GDC China Debuts Saltsman, Booyah Talks, Full-Day Design Tutorial

adams.jpgThis week, GDC China debuted a trio of new sessions, featuring Canabalt developer Adam Saltsman on opportunities for small developers, mobile studio Booyah on location-based games, and a full-day design tutorial from thatgamecompany’s Robin Hunicke.

Taking place November 12-14 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center in Shanghai, China, the event will once again serve as the premier game industry event in China, bringing together influential developers from around the world to share ideas, network, and inspire each other to further the game industry in this region.

This year, the show’s Main Conference will feature three primary tracks, covering Online Game Development & Business, Global Game Development, and Social Games, and two Summits on Indie Games and Mobile Games, respectively.

Here are the latest talks to be revealed for the upcoming show:

– In the Independent Games Summit, Canabalt creator and independent game maker Adam ‘Atomic’ Saltsman will host a lecture titled, “Commercial and Creative Opportunities for Small Companies, Small Teams and Solo Developers.” Here, Saltsman will examine the commercial realities of today’s most popular platforms, and will point out several overlooked areas that would be a good fit for small developers.

– Over in the Mobile Games Summit, Keith Lee, co-founder and CEO of Booyah (MyTown) will offer an in-depth look at creating location-based games. His talk, dubbed, “5MM Users in MyTown: Key Learnings from the #1 Geo-Location Game,” will go over Booyah’s challenges and lessons learned, and will present hard data to illustrate how the studio found a healthy audience for its own location-based game.

– Finally, Robin Hunicke of Journey developer thatgamecompany will host a first-ever, day long Chinese debut for the popular MDA Game Design Workshop. Previously held at the primary GDC in San Francisco, this interactive tutorial will teach attendees to analyze, design, and improve the games they work on by applying the MDA (Mechanics, Dynamics and Aesthetics) approach to game design. Participants will take part in several hands-on exercises and learn a new vocabulary for describing games with co-workers and collaborators, leaving them with a better understanding of games and how to talk about them with peers.

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GDC China 2011 Debuts Square Enix, Kabam, HTML5 Sessions

kabam.jpgThis week, GDC China has debuted new batch of lectures for the show’s Main Conference, featuring Square Enix CTO Julien Merceron on tech development for major publishers, Kabam on blending MMOs and social games, and a notable panel on the future of HTML5.

Taking place November 12-14 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center in Shanghai, China, the event will once again serve as the premier game industry event in China, bringing together influential developers from around the world to share ideas, network, and inspire each other to further the game industry in this region.

This year, the show’s Main Conference will feature three primary tracks, covering Online Game Development & Business, Global Game Development, and Social Games.

Here are the latest talks to be revealed for the upcoming show:

– In the Global Development track session, “Designing a Technology Strategy for a Large Publisher,” Square Enix (Final Fantasy, Deus Ex) worldwide technology director Julien Merceron will examine the ins and outs of technology development at a large publisher.

Drawing from his experience working at companies such as Ubisoft and Eidos, Merceron will look at the ways in which technology impacts major publishing strategies, and will call attention to the web and mobile trends developers should keep an eye on.

– Elsewhere, in the Social Games track, Kabam’s Andrew Sheppard (Dragons Of Atlantis) will host a talk dubbed “Creating MMOs for Social Platforms.” Here, he will explain how Kabam strives to combine MMO gameplay with the interaction models found in social games, offering insight into the company’s overall strategy for the social market.

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IGF China 2011 Announces Main Competition, Student Finalists

igfchina1.jpgThe Independent Games Festival China has announced the Main Competition and Student finalists for its third annual awards ceremony celebrating the most innovative indie and student games from throughout the Pan-Pacific area.

This year, the finalists offer an extremely broad range of game types and genres, from action brawlers like Pixel May Cry to mobile arcade titles like Super Sheep Tap, with developers hailing from throughout China and its surrounding regions.

Drawing from a prize pool totaling 45,000 RMB (roughly $7,000), IGF China’s Main Competition will give away five distinguished awards, covering Excellence in Audio, Technology, and Visual Arts, as well as the Best Mobile Game and Best Game awards. In addition to the prestige and prizes, winners will also receive two All-Access Passes for the upcoming GDC 2012 in San Francisco.

Alongside IGF China’s Main Competition, the ceremony will also host the Student Competition, which honors six of the top regional student games, with teams hailing from DigiPen Singapore, the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, and more.

This part of the competition includes two awards — for Best Student Game and Excellent Student Winners — and offers roughly 13,000 RMB (roughly $2,000) in cash prizes.

Winners in both competitions will be chosen by a panel of expert jurors including Kevin Li (CEO, TipCat Interactive), Monte Singman (CEO, Radiance Digital Entertainment), Xubo Yang (director of digital art lab and assistant professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University’s School of Software), Haipeng Yu (producer, Tencent Shanghai), and jury chairman Simon Carless, IGF Chairman Emeritus and EVP of the GDC shows and Gamasutra.

This year’s IGF China will take place on November 12, 2011 alongside GDC China, which will be held at the Shanghai Convention Center in Shanghai, China.

Here are the finalists for this year’s IGF China:

Main Competition

Billy Makin Kid!, by SLAB Games, Indonesia [Website, Video]

Clay’s Reverie, by SuperGlueStudio, China [Video]

FTL (Faster than Light), by Matthew Davis & Justin Ma, China [Website]

One Tap Hero, by Coconut Island Studio, China [Video]

Pixel May Cry, by Feng Li, China [Video]

Pocket Warriors, by WitOne Games, China [Website, Video]

Super Sheep Tap, by aBit Games, China [Website, Video]

The Line HD, by Ant Hive Games, China [Website, Video]

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GDC China Reveals Mobile Talks On Doodle Jump, Gamevil, Fruit Ninja

doodle-jump.jpgThis week, GDC China has debuted new talks within its Mobile Games Summit, featuring an in-depth look at Lima Sky’s Doodle Jump, a breakdown of Gamevil’s strategy for global success, and a glimpse at Halfbrick’s plans to develop the Fruit Ninja IP.

Taking place November 12-14 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center in Shanghai, China, the event will once again serve as the premier game industry event in China, bringing together influential developers from around the world to share ideas, network, and inspire each other to further the game industry in this region.

This year, the show will feature two Summits in addition to the Main Conference, covering Independent Games and Mobile Games.

The following are the latest lectures to be announced for GDC China’s Mobile Games Summit:

– Igor Puisenjak, creator of the iOS smash hit Doodle Jump, will offer an in-depth look at the game’s development and success in, “Doodle Jump – the Story Behind the Legend.”

Puisenjak will explain how he and his team at Lima Sky have used frequent updates, direct player communication, and a number of social networking tools to keep this arcade platformer near the top of the App Store charts.

– Elsewhere, Brian Oh of Korean mobile game publisher Gamevil (Air Penguin, Zenonia) will host a talk dubbed, ” Sharing with Developers the Vision and Ideas to Achieve a Successful Global Mobile Game,” in which he will address the company’s approach to global game distribution. Oh will detail how Gamevil works with its developers to share ideas and ensure that each product can succeed in Korea as well as other global markets.

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GDC China Reveals Double Fine, Game Audio, Agile Development Talks

gdc_china.jpgGDC China has revealed the first batch of talks within the show’s Global Game Development track, featuring Double Fine’s approach to working with Kinect, a quick guide to Agile/Scrum development, and veteran game composer Hitoshi Sakimoto on the business of game audio.

Taking place November 12-14 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center in Shanghai, China, the event will once again serve as the premier game industry event in China, bringing together influential developers from around the world to share ideas, network, and inspire each other to further the game industry in this region.

This year, the show’s Main Conference will feature three primary tracks, covering Online Game Development & Business, Global Game Development, and Social Games.

Here are the first talks to be announced so far for the Global Game Development Track:

– In “Rapid Prototyping Techniques for Kinect Game Development,” Double Fine Productions’ lead technical artist, Drew Skillman, will provide an in-depth look at the studio’s approach to implementing motion control in its Kinect-enabled titles. Along the way, Skillman will discuss the company’s software setup for rapid prototyping, augmented reality, and some “shader based compositing tricks.”

– Elsewhere, Maxwell Peng, senior producer at Taiwanese developer International Games System, will host a session dubbed, “How to Succeed in Game Development With Agile/Scrum,” giving developers tips on how to improve and streamline their development pipeline. Peng will outline the challenges and solutions he encountered when using Agile/Scrum, helping developers better understand this approach to game development.

– Finally, Hitoshi Sakimoto, a game audio veteran best known for scoring Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII, will host, “The Business (and Importance!) of Game Audio.” Here, Sakimoto will delve into what it takes to make effective game music and sound effects, outlining his experience working in the business of game audio to help developers understand why sound plays a key role in nearly all realms of game development.

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GDC China 2011 Debuts Jenova Chen, Sworcery, Bastion Indie Talks

sssep.jpgGDC China has debuted the first group of lectures in the show’s Independent Games Summit, featuring talks from thatgamecompany co-founder Jenova Chen, Capybara Games on Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, and Supergiant Games on its indie hit Bastion.

Taking place November 12-14 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center in Shanghai, China, the event will once again serve as the premier game industry event in China, bringing together influential developers from around the world to share ideas, network, and inspire each other to further the game industry in this region.

This year, the show will feature two Summits in addition to the Main Conference, covering Independent Games and Mobile Games.

The following are the first lectures to be announced for GDC China’s Indie Games Summit:

– While video games are undoubtedly a significant form of entertainment media, they are often treated more like software or technology than a valid means of expression.

In “Video Games as a Medium for Entertainment & Artistic Expression,” Jenova Chen, co-founder of Flower and Journey developer thatgamecompany, will look at the medium from an artistic perspective, demonstrating how games can deliver substantial experiences, feelings, and messages.

– Occasionally, business and design decisions that look awful on paper can lead to surprising success. This certainly held true for Capybara Games’ Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (pictured), an eccentric iOS title that forced the team to take major risks with its design, business, and production processes.

In “Perhaps a Time of Miracles was at Hand: The Business & Development of #Sworcery,” Capybara Games co-founder Nathan Vella will provide an in-depth look at how this unusual game grew into a critical and financial success.

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2011 IGF China Extends Submissions Until Sept. 5th

IGFC.jpgOrganizers of the Independent Games Festival China, which runs in conjunction with the Game Developers Conference China, have officially announced that the call for indie game submissions from the pan-Pacific area will remain open through Monday, September 5.

Following on its success in past years, GDC China will continue to host the three main elements of IGF China, including the Independent Games Summit, which provides valuable conference sessions specializing in the challenges of independent game development.

These include the Independent Games Festival Pavilion, an onsite exhibition of the very best in local indie games, and the Independent Games Festival Awards, which honors the work of the talented pool of local independent game developers.

The 2011 IGF China Main Competition will give out awards and cash prizes in five categories, including:

– Best Game (RMB20,000 ~ $3,060 USD)
– Mobile Best Game (RMB10, 000 ~ $1,530 USD)
– Excellence In Audio (RMB5,000 ~ $760 USD)
– Excellence In Technology (RMB5,000 ~ $760 USD)
– Excellence In Visual Arts (RMB5,000 ~ $760 USD)

Finalists — who will receive VIP and expo passes to attend GDC China and the IGF awards ceremony on November 12, 2011 — will be chosen by a panel of expert jurors including Kevin Li (CEO, TipCat Interactive); Monte Singman (CEO, Radiance Digital Entertainment); Xubo Yang (Director of Digital Art Lab and Assistant Professor; Shanghai Jiaotong University’s School of Software), and jury chairman Simon Carless, IGF Chairman Emeritus and EVP of the GDC shows and Gamasutra.

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GDC China Honors Winners Of Shanghai, Beijing Game Jams

shanghai1.jpgOrganizers are proud to highlight the winners of the IGF China-sponsored Shanghai and Beijing Game Jams, both of which invited attendees to test their game design skills in a two-day marathon of collaboration and creative experimentation.

Held last month, these two China-based events invited professionals, indie developers, and even hobbyists to form teams and create a working game prototype from scratch, using only their own tools and tech.

To add a twist to the traditional game jam formula, each event also had its own theme around which entrants had to build their games — the Shanghai Game Jam’s topic was “Resurrection,” while the Beijing event’s topic was “Utopia.”

In addition, the events encouraged entrants to meet other developers and work with new team members, and GDC China – part of UBM TechWeb, as is this website – awarded Tutorials & Summits Passes to the outstanding teams.

The following are the winning entries from both the Shanghai and Beijing Game Jams:

Shanghai Game Jam Winners
Topic: “Resurrection”

1st prize: The End is Nigh
endisnigh.jpg
As a frustrated soul left behind in the Rapture, players must try to prevent their neighbors from ascending into heaven, either by dragging them down or simply shooting them with a gun.

2nd Prize: Bud
bud.jpg
In this title, players control seeds that sprout and grow, bringing new life into a landscape torn apart by war, industry, and death.

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GDC China Registration Now Open, First Talks Revealed

gdc_china.jpgGDC China organizers are proud to announce that registration is now live for the 2011 show, and the first batch of announced sessions includes speakers from the show’s Social and Indie Games Summits, on topics spanning Western-focused development and essential indie dev tools.

Taking place November 12-14 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center in Shanghai, China, the event will once again serve as the premier game industry event in China, bringing together influential developers from around the world to share ideas, network, and inspire each other to further the game industry in this region.

This year, GDC China will feature tracks on Online Game Development & Business, Global Game Development, and Social Games, with notable summits on Independent Games and Mobile Games. In addition, the show will boast a two-floor exhibition hall, and will once again host the Independent Games Festival China for the third year running.

All of the sessions at GDC China will be simultaneously translated between English and Chinese during the event, and the following talks are the first among many to be revealed for this year’s show:

– As part of the Social Games Summit, Ubisoft Chengdu project manager Xiaojuan He will host a talk dubbed, “Project Managing a Social Game for the Western Market,” revealing how the China-based Ubisoft branch developed the Facebook title Castle & Co. for western markets.

He’s lecture will focus particularly on her role as project manager throughout the game’s development, outlining the team’s approach to designing a Western-focused game, the problems encountered during production, handling team morale, post-launch support, and more.

– Over in the Independent Games Summit, Ye Feng, co-founder and CTO of independent iOS developer Coconut Island Studio (Finger Balance, iDragPaper) will discuss indie dev tools in, “Brewing Your Own Game Engine – The Pros & Cons of Using Open Source Software to Rapidly Develop Cross-Platform Indie Games and Tools.”

In this lecture, Feng will weigh the pros and cons of using homebrewed tools versus middleware, and will show attendees how his studio used custom tools to its advantage to streamline and improve their development pipeline. In addition, he will suggest a number of tools that make indie development easier.

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IGF China 2011 Opens Call For Submissions

Organizers of the Independent Games Festival China, which runs in conjunction with the Game Developers Conference China, have officially announced a call for indie game submissions from the pan-Pacific area now through Thursday, September 1.

Following on its success in past years, GDC China will continue to host the three main elements of IGF China, including the Independent Games Summit, which provides valuable conference sessions specializing in the challenges of independent game development.

These include the Independent Games Festival Pavilion, an onsite exhibition of the very best in local indie games, and the Independent Games Festival Awards, which honors the work of the talented pool of local independent game developers.

The 2011 IGF China Main Competition will give out awards and cash prizes in five categories, including:

– Best Game (RMB20,000 ~ $3,060 USD)
– Mobile Best Game (RMB10, 000 ~ $1,530 USD)
– Excellence In Audio (RMB5,000 ~ $760 USD)
– Excellence In Technology (RMB5,000 ~ $760 USD)
– Excellence In Visual Arts (RMB5,000 ~ $760 USD)

Finalists — who will receive VIP and expo passes to attend GDC China and the IGF awards ceremony on November 12, 2011 — will be chosen by a panel of expert jurors including Kevin Li (CEO, TipCat Interactive); Monte Singman (CEO, Radiance Digital Entertainment); Xubo Yang (Director of Digital Art Lab and Assistant Professor; Shanghai Jiaotong University’s School of Software), and jury chairman Simon Carless, IGF Chairman Emeritus and EVP of the GDC shows and Gamasutra.

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