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|    Production

Please note: this information refers to GDC 2014, check back for updates.

In recent years, game industry production challenges have been split between massive budgets for AAA console games, and significant new production challenges from social, online, smartphone and other emerging types of game. The goal of the Production Track is to provide developers with concrete tactics for managing game production, no matter what size or scope your game is.

Arrow Search for all Production Track sessions


Where are the Sharks? User Research in the Far Cry Production Pipeline
Ian Livingston (Ubisoft)
Have you ever asked people from outside your team to play your game before release? Do you struggle with when and how often to run a playtest? How do you use the feedback without compromising your creative vision? At Ubisoft, we know that user research has a positive effect on the quality of our games because it places the player front-and-center early in a game's development. The challenge lies in aligning the user research with a production's already tight schedule. In this talk, Ian Livingston will show how we did it on Far Cry 3, the lessons we learned along the way, and how these lessons can be applied to any project. If you have ever wondered how it is possible to "test early and test often with users" while limiting the impact on your development, then this is the talk for you!
Learning from Our Mistakes: A Postmortem of Guacamelee!
Chris Harvey (DrinkBox Studios Inc.)
As our first game, Tales from Space: About a Blob, neared completion in the fall of 2010, we began talking about new game ideas. We were finishing our first internally developed title, and while there was a lot to be proud of, there were some mistakes we didn't want to repeat. Fast-forward to April 2013, we believe we made major improvements to our development approach with Guacamelee!. This session will describe the development process for Guacamelee! from concept to release, and discuss the high-level decisions we made at each stage. The session will reflect on the studio's previous games: what went wrong, what we learned, and how we addressed those issues for Guacamelee!. Topics of discussion will include the concepting, development and marketing of the game.
Running a Mobile Live Service 24/7: Retention is the Driving Force for Success
Aaron Loeb (Electronic Arts)
Aaron Loeb, VP & group GM at EA Mobile on titles such as The Simpsons: Tapped Out, argues that service must be as intentionally designed as games. Loeb calls on real examples from EA games, such as The Simpsons and The Sims Freeplay, to illustrate that running a 24/7 live service requires hard and consistent choice architecture - not just for your players, but for developers. Just as in game design, it is often what we choose not to do that will define our success. Key lesson learned: the current (and much discussed) tension in freemium game services between "creative" and "business," is a false dilemma. Creating long-term engagements with your players through quality and fun - even at the cost of short-term revenue - can probably lead to greater success. The "optimize everything" path does not necessarily lead to the best business results.
Building a BioWare Story: Producing Choice and Consequence
Ian Mitchell (BioWare)
Melanie Faulknor (BioWare)
For the Dragon Age story team, finding the balance between rich narrative and player choice/consequence is something that we are passionate about and it defines our games. As one would expect, creating these dynamic and personal narrative experiences requires a specialized production process. And much like the stories we create, our narrative development cycle is nonlinear and full of complex choices and consequences.

This presentation will introduce the Dragon Age team's narrative production process, designed specifically to enable our teams to create and iterate on our complex narrative all while allowing us to deliver the high fidelity visuals, cinematics and VO that our fans have come to expect from a BioWare game. We will discuss the composition of our "Campaign team" and how these multidisciplinary story teams organize themselves to deliver a turnkey narrative gameplay experience.
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