Lionhead Experiments Revealed” has Peter Molyneux revealing stuff. Experiments, to be exact. Should be interesting, as the ever-quotable Molyneux never fails to entertain and inform.

That’s not all, either; this is just a sample of what we have planned for this week, if you could believe it. Check back all week for hands-on impressions, news, quotes, and even video from the show. That is, of course, if we don’t pass out by Wednesday.

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Nick Chester
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