The DeanBeat: DICE Summit entices the game industry’s insiders to Vegas

The DICE Summit (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) is well under way this week, bringing some of the game industry’s best minds together in Las Vegas for a few days of networking, thinking, talking, back-slapping, and partying. Staged by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, it is a chance for the best of the business to shine, from an opening keynote by The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim game developer Todd Howard on why we create and play to the game industry’s equivalent of the Oscars, complete with a red carpet show.

Epic’s 3D graphics wizard Tim Sweeney says business and technology are “intricately linked” (interview)

Tim Sweeney is one of the gods of 3D graphics in video games. He is the founder and chief executive of Epic Games, the maker of blockbuster video games from Unreal to Gears of War. At the upcoming 2012 D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas, Sweeney will be inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame and he’ll be giving a talk for the first time at the exclusive industry event. Sweeney has led Epic Games for more than two decades and is the technological wizard behind the company’s industry-leading 3D graphics. Not only does Sweeney enable Epic’s designers to create some of the coolest games, which are catalysts for creativity that inspire the rest of the game developers. He also built the Unreal Engine, which Epic licenses to the rest of the game industry, raising the overall graphics quality of many games. Sweeney has led the company in its transition from PC game maker to console game maker and has helped it expand into iPhone and iPad games. Sweeney is a shy programmer, until you get him in a discussion about what is right when it comes to a technology decision. He is an advocate of open technology, and he has played a big role in pioneering 3D graphics. At Raleigh, N.C.-based Epic, his job is to see the future of games and create the technology that will deliver it to consumers’ living rooms with the highest fidelity. We’ll be covering his award ceremony and talk at the Dice Summit, which takes place Feb. 8-10. Meanwhile, we were able to interview him recently. Here’s an edited transcript of our interview with Sweeney.

Hands-on preview of Gears of War 3: an epic story with closure

Gears of War 3 from Epic Games will be one of the game industry’s early seasonal blockbusters when the third-person shooter game debuts on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Sept. 20. It will set the tone for the console game industry’s all-important holiday selling season. I’ve had a good look at the first act of the single-player version of the game and am happy to report that it won’t be a disappointment. Up until now, Epic has kept the details of the single-player campaign secret.