By now, you’ve probably heard that the Game Developers Conference has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As GDC is usually one of the highlights of the tech year, different companies are finding ways to adapt.
All last week Oculus announced their VR news through the Facebook Game Developers Showcase. The three-day event featured videos and special blog posts. Now it looks like HTC and VIVE are doing something similar.
On Tuesday, a post went live on the VIVE blog detailing what their digital GDC alternative offerings will look like. Here we’ll explain how it works, when it runs, and what we’re most looking forward to.
How It Works
“The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is one of our favorite moments of the year. Connecting with the developer community, sharing our technical insights and learning what is next for the industry is always a highlight for our team,” the VIVE team said in their Tuesday announcement. “We were disappointed when we realized GDC had to be canceled this year, yet completely agree with and support the organizer’s decision to postpone during these unprecedented times. While we can’t connect with you in person, we’ve got a full slate of live webinars coming in the next few weeks based on our GDC Developer Day Summit sessions.”
Those VR news live sessions will be live-streamed at 10 a.m. PT every Tuesday from March 31 to May 12.
If you followed Facebook’s GDS, whether with Facebook, with us, or with someone else, you may be wondering why HTC has elected to live stream content. After all, Facebook’s GDS used already-filmed content and it went great.
While Facebook’s blog did a good job of fielding comments on the videos and blog posts, it didn’t offer any live content. HTC and VIVE elected to have their content live-streamed so that they can field live questions from their digital audience. To attend the live VR news sessions, you have to register for each one as they become available. To not bother, catch the videos on VIVE’s YouTube later on.
Another difference between VIVE’s digital GDC offering and that of Oculus is a surprise. Facebook posted VR news without any teasers. VIVE, on the other hand, has posted their entire schedule.
What They Have Planned
The first talk, “A Step Ahead of the Curve: Using Data Trends to Build a Successful VR Experience,” is already open for registration. The talk, given by Viveport President Bjorn Book-Larsson, will look at modeling consumer behaviors.
On April 7, Senior Developer Evangelist Dario Laverde will present “Build for Tomorrow: VIVE Hand Tracking SDK.” The talk will cover how and why to roll out hand tracking affordances with Unity.
The following week, AVP Content Producer David Sapienza will present “Working Remotely in VR using Vive Sync.” The talk will include a discussion on what sorts of teams the platform is most useful for.
April 21 sees “Lessons Learned from Marketing 100+ VR Games” presented by Developer Marketing Senior Manager Thomas Gratz. The talk will focus on first-hand industry expertise on how to get VR titles noticed on a booming platform.
On the last Tuesday in April, Viveport Director of Product Adhar Walia and Senior Manager Stanley Chung present “Viveport Developers Console: What’s Coming in 2020.” The talk will include VR news like scheduled updates as well as advice on how best to use the platform.
The first Tuesday in May sees “XR Continuum: Merging VR and AR Development” presented by Senior Director of Developer Relations and Partnership Jad Boniface. Boniface will discuss how, when, and why to use AR and XR development tactics together for more immersive experiences.
The final talk on May 12 will be “What’s the Opportunity in Enterprise?” presented by Vive Studios Vice President and General Manager Chris Chin and Vive Studios Senior Director of Enterprise Content Amy Peck. Separating the gamers from the executives, this talk will discuss how the enterprise space can get in on XR.
We all miss GDC but we’ll take VR news any way we can get it. You have the resources to follow the event yourselves, but we’ll be contextualizing and commenting on the talks as they happen here at your favorite AR and VR news publication.