This week, Game Developers Conference 2012 show organizers have announced new talks, including Activision on the innovative Skylanders, this year’s Game Design Challenge participants, and a Deus Ex: Human Revolution design postmortem, as well as a talk on IGF Grand Prize nominee Frozen Synapse.
All of these talks fall within the show’s Game Design track, one of the seven main tracks at the jam-packed Main Conference taking place Wednesday, March 7th to Friday, March 9th. Here, the industry’s top designers will share their techniques for getting the most out of modern technologies, defining new gameplay systems, refining in-game mechanics, and more.
Those interested in checking out all of the notable content within the Main Conference can do so by registering for an All Access or Main Conference pass on the official GDC website passes page.
The following are some of the newest lectures to be added to GDC 2012’s Main Conference:
– Activision’s Skylanders transmedia franchise has recently taken the toy and video game industries by storm, and senior design specialist Mike Stout will detail its development in “Reaching Into the Toy-Chest: A Look into Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure‘s Design.”
This talk will outline the highs and lows of Skylanders‘ creation (pictured), detailing how Activision developed a game with 32 playable characters, integrated the experience with a full line of toys, and reacted to the game’s overwhelming success.
– In addition, GDC’s classic Game Design Challenge will return to give developers a chance to showcase their best designs based on a given theme. Last year, participants were asked to create a game that was also a religion, a stand-out talk that was so fascinating that it became a Wired magazine article.
This time, they will be asked to design a game that has a measurably positive impact on its players — and can be played in 60 seconds or less. Last year’s champion, indie developer Jason Rohrer (Passage, Between), will take on two new challengers – Uncharted franchise lead game designer Richard Lemarchand and Sinistar and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis co-creator Noah Falstein. GDC attendees will vote to determine which one comes out on top.
– Elsewhere, Eidos Montreal game director Francois Lapikas will provide an intimate look at the production of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The talk, dubbed, “Reimagining a Classic: The Design Challenges of Deus Ex: Human Revolution,” will pick apart numerous details from throughout the game’s development, giving attendees the chance to learn about the high- and low-level decisions that affected the game’s branching design and myriad gameplay systems.
– Finally, Mode 7 Games’ Ian Hardingham will discuss the design and programming behind the popular indie strategy game and IGF 2012 finalist Frozen Synapse in a session titled “Relaxed Hardcore: Why Asynchronous is the Next Big Thing in Core Gaming.” Throughout his presentation, Hardingham will discuss the benefits and essential elements of asynchronous play, specifically noting how it can influence turn-based gameplay and help foster a more engaged online community.
GDC organizers also recently announced a handful of notable (and translated) Japanese-language talks, featuring postmortems on games such as Super Mario 3D Land and Resident Evil Revelations. For more information on these or any other sessions at GDC 2012, please check out the event’s official Schedule Builder, which shows the current, growing lineup for the show so far.
Also be sure to keep an eye on the official GDC news blog, which will showcase exciting new announcements for the show, in addition to this continuing series of posts pointing a spotlight at the show’s most exciting, informative, and usual content.
To keep up-to-date on all the latest news about GDC 2012, please subscribe to updates from the GDC news page via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. GDC 2012 will take place March 5 through March 9 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.