What coherence did at Gamescom 2023
gamescom is one of the biggest games industry conferences of the year. It was my first time attending, and in this article I will try to answer the question of whether or not it lives up to all the hype :)
From coherence’s perspective, it was our first conference since the launch of coherence 1.0, and it gave us a chance to meet with developers and partners to demo the groundbreaking tech we’ve been working on. This included a live demo by coherence CTO Tadej Gregorcic, who during his 30-minute talk made a single player game multiplayer live on stage, and then played it with the audience! But let’s start from the beginning.
gamescom was preceded by devcom which we also attended. It takes place from Sunday to Tuesday and as the name suggests, is a conference focused on developers. It’s packed with talks and panels from some of the best in the business.
We started on Sunday evening at the Köln Botanical Gardens, where coherence sponsored the Creative Overkill award for the devcom Indie Awards. It was a glamorous evening in the magnificent ball room of the Flora Köln, showcasing some incredible talent, and was a great way to kick start the week.
On Monday we established our base camp in a meeting room at the Koelnmesse conference center, where most of our meetings were held. Throughout the week we met with a bunch of developers and studios, working on a wide variety of multiplayer games. This included large world MMO’s, Battle Arena’s, FPS’s, RPG’s and VR games. All of which can of course be made using coherence.
We attended the panel "Breaking the Walls: Redefinding Gaming Platforms for a Limitless Future", where LootLocker CEO and a friend of coherence, Alexander Bergendahl participated. And Dino Patti, coherence’s Founder and CEO participated in "The Re-Rise of AA?" panel, sharing his knowledge and experience of the creative freedom AA games have and what they’re bringing to the industry.
Then came our highlight of the week, in the form of Tadej’s talk about building, scaling and running multiplayer games with coherence. After sharing some background on the state of multiplayer games and what coherence is, Tadej began the live demo:
- First, he opened the Unity sample project demonstrating how to control a character in 3rd person, in single-player.
- Then, with coherence installed, he added multiplayer to the scene without writing a single line of code - all in front of a live audience.
- Then he created a WebGL build of this project. While the project was building for a few minutes, he took questions from the audience and showed them the online dashboard.
- Once ready, he used the built-in tool to upload the WebGL build to the coherence Cloud, making it accessible to anyone with the link.
- Then he shared the QR code with the audience, who joined the game with him from their phones, on the spot!
- And most importantly, while everyone was in the game, Tadej demonstrated adding networked objects to the game on the fly via the running Unity Editor, and how they were synced to all players when he dragged them across the scene. This opens up completely new possibilities for live testing and prototyping.
320,000 people attended gamescom 2023 and walking through the many halls of the Koelnmesse, it sure felt like it.
gamescom starts on Wednesday, and the first day is only open to industry professionals, while the public are able to join from Thursday onwards. We mostly stuck to the trade section of the fair, which hosted a range of booths from countries around the world and organizations from across the industry. The atmosphere was buzzing and we got the chance to meet many of our existing customers in person, as well as demo coherence to solo developers and indie, AA and AAA studios.
Other highlights from the week included: the Nordic Party, one of my favorite networking events on the conference roster; Steps Gamescom 2023, where indies from all over the world meet on the stairs of the Kölner Dom, the largest gothic church in Northern Europe; the Ukrainian Networking and Charity Reception, a charity event to support the war in Ukraine; and a world record event by Thatgamecompany, who recorded 10,000 players taking part in a concert inside its MMO Sky: Children of the Light (this was impressive!).
We’re looking forward to coming back next year, with even more incredible tech to show.