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GDC Next highlights who to look for at GDC Play

GDC Next highlights who to look for at GDC Play

October 25, 2013 | By Staff

After a successful showing at GDC Play 2013 in San Francisco, GDC Play will come to GDC Next and the App Developers Conference, offering emerging developers the opportunity to expose their games to fellow GDC attendees.

The showcase itself will take place during the first two days of GDC Next, which will run Tuesday, November 5 and Wednesday, November 6 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

These are a handful of the developers making an appearance at GDC Play:

Game Mechanic Studios

Game Mechanic Studios has worked behind the scenes on several triple-A projects such as Homefront and Defiance for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. The studio will be on-hand at GDC Next demoing Tobuscus Adventures Wizards, which earned almost $650,000 in a successful Indiegogo campaign and is set for release early next year on iOS, Android, and PC. Candice Alejandre, the producer of the game, will show off the team's new take on the tower defense genre.

Studio present Jason Alejandre explains: "For example, let’s take the star reward system you’ve seen in games like Angry Birds. The star system in our game is Risk vs. Reward."

"Once the player earns a star, it doesn't mean he or she gets to keep it. The player has to decide whether or not to teleport out of the level or continue fighting against the onslaught of attacking zombies. If the player is defeated, any star earned is lost, so you can see how our star system is directly tied into the players decision making."

As for looking to the future, Alejandre says, "We plan on innovating on genres that have been well established but have grown stale from lots of me-too games by approaching them from a different creative perspective that uniquely allows us to show who we are as a developer."


Kumakore VP of business development Eric Shen and team have a rich background in social games, having helped build Zynga's suite of With Friends games, including Words With Friends, Hanging With Friends, Scramble With Friends, Matching With Friends, and Gems With Friends.

At GDC Next, Kumakore will be showing off its game, Bubble Pals, along with the Kumakore Backend Service, which Shen describes as "a feature-rich cross-platform game development accelerator that combines backend-as-a-service tailored to games, and a product management best practices toolkit leveraging the Kumakore team's experience."

Shen is most excited to demonstrate the backend's robust feature set. "We have user management, inventory management, asynchronous turn-based infrastructure, and push notification schedule management all built out, meaning that someone could build 'Angry Birds With Friends' in a matter of weeks, instead of months, using our service."

"We believe Kumakore is the next tool game developers will need in this increasingly free-to-play world, where a robust backend technology stack and implementing product management 'best practices' will help game developers both large and small focus their time and efforts on what they do best - making amazing games," Shen said.

LOOT Entertainment

LOOT Entertainment has worked on many famous brands such as Doctor Who, Men In Black, and Ghostbusters for PlayStation Home. At GDC Next, the team will be demoing Forsaken Planet, a fast-paced, dual-stick multiplayer shooter with strategy elements.

Community coordinator Lindsey Schaal says the team is most jazzed to show how fun Forsaken Planet is for all ages. "It combines the right balance of humor and competition that will have players racing to the 'Chikkinizer' to score points while laughing all the way there... We wanted to create a game that appeals to a gamer's competitive nature while still being able to be enjoyed by everyone at any age. We believe we have done that with Forsaken Planet."

Schaal is excited about the future of games which allows for new technologies to bring competitive action to multiple platforms, as LOOT has done with Forsaken Planet on Moga, Amazon Game Connect, other Android devices via Google Play, and Ouya.

While these are just a few of the developers showcasing at GDC Next, be sure to check out the Expo floor plan and the Session Scheduler to see all of its announced talks and begin your planning. Previously announced Future of Games Track talks include EA Mythic lead designer Kate Flack on toy industry insights she brought to Ultima Forever, Ubisoft Blue Byte's Teut Weidemann on why mobile is everything, and more.

Online registration is in full swing for GDC Next and the co-located ADC; register now and save up to $200 on ADC, GDC Next, or a combined VIP All Access Pass. For all the latest news on GDC Next, subscribe for updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS. Also, check out ADC's focus on Education Apps: EA founder Trip Hawkins on his new learning service, Animoca on complying with new online privacy rules, and Dreamkind on standing toe-to-toe with Elmo and other powerful kids' brands.

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