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|    Game Design

Creating compelling, immersive games requires understanding, visualizing, demonstrating, and tuning the interactions of an ever-increasing number of game tools and systems. While game designers need to understand and exploit the possibilities of new technologies such as realistic physics, facial expressions, and lighting techniques; they must also continue to master the traditional disciplines of drama, game play, and psychology.

The Design Track explores the challenges and ramifications of the interaction between new technologies and established techniques.

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Solving Titan Sized Problems: Evolving Titan Combat in 'Titanfall 2'
Carlos Pineda (Respawn Entertainment)
'Titanfall' presents a unique problem space for shooters in that Titan fights could last minutes, compared to more typical shooter engagements which tend to be below 5 seconds. The lessons of low-time-to-kill shooters no longer apply here, so the team had to draw from other genres to find new sources of depth. Fighting games, MOBAs and MMOs became new sources of inspiration.

This talk will explore the process by which Respawn breaks down the shooter combat formula, and applies lessons from other genres to create a unique combat experience. Carlos will explore the problems of high-time-to-kill shooter combat and the solutions used to create depth in 'Titanfall 2'.
Systems Make Statements: Simulations and Intentional Design
Elizabeth Sampat (SYBO Games)
Games are systems, and systems are often seen as cold and unfeeling; the opposite of emotional or provocative. Often the goal is to design a purely neutral system, completely free of bias, but since no one is free of bias, is that realistic? Instead of striving for neutrality, the first step to truly affecting game design is to realize that nothing is neutral: what is seen as a lack of bias is one's own blindness to the circumstances one lives within.

In this session, Elizabeth Sampat discusses the 'SimCity' franchise and its politics, and how design decisions both deliberate and unconscious make statements about how the world works, and how you can use the knowledge of your own biases and philosophies to make more compelling, coherent games.
Still Logged In: What AR and VR Can Learn from MMOs
Raph Koster (Altered Tuning)
We're networking the world. Titles like 'PokemonGO' are showing us how the world can be an MMO. Hardware coming from major companies is promising goggles and lenses and magical graphical overlays. But... if we're going to be living in an MMO, doesn't that mean we're suddenly also the NPCs? The avatars? How do we call customer service? And who's community managing Earth? In this session we'll talk about the social and ethical implications of turning the real world into a virtual world, and how the lessons of massively multiplayer virtual worlds are more relevant than ever.
The Design of Time: Understanding Human Attention and Economies of Engagement
Chelsea Howe (MaxPlay)
Time is the core currency for live games, but humans are notoriously bad at projecting long term outcomes. People often underestimate stimulus demands for prolonged engagement and wind up trapped in expensive content treadmills. This talk covers patterns of human attention and engagement over time and concrete ways to design for those phases, including how to surface time components, approaching engagement with a relationship lens, transitioning from hand-crafted experiences to procedural and social systems, and balancing permanent progress with maintenance mechanics.