Visiting GDC2012 – Part 2 of 2
Moscone North — Expo Hall
The expo hall is a massive collection of awesome. It contains all the games, doodads, add-ons, tools and services you could ever need while you are building a game. The first thing you see when you walk in are giant displays from all the big companies and latest AAA games (e.g. Sony, Microsoft). From there it moves to tools of the trade: anything you could possibly want (along with some things you didn’t think you needed) to build a modern game.
One of the first things that caught my eye was a shooter called Warface. The trailer on their website doesn’t show any in-game footage, but it was being played at GDC. Being CryEngine 3 based, the game looks sexy. It looks like the next Call of Duty or Modern Warfare. The part that really caught my eye was that it titles itself a “Free Social FPS”. I understand “Free (to play)” and “FPS”, but I don’t get how “Social” comes into play. If you’ve played any FPSs online you know that most of the social aspects are 12 year old kids screaming obscenities — thanks, but no thanks. Regardless, I’m curious to see how this movement of free to play AAA games goes — so I’ve signed up.
I got a chance to watch their product in action, attached to Macs and iPads. You sit there and think, and the apps do their thing, couldn’t be simpler than that. One of the demo apps was a meditation trainer which is cool to me because it’s probably the only way you’d ever get me to “meditate”. The second app was even more awesome in concept — a Choose Your Own Adventures movie… based on brain waves. The “movie” they used wasn’t very long, but at critical points in the story line you could pick what the main characters would do based on how you thought. Sure, you could easily do to the same thing on any platform with a button, but this would be so much less intrusive as the technology matures. Sit on your couch and watch a movie, every time you watch it, it’s a little different. No remote, no “controllers”, just a small lightweight headset.
I’ll admit, I’m not well informed on the brain reading arena, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen consumer level brain wave hardware. Not only is it consumer level, but it’s only $100. There are a lot of applications for cheap brain wave hardware, most of which I’m sure haven’t even been thought of yet (pun intended). I’m sure as time progresses, the hardware will shrink down till it’s no more than a Bluetooth headset in size. Then it can ignore calls and text messages for me because it knows I’m ticked off at the world. Wouldn’t that be glorious? Oh, and they also had a girl wandering around the booth wearing a pair of cat ears that moved around (presumably brain controlled) that were ADORABLE.