Origin veteran Starr Long, who's currently busy working on Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, has talked with GDC Next's director Patrick Miller on the future of gaming. Here's a snip from the Gamasutra-hosted interview:
PM: It seems to me that much of the next wave of tech innovation in games is about reducing barriers to entry -- 3D printing and ready access to versatile, cheap electronics for hardware prototyping, Unity and other off-the-shelf dev tools and middleware for easier small-team game development, etc. Which tech barriers do you think will be coming down in the next 5-10 years, and which do you think will remain strictly in the hands of triple-A?
SL: The barriers are already coming down! Right now you can license an engine or middleware for just about anything you need. Some of the middleware is very specialized. For example, there is middleware now for customizable human avatars. Even now, the issue is less about technology and tools, and more about the time and resources required to make content. 10 years from now the only thing that will remain in the hands of triple-A is the huge amount of content large teams can produce.
PM: Much of your recent work with Disney Interactive has been for younger audiences. How do you think the next generation of gamers are going to shape the expectations for the rest of the industry? What do you see children playing or watching now that will have resounding effects on the business of game development when they're old enough to have their own disposable income?
SB: Some of the changes are obvious and happening right now like the dominance of mobile. I think the more subtle changes are related to user-generated content. Minecraft is a true bellwether of this trend, but it doesn't yet have economic rewards for the users for making content. That is going to change, however, as we can already see in the crowdsourcing movement. This upcoming generation is going to expect not only to make their own content, but to be rewarded economically for it. Also, touch interface is an obvious expectation, but camera input resolution is increasing rapidly and it will quickly become as ubiquitous as touch.