Limbo devs share tips on creating games with striking visuals at GDC Europe

gdc_newlogo1 (1).jpg

The big GDC Europe conference in Germany is just months away, and today GDC organizers are happy to announce a popular talk that will be taking place at the August conference from the developers of the critically acclaimed Limbo.

Playdead visual effects artist Mikkel Svendsen and graphics programmer Mikkel Gjoel will speak at GDC Europe about techniques you can use to achieve striking, high-fidelity visuals in your next game.

Their talk, “Low Complexity, High Fidelity – Inside Rendering,” will describe the variety of effects used to achieve an atmospheric look, including local shadowed volumetrics and a robust water-rendering system, in their upcoming game Inside (pictured.)

To explore how a unique art style is created technically they’ll also show you how they authored lighting as entirely separate diffuse, specular and bounce-light entities, while focusing on artist-approachable tools meant utilizing analytic primitive-based ambient occlusion and screenspace reflections.

Continue reading

At GDC Europe, see how military theory can help you design better strategy games

gdc_newlogo1 (1).jpg

This year’s GDC Europe conference in Germany is coming up quick, and today event organizers like to tip you off to a great talk about strategy game design that will take place at the summer conference.

Come August, GDC Europe 2016 attendees will have an opportunity to attend the “Strategy Game Design and the Operational Level of War” talk from Plarium’s Guy Ulmer.

The one-time Red Alert modder now serves as an expert on optimizing mobile games, and during his presentation he’ll show you how a better understanding of some basic military discipline when building a strategy game will help designers better define their niche in the crowded strategy/RTS game markets.

Continue reading

GDC Europe sees record 2012 attendance, reveals dates for 2013

gdc europe 2012.jpgThe 2012 Game Developers Conference Europe (GDC Europe) saw more than 2,100 game industry professionals through its doors last week, breaking the event’s previous attendance record.

Running from August 13-15, GDC Europe saw keynotes from industry leaders like Ubisoft Montreal’s creative director Alex Hutchinson, CEO of Wargaming.net Victor Kislyi, and Epic Games senior engine programmer Niklas Smedberg.

In total, the event welcomed over 100 speakers, 65+ exhibitors and sponsors, and nearly 300 media representatives to Cologne, Germany.

Gamasutra was in Cologne last week covering everything GDC Europe had to offer, and all of our coverage can be found over on the GDC Europe dedicated page.

GDC organizer, UBM Technology’s Game Network also announced the dates for next year’s GDC Europe event. The conference will return to Cologne, Germany on August 19-21, 2013, and is once again co-located with 2013’s Gamescom trade event (August 21-25.)

For more information on GDC Europe, visit the show’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS. GDC Europe is owned and operated by Gamasutra parent company UBM Technology.

GDC Europe 2012 details the top sessions for next week’s show

gdce (1).jpegIt’s been many months in the making, but GDC Europe 2012 is starting this coming Monday in Cologne, Germany, and will feature a slew of exciting, must-see sessions for the European game development community.

Over the past several months, GDC organizers have announced major keynotes, panels, and presentations from the best and brightest in the game industry, and with so many talks lined up, this year’s GDC Europe promises to be the most robust and varied yet.

And even though we’re just days away from the event, GDC organizers are highlighting two recent additions to the show’s lineup:

– The first talk comes from independent developers Martin Jonasson (Jesus vs. Dinosaurs) and Petri Purho (Crayon Physics), who will demonstrate some tricks that can help make your games more interesting to play. During the Independent Games Summit session closing out the show on Wednesday, the pair will spruce up a game live on stage, showing attendees exactly how these tips can benefit or enhance game design.

– In addition, Harald Riegler, CEO of the Australian studio Sproing (Silent Hunter Online, Panzer Tactics DS) will discuss the importance of company culture in his Business Track talk, offering tips on handling leadership, managing team dynamics, and creating a studio that works effectively as a single unit.

Of course, these new sessions are just two of the more recent additions to GDC Europe’s extensive lineup. Here are some of the other notable talks to be held at next week’s show:

Business, Marketing and Management Track

– Track Keynote: World of Free-to-Play – AAA by Wargaming.net (Victor Kislyi, Wargaming.net)
Leveling Up Your AAA Game – BioWare’s Post Release Content Insights (Fernando Melo, Bioware)
Financing Options for Smaller Games (Nicholas Lovell, GAMESbrief; Patrick O’Luanaiagh, nDreams; Ciaran O’Leary, Earlybird; Jonathan Newth, Tenshi Ventures)

Production Track

Passion for Entertainment: 10 years of Battlefield/20 Years of DICE (Karl Magnus Troedsson, DICE)
Mafia II Postmortem (Jarek Kolar, 2K Czech)
The Long Journey (Robin Hunicke, formerly of thatgamecompany)

Game Design Track

– Track Keynote: Assassin’s Creed: Maintaining Momentum on a Blockbuster Franchise (Alex Hutchinson, Ubisoft Montreal)
Ambiguity and Abstraction in Game Writing: Lessons from Dear Esther (Dan Pinchbeck, thechineseroom)
Classic Postmortem: GoldenEye 007 (Martin Hollis, Zoomani)

Continue reading

GDC Europe details Dead Trigger, Gree talks, reminds on online registration

dead.jpgWith just one day to go before online registration closes for GDC Europe, show organizers have revealed new details on a trio of upcoming sessions, featuring a behind the scenes look at Madfinger’s Dead Trigger (pictured), a postmortem on Gree’s Animal Days, and a panel covering the ins and outs of critical writing and reporting in the game industry.

These talks all fall within GDC Europe’s Main Conference, which takes place Monday through Wednesday, August 13-15, 2012 at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany.

Those looking to attend the show should act soon, as lower-cost online registration will close tomorrow, August 7 — after that date, passes will only be available for purchase on-site.

And without further ado, here are the full details on the latest sessions to be announced for GDC Europe:

– As part of the Programming track, Madfinger Games CEO Marek Rabas and senior programmer Petr Benysek will host “Bringing Dead Trigger into Life,” offering an inside look at how the team created its visually stunning mobile shooter. The pair will provide a step-by-step look at the game’s production, detailing everything from AI behaviors, design decisions, performance optimization, and much more.

– Over in the Game Design track, Gree development manager Hiroyuki Haga will discuss some key mobile development lessons in “Animal Days Post-Mortem: Developing a City-Building Game That’s Ready for Quick Content-Iteration.” Using the just-released city-building mobile game as a reference, Haga will explain how Gree quickly generates game content, and maximizes the performance of all of its new releases.

– Also in the Game Design track is “How Gaming News Works: A Guided Tour,” giving attendees a chance to learn about the past, present and future of critical writing and reporting in the game industry. While the session was first revealed earlier this year, the panel is now confirmed to consist of news writers including Alexander Sliwinski (Joystiq), Ben Gilbert (Joystiq), Pat Garratt (VG247), and Oliver Menne (Eurogamer).

Continue reading

GDC Europe 2012 reveals full Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit lineup

galaxy.jpgWith GDC Europe nearly upon us, show organizers have revealed the entire lineup for the event’s Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, including new Galaxy On Fire, Flurry, and Game Insight (Paradise Island) talks.

The Summit will take place Tuesday, August 14 at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany alongside Gamescom, and will feature some of the best and brightest in the mobile space discussing the future of the business on both smartphones and tablets.

The newest sessions to be announced for the event include a look at Fishlabs’ Galaxy on Fire 2 (pictured), a breakdown of mobile game data from analytics firm Flurry, and a presentation from Russian studio Game Insight on making successful multiplatform games.

The full details on these new sessions are as follows:

– In “Galaxy on Fire 2 – from AAA Premium on iOS to Freemium on Android,” Fishlabs CEO and co-founder Michael Schade will discuss how the studio’s popular mobile title went from premium to freemium for its Android debut. The game sustained a $9.99 price tag for more than 18 months on iOS, but as Schade will explain, that model just wouldn’t work for its Android release. During this session, he’ll explain how and why the Android version needed such a massive overhaul.

– Elsewhere, Flurry managing director Richard Firminger will share the firm’s latest data on the mobile market, shedding light on some important trends developers will want to keep track of. His session, “Mobile Application Analytics & Consumer Insight: The Biggest Content Revolution of Our Lifetime,” will give attendees a better understanding of mobile game development, and drive home the long-term value of detailed data analysis.

– In addition, Game Insight’s vice president of business development, Darya Trushkina, will explain why developers should always be looking to get their games on as many platforms as possible. In “Cross-Platform Mobile Game Development: What, Why, and How Much?,” Trushkina will reference Game Insight titles like Mystery Manor and Paradise Island to demonstrate the best (and worst) ways to ensure your game will work across multiple platforms.

Of course, these new talks join a number of other sessions featured in the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit. Other talks at the show include a detailed examination of mobile game audio, a session from Beat Sneak Bandit‘s Simogo on breaking away from industry trends, a postmortem on Wooga’s popular Diamond Dash for iOS, and a sponsored session on why mobile devs should keep an eye on the Blackberry platform.

Continue reading

GDC Europe 2012 details Expo Floor, sponsored session highlights

gdcexpo.jpgGDC Europe is just a few short weeks away, and this year’s show is certainly shaping up to be the biggest and most robust thus far. Show organizers have already revealed a slew of exciting sessions, lectures, and panels, and today they’ve debuted new details for the show’s Expo Floor and its numerous sponsored presentations.

As in years past, GDC Europe will offer a full exhibition hall, where attendees can talk directly to some of the industry’s leading developers and game companies, making it a great opportunity to network and reach out to some of the biggest names in the game business.

This year’s Expo Floor will host major game companies including CCP (EVE Online), Crytek, EA, and Wooga, as well as notable software firms like Perforce and Havok. For a full list of exhibitors, check out the official GDC Europe website or download the show’s floor plan [PDF].

In addition to the packed Expo Floor, GDC Europe will also feature a number of informative sponsored sessions from these and other influential companies.

Here are just a few of the numerous sponsored sessions at this month’s show:

– Major middleware provider Autodesk will showcase its Gameware technology, detailing how the studio’s software promises to improve production pipelines and streamline common snags in the game development process.

– Elsewhere, Intel will discuss the importance of developing games than can run smoothly on mainstream PC hardware. Attendees will learn a handful of useful techniques to optimize their games and create products that can reach a larger consumer base.

– Management software firm Perforce will host its own session to discuss how its software versioning solution can help small teams better manage their production cycles and chart the development of their current projects — all at no cost to their studio.

– In a mobile-focused session, Blackberry developer Research in Motion will show off its new Blackberry10 platform, arguing why it could help mobile studios monetize their games and focus on cross-platform development.

– In addition, middleware firm Havok will outline how developers can use the company’s Vision Engine and other game development tools to create detailed and dynamic games that can exist across multiple platforms.

Continue reading

GDC Europe highlights Social & Online Games Summit talks, reminds on reg deadlines

gdce.jpegWith GDC Europe just a couple of weeks away, show organizers are highlighting a trio of new talks in the Social and Online Games Summit, and are reminding that the deadline for regular registration is next Tuesday, August 7.

Those who register online before the August 7 deadline will be able to secure reduced-pass prices for this month’s show. Be sure to pick up your tickets soon, as all ticket sales after that date must be done on-site.

Meanwhile, the new Social and Online Game Summit talks are just the latest to join the growing lineup for GDC Europe, which will be held Monday through Wednesday, August 13-15, 2012 at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany.

Here are the full details on these newly-announced sessions:

– In “Core Games, Real Numbers: Comparative Stats for MMOs & Social Games,” Kongregate co-founder Emily Greer will look at the data from the service’s numerous online games, sharing the details for how and why certain titles find long-term success.

During her comparative analysis, Greer will outline the basic trends in the online space, noting which mechanics and game types will make your game more likely to make money.

– Elsewhere, Riccardo Zacconi, CEO of social giant King.com will host “Building A Multi-Platform Game Business Out of Facebook and Onto Mobile & Tablet.” Here, he will peel back the curtain on King.com’s development process, detailing how the company designs, markets, and monetizes social games that can exist across Facebook, mobile, and other platforms.

– Finally, Papaya Mobile’s Oscar Clark will present his case for why almost all mobile games need to embrace the free to play model, lest they be destined for obsolescence and eventual failure. The talk, “A Developer’s Guide to Surviving the Zombie (Freemium) Apocalypse,” Clark will explain why he thinks developers that follow the traditional premium model are looking more and more like the walking dead.

Continue reading

The Game Developers Conference introduces new mobile app

app.jpgOrganizers of Game Developers Conference have announced the GDC Mobile App, a new multi-function tool for GDC exhibitors and attendees, to debut at GDC Europe 2012.

The GDC Mobile App is now available for iOS, Android, and mobile web platforms, and features a variety of interactive functions for attendees to use before and during the GDC conferences.

First, the app allows users to access GDC Europe’s full Schedule Builder, giving them a chance to search for sessions and customize their agenda for the event. It also allows users to take a quick look at the show’s floor plan, allowing them to locate their sessions or find exhibitors on the Expo Floor.

In addition, the app gives users a chance to connect with other GDC attendees. Users can send messages, as well as filter results to seek out users with similar interests.

The app will also help users stay informed, as it gives quick access to the GDC news feed, which covers the latest news on upcoming sessions, featured exhibitors, ongoing promotions, and more.

GDC Mobile App users can even check-in to specific sessions and locations at GDC Europe to earn show badges, as well as coupons from exhibitors that may lead to additional promotions.

GDC Europe 2012 will take place from Monday, August 13 to Wednesday, August 15 at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany, and will once again serve as the premiere pan-European event for games industry professionals.

Those interested in attending GDC Europe can secure their pass for the Gamescom co-located event via the show’s online registration page.

For more information, visit the GDC Europe website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

GDC Europe 2012 details new Facebook Developer Day

Facebook.jpgOver the past several years, Facebook has changed quite a bit as a game platform. It’s expanded onto mobile devices, added its own app marketplace, and has continued to grow as one of the largest venues for online web games.

There are a lot of changes to keep track of, and if you’re interested in learning how to make the most of the popular social network, next month’s GDC Europe in Cologne, Germany will address that very topic in its sponsored Facebook Developer Day.

This full-day event will be held the second day of the show, on Tuesday, August 14, alongside the show’s Main Conference, and will include nine distinct presentations and discussions where attendees will learn how to develop, grow, and maintain successful social games.

The Developer Day is available only on a first-come, first-served basis to all GDC Europe pass holders (except IGS Pass). Those who have not registered for GDC Europe 2012 yet can now pick the Facebook Developer Day as an option when registering online.

If you’ve already purchased your pass, and wish to attend, please contact us via our web form or phone with your name and pass type, and we’ll add you while spaces are available. (There may also be an opportunity to attend individual talks on the day of the event, if attendees drop out to join other classes.)

The full details on GDC Europe’s Facebook Developer Day are as follows:

– First, Julien Codorniou, Facebook’s head of games partnerships in Europe, will host “Growing Social Games With Facebook: Lessons From European Partners,” during which he will showcase some of the most successful developers on the platform, noting what they’ve achieved and how they got there.

– In “Building Your Next Generation Social Game With Facebook,” product manager for games and apps Matt Wyndowe will share his vision for social games on Facebook and offer his advice for how developers can grow their games on both the web and mobile devices.

– Next up is a technical talk dubbed “Simple Steps To Build & Grow A Social Game On Facebook,” in which partner engineer for games Colin Creitz walks attendees through the best ways to set up Facebook’s Developer App, incorporate social channels, leverage achievements, and much more.

– During the lunch break, a number of developers will take a moment to share their experiences on Facebook, noting how they incorporated social features into their games, how they leveraged the specific features on the platform, and where they think social games are headed.

– After the break, engineer Ali Parr will discuss how developers can integrate Facebook into their native iOS or Android games in a lecture titled “How Mobile Games Can Plug Into Facebook For Massive Growth.”

– In “Driving Installs And Re-engagment With Open Graph,” Facebook’s Gareth Morris will showcase how Facebook’s Open Graph has helped increase traffic and user engagement for games such as SongPop (FreshPlanet) and Marvel Avenger’s Alliance (Playdom).

Continue reading