Organizers of Game Developers Conference 2013 are adding talks involving industry-leading IP for its March 2013 conference - including the design of the Promethean enemy for the Xbox 360 exclusive Halo 4, Kixeye on its rise to social game prominence, and IO Interactive's novel approach to animation used in Square Enix's multiplatform Hitman: Absolution.
Specifically, in 'The Design of New Enemies for Halo 4', 343 Industries' lead game designer Scott Warner will dissect the development of the new Promethean enemies. The studio had just taken over the legendary shooter franchise, and 343 knew every detail of its Prometheans would receive heavy scrutiny from Halo's dedicated fans.
Warner will present insights into "design philosophies, creative inspirations, gameplay prototyping, logic around iterative decision making for final characters, and key challenges faced along the way" of creating these alien antagonists.
Kixeye CEO Will Harbin, developer of Facebook titles War Commander and Backyard Monsters, will argue 'Death to Downloads' and will, instead, champion browser-based games for immersive experiences. Harbin's talk will include lessons on achieving long-term player retention and engagement. Kixeye's evolution, successes, and failures will exemplify these lessons, while Harbin reveals the secrets of highly monetizing free-to-play browser games.
Finally, in a programming intensive lecture, Square Enix-owned IO Interactive's technical producer Michael Buttner will discuss 'Reinforcement Learning Based Character Locomotion in Hitman: Absolution.'
Animation and gameplay programmers and in-game animators will learn a new approach for character locomotion systems used to create the crowd characters in Hitman: Absolution. Developers will see "how to arrange and select motion fragments to create a stream of motions that will achieve the desired goals that were set out by passed in high-level inputs."
In addition, GDC organizers are reminding potential sponsors on the return of the sponsor-only Monetization Track. The three-day sponsored track will include leading companies discussing monetizing smartphone, free-to-play web games, kid-friendly online titles and large-scale MMOs, open to all GDC attendees, and information on how to sponsor the track is available now.
For more information on these or others in the show's growing lineup, check out GDC 2013's official Schedule Builder, which has added tens of talks over the previous few days.
More talks will debut in the near future, and all of the above sessions will take place as part of GDC 2013's Main Conference, which is open to All Access and Main Conference pass holders (a special Audio-specific pass is also available). Discounted Early Bird registration is now open on the show's official website, and GDC 2013 itself will take place March 25-29 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.