GDC | Design


Learn methods to create compelling interactions with realistic physics, facial expressions, and lighting. Get ideas for new games, tips to push your project forward, and learn how to understand and tune the interactions of an ever-increasing number of tools, systems, and techniques required to design great games. View all Design sessions.

Design Track Conference Highlights (W-F)

All Access, GDC Conference+Summits, or GDC Conference Pass required.

Embracing Push Forward Combat in 'DOOM'
Jake Campbell (id Software)
Kurt Loudy (id Software)
'DOOM' is the ultimate celebration of the player; a power fantasy run amok where instead of a player thrown into a den of teeming hordes, the enemies are locked in a room with YOU. Thus, a new approach to FPS combat design that emphasizes brutality, aggression and speed is necessary. Push forward combat is the result and stares down genre conventions like regenerating health, reload and cover, and instead puts the onus on the player to take what they need from adversaries. This lecture details the philosophy behind the combat design and its implementation, and opens up the possibility for its inclusion in multiple genres.
Parkour: How to Improve Freedom of Movement in First-Person Games in 20 Simple Steps
Bartosz Kulon (Techland)
This lecture will share a colorful story of how movement, running, and climbing was done in 'Dying Light'. Techland's Bartosz Kulon will share examples of the problems he encountered and solutions to them. After this lecture, you will know the basics of how to create parkour for a player character in an FPP game. Takeaway: Attendees will be introduced to tricks and systems that will help make traversal mechanics for the player character fluid and responsive. Intended Audience: Intended for programmers and designers of movement systems in various types of games.
Classic Game Postmortem:
'Ultima Online'
Raph Koster (Independent)
Starr Long (Portalarium)
Richard Garriott de Cayeux (Portalarium)
Kal Ort Por! The death of Lord British. Simulated ecologies. Playerkillers. The Bank of Britain. City sieges. Weddings. Sports events. Players who were orcs. Living the Virtues. In September 2018, we marked the 20th anniversary of the launch on Ultima Online, the pioneering massively multiplayer RPG that changed online gaming forever. Join three key members of the team as they talk about the things that went wrong and right: Richard Garriott de Cayeux, the legendary Lord British and producer on the game; Starr Long, the original director; and Raph Koster, the creative lead.
A Long Dark Road: Blending Player and Authored Story in a Sandbox Survival Game
Raphael van Lierop (Hinterland Games)
Is it possible to successfully marry a linear, authored narrative experience to an open-world sandbox? Using anecdotes and insights gained through the ongoing development of the hit survival game 'The Long Dark', van Lierop shares hard-won lessons about community-informed development, the principles that define a successful sandbox gameplay experience, and the challenges of wrapping a story mode around the core of a popular survival sandbox, with a large vocal community of players who might just prefer you left it alone!

Related Summits & Tutorials (M-T)

All Access, GDC Conference+Summits, or GDC Summits Pass required.

Game Design Workshop (M-T)
Immerse yourself in the iterative process of refining a game design and discover design concepts that will help you think more clearly about their designs and make better games. The workshop includes hands-on activities, group discussion, analysis and critique.
Level Design Workshop (T)
The Level Design Workshop returns for the eighth consecutive year bringing together another an all-new docket of talks spanning a variety of topics that will interest working and aspiring level designers across the game industry.

Historically, LD Workshop presentations run the gamut from sharing specific techniques, to in-depth analysis of shipped games, to introspective explorations of "big" concepts that affect level designers/teams, as well as providing guides to process and workflow.

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