Tools Tutorial Day | Game Developers Conference

Tools Tutorial Day (M)

The Tools Tutorial is a deep dive into the state-of-the-art techniques and processes for building tools that enable game development teams to ship awesome games. Topics will range from usability and workflow to studio services and automated testing, and all the technology in between. Listen to experts from studios large and small talk about their experiences shipping the tools that ship awesome games.

View all Tools Tutorial Day sessions

Featured Sessions

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

Tools Tutorial Day: Playtesting 'Overwatch'
Rowan Hamilton (Blizzard Entertainment)
While regular playtesting is an important part of development for any title, it is critical when working on a multiplayer game. When iteration for designers requires getting 12 developers into a game together, the process of creating and joining a playtest needs to be as fast and painless as possible. Achieving this requires a holistic approach that ties many pieces of your production pipeline together. This talk will cover how a "playtesting first" approach helped guide the 'Overwatch' team's design for their data pipeline, build system, server stack and many other aspects of their day to day workflow.
Tools Tutorial Day: Workflow Driven Tools Design
Vesa Paakkanen (Remedy Entertainment)
Game development is getting increasingly complex every year, and it has become more important than ever to improve iteration times. To this end, it is crucial to invest in producing better tools for content creators that focus on accomplishing their goals. In this talk the speaker, Vesa Paakkanen, will share how the tools team at Remedy Entertainment shifted the tools design process from implementing separate components for individual problems to focusing on complete workflows and context-sensitivity. He will share how the team designed the tools framework to accommodate this design and how it both improved the user experience; and significantly improved the reusability of the underlying code, allowing new workflows to be rolled out faster than before.
Tools Tutorial Day: Bungie's Asset Pipeline: 'Destiny 2' and Beyond
Brandon Moro (Bungie)
Bungie's asset processing pipeline is a highly scalable dependency graph based solution. It is used for everything from local iteration for many hundreds of content creators across multiple studios, to building shippable games, expansions and patches. While the Handmade Con 2016 "Asset Systems and Scalability" talk discussed how and why the 'Destiny 1' pipeline was built, this talk will focus on how the system evolved for 'Destiny 2' and beyond. This session will look at the problems Bungie faced, the major changes they implemented and the various ways they were able to "bend" the rules of a traditional dependency graph system to improve local iteration.
Tools Tutorial Day: Shipping 'Call of Duty'
Paul Haile (Infinity Ward)
The process of smoothly shipping a title with hundreds of developers is a difficult problem itself within game development. This talk goes into the intricacies of how Infinity Ward does it for 'Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare', ranging from their smallest of weekly internal releases, to finalizing a shipping build, and how they manage it with as little downtime as possible for their developers. This session will also touch on what their build process looks like, how they structure revision control to support multiple milestones in development at the same time, and how the production staff at Infinity Ward does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to producing and shipping builds.

Tools Tutorial Day Organizers

Geoff Evans
Geoff Evans
Infinity Ward
Geoff Evans has been building game development tools since 2003, and is passionate about build systems, asset schemas, studio services, and content editors. He is currently the Tools Director of Infinity Wards in Los Angeles, and his previous studios include Kojima Productions (LA), Neversoft, Whitemoon Dreams, and Insomniac Games. He moderates the long-running Technical Issues in Tools roundtable series at GDC. He was a founder of both Helium Project ( and Insomniac's Nocturnal Initiative open source projects.
David Lightbown
David Lightbown
David has been working professionally in the games industry for over 15 years. He has spent the majority of his career focused on tools development and pipeline productivity. David speaks at conferences around the world on the topic of applying user experience techniques in the games industry. He is an Autodesk Master Award recipient, and recently published a book: "Designing the User Experience of Game Development Tools". David currently holds the position of User Experience Director for the Technology Group at Ubisoft Montréal.

GDC Tutorials offer a full day of in-depth information and cover a range of game development disciplines on Monday and Tuesday, March 19-20, 2018. View all GDC Tutorials on Session Scheduler.


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