Game Developers Conference 2014 organizers are highlighting a few more noteworthy Summit sessions for the upcoming March conference that will help you better understand your players, satisfy their needs and reap the benefits.
These talks are part of the Game Narrative Summit, the Free To Play Design & Business Summit, and the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, just three of the eight that will take place Monday, March 17 and Tuesday, March 18 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA during the first two days of GDC 2014.
Crytek's Fasih Sayin is coming to GDC 2014 to deliver a talk -- User Responses to Narrative-Driven Games -- about how the decision patterns of players tend to change based on their preference for game genres. The session will focus on methods of predicting how players are likely to behave upon being confronted by a choice in an interactive narrative. Sayin is basing the talk on an analysis of the data obtained by recording each and every decision made by over 150 players who played narrative focused games like Mass Effect, The Witcher, Heavy Rain, The Walking Dead and many others over the course of four years. Using this research, Sayin hopes to better explain how and why players decide the way they do, how players clearly fall into three main archetypes and how we, as narrative designers can integrate decision into interactive narrative and game design, instead of thinking of choice as a disruptive force.
Also, Ninja Metrics CEO Dmitri Williams will be giving an interesting GDC 2014 talk about the best practices for acquiring, satisfying and retaining players who like to spend money in-game -- and thereby influence other players to spend more as well. Williams' talk, titled simply Social Whales: Understanding and Leveraging a New Kind of Player, will seek to explain how attendees can optimize their user acquisition, monetization and retention strategies when hunting these "social whales", which Williams believes can meaningfully change the monetization patterns of other players. Williams will also describe his concept of "social whales" and the mechanics of how he surveyed players to come up with his data.
Finally, check out The Rituals of Mobile Gaming: Understanding the True Building Blocks of Customer Value if you're interested in attending a GDC 2014 session that breaks down what makes players in the four biggest segments of the mobile and tablet marketplace tick. Presented by Immersyve's Scott Rigby and Troy Skinner, this talk explores should think not just about how to create a great game, but how that game will meet players' expectations for how a mobile game will work across the lifespan of their day, in order to provide maximum value. This session will also review objective data on these daily patterns of use, and how mobile games can win by maximizing their ability to always meet players exactly where they are.
For more information on these or others in the show's growing lineup, check out GDC 2014's official Schedule Builder, which continues to add new talks every week. GDC 2014 itself will take place March 17-21 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
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