Director’s Cut: A Few of Our Favorite Things

Good morning! In the spirit of the holidays, we’re debuting a handful of sessions today focused on some of our favorite games.
Ken Rolston and Mark Nelson worked on ELDER SCROLLS IV: OBLIVION together, and are giving a talk on Collaborative Writing and Vast Narratives: Principles, Processes, and Genteel Truculence. Writing frequently has a black box aura to it, and being able to apply a reliable process to something as purely creative as writing is a model that should be relevant to any discipline in game development. Plus, if you’ve ever met Ken and Mark, you know you’re in for an incredibly mind-altering time!


Rob Pardo, Vice President of Game Design for Blizzard and a member of our advisory board, has kindly agreed to present a talk on tuning for player to player experiences, in a session titled Rules of Engagement: Blizzard’s Approach to Multiplayer Game Design. Chris Hecker makes the strong point that AI is the ultimate technical challenge in creating athentic experiences in games, but then the ultimate AI is that which isn’t artificial at all, but consists of real people in real time. Rob has had the opportunity to iterate on best practices for online multiplayer over several successful titles such as WORLD OF WARCRAFT, and will present some of the lessons learned and applied forward.
Finally, in what is shaping up to be one of the most coveted games of 2008, we have a revealing session by Haden Blackman, Executive Producer for LucasArts, titled STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED: How LucasArts is Building a Game, a Development Team and a Technology Pipeline… At the Same Time. This session has been a long time coming, in that the converged pipeline story has been presented in many ways but rarely with proof behind it. Finally, we will learn what worked and what required a Force push to combine Industrial Light and Magic, LucasArts, Euphoria, and a Star Destroyer, across both the Xbox 360 and the PS3.
Since next Tuesday is Christmas Day and the following Tuesday is New Year’s Day (why did I pick Tuesdays?), I’ll post again this Thursday, with a very special holiday treat, and again on Wednesday January 2. In the meantime, please check out the Game Developers Choice Awards and register your nominations, your colleagues rely on your professional opinion to win!
Cheers,
Jamil Moledina
Executive Director
Game Developers Conference