GDC Europe’s Indie Games Summit adds Trauma, Proteus design talks

proteus.jpgWith GDC Europe almost upon us, the show’s Independent Games Summit has added three new talks, covering experimental titles like Trauma and Proteus, as well as what developers should do after they’ve launched their game.

The Independent Games Summit takes place Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany during the Gamescom trade show, and is accessible via a special reduced-price Indie Games Summit Pass, as well as by all other regular pass types.

The full details on the Summit’s new sessions are as follows:

– First, independent Polish/German developer Krystian Majewski will detail the creation of his atmospheric point and click adventure game, Trauma.

The game has been nominated by numerous competitions, including the Independent Games Festival, and in his session, “Trauma Making of: From University to Indie,” Majewski will discuss the game’s entire history, beginning with its inception as a final thesis project for his university and leading up to its final commercial debut.

– Elsewhere, attendees will get a behind the scenes look at the minimalistic, exploration-focused title Proteus (pictured) – a game that values abstraction and aesthetics over more traditional game design tropes. During this session, “Abstraction and Experience: Observations on Proteus,” UK indie Ed Key will explain how he and his partner, David Kanaga, referenced their personal experiences to craft this unusual game.

– Finally, Rob Davis, the founder of the London-based game studio Playniac, will host “Beat the Post-Launch Blues: Your Game is Out, What Now?” During this session, he’ll discuss the things developers need to keep in mind once their game is out in the wild. The talk will cover everything from promotion, content updates, business partnerships, and more – everything an indie dev needs to consider to make sure their game survives after its launch.

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GDC Europe reminds on highlights, final 24 hours for early pricing

journey.jpgThis year’s GDC Europe is almost here, and if you’re looking to attend, organizers are reminding there’s just one day left to secure discounted passes for the August show.

Those who register online before the July 18th deadline will save up to 200 Euros on individual show passes. Since those lower prices are about to expire, now’s a great time to sign up for what promises to be the biggest and most exciting GDC Europe yet.

As always, the show is bringing together some of the biggest names in the European and international game industries to discuss major practical takeaways for today’s video game market, with presentations ranging from in-depth lectures, panels, case studies, postmortems, and more.

GDC Europe will take place Monday through Wednesday, August 13-15, 2012 at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany, just before the popular Gamescom trade show. In fact, a Gamescom ticket is included alongside all regular GDC content passes.

Here are just a few of the major talks to be featured at this year’s GDC Europe:

– Robin Hunicke, formerly of thatgamecompany (and now of Tiny Speck) will host an in-depth postmortem on the critically acclaimed PSN-exclusive Journey. She’ll pull back the curtain on the game’s three-year development cycle, examining how the game lived up to its original vision and what the team learned along the way.

– Elsewhere, attendees will get an inside look at the creation of the Nintendo 64 classic, GoldenEye 007. During this postmortem, former Rare director Martin Hollis (now of independent studio Zoonami) will showcase how this licensed movie title evolved from an on-rails shooter into the 8-million unit selling title that popularized the console-based first person shooter.

– Wargaming.net’s World of Tanks has grown into one of the industry’s most popular online games, and at GDC Europe, Wargaming.net CEO Victor Kislyi will outline the game’s explosive growth, and argue why the free to play model could spell the end of the boxed retail game.

– In addition, concept artist Tobias Mannewitz will discuss what video game artists can learn from HBO’s hit fantasy show, Game of Thrones. Mannewitz worked on Season 2 of the George R.R. Martin-inspired epic, and at GDC Europe he’ll share what he learned to help artists improve both their pipelines and the quality of their work.

– For years, DICE’s Battlefield series has stood out as one of the leading franchises in the first person shooter space, and at next month’s show, DICE general manager Karl Magnus will reflect on the last 10 years of the successful series, noting how it changed, and how the studio has sustained the franchise’s success.

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GDC Europe debuts ’10 years of Battlefield‘ talk, Unreal Engine 4 demo, more

bf3.jpgWith just two days to go until early registration ends for GDC Europe 2012, show organizers have debuted brand new talks including a major retrospective on Battlefield developer DICE, a panel on financing games, as well as presentations on both Unreal Engine 4 and CryEngine 3.

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. Be sure to register soon, as those who do so before July 18 will save up to 200 Euros on their show pass.

The full details on GDC Europe’s new sessions are as follows:

– In the show’s Production track session, “Passion For Entertainment: 10 years of Battlefield/20 years of DICE,” DICE general manager Karl Magnus will chart the trends and changes that helped shape this long-running and successful big-budget studio.

Along the way, Magnus will explore how DICE supported and altered its popular Battlefield franchise as it transitioned from working as a traditional boxed product developer to one that supports persistent online services around the clock. In addition, he’ll share some key design insights behind the studio’s biggest games, giving attendees a chance to learn what’s made DICE’s games so successful.

– Over in the Business & Marketing track, a notable panel of independent European game developers and financiers will help answer one of the biggest questions in modern game development: How do you get your game financed?

In this panel, “Financing Options for Smaller Games,” speakers including Nicholas Lovell (GAMESbrief), Jonathan Newth (Tenshi Ventures), Patrick O’Luanaigh (nDreams), and Ciaran O’Leary (Earlybird) will share their thoughts on how developers should raise money from investors, the benefits and pitfalls of crowdfunding, and much, much more.

– In a number of recently added GDC Europe sponsored sessions, major companies including Intel, Crytek and Epic will discuss their business in talks open to all attendees. In particular, Epic Games will host a real-time demo of the upcoming Unreal Engine 4. Here, the studio will provide one of the first public showings of the engine’s “Elemental” demonstration. In addition, Crytek will showcase a brand new, small-scale project created with CryEngine3’s free SDK, and a look at the tools used in the the upcoming free to play shooter, Warface.

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GDC Europe adds World of Tanks session, Diamond Dash postmortem, and more

wot.jpgIn the latest update for GDC Europe, event organizers have revealed an all-new session covering the evolution of World of Tanks developer Wargaming.net, as well as mobile game talks covering Wooga’s Diamond Dash and tips for cross-platform development.

Like the rest of the sessions at GDC Europe, these talks will take place Monday through Wednesday, August 13-15, 2012 at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany.

The full details on these new sessions are as follows:

– Over in the Business & Management track, Wargaming.net CEO Victor Kislyi will discuss how the free to play model was essential to the success of the studio’s hit game World of Tanks, and why that model could spell the end of the boxed retail game.

The talk, “World of Free-to-Play – Triple A by Wargaming.net,” will examine the company’s growth since it embraced the free to play model, and Kislyi will argue why it works, how it should be implemented, and why it’s a better fit for today’s players than any other business strategy out there.

– As part of GDC Europe’s Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, Wooga lead product manager Christopher Parschat will look back on how the social giant moved one of its most popular games to mobile in “Postmortem: Bringing Diamond Dash to iOS.”

Diamond Dash was the first Wooga game to make it from Facebook to iOS, and in this session Parschat will outline how the company created a new version of the game that offered synced cross-platform play with the original version on social networks. Along the way, he’ll share some important lessons learned to help any developer looking to adapt a Facebook title to iOS.

– Also in the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, Darya Trushkina, the VP of business development for the Russian game studio Game Insight, will present a number of case studies to help developers create mobile games that span both iOS and Android platforms.

His talk, “Cross-Platform Mobile Game Development: What, Why, and How Much?,” will examine cross-platform Game Insight titles like Mystery Manor and Paradise Island to explain what works when creating a multiplatform game, and perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t.

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GDC Europe’s Indie Games Summit adds Fotonica, Eufloria HD design discussions

eufloria HD.jpgIn the latest update to the GDC Europe Independent Games Summit, organizers have added three new talks, including discussions on game design from Fotonica developer Santa Ragione and level design from Eufloria HD developer Omni System, with postmortems on the 100-player Renga and the 250 square-meter LED screen displayed Rocket Bullet Storm.

The Independent Games Summit takes place Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany during the gamescom event, and is accessible via a special reduced-price Indie Games Summit Pass, as well as by all other regular pass types.

The full details on these new sessions are as follows:

– In ‘Games Happen: Design Lessons from MirrorMoon and Fotonica, Santa Ragione’s Pietro Righi Riva will provide insight into creating his team’s experimental games, sharing the design concepts and philosophies he discovered making titles that focused on the player’s freedom to enact and interpret them.

– Rudolf Kremers of Omni Systems will explore how to do more with less in creating game worlds much like Eufloria HD‘s own, implementing techniques such as procedural content generation and modular design. Kremers will also discuss how to employ user generated content in his ‘Adventures in Negative Space’ lecture.

– Finally, the postmortems of wallFour’s Renga and Nemesys Games’ Rocket Bullet Storm will highlight creating unorthodox games which involve social gaming at live events. Renga asked 100 players to interact cooperatively, and Rocket Bullet Storm had its debut projected onto 250 square meters of LED screen. This session will be especially for developers who want to bring in new gamers to play in unorthodox spaces.

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GDC Europe adds Witcher 2, Love postmortems, and more

witcher.jpgThe lineup for GDC Europe 2012 continues to grow this week, as show organizers have released three new talks featuring a look at the production of CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 2, a programming-heavy postmortem on the online indie game Love, and a look at Cryptic’s approach to user-generated content in MMOs.

Like the rest of the sessions at GDC Europe, these talks will take place Monday through Wednesday, August 13-15, 2012 at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany.

The full details on these new sessions are as follows:

– As part of the Game Design track, CD Projekt RED developers Maciej Szczesnik and Marek Ziemak will host “The Witcher 2: Between Dreams and Deadlines: AAA RPG Design and Pre-Production,” offering a behind-the-scenes look at the Polish developer’s recent RPG hit.

During this session, the pair will look back on The Witcher 2‘s production cycle to explain how CD Projekt RED crafts its complex hardcore titles from pre-production to full-scale development and beyond. Along the way, they’ll share some of the studio’s missteps, and explain how those hard lessons have informed the team’s approach to production going forward.

– Over in the programming track, independent developer Eskil Steenberg will peel back the curtain on the tech behind his 2010 release Love, an unusual online game that combines procedurally-generated elements with the structure of an MMO.

The session, “Love Engine Postmortem: Lean and Mean C Engine Design,” will detail how Steenberg single-handedly wrote the game’s engine, noting the unconventional techniques he used to create a complex game with some surprisingly simple code.

– Finally, Cryptic Studios COO Craig Zinkievich will host a talk in the Social Games Summit dubbed “User-Generated Content In MMOs – From Champions Online To Neverwinter.”

Here, Zinkievich will showcase Cryptic’s user generated content tools known as “The Foundry,” and will share insight on how the studio aims to extend an MMO’s lifespan by letting the users influence how the game evolves. Of course, allowing players to create their own content can really affect a game’s balance and overall appeal, so Zinkievich will make sure to outline the various factors developers need to consider to ensure such a model succeeds.

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GDC Europe adds Journey postmortem, major publisher panel

journey.jpgIn the latest update for GDC Europe 2012, show organizers have unveiled three new talks, including a postmortem on thatgamecompany’s Journey, a panel on how publishers need to react to the latest industry trends, and a look at SOE’s approach to social media.

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.

The full details on these new sessions are as follows:

– As part of the Game Design track, former thatgamecompany producer Robin Hunicke (now of Tiny Speck), will look back at one of the most highly-regarded downloadable titles of this generation in “The Long Journey.”

During this postmortem, Hunicke will outline how the PSN-exclusive Journey embraced the unknown to create meaningful social gameplay without relying on traditional video game tropes. The game took three full years to make — double thatgamecompany’s original goal — and Hunicke will reflect on its production to determine whether the title lived up to its initial vision, while sharing some key lessons learned along the way.

– Over in the Business & Marketing track, a handful of major publishing executives will discuss their thoughts on the biggest trends facing game development in, “Ask the Publishers – Adapting and Succeeding in a Changing Games Industry.”

In this panel, speakers from major companies including Microsoft, Konami and Capcom – moderated by Remedy (Alan Wake) head Matias Myllyrinne – will discuss the latest digital distribution models, new funding options like Kickstarter, and much more. The panelists will examine all of these trends, offering their take on how they will impact the industry and what developers and publishers need to so to survive in the years ahead.

– Also in the Business & Marketing track, Sony Online Entertainment’s Linda Carlson will host “Surviving Social Media – Experimentation Leads to Innovation,” detailing how companies can improve their online community outreach and better take advantage of the latest online developments.

Carlson will share SOE’s own social media efforts, noting that the best way to find success with these initiatives is to experiment, abandon unsuccessful tactics, and constantly seek out new ideas. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how to leverage online media, regardless of their studio’s size, structure, or ambition.

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GDC Europe adds Game of Thrones art, Ernest Adams, Bigpoint talks

tyrion.jpgIn the latest update for GDC Europe 2012, show organizers have revealed three new sessions, which cover the ways in which Game of Thrones can inspire concept artists, how developers can visualize and create new game mechanics, and how studios should react to the saturation of the free to play market.

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.

The full details on these new sessions are as follows:

– As part of the Visual Arts track, concept artist Tobias Mannewitz (who’s worked on games including Anno 1404, Gothic 4, and Killzone 3) will demonstrate what game artists can learn from television in “Concept Art Learnings From Game Of Thrones To… Games!

In addition to working in the game industry, Mannewitz has also contributed concept art to Season 2 of the hit HBO television series Game of Thrones (pictured), and in this session, he will discuss how artists can learn from the show and use several filmmaking techniques to improve their pipelines and artistic output.

– Over in the Game Design track, veteran game designer and teacher Ernest Adams and gameplay engineer Joris Dormans (who holds a PhD in game design) will introduce a new and invaluable tool for creating gameplay mechanics in “Machinations: A New Way to Design Game Mechanics.”

During this session, the pair will showcase how the free Machinations software will help developers visualize and diagram their ideas for new gameplay systems. Attendees will also get a chance to try the software for themselves, giving them hands-on experience in using the new game design tool.

– Finally, Bigpoint founder Heiko Hubertz will present the Business & Marketing track lecture, “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us – Trend Compendium for the F2P Online Games Industry,” offering an in-depth look at the maturation and saturation of the free to play market.

Over the past few years, the free to play space has only grown more competitive — companies are beginning to fight over larger and larger segments of the market, and users are beginning to expect more from the games that use the free to play model. In this session, Hubertz will outline these key trends, and will offer his advice on what developers need to do to survive as the market evolves.

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GDC Europe adds GoldenEye N64 ‘classic postmortem’, Ngmoco, Ubisoft Blue Byte talks

goldeneye.jpgGDC Europe 2012‘s session lineup continues to grow this week, as show organizers have debuted new sessions including a ‘classic postmortem’ on seminal N64 title GoldenEye 007, as well as talks on working with a distributed team and how music can influence user experience design.

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.

The full details on these new sessions are as follows:

– Over in the Game Design track, former Rare game director Martin Hollis (now of independent studio Zoonami) will debut the first ever GDC Europe ‘classic postmortem’, chronicling the development of seminal Nintendo 64 title Goldeneye 007.

Hollis led the creation of this hit movie tie-in game, and during this session he will detail how the game came to be, detailing its roots as a Virtua Cop-influenced on-rails project all the way to its eventual release in 1997. It’ll be a rare chance to get an inside look at the much-loved 8-million unit selling title that paved the way for the future of console based first person shooters.

– Over in the Production track, Ngmoco senior development director Senta Jakobsen will host “Changing How Games Are Made – Building and Working in a Distributed Team.”

Here, former Crytek director and DICE COO Jakobsen will explain the ins and outs of working with a team that’s spread all over the world, discussing everything from hiring processes, tools, overall guidelines, and more. In addition, she’ll share a number of common mistakes so other studios know what to avoid.

– Finally, Simon Davis of Ubisoft Blue Byte (Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online) will discuss how to refine overall user experience in the Game Design track lecture, “The Wonderful World of UX: How We Can Make Games That Resonate Better and Learn From Approaches to Music.”

By using musical genres such as Jazz and Blues as an overall template, Davis will outline what user experience design is, and how developers can use it to create better games. In addition, he’ll analyze a number of different approaches to applying user experience design, and the results they generate when applied to games.

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GDC Europe 2012 adds Google, Spec Ops, Daglow talks

daglow.jpgGDC Europe 2012 is inching ever closer, and this week show organizers have unveiled three new talks in its growing lineup, featuring Google on the evolving economics of the industry, industry veteran Don Daglow on reaching North American audiences, and a look at Spec Ops: The Line‘s visual effects.

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.

The full details on these new sessions are as follows:

– First, Google’s Koh Kim will present the Business & Marketing track lecture, “The New Economics of Games,” examining the industry paradigm shifts that brought us the indie renaissance, free-to-play games, virtual transactions, and more.

Kim, who works on games partnerships for Chrome and Google+ at the company, will pick apart all of these major trends in order to uncover the economic principles guiding the industry and what developers can do to take advantage of the latest business models. Attendees will not only walk away with a better understanding of the market at large, they’ll also be better prepared to sustain their games in today’s economic climate.

– In the Game Design track lecture, “5 Things About American Online Gamers that Surprise European Developers,” seasoned developer Don Daglow will explain why European online game developers need to prepare for some unique challenges when creating a title for players across the Atlantic.

Daglow helped create the original Neverwinter Nights (the AOL graphic MMO), and has been working on online games for more than 25 years, and in this session he’ll detail some of the counter-intuitive behavior patterns he’s observed in North American game players. With this knowledge in mind, European studios will be more prepared than ever to make a game that can succeed overseas.

– Over in the Visual Arts track, Florian Zender of German studio Yager Entertainment will share some useful visual effects tips in “Bringing Home the Bacon – Developing the VFX of Spec Ops: The Line as Thin Slices.”

Using examples from Yager’s upcoming third-person shooter, Zender will detail the studio’s “quick and highly iterative approach” to visual effects production, offering advice on how to “cope with a quickly growing team, buffer various schedule changes and keep morale high when finalizing the project.”

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