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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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Skill, Matchmaking, and Ranking Systems Design
Josh Menke (Activision Publishing)
With the establishment of professional online gaming, high quality matchmaking and ranking systems have become expected components of competitive multiplayer games. The following covers skill determination, matchmaking, ranking, how they relate, and direction for the future. It will cover what can be expected out of the latest state-of-the-art skill determination systems. It will discuss how skill can be properly used for matchmaking and how good matchmaking can free gameplay designers to design with depth. It will suggest best practices for ranking systems, and discuss how ranking interacts with matchmaking, pointing out pitfalls to watch out for in their design. It will draw from industry experience working on competitive systems in the World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, and Call of Duty franchises.
Emptying the Trash: A Last Look at TRS-80 Game Designs
Jim McGinley (Bigpants)
Released in 1979, the TRS-80 computer was a horrible, unique constraint that produced some great, forgotten games. 15+ of the best games will be highlighted, unearthing mechanics and ideas that will inspire today's game makers. Videos will be shown of each game being played at a high level by the presenter (one of the few people alive who is skilled at these games). This is a sequel to GDC 2012's highly rated "Inspiration from the Trash", and the final nail.

Finding these games is beyond the reach of most (they're not on YouTube). Rather than navigate the idiosyncrasies of TRS-80 emulation software, research which games are worth remembering, and master the unforgiving gameplay, people can instead attend this presentation. In-between games, we'll reflect on how modern issues were viewed 35 years ago. Cloning, sequels, casual games, licensed games, apocalypses all existed, and distance will provide attendees with insight into their future.
Rules of the Game: Five More Techniques from Quite Inventive Designers
Richard Rouse III (Paranoid Productions)
Michael De Plater (Monolith Productions)
Emily Short (Independent)
Liz England (Insomniac Games)
Jason VandenBerghe (Ubisoft)
Lee Perry (Independent)
There's no absolute "rule book" for the art of game design, yet every designer has a personal set of techniques they call their own. The popular "Rules of the Game" session returns to present five highly accomplished designers who each share a key rule-of-thumb that they employ when designing a game. Each speaker gets ten minutes to present a rule and go into detail about how they've used it on some of their most successful projects. These are unique and personal techniques that are not commonly held design wisdom and may well challenge the way you think about design. Speakers talk honestly about the pluses and minuses of each technique, helping the audience understand where the rules apply and where they may not. Come to hear novel and useful game design concepts while also learning how some very interesting designers go about making great games.