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GDC 2020 Virtual Talks start today, here’s the full schedule

Following the postponement of GDC 2020, organisers have detailed a week of talks and panels that will be live-streamed on Twitch from today.

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GDC 2020 virtual talk schedule
Game Developers Conference

Following the cancellation of GDC 2020, organisers have lined-up a week of talks and sessions to be live-streamed on Twitch, starting today.

This year’s GDC was set to host hundreds of panels, talks, and roundtables. With the conference ‘postponed’ due to COVID-19, organisers are instead broadcasting a selection of self-recorded developer sessions on Twitch.

Nearly 40 talks will be streamed, as well as the Game Developers Choice and Independent Games Festival awards. Highlights include a look at storytelling and narrative from Capybara Games, an exploration of Borderland 3‘s accessibility features, and a post-mortem on Adam Robinson-Yu’s wonderful game, A Short Hike.

Double Fine and iam8bit will also highlight a range of upcoming indie games in a special digital version of Day of the Devs. Microsoft will broadcast its GDC sessions via the Game Stack Live digital event.

Finally, it’s also worth reminding our readers of the various initiatives supporting independent developers affected by GDC’s cancellation. You can read our report here.

Here’s the full lineup of GDC 2020 virtual talks with PT start times. You can watch each one on the GDC Twitch channel.

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GDC 2020 Virtual Talks schedule

Monday, March 16

  • 9:00am – The ‘Kine’ Postmortem
    Gwen Frey (President, Chump Squad)
  • 10:00am – Storytelling with Verbs: Integrating Gameplay and Narrative
    Kaitlin Tremblay (Writer & Narrative Designer, Capybara Games)
  • 11:00am – Intrinsically Motivated Teams: The Manager’s Toolbox
    Alexandre Moufarek (Product Manager, DeepMind)
  • 12:00pm – From ‘Assassin’s Creed’ to ‘The Dark Eye’: The Importance of Themes
    Winifred Phillips (Composer, Generations Productions LLC)
  • 1:00pm – Representing LGBT+ Characters in Games: Two Case Studies
    Tori Schafer (Writer & Designer, Proletariat)
  • 2:00pm – The Sound of Anthem
    Cody Behiel (Audio Lead, Electronic Arts BioWare), Eric Vervaet (Director of Audio, Electronic Arts BioWare)
  • 3:00pm – Is Your Game Cross-Platform Ready?
    Raymond Arifianto (VP of Tech, AccelByte)
  • 4:00pm – Forgiveness Mechanics: Reading Minds for Responsive Gameplay
    Seth Coster (CEO & Game Programmer, Butterscotch Shenanigans, Inc)
  • 4:30pm – Experimental AI Lightning Talk: Hyper Realistic Artificial Voices for Games
    Zeena Qureshi (Co-Founder & CEO, Sonantic)

Tuesday, March 17

  • 9:00am – What to Write So People Buy: Selling Your Game Without Feeling Sleazy
    Chris Zukowski (Founder, Return To Adventure Mountain)
  • 9:50am – Failure Workshop: FutureGrind: How To Make A 6-Month Game In Only 4.5 Years
    Owen Goss (Co-Founder, Milkbag Games)
  • 10:00am – Stress-Free Game Development: Powering Up Your Studio With DevOps
    Seth Coster (CEO & Game Programmer, Butterscotch Shenanigans, Inc)
  • 11:00am – Baked in Accessibility: How Features Were Approached in ‘Borderlands 3’
    Andrew Bair (Lead UI Programmer, Gearbox Software)
  • 12:00pm – Matchmaking for Engagement: Lessons from ‘Halo 5’
    Josh Menke (Lead Engagement Designer, 343 Industries)
  • 1:00pm – Forget CPI: Dynamic Mobile Marketing
    Heather Gainer (Marketing Manager User Acquisition, Kongregate)
  • 2:00pm – Integrating Sound Healing Methodologies Into Your Workflow
    Matt Levine (Uncle Vector’s Audio Lab LLC)
  • 3:00pm – From 0-1000: A Test Driven Approach to Tools Development
    David Paris (Senior Engineer, Playground Games)
  • 4:00pm – Overcoming Creative Block on ‘Super Crush KO’
    Gabby DaRienzo (Senior Artist, Drinkbox Studios)
  • 4:30pm – When Film, Games, and Theatre Collide
    Sarah Scialli (Game Director & Mocap Engineer, Tinted Stardust & DreamWorks)

Wednesday, March 18

  • 9:00am – Bringing Replays to ‘World of Tanks: Mercenaries’
    Andrew Glover (Lead Software Engineer, Wargaming Sydney)
  • 10:00am – Developing and Running Neural Audio in Constrained Environments
    Carter Huffman (Co-Founder & CTO, Modulate.ai), Brendan Kelly (Research Engineer, Modulate.ai)
  • 11:00am – Mental Health State of the Industry: Past, Present & Future
    Eve Crevoshay (Executive Director, Take This)
  • 12:00pm – Empathizing with Steam: How People Shop for Your Game
    Chris Zukowski (Game Designer & Marketing Consultant, Return To Adventure Mountain LLC)
  • 1:00pm – Scaling to 10 Concurrent Users: Online Infrastructure as an Indie
    Andrew Erridge (Software Engineer & Cofounder, Gamebreaking Studios)
  • 2:00pm – Crafting A Tiny Open World: ‘A Short Hike’ Postmortem
    Adam Robinson-Yu (Developer, Independent)
  • 2:30pm – Indie Soapbox: UI design is fun!
    Nathalie Lawhead (Independent Game Designer, Alienmelon)
  • 3:00pm – Don’t Ship a Product, Ship Value: Start Your Minimum Viable Product With a Solution
    Janessa Olson (Product Manager, Data & Tools, Kongregate)
  • 4:00pm – Day of the Devs: GDC Edition Direct
    Presented by: Double Fine & iam8bit
  • 5:00pm – Independent Games Festival & Game Developers Choice Awards
    Hosted by: Trent Kusters (IGF) and Kim Swift (GDCA)

Thursday, March 19

  • 9:00am – Machine Learning for Optimal Matchmaking
    Josh Menke (Lead Engagement Designer, 343 Industries)
  • 10:00am – Skill Progression, Visual Attention, and Efficiently Getting Good at Esports
    Dr. Anders Frank (Game Experience Researcher, Tobii)
  • 11:00am – Making Your Game Influencer Ready: A Marketing Wishlist for Developers
    David Ortiz Lapaz (Communications Director, ICO Partners)
  • 12:00pm – How to Run Your Own Career Fair on a Tiny Budget
    Chris DeLeon (Independent Educator & Game Developer, Gamkedo LLC), Dru Erridge (Software Engineer & Cofounder, Gamebreaking Studios), David Mullich (Adjunct Professor, ArtCenter College of Design), Tiffany Otto (Director of Partnership & Sponsorship, IndieCade)
  • 1:00pm – Making a Healthy Social Impact in Commercial Games
    Jennifer Estaris (Game Director, Sybo Games)
  • 2:00pm – ‘Forza’ Monthly: Live Streaming a Franchise
    Shay Goldenberg (Producer, Turn 10 Studios / Microsoft)
  • 3:00pm – Aesthetic Driven Development: Choosing Your Art Before Making a Game
    Vladimir Slav (Owner & Director, Coldwild Games)
  • 4:00pm – Reading the Rules of ‘Baba Is You’
    Arvi Teikari (Game Developer, Hempuli Oy)

Friday, March 20

  • 9:00am – Beyond Games as a Service with Live Ops
    Crystin Cox (Director of Live Operations, Microsoft)
  • 10:00am – Kill the Hero, Save the (Narrative) World
    Hannah Nicklin (Studio Lead, Narrative Designer & Writer, Die Gute Fabrik)

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Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Dragon Quest XI, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Transistor.

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Save 95% on this cool Nintendo Switch game creation tool

Channel your inner Miyamoto with a massive discount on Nintendo Switch game creation maker, PlataGO! Super Platform Game Maker.

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PlataGO! Super Platform Game Maker - Nintendo Switch
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Channel your inner Miyamoto with a massive discount on Nintendo Switch game creation tool, PlataGO! Super Platform Game Maker.

If you’re a Nintendo Switch owner with  a desire to make your own games, the obvious choice is Super Mario Maker 2. However, another excellent game creation tool is currently discounted by 95% on the Nintendo eShop. PlataGO! Super Platform Game Maker is down to just $0.99 in the US, and £0.79 in the UK.

The game creation kit is from UK-based studio Super Icon, who we spoke to back in 2015 when the charming retro platformer Life of Pixel was released for Wii U. (It’s a lovely game that is also on Switch.)

PlataGO! features a comprehensive suite of tools, enabling users to create platform games using a large selection of assets, items, and characters. You can also recreate the feel of your retro favourites with a range of filters that evoke the visuals of the SNES, Commodore 64, and Game Boy, to name a few.

It’s a full-featured package with an impressive array of variables to configure as you attempt to create the perfect platformer. You can also share your efforts with other players, and download creations from the PlatGO! Steam Early Access Community Contest.

Making games is hard, so don’t expect PlataGO! to turn you into a design genius overnight. However, it’s a full-featured and accessible application, and hard to resist with the discount.

The Nintendo Switch is quietly becoming a hotbed of game dev tools. In addition to Super Mario Maker 2 and PlataGO!, the console is also home to the FUZE coding application and Labo. RPG Maker MV is set for release in September.


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Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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This week’s PlayStation 4 releases (July 13-17, 2020)

Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima headlines this week’s lineup of new PlayStation 4 video game releases.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima headlines this week’s lineup of new PlayStation 4 video game releases.

Another month, another eagerly-anticipated PlayStation 4 exclusive. This time it’s open-world action-adventure Ghost of Tsushima from Sucker Punch Productions.

We recall playing Infamous Second Son shortly after the launch of the PlayStation 4, so it feels appropriate to bookend the generation with a demonstration of how far the studio has come. We have a suspicion that Ghost of Tsushima is going to do very well. It’s also another late-generation example of how much power the PS4 still has to give.

We’re not so sure about Rocket Arena, which, following a long period of development, was unveiled at month’s EA Play Live. It’s an artistically bland 3v3 third-person shooter that looks both fun and forgettable.

We’re more excited to get our hands on Superhot: Mind Control Delete. The game began life as DLC for Superhot Team’s acclaimed time-bending action game, before becoming a full-blown follow-up. If you purchased the first game – i.e. you paid cash and didn’t get it through PS Plus – you can download Superhot: Mind Control Delete for free. It’s a fantastic gesture from a talented studio.

Other new PS4 releases include Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus and Neversong.

We are still waiting on release date confirmation for a couple of new PS4 titles. We’ll update this page as soon as we get it.

New PlayStation 4 releases: July 13-17, 2020

Monday, July 13, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

  • Neon Abyss
  • Rocket Arena

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

  • Ultra Hat Dimension

Thursday, July 16, 2020

  • #Funtime
  • Neversong
  • Radical Rabbit Stew
  • Superhot: Mind Control Delete

Friday, July 17, 2020

  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus

Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest video games. You can also follow us on social media via Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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Everything announced on last night’s Ubisoft Forward

Ubisoft announces release dates for Watch Dogs Legion and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and there’s a first look at Far Cry 6.

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Far Cry 6 - Ubisoft
Ubisoft

Ubisoft announces release dates for Watch Dogs Legion and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and there’s a first look at Far Cry 6.

We like to get excited by new video games, but it was hard to be too enthusiastic about last night’s Ubisoft showcase.

Another wave of allegations concerning sexual misconduct and toxic work culture has reached the top of the company, resulting in the departures of chief creative officer Serge Hascoët, Canadian studios head Yannis Mallat, and global head of HR, Cécile Cornet. They follow the recent resignation of Maxime Béland, and the suspension of Tommy Francois and Andrien Gbinigie following multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

In a statement addressing the problem, Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot promises change:

“Ubisoft has fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees. This is unacceptable, as toxic behaviors are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised – and never will. I am committed to implementing profound changes across the company to improve and strengthen our workplace culture.”

By all accounts, it’s a deep-rooted problem. We just hope that Ubisoft takes the situation as seriously as Guillemot indicates.

Oh, yeah, and here’s a quick rundown on every announcement from the first Ubisoft Forward of 2020.

Ubisoft Forward – July 2020

  • Watch Dogs Legion – Ubisoft Toronto’s upcoming dystopian open-world game is introduced with a short film from Emmy Award-winning director Alberto Mielgo. New gameplay footage shows the game’s flexible character options and approach to missions. Releases on October 29, 2020.
  • Brawlhalla – The cartoon fighter is coming to iOS and Android devices on August 6, 2020.
  • Might and Magic: Era of Chaos – A sizzle reel trailer for the popular mobile battle RPG.
  • Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad – Please be excited for the upcoming Clancyverse mobile game. Please. Released on August 27, 2020.
  • Rainbow Six Siege – A thank you video from Ubisoft Montreal to celebrate the game’s fifth anniversary
  • Hyper Scape – Ubisoft’s new battle royale shooter gets a new story trailer. The open beta is now live.
  • Watch Dogs Legion – Confirmation from plucky Phil Spencer that Watch Dogs Legion supports Xbox Series X Smart Delivery.
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – A new gameplay deep-dive details Valhalla’s combat mechanics, environments and missions. It looks too sunny to be Britain, but it does look lovely. Released for current-gen consoles on November 17, 2020.
  • Far Cry 6 – Giancarlo Esposito and Anton Castillo star in the next Far Cry instalment. An overwrought story trailer ignites a small modicum of excitement. Released on February 18, 2021.

You can watch the full 50-minute show below. Another Ubisoft Forward presentation is due later this year.

Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for news of the latest games. You can also follow us on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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New Xbox One releases (July 13-17, 2020)

Superhot: Mind Control Delete and Ooblets top the list of new video games coming to Xbox One next week.

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New Xbox One game releases
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Superhot: Mind Control Delete and Ooblets top the list of new video games coming to Xbox One between July 13 and 17, 2020.

Our highlight from next week’s lineup of new Xbox One releases is the surprise release of Superhot: Mind Control Delete. The third game in Superhot Team’s innovative time-twisting shooter series promises more of everything, including larger levels and new combat mechanics. Best of all, the game is free to download for anyone who purchased the first game.

One game we have been watching for some time is Ooblets, which comes to Xbox Game Preview on Tuesday. Glumberland’s super-charming life simulation game features many genre staples – farming, furniture, creature collection, and town upgrades – but, most importantly, it has dance-off battles. It’s also coming to early access on PC via the Epic Game Store.

We’re also pleased to see Hopfrog’s Zelda-like adventure Forager finally get an Xbox One release. Other games to look forward to include Neversong, We Should Talk, and Radical Rabbit Stew.

Each new release can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store or the Microsoft online store.

New Xbox One releases: July 13-17, 2020

Monday, July 13, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

  • Neon Abyss
  • Rocket Arena

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

  • Ooblets
  • Rez Plz
  • Ultra Hat Dimension

Thursday, July 16, 2020

  • #Funtime
  • Bounty Battle
  • Dunk Lords
  • Forager
  • Neversong
  • Radical Rabbit Stew
  • Superhot: Mind Control Delete
  • We Should Talk

Friday, July 17, 2020

  • Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus

Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest games. You can also follow us on social media via Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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New Nintendo Switch releases (July 13-17, 2020)

Paper Mario: The Origami King headlines this week’s lineup of new Nintendo Switch eShop releases.

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New Nintendo Switch eShop releases
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

Paper Mario: The Origami King headlines this week’s lineup of new Nintendo Switch eShop releases.

Paper Mario: The Origami King already has some Nintendo fans grumbling that it isn’t The Thousand-Year Door, but the series has long-since taken a different path. The Origami King certainly looks to be a (paper) cut above Sticker Star and Colour Splash. Expect a well-written and funny game with a surprisingly compelling combat system.

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town – which is a remake of the GBA Harvest Moon classic – also comes to Switch in North America. It’s available right now in Europe and Australia.

Other new Switch games include Radical Rabbit Stew, Ultra Hat Dimension, and turn-based tactical shindig, Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus.

We’ll update this page with any late additions throughout the week. In the meantime, here is this week’s confirmed lineup of new Nintendo eShop releases.

New Nintendo Switch releases: July 13-17, 2020

Monday, July 13, 2020

  • Yoga Master Dreams Fantasy Bundle

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

  • Neon Abyss
  • Pangeon
  • Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town (NA)
  • void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium (NA)

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

  • Bossgard
  • Rez Plz

Thursday, July 16, 2020

  • #Funtime
  • Aeolis Tournament
  • Caretaker
  • High Explosive Dinosaur
  • Home Run High
  • Never Breakup
  • Neversong
  • Radical Rabbit Stew
  • Tanky Tanks
  • Waifu Uncovered
  • We should talk

Friday, July 17, 2020

  • Get 10 Quest
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King
  • Power Racing Bundle
  • Starlit Adventures Golden Stars
  • Ultra Hat Dimension
  • Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus
  • void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium (EU)

My Nintendo members should also check out the summer eShop Double Gold Points promotion.


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Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for regular Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 updates. You can also follow us on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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