Wrapping up GDC 2023 – what were people talking about?

Joseph Sibony
Joseph Sibony reading time: 3 minutes
April 7, 2023

What a week, and what a major return to form for GDC, one of the premier game development events in the world! Incredibuild spent the week on the floor, checking out some of the amazing speakers and lectures available, and talking to the developers, producers, audio engineers, designers, and more.  

It would be an understatement to say we learned quite a bit. While we were there, we spoke to dozens of the almost 30,000 amazing attendees.  We loved hearing what the game dev community is excited about, what keeps them up at night, and what they’d fix if they had a magic wand! So, without further ado, what were people buzzing about this year?  

Access to the industry and accessibility 

There’s an ongoing conversation about accessibility in video games – how we can make games easier to play and available to everyone, regardless of differences – but one topic that came up with a lot of the people we spoke to was about accessibility in game development.  

On one hand, young game designers like Marina, mentioned that “we need to improve accessibility in our games and create more accessible avenues for our new devs, and older devs, and devs with disabilities”.  

Others, like audio designer Charlotte, who has ADHD, would love to see more tools and developer kits that take these factors into consideration to be more accessible and easier to work with.  

Finally, Zeb, a professor teaching video game design and development, noted that “It’s so hard for young people to know the way in,” to the game development industry. “They want to be everything to everyone, all at once, and having clearer language for positions would be really helpful for our industry.” 

AI is coming – but do we know what it actually is? 

AI is all over the news these days – for good and bad reasons – and the game development industry is definitely paying attention. From art that could impact artists to code that is helping (or harming) developers, everyone’s got a take.  

Professor Zeb again had a great take, noting that “a lot of artists are really worried about where AI plays a role as far as a healthy tool to use in art and art development [..] and I worry about what it means for production in the future” 

Maria, a student and technical artist looking to enter the industry, noted that she was concerned about the trend, and that she “feel[s] for all of the artists who are looking to find work, especially with the AI takeover.”  

Independent game creator Christopher, on the other hand, noted that while he was initially concerned, that’s less the case now. In his mind, “I don’t think it will be as big an issue for game development as it will for other fields, just because it’s such a specific creative field.” 

Diversity is so necessary – especially up top  

Another issue that remains top of mind for a lot of people – regardless of where in the industry they work, or their seniority – is the need for greater diversity, equality, and inclusion, especially in leadership positions across game development.  

Marina, our game designer from the top, thought that one big thing to fix in the industry was to have “more honest and open conversations about salary and pay disparity across different races and sexes.”  

Marketing Manager Dennis also noted that the games development is “having a hard time with diversity and inclusion.” In his mind, “it would be really beneficial to have more programs out there that inspire the youth to start looking at professions in the industry.”  

Charlotte, the audio designer, also noted that if she had a magic wand, she would “have more women and people of color in positions of power and making decisions in the game industry.”  

We also spoke to Michael, Peter, and Clint, three veteran audio pros at various studios who noted that they would also love to see more women in the industry, though they noted that “there is some progress being made, especially in leadership roles.”  

Everyone would love faster builds (no, really!)  

By and large though, the one thing people agreed on was that faster builds would make their lives infinitely better. From having more time to iterate their games and create better experiences, to having time to automate their existing processes and build more effective tools, having better build times means developers can focus on the important part of making games – creating!  

Want to see what faster builds can do for your game development? Learn more about Incredibuild for game development here!  

 

Joseph Sibony
Joseph Sibony reading time: 3 minutes minutes April 7, 2023
April 7, 2023

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