Gaming Gossip: Episode 8 - What part of GDC 2024 impressed us the most?

We recap the Game Developers Conference and discuss the many announcements that were made during the annual event, before going off on a tangent about Star Wars.

Audio transcription

"Hello everyone and welcome back to, I think this is the 8th episode of Gaming Gossip.
This is going to be quite an interesting one because we don't really have like necessarily a direct thing we want to talk about, more so an overarching sort of broader plot because it's currently, well, we're coming off GDC by the time you see this video, right?
The Game Developers Conference. Yes, GDC. I always get the C confused on that one."

"It's never usually that busy of an event, right?
It's usually quite tech based, a lot of networking, good for the industry, but not necessarily good for news beats and whatnot.
But we always get some exciting things, usually related to tech demos and showing off the technology that the future will hold."

"We've got that again.
It's been exciting to see these things.
So I'm going to start off with a really broad sort of question posed to whoever wants to jump in."

"When do you think we'll ever see this stuff?
Is it plausible to see this stuff in the future?
Is this some of the technology that we're seeing here or is this more just like, you know, developers flexing their skills?
This is what we can do, even though most of it is not plausible to see in games."

"I always think that GDC stands for Games Done Quick and I don't know why, because Quick isn't spelt with a C.
You know, the awesome games done quick or whatever, I always think, oh, yeah, it's a speed running thing and I have to like check myself."

"That's about as much I can probably add in terms of technology.
Thanks for that contribution, Alex.
No worries.
I just exposed myself as being quite stupid."

"I mean, it might be a repetitive topic, but we've talked about AI, many things in gaming gossip before.
Big buzzword.
I think, yeah, I think for GDC this year, I think I was expecting much more in terms of using AI."

"But I think some developers are being careful in terms of what they share you can do, because, you know, it would be ironic to be on a developers conference telling developers, hey, this is what you are not needed for anymore.
So I was expecting to see some spectacular uses of AI."

"And for example, we got rumors of PS5 Pro.
Check out our previous episode on Gaming Gossip, where we discussed this, having some sort of dedicated, what they call the so-called NPUs, NPUs as in Neural Processing Unit.
You know, those that are dedicated specifically for AI so that CPU and GPU are freed from some performance stress."

"So I was expecting to see much more of these, but at the same time, I think it makes sense for them to not focus so much on what you can do based on AI, where this conference is for the developers and for those tools to be available to them so that they work better and more fluent, not so that they are made redundant."

"So I don't know what sort of tech demos you guys saw this time around.
But I think everyone is being careful in that regard of what they can do so far.
I think I always find it most interesting to wait and see what Epic Games has in store.
Because, you know, obviously with them being the sort of creators and stewards of Unreal Engine and Unreal Engine 5 seemingly being like the gold standard of game development right now."

The new norm.
Every time GDC comes around, they always have some new fancy tech demo.
We saw it in the past, I think, with the one with the canyon sort of thing."

"That was always Lumen.
Whatever it was.

And then they did the one as well with Gears of War kind of as well.
So that was always quite interesting.
And this year, this year seems to have been mostly focused on Fortnite, which you understand because Fortnite is like the gold standard of how they use Unreal Engine."

"And it's, you know, you might get bored of talking about Fortnite, but it's a very impressive game.
Never get bored.
But no, it's funny because you see the tech demo this year and this is why I want to talk about it a little bit, because some of the tech demos in the past have seemed, they seem kind of implausible."

They're like, this is what the tech can do, but you never really expect to see it.
But when you see it shown with the Fortnite characters in sort of like a Fortnite setting and all that, you think like, oh, this is probably not too far away."

"And you see them, you see them changing, you know, they'll have like a little setup that you think, oh, this is just the battle royale, then they'll go through a rift and all of a sudden they're in some sci-fi setting, switch to first person, it all looks super high quality and it looks like it's, it all, it all looks like a brand new game."

"It's all running in the same engine and it's all the same sort of experiences.
It's baffling how they do it.
Yeah, I think that's the exciting bit about it.
I think that we're getting closer to seeing some of these things realized."

"And I think that, as you say, Dav, I would assume that AI helps a lot of that along the way.
Not necessarily in the aspect that it's replacing people that do these things, but it's more just streamlining the process, right?
It's making it so you can do more in the same amount of time or in less time."

When you look at it.
You get to report.
Sorry, Dav, go on.
No, no."

"I was thinking when you look at a game like Red Dead Redemption 2, right, it still looks fantastic to this day and it's a PS4 gen sort of type of game.
And you look at the massive environments in the countryside and the many miles that have been created, handcrafted, you know, every single tree."

"And it's beautiful art and we won't say otherwise.
But at the same time, you can see how perhaps that's one of the uses we're going to see most starting this year.
Like big fields, like nature doesn't have to be created the old way, like a painting, you know?
So that's a lot of resources and manpower and time that you can put on another field or other sort of aspects of that game."

"I expected more of that, but we didn't see much.
So it would be interesting, for sure.
Yeah, and I think as well, when you talk about that, I think another one to bring up is actually like Dragon's Dogma recently, because, you know, the RE engine, I think we've always looked at it as like being that sort of very..."

"It does its job very, very well as sort of those survival horror games, those sort of quite rooted ones, not like a huge broad open world per se.
But then Dragon's Dogma comes out, it's running on the RE engine and it's doing it really well and it's like you say there with the way that they've incorporated it, like it's a very pretty game."

"It doesn't...
I'm not going to lie, its performance isn't the best, right, like frame rate rise and all that.
It struggles at times, but when you're rendering a full world, you can understand that."

"But you can see as well that like the effort that Capcom must have gone through to build a world like that that's basically rendered at all times so that you can jump on the back of a creature and just fly away half across the map.
It's baffling, isn't it?
And this is why it takes so long to make games, I think, because these things like they have to be, as you say, hand sculpted."

"So when you have these AI elements that you can use sort of, I guess, in a way with what unit you're doing as well with sort of the asset store where you can like literally just buy elements of games and put them in.
I think we'll be seeing that more with AI."

"But anyway, let's talk a little bit about sort of the biggest announcement we've seen so far from GDC, which is by far, I would say, Marvel 1943 Rise of Hydra.
Rise of Hydra.

"I don't think the name really like sort of wows you, does it?
Rise of something.
Legacy of something.
You know, redemption of something."

I get why they called it what they've called it, but it's a bit boring in the name.
I think this game looks fantastic and it's coming next year, which further makes next year an absolute behemoth of a year."

"It's all running Unreal Engine, all this trailer that we recently saw.
It looks like a cinematic trailer, but it's all running in engine.
I don't think that necessarily means that it's gameplay we've seen, but it's, you know, it's all running in the in the gameplay engine that is set up."

"Are we excited about it?
Alex is.
I don't know.
Looking at the clip, it's a bit like it's a bit uncanny.
I was telling you before, it looks like a really high tech version of a video game that is in the background of a movie, like an Adam Sandler film, where his kids are like being annoying and playing a video game or something."

"And so it looks like it doesn't feel like we've seen anything real or substantial.
It feels like that was, here's this.
What do you think of it is, you know, what our content, we've not seen anything substantial yet of what it actually is going to be like to play, I don't think."

"So that's why I'm sort of like tentative about it.
Otherwise, it looks, you know, the sort of like the acts that they brought in, the guy from The Walking Dead, I forget his name for Black Panther, probably pretty great casting there."

"But they're definitely trying to like MCU-ify it with the looks, but there's nothing wrong with that.
You know, it's the most popular thing.
It'll be interesting, as you were saying, for EA's future with big franchises, because they're meant to be stepping back from those big franchises."

"And yet they're still doing a massive Iron Man game and a massive Captain America slash Black Panther game, as we're saying.
Well, Skydance isn't EA, but it is worth pointing out, because I don't think so.
I think it's just a standalone thing."

"But no, it's worth pointing out that specifically, Alex, because for some reason, I didn't quite understand that decision that EA made to us when they were like, we're pulling away from franchised efforts, because surely they're some of the biggest drivers.
I mean, we don't know what goes into sort of the revenue splits and how that works when using franchised IP and whatnot."

"But at the same time, I suppose when you've got like EA Sports FC and all these different sporting games, they probably drive so much revenue for EA that they look at a game like Star Wars Jedi and think, eh, not worth it.
Even though to me, like Star Wars Jedi is probably the best thing that EA's pumped out in the last decade."

"There are so many references here.
So I don't know if you guys discussed this before, but about EA pulling from the FPS, the Star Wars Mandalorian game, which was going to be an FPS, but then they are releasing the third Jedi game."

So they are like that.
Then it's also a tradition for them to move away from single player games, like every decade.
They say, oh, we're not doing this, but then they see the market still demands that type of game."

"And now there is a crossover reference here, which is with Amy Hennig.
So this new game is, I'm not excited about anything Marvel myself.
I'm just, I don't care anymore.
I cared about some of the movies, but I don't care about the universe or anything else anymore."

"But I care and I'm excited about more Amy Hennig.
I love her as a script writer, Uncharted, and the whole thing with going back to the references with the Star Wars game that EA can't.
But then Skydance grabbed those rights and they were doing a Star Wars game with Amy Hennig, which I hope is still going with like in parallel to this project."

"So I'm excited about her being there.
I'm excited about her writing and I'm excited about that.
So the story could be really good.
So I don't care if it's a Marvel game, but I care about her stories."

"And at the same time, I hope that she and they make up for EA, like cancelling the Mandalorian game.
It definitely feels like they've got an opportunity to really strike into the market because if there is going to be that sort of limited number of sort of franchised efforts from EA, who seem to have been the one that was aligning the most with Disney going ahead of this."

"I think they've got a chance to do something great.
And again, I think that I think this is the way to do it as well.
Especially these types of games."

"You know, Amy Hennig known for sort of her expertise working with Naughty Dog and developing Uncharted and all these stuff and really thematic sort of core stories.
Yeah, exactly.
All these sort of games."

"Like it's perfect for what you want here.
I don't think we necessarily need it.
Well, we've tried.
Look, the market has been tested."

"The waters have been tested with Marvel's Avengers and everyone hated it.
So yeah, like this is clearly the way that they want, you know, consumers want these sorts of games.
And all you have to do is look at this story trailer."

"And yes, it looks very.
It doesn't look particularly real in a lot of aspects.
I know that it's all running in Unreal Engine.
But at the same time, you look at it, you think like this has semblances of Uncharted."

"This looks like those sort of games that we've experienced before.
So that does excite me.
But that doesn't always translate to sales."

"I mean, like Guardians of the Galaxy was my like favorite game of 2021.
And obviously because it's coming from Square and the Avengers thing was fresh off the presses.
No one was interested in a Marvel game from Square and so.
I think it does have potential to very easily just be sort of Uncharted with Captain America logos and Black Panther logos on it, because you could have pretty similar sequences in terms of the technology available and, you know."

"And Guardians was very good, right?
In terms of storytelling, which is very good.
I mean, like narrative was one of the highlights, right?
So it could pretty much happen with this one as well."

It is concerning.
I hope that that doesn't happen.
I hope that it does well.
I hope that, first of all, it's a good game and then it does well, because if it's a bad game and it does well, then that's a whole different kind of world."

"We'll get into that a different day, I think.
So the Star Wars game.
We haven't heard anything about that in a while."

"Are we sure it's still going on, Dav, or what do we think?
I would say it's an opportunity for them.
I mean, it's two times EA pulled from the Star Wars project.
So the first time was with Amy Hennig, and that was like the ragtag sort of secret project that she very openly shared with Gamereactor, with me personally, 2018."

"She was like, you know, freeing herself from what happened and explaining it.
You can check that out, that interview, and she explained how the project was and what they had in mind, how she deconstructed Star Wars into smaller pieces.
And she thought the story had to be like a, you know, a ragtag story, like very different sort of characters, like working together."

"Like Star Wars is about that, not about the Force or about the Jedis or about the spaceships and the dogfights, you know.
And I really loved that idea.
And I don't think any other company or studio are dealing with the Star Wars that way."

"So we got the Ubisoft game, which is very, very interesting and hopefully releasing this year.
And I think it's an opportunity for them to, without loss, but that's more of a, you know, scoundrel sort of Han Solo, bounty hunter type of thing with Ubisoft and massive aspect to it, which is like the way they understand big worlds and et cetera."

"So I really hope this is still going on and this is still alive.
Because I guess, I think we all can guess, many of those ideas from the EA project, from the ragtag sort of project, would make it to the Skydance Star Wars video game.
I don't know if this is going to be a Star Wars overdose with how Disney is releasing so many shows, et cetera."

"And I know you guys are going to discuss the Acolyte and Film Frenzy.
We talked about it actually on the episode that by the time you hear this Gaming Gossip, it will already be out.
And yeah, we had various thoughts about it."

"I think me and Alex were kind of on the same page.
We had a special guest in as well, actually, but we can't talk about him.
That happened."

I will check it out."

"But I mean, in terms of game, I think we're not getting as many as we were expecting before.
I mean, we got the Battlefronts, not anymore.
We got the Jedis.

"We're getting the third one, but not the Mandalorian game.
And we're getting Ubisoft's Outlaws and then Quantic Dream.
I think it's still some time off, right?
I don't know."

"Something like that for Star Wars Eclipse.
So they're really not catching up.
You know, they're really not as proficient as we were hoping them to be.
So yeah, I really hope that that project comes through and she sort of finally is done with that project and it can be a reality."

I do hope that in both the Marvel and Star Wars case that they don't overdo it, though.
Or alternatively, not necessarily that they don't overdo it, but that they don't try and connect everything."

"I don't need another universe.
I don't need another universe where I need to spend, you know, hours and hours connecting everything together.
Like, let's just have standalone adventures for a while."

"Or, you know, if you want to make like a sequel or a trilogy out of one sort of thing, fine.
But let's just... we don't need universes everywhere.
You know, having said that, how you play the Jedis, you have, right?
I think it's cool and it's not forced."

"No pun intended.
How it's canonical, how they are connected.
I mean, I think it's smart, it's discreet in a way.
You know what I mean?
So it's when the cells were being created sort of to... there was no alliance to face the Empire, right?
Different cells were being created."

"And one of them is, I don't remember the name, but the one is Cal Kestis joins in the second game mostly, right?
And then you have some Darth Vader appearances, which sort of, okay, we are here at this time of the timeline, you know, and you understand what's going on in terms of the Empire."

"But they don't go like super, like very deep into what either just Lucas back in the day or now with Filoni and Favreau, what they are building, right?
But I think it was very nice.
And they also connected way back to a thousand years ago, I think, way before the Acolyte, when times of the High Republic and the Jedis were something different, right?
So I know what you mean, that everything doesn't have to be super connected because sometimes it can go wrong or the game can be bad and then you don't want that to be part of the canon."

"But the same happens with the series and the shows, right?
Yeah, that's exactly the thing I was talking about as well.
It's kind of getting into what we were talking about the other day, where like, you know, the Acolyte is interesting because it's connected, but it's also so sort of unique in its own idea that it can be something special, right?
Whereas like, you know, we were talking about the other day with the Filoniverse, it's fine."

"But like, there's so much stuff that you have to watch to understand the next thing now, that it's becoming, you know, it's becoming a problem.
And that's my concern a bit about these sort of Marvel and Star Wars games.
I don't want them to be like, all right, yeah, to enjoy Marvel 1943 Rise of Hydra, you need to watch Captain America The First Avenger, and then also need to know these scenes from the Winter Soldier."

"I'm like, please don't make me do any of that.
Just let me enjoy the game for what it is.
And I'm happy for that.
You have to do your homework."

"Yeah, exactly.
Again, we talked about it recently with Final Fantasy.
I think that sort of fits the bill here."

"Like, people go into Final Fantasy thinking like, I can't get into this universe.
There's 16 games.
I don't know where to start."

"I'm like, don't worry about it.
I know that it says 16, but it's all separate.
And that's kind of like, I think what we need sort of from Marvel and Star Wars in a place.
You want them to be more like Zelda."

"Like, yeah, we don't care about the timeline.
Yeah, we reset it every four years.
This guy is reborn.
He's a different guy."

"And yeah, sort of the lore is similar, but it's not the same.
Yeah, precisely with Ahsoka, we talked about Ahsoka before, right?
But I love the series.
But when you at least watch a recap of the whole Rebels thing, and if you have watched Clone Wars, then Ahsoka is a much, much, much better series because it's filled with, yeah."

"And yeah, but at the same time, Obi-Wan is really, the story itself is really nice.
The canon itself is really nice, but the series is shit.
Yeah, yeah, yeah."

"So that kind of, I guess that's what you mean, right?
Yeah, exactly.
Not only how it connects, but also if the quality is there.
So we'll see."

"But I think with Amy Hennig, the quality is guaranteed, at least in terms of narrative, which is what Alex said, with Guardians.
So, yeah."

"Well, we'll stay tuned.
There's going to be, again, it's coming in 2025.
We don't know when.
It could be any time in 2025, but it's going to be..."

"Mayday, GTA 5 launch.
Oh, maybe.
Really, really smart.
If this March has been anything to go by, we're going to be lining up GTA, Marvel 1943, and then, I don't know, the Mario platform or something, all on the same day."

"So stay tuned for that, I guess.
But yeah, this has been Gaming Gossip Episode 8.
We'll be back, well, I guess, by the time that we record the next one."

"It'll be post-Easter.
So we'll see you then.
And otherwise, hope you all have a good holiday.
Thanks for joining me, guys."

"Merry Easter.





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