Passes for the Game Developers Conference 2014 are going fast, and today we're announcing even more sessions for the Main Conference that you'll want to check out.
Session highlights today include a neat talk from CCP on how to design, redesign and perfect an automated player policing system for massively multiplayer games, a presentation from Naughty Dog about how the skies in The Last Of Us were created, and more.
Now in its 28th year, GDC is the world's largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry event, and will once again take place at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California during March 17-21, 2014.
Building Crimewatch 2.0
EVE Online senior designer Matt Woodward takes the stage at GDC this year to explain how "Crimewatch," the player policing and aggression management system built for EVE, failed so spectacularly that an unofficial ban was placed on further development until Woodward redesigned it from the ground up. During his talk, titled Crimewatch 2.0: Redesigning EVE Online's Policing System, Woodward plans to explain why the system was developed, how it was fundamentally flawed when it first launched as part of EVE's Retribution expansion, and how it was redesigned to better keep the peace in EVE. While Woodward expects the talk will be most informative for MMO developers, all attendees should walk out with a better understanding of how CCP successfully overhauled a complex, persistent game system based on player feedback.
Painting the skies of The Last Of Us
Naughty Dog FX artist Keith Guerrette knows a bit about building beautiful skies, and he's coming to GDC 2014 to share a few tips and tricks of the trade learned while working as an artist on The Last Of Us. Guerrette plans to discuss how and why artists should strive to design beautiful, dramatic skies that are more than just a backdrop in his talk Moving the Heavens: An Artistic and Technical Look At The Skies of The Last Of Us. Gurrette also intends to share practical tips on using things like vector fields and simple math to quickly add the appearance of realistic wind and motion to heavenly bodies like clouds and contrails without impacting the flow of your rendering pipeline. As you might guess, attendees with some experience working with rendering engines will get the most out of this talk.
Building a better user research pipeline
User research is a tricky thing to manage during development, but Ubisoft's Ian Livingston believes that getting your game out in front of its intended audience can have a positive impact on the finished product. In a talk titled Where are the Sharks? User Research in the Far Cry Production Pipeline, Livingston -- who serves as the User Research Project Manager at Ubisoft -- will share lessons learned from how user research was conducted during the development of Far Cry 3, and how these lessons can be applied to any project. According to Livingston, if you've ever wondered how to "test early and test often with users" while limiting impact on your development, this talk is for you.
More essential GDC details
Earlier GDC 2014 announcements include a presentation on how hardcore mechanics can improve casual games, a guide on telling stories through multiplayer combat from Riot Games, and a postmortem from the CEO of BetaDwarf detailing the development process of Forced. Developers on Ryse, Guacamelee, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf will also be giving talks.
All of the announced talks are now available in the online GDC 2014 Session Scheduler, where you can begin to build your conference week and later export it to the up-to-the-minute GDC Mobile App, coming soon.
GDC 2014 itself will take place March 17-21, 2014 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. You can register for the event by visiting the info page on the official GDC 2014 website. Early Bird pricing, with discounts up to 30 percent, will remain in effect until January 31st. Some passes have limited amounts, and with the Independent Games Summit pass already sold out, interested parties should register now.
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