GDC 2014 adds Summit talks on open-world AI design, games writing

saintsrowiv1.jpgGame Developers Conference 2014 organizers have revealed a few new Summit talks for its March conference, including sessions explaining the challenges of open-world AI design from developers of games like Saints Row IV, a guide to teaching the fundamentals of writing for games, and a talk about making cross-platform mobile games from the co-founder of Kongregate.

These talks are part of the Independent Games, Smartphone & Tablet Games, and Game Narrative Summits 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.

As part of the AI Summit, Volition AI programmer Aaron Canary and Avalanche Studios’ senior game programmer Jeet Shroff will team up to talk best practices of open-world AI design in a talk entitled Free-Range AI: Creating Compelling Characters for Open World Games. The pair expect to draw heavily upon their experiences working on games like Saints Row IV and Far Cry 3 to help attendees better understand the technical challenges of implementing cutting-edge AI design in open worlds.

For the GDC Education Summit, Full Sail University course director Wendy Despain will draw on her years of experience in the game industry — as both a writer and designer — to provide a no-nonsense guide to teaching people how to write good stories for games, and how to design games to tell good stories. Despain’s talk is predicated on the theory that even entry-level game writing demands expert-level knowledge of both narrative and game design, and she intends to provide attendees with a list of the essential goals for quickly and effectively teaching the craft of game writing in her talk, Top Ten Things To Teach About Game Writing.

Finally, as part of the Free to Play Design & Business Summit, Kongregate co-founder and COO Emily Greer comes to GDC to give a talk about the art and business of launching mobile games across iOS, Android, and the web. Greer plans to share select data from Kongregate’s business across all three platforms in her talk, entitled Core Games, Real Numbers: Going Cross-Platform. As you might guess from the title, the pros and cons of taking your game from web to mobile — or vice versa — will be examined in terms of session counts, ARPUs, and player retention rates gleaned from Kongregate’s own games, as well as relevant case studies.

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. The deadline for discounted Early Bird passes, including a lower-priced Summits, Tutorials & Bootcamps Pass, is January 31. GDC 2014 itself will take place March 17-21 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

For more information on GDC 2014, visit the show’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.