We're @ GDC 2024! Revolutionizing online gaming experiences

3 min read Oliver Carson on Mar 13, 2024

I can’t believe it’s been a year already since Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2023! But yup! It’s that time of year again, where PubNub gets to showcase all of the ways we’re helping game devs build and manage their online games. This year we’ve also got one huge announcement that I can’t wait to share with everyone who comes to the booth S1364 or visits us at one of the events we’re going to, and if you can’t make it, keep your eyes peeled to our blog next week!

A Look Back at GDC Last Year

Oliver, a PubNub employee wearing a PubNub T-shirt in front of the PubNub booth at GDC 2024

Last year at GDC, I was showcasing the multiplayer shooter game I had developed using our Unity SDK. It was great to be able to show people all of the ways PubNub can be used to create online games, and well, power the ‘boring’ things game developers don’t want to build or maintain - and do that at huge scale. The game used PubNub for:

  • In-Game Chat, providing real-time communication between players both during a game, and in the game lobby.

  • Player online status, offering insights into who is online, joining, or leaving the game using PubNub Presence.

  • Ultra low latency player movement updates, status updates, item drops, and environmental changes using signals.

  • Scoreboards and Leaderboards to update player rankings based on their wins, using PubNub Functions. 

  • Automatic language translation, to break language barriers among global players using PubNub integrations.

  • Instant profanity filtering powered by PubNub Functions.

  • Friend Lists and their status using PubNub Presence.

  • Persistent inventory management as well as trading between players using PubNub App Context.

One feature that wasn’t included in the demo was skill-based matchmaking; the ability to create fair games by having players of similar level join the same game. Not necessarily something I’d be able to easily demonstrate with people coming and going at the booth, but a feature one of our customers built into their game using PubNub. They used our REST API to seamlessly work inside Unreal 5 for their game, launching it to 12+ million players in their first week without PubNub breaking a sweat. Want to know who it was, and how they did it? Come say hi at the booth!

What's Happening this year?

If you’re not able to make it to see us at the show floor I will also be heading to the best pre-GDC meetup hosted by SF Game Development. It’s Sunday night, and is now my favorite way kick off what is always a hectic week with the right chilled vibes.

An advertisement for a pre-GDC 2024 networking meetup hosted by SF Game development

If you’re not able to make it to see us at the show floor, I’ll also be attending three events hosted by SF Game Development! There are two events before GDC kicks off on Wednesday: Join me Sunday night before GDC at the Networking Meetup to connect with GDC attendees in a calm and laid-back event, as well as for the After Party Meetup on Tuesday, where I’ll be giving a talk alongside HashiCorp, Sentry, Unity, and Discord. Have some drinks, dance to some fun game music, and play some game demos! Both of these events will be held at DNA Lounge.

An advertisment for a GDC 2024 after party meetup

On Wednesday, enjoy another evening at the Post Awards Expo Party with more music, bar, restaurant, talks, and even more game demos!

An advertisment for the GDC 2024 post award expo party.

Some big news from PubNub!

This year at GDC, there’s one new big thing that I’m excited to be adding to our multiplayer game. Of course, I’ll gladly continue showcasing how PubNub can transform online gaming and make the lives of game developers easier with those features outlined above; you’ll be able to see how easy it is to bring PubNub to your game. There is one big announcement that I believe will revolutionize how not only how existing PubNub customers, but also any game shop building online games can optimise and maximise their data. I dont want to spoil the announcement, but here’s a few things this new, never-before seen software created by PubNub will help games companies. 

  • It will maximize player data utilization; it’ll let game companies put all of their player data to work.

  • It will improve player engagement and retention, by helping solve one of the toughest challenges in online games - balancing, and balancing without having to release loads of patches.

  • It will help game companies iterate rapidly to monetize more effectively without compromising the gaming experience.

  • By using this software, you could also help detect fraudulent in-game transactions, cheaters, and exploiters.  

The biggest thing for the above is that it’ll all happen in what PubNub is known for: seamless implementation, happening in real-time, and freeing up developer time to work on the game. 

Right, ok, I’ve got to get my luggage packed, squash any final bugs, and do my ritual prayer to the conference wifi deities.

See you at GDC!