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GDC Day 2 roundup: stretch goals suck, communities don’t and first-time VR is great

GDC 2016 report

On Day 2 of GDC proper, I went to wear a VR headset for the first time. While I caught up to three years ago, we heard about CD Projekt’s mea culpas, Obsidian’s way of doing stats and Failbetter’s boss versus Kickstarter stretch goals: the ultimate battle. Plus a couple of very cool panels from yesterday.

The best RPGs ever taking point today.

Let’s kick it off with one of those – did you know some DayZ cheats cost as much as $500? Not only that, but there’s a million dollar business in selling them to the less scrupulous members of the community, mostly in China and Russia. Bohemia are constantly using all sorts of tactics to go after them, leading to death threats, naturally.

We also went to see Alexis Kennedy talking about the best things you can do when running a Kickstarter and other indie advice. Most notably, he’s not a fan of stretch goals, and has just two cases where he feels they’re worth it. Either stuff you’re going to be doing anyway, or things that are very cheap. On that theme he has a tattoo with the game’s logo, on which he made about three grand from a fan. Fair enough.

CD Projekt also showed up to give us the skinny on what they think publishers should do differently. On that same big RPG front, Obsidian’s Josh Sawyer talked stats, stats, stats. This covered both how Obsidian think about them, and how their community react, and what that tells them about what they should do in the future.

While all this was going on I was seeking out VR games to stare slack-jawed at. Far from my regular Twitter jokes of the most expensive sensory deprivation chambers money can buy, I’m now completely sold on the technology. It’s beautiful, it’s new and until you’ve tried it, it’s impossible to imagine.

Also, everyone said I wasgreat for a first-timer. You’ll hear more about my sick VR skills in a few upcoming articles. Tomorrow’s the last major day of the show and we’re seeing a whole heap of games, which we’ll sprinkle thoughts about through the next couple of weeks.