The Media on SpatialOS at GDC17

23 March 2017

Improbable recently took SpatialOS to the Games Developer Conference 2017 to show off our games and tech to hundreds of developers over the three days of the event. We also announced more details of our SpatialOS Games Innovation Program with Google Cloud at our podium talk and were flattered by the presence of industry luminaries like Noah Falstein, Rob Pardo, and Hilmar Veigar Pétursson at our panel talk.

It was also an absolute pleasure to speak to the media during this week. From the cover of industry publication MCV to a video from tech blog Engadget, to the twin industry bibles of Venturebeat and RockPaperShotgun, it was great being under the spotlight!

MCV

Seth Barton, the editor of games industry magazine MCV, wrote a long piece about SpatialOS. He talked to our CEO Herman Narula and revealed our desire to get 100 developers onto our SpatialOS Games Innovation Program.

Rock Paper Shotgun

Adam Smith from RockPaperShotgun stopped by our booth and had something of an epiphany playing World’s Adrift. His piece “Worlds Adrift made me believe in MMOs again” is a love letter to the promise of SpatialOS.

“The dream of a world that not only acknowledges the player’s actions but reacts to and accommodates them is still alive though, and Worlds Adrift’s use of the SpatialOS technology is a key part of that.”

“I won’t pretend to understand how it all works because I’ve got about as much chance as I have of grasping thaumaturgy, but here’s wot the website says: “SpatialOS can create a swarm of hundreds of conventional game engines that overlap together to create a huge, seamless world”. All I need to know is whether that swarm can give me the persistent online worlds I’ve dreamed of since I first plugged my computer into a LAN. I expected to be playing wargames where every tank left a treadmark and every explosion left a crater and scorchmarks. So many online worlds are about sharing a common experience, and there is great value in that, but I’m far more interested in leaving quiet reminders of my passing, and creating new experiences for whoever follows in my wake.”

Engadget

Jessica Conditt of Engadget came to our GDC 2017 booth, played our games, and talked to the developers behind them, calling it “the tech that makes MMO development easy for Indies”. You can read her article here and see the accompanying video below.

“SpatialOS is a promising platform that’s already opening up MMO development for studios of all sizes. Worlds Adrift is just one of the first games to use Improbable’s swarm-like server technology — another is Vanishing Stars — and it certainly won’t be the last.”

VentureBeat

Venturebeat’s Dean Takahashi also stopped by our booth to talk about how “small developers really can create giant games.” His feature mainly focused on a wide-ranging interview with our CEO Herman Narula.

GamesBeat: It sounds like user-generated content will be ideal for Improbable’s technology.

Narula: “Absolutely. Worlds Adrift has 3,000 player-generated islands. They actually have more people downloading the created items than even knew about the game. Back in the early days, they started pushing islands into the world. They managed to carve out really good user-generated content. Part of what SpatialOS allows you to do is update the game once it’s live. It’s a great way for developers to make more changes, add more tools, create new stuff. It grows with the community.”

“The future of really compelling online games — we’ve been through a bit of a winter. There was the MMO craze of the first half of the 2000s, and then people realized that it’s technically hard, and it’s difficult to make really compelling gameplay. Then, the indie boom happened, but they can’t really build massively multiplayer games. Now, we’re going to see a resurgence of online experiences, connected experiences. We’ll see people realize that it’s not about building a game for 10 years and then launching it. It’s about growing it with the community and iterating on the gameplay. We’ve taken a huge bet on that kind of game. We’re making that a big part of our strategy.”

And the others

Develop-Online wrote about our Open Beta and experimental Unreal integration. They also covered the announcement of the first partners on the SpatialOS Games Innovation Program with Google. Gamasutra wrote about the Open Beta + experimental Unreal integration. Gamedev.net wrote about that too. Tom’s Hardware followed up with a more skeptical take on the same announcement. And Gamesindustry.biz focused on the announcement of the first partners.

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