GDC Vault Adds Free Social Game Rant, Indie Startup, Daglow Sessions

skullsshogun.jpgThe GDC Vault service has released several new free videos from the Game Developers Conference 2011, this time featuring rants from the industry’s top social game developers, a panel on successful indie startups, and career lessons from industry vet Don Daglow.

These talks join recently-debuted free videos including GDC 2011’s Game Design Challenge, indie sessions on Osmos and Super Meat Boy, GDC 2011’s classic postmortem series, and a slew of other sessions from throughout the history of the Game Developers Conference.

The following video lectures are the newest highlights to be made available for free from GDC 2011:

– The first talk offered for free is the high-energy social game panel, “No Freaking Respect! Social Game Developers Rant Back.” This session, co-hosted by Eric Zimmerman and Jason Della Rocca, features a handful of the most outspoken and influential social game developers out there, with each focusing on a topic of their choosing.

The talk includes developers such as Cow Clicker‘s Ian Bogost, Loot Drop’s Brenda Brathwaite, and more as they cover pressing issues facing the occasionally stigmatized realm of social game development.

– The next session, dubbed “From AAA to Indie: Three Start-Up Stories,” showcases three recent success stories from developers who jumped from big-budget, AAA development into the indie space.

Jake Kazdal of Skull of the Shogun developer Haunted Temple, Spry Fox’s Daniel Cook (Triple Town), and AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! creator Ichiro Lambe all look back upon their careers in traditional development, and provide an inside look on how they transitioned into the indie space.

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GDC Vault Debuts 2011’s ‘Game Design Challenge’ Session Video

chainworld.jpgThis week, the GDC Vault has debuted a free video of GDC 2011’s Game Design Challenge, which saw the rise of the unorthodox multiplayer title Chain World.

This session, officially dubbed, “The Game Design Challenge 2011: Bigger than Jesus,” tasked developers with creating a game that also served a religion, and this premise spawned some very interesting results.

The August 2011 issue of Wired magazine recently ran an in-depth feature discussing the challenge, titled ‘Chain World Videogame Was Supposed to be a Religion – Not a Holy War.’ The article, which is also available online, offers a fascinating look at this standout session from GDC 2011, and provides a look at what happened afterward.

As author Jason Fagone explains in the introduction, independent game designer and IGF Nuovo award winner Jason Rohrer (Between, Passage) created an unusual game based on a USB memory stick and Mojang’s hit indie game Minecraft.

Fagone writes, “According to a set of rules defined by Rohrer, only one person on earth could play the game at a time. The player would modify the game’s environment as they moved through it. Then, after the player died in the game, they would pass the memory stick to the next person, who would play in the digital terrain altered by their predecessor — and on and on for years, decades, generations, epochs.

In Rohrer’s mind, his game would share many qualities with religion — a holy ark, a set of commandments, a sense of secrecy and mortality and mystical anticipation. This was the idea, anyway, before things started to get weird. Before Chain World, like religion itself, mutated out of control.”

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GDC Vault Debuts Free Indie Summit Talks On Osmos, Depression, Super Meat Boy

SMB.jpgThis week, the GDC Vault has released free lecture videos from multiple Independent Games Summits, featuring the making of Osmos, a talk on ‘turning depression into inspiration’, and a rambunctious Super Meat Boy postmortem.

These talks join the many other free talks available on the GDC Vault, which include recently-released talks from Valve Software, GDC 2011’s classic postmortem series, and a slew of other sessions from throughout the history of the Game Developers Conference.

The following free video lectures, newly available, are highlights from GDC’s Independent Game Summits from 2010 and 2011.

– Firstly, Hemisphere Games’ Andy Nealen and Eddy Boxerman host a 2010 Independent Games Summit talk dubbed, “Minimalist Game Design: Growing Osmos.” Reflecting on the development of the ambient, physics based IGF finalist puzzle game, the two explain the evolution of Osmos‘ core mechanics, and the how the team discovered the benefits of minimalist game design.

– In an acclaimed Independent Games Summit 2011 talk “Turning Depression into Inspiration,” game developer Michael Todd from Spyeart.com explains how developers can cope with the immense pressure of game development, and successfully “design and develop games while depressed.” Drawing from his own experience, Todd outlines a number of ways to manage stress and use depression as a source of creative inspiration.

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GDC Vault Adds Free Valve Biofeedback, Counter-Strike, Half-Life 2 Talks

valve.jpgThis week, the GDC Vault has debuted a special selection of free lectures from Portal and Half-Life creator Valve Software, with topics including the studio’s use of biofeedback, a look at Left 4 Dead‘s development, and the design philosophy behind Half-Life 2.

These talks join the recently released free videos on the GDC Vault, which include the GDC 2011’s classic postmortem series, as well as lectures and panels from speakers such as Playdom’s Raph Koster, GDC founder Chris Crawford, and more.

The following free lectures include video, audio and slide-based highlights from Valve Software’s sessions at a handful of different Game Developers Conferences, with talks dating from 2011 back to 2004.

The first lecture offered for free in video form is a GDC 2011 session from Valve veteran and experimental psychologist Mike Ambinder, titled, “Biofeedback in Gameplay: How Valve Measures Physiology to Enhance Gaming Experience.” This session examines how information regarding a player’s physiological states can help developers “explore new avenues of gameplay and to improve in-house playtesting processes.”

Using Valve’s own Portal 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and Alien Swarm as examples, Ambinder explains how the studio measured players’ skin conductance response, heart rate, and eye movements to design titles that effectively toy with player’s psychological limits.

Next, a newly free GDC 2009 talk video, “From Counter-Strike to Left 4 Dead: Creating Replayable Cooperative Experiences” features Turtle Rock founder and Valve designer Michael Booth on the high-level design of the studio’s cooperative zombie shooter.

Booth provides some background on the game, and explains “how it evolved from Counter-Strike, and the importance of procedural systems such as the AI Director in creating replayable and compelling cooperative experiences.”

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GDC Vault Reveals Most-Watched GDC 2011 Talks As Views Top 250,000

gdcvault.jpgAs views of GDC Vault’s video, audio and slides from GDC 2011 top 250,000, the site has detailed the most-viewed sessions from the March show, spanning Doom postmortems through Halo: Reach and beyond.

The specially constructed website archives multimedia from the numerous lectures, panels, and keynotes at the multiple Game Developers Conference shows yearly, and a number of each show’s most popular talks are now available for free.

The sessions available on the GDC Vault spanning the last 15+ years have attracted 155,000 unique viewers in the last year, and the content from Game Developers Conference 2011 alone has attracted more than 262,000 views since mid-March.

GDC 2011’s Classic Game Postmortem series has proven the most popular by far, with video of these seminal talks making up six of the show’s top 10 most-viewed sessions.

These lectures featured various industry legends reflecting on their most seminal classics, including John Romero and Tom Hall on Doom, Eric Chahi on Out of This World/Another World, Ron Gilbert on Maniac Mansion, and more.

Other popular talks included “I Shot You First: Networking the Gameplay of Halo: Reach,” featuring Bungie’s David Aldridge on the studio’s approach to online infrastructure, and “Life and Death and Middle Pair: Go, Poker and the Sublime,” a talk featuring Area/Code’s Frank Lantz on some of the oldest and most influential games in history.

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GDC Vault Debuts Free Playdom, AI Rant, Humble Bundle Sessions

The GDC Vault service
has debuted several free videos from the Game Developers Conference
2011, featuring Playdom’s Raph Koster on whether social games are truly
social, a rant on game AI, and a retrospective look at the forces behind
the successful Humble Indie Bundle.

These talks join recently-debuted free videos from GDC founder Chris Crawford, Bungie’s David Aldridge, and Maxis veteran Stone Librande, as well as the much-watched classic postmortem series as part of GDC 2011’s ‘free recordings’ section on GDC Vault.

The following free lectures include highlights from the conference’s
notable Summits, which covered topics such as social and online games,
AI, independent games, and more.

The first talk offered for free is a lecture from Playdom’s Raph Koster dubbed, “Social Mechanics for Social Games.” In this session, Koster picks apart the interpersonal interactions that take place within online social titles.

As he notes in his talk, “Many have accused social games of not
really being social. But they are underpinned by many classic social
mechanics that drive interaction and community-building. Some of these
have been proven to work in other genres such as MMOs and are beginning
to filter into the social games market; others are easily visible and
quite familiar in real life, but have yet to be seen in the design of
social games.”

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GDC Vault Adds Free Crawford, Halo: Reach, Maxis Lectures

The GDC Vault service has debuted free video talks from Game Developers Conference 2011, including Chris Crawford’s much-acclaimed ‘In Days Of Yore’ talk, plus a 2-hour Halo: Reach tech talk and Maxis’ Stone Librande on board games for his kids.

These talks add to recent free videos from Jane McGonigal, Monaco‘s Andy Schatz on winning the IGF, and Playdom’s Scott Jon Siegel, as well as the much-watched classic game postmortem series as part of GDC 2011’s ‘free recordings’ section.

The following lectures from GDC 2011’s acclaimed Main Conference — which were some of the highlights of this year’s February 28th-March 4th show in San Francisco — are being made free at this time:

The talk ‘In Days of Yore’ sees original CGDC founder and legendary game designer Chris Crawford (Balance Of Power) present a powerful talk on the earliest days of making games, “times of technological swashbuckling, shoestring budgets, amateur designers, amateurish products, and wild experimentation.”

As Crawford (pictured) notes for this special ‘GDC 25’ talk: “Just getting things to move around on the screen was a huge technical challenge. Nobody knew what the hell they were doing, but everybody knew that we were creating a new medium and a new industry… You’ll be amazed by the differences — and stunned by the similarities.”

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GDC Vault Adds Free ‘GDC 25’ Videos From McGonigal, Schatz, Siegel

The GDC Vault service has debuted free video talks from Game Developers Conference 2011’s Summits, including Jane McGonigal on “no stinkin’ badges”, Monaco‘s Andy Schatz on winning the IGF, and Playdom’s Scott Jon Siegel on making City Of Wonder.

These talks add to acclaimed lectures from Frank Lantz and Charlie Cleveland, as well as the much-watched classic game postmortem series as part of GDC 2011’s ‘free recordings’ section.

The following lectures from GDC 2011’s wide range of emerging market Summits — which were some of the highlights of this year’s February 28th-March 4th show in San Francisco — are being made free at this time:

In the first newly available GDC Vault video, Social Chocolate’s Jane McGonigal presents a Serious Games Summit keynote named ‘We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges: How to Re-invent Reality Without Gamification’.

The talk from the ARG designer and author of ‘Reality Is Broken’ suggests: “Plenty of game developers think gamification sounds cynical and opportunistic — a way to motivate gamers to do something they’ ordinarily avoid… What we need now is a more holistic and whole-hearted approach to using game design to transform reality.”

Another highly rated talk being made available for free in video form on GDC Vault is ‘How to Win the IGF in 15 Weeks or Less’, Andy Schatz’s heartfelt explanation of how he entered heist game Monaco into the 2010 Independent Games Festival after just 6 weeks of one-person work — and unexpectedly came out with the Grand Prize.

Using his Facebook status updates and explaining his state of mind, longtime indie Schatz explains “how design-by-brownian-motion can not only lead to a better finished product, but a faster schedule as well,” with a spontaneous playtest of his acclaimed title jammed into the end of his Independent Games Summit lecture.

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GDC Vault Adds Free ‘GDC 25’ Video Lectures From Lantz, Cleveland

The GDC Vault service has debuted more free video talks from the 25th Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, including Frank Lantz evocatively exploring poker and Go, and Natural Selection‘s Charlie Cleveland on ‘The 1-Hour Video Game MBA’.

Adding to the classic game postmortem series and sponsored video lectures available in GDC 2011’s ‘free recordings’ section, the two new lectures are part of regular free video updates from all GDC shows this year.

Firstly, in an acclaimed talk from Area/Code co-founder Frank Lantz (pictured), ‘Life and Death and Middle Pair: Go, Poker and the Sublime’, now available for free on GDC Vault, the veteran game designer and educator presents why “Go and Poker are epic, world-changing games, they have spanned generations, and absorbed entire lifetimes of passionate study and play.”

As Lantz’s description for his inspirational lecture explains: “This talk will seek to understand how a handful of black and white stones and a deck of cards can demonstrate the immense scope and sublime power of games.”

Secondly, Unknown Worlds Entertainment founder Charlie Cleveland (Natural Selection 2) presented ‘The One-Hour Video Game MBA’ at GDC 25, another well-received lecture described as a swift, focused business lesson for game creators.

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GDC Vault Debuts ‘Classic Postmortem’ Videos, GDC 2011 Lectures

The GDC Vault service has debuted both free and subscriber-only video, audio and slides from the 25th Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, including free Doom, Populous and Out Of This/Another World postmortem videos.

Following the conclusion of the record 19,000-person game creation conference, the classic game postmortem series is now available in GDC 2011’s ‘free recordings’ section, alongside free sponsored video lectures and slides.

Some of the many highlights of the hour-long set of 11 postmortem lectures by seminal game industry figures include Eric Chahi’s standing-ovation talk on the making of Out Of This World/Another World, as well as John Romero and Tom Hall on the creation of id Software’s Doom and Will Wright discussing the crafting of Raid On Bungeling Bay, whose editor inspired his work on SimCity.

With Ron Gilbert talking Maniac Mansion, Peter Molyneux examining the making of Populous, and Toru Iwatani on the creation of Pac-Man (pictured) – with English and Japanese audio versions – the postmortems are rounded out by other free videos on the making of Elite, Marble Madness, Bejeweled, Pitfall! and Prince Of Persia by their renowned creators.

Also now available is free video of Satoru Iwata’s GDC 2011 keynote, named ‘Video Games Turn 25: A Historical Perspective and Vision For The Future’, as well as nearly 30 specially video-recorded sponsor videos from major companies like Google, PayPal, Intel, Nvidia, Digital River and more.

These free video talks, which include high-quality panels about monetization, rendering, 3D stereoscopy and other subjects, are all freely available after filling in a brief registration form. GDC organizers have also made available over 150 slides from GDC 2011 presenters, including many of the biggest talks.

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