Koji Igarashi, Taro Yoko and more to speak at GDC 2014

iga1.jpgPasses for the Game Developers Conference 2014 are going fast, and today we’re announcing even more sessions for the Main Conference that you’ll want to check out.
Today we’re showcasing more of our excellent Design track talks, part of a set of over 50 in-depth lectures, including Castlevania designer Koji Igarashi speaking about the history and design of Metroidvania games, Taro Yoko talking about making weird games for weird people, and more.

Now in its 28th year, GDC is the world’s largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry event, and will once again take place at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California during March 17-21, 2014.
Koji Igarashi’s tales of Metroidvania
We’re excited to confirm that veteran game designer Koji Igarashi will be speaking at GDC 2014 about what he’s learned about making Metroidvania games during more than 15 years in the industry. His talk, playfully titled There and Back Again: Koji Igarashi’s Metroidvania Tale, will examine the evolution of the Metroidvania genre through the lens of Igarashi’s own experience working on some of its most iconic games. Igarashi’s talk will span the gamut, from the genre’s beginnings with 8-bit classics like Metroid, through its rebirth via Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and the many games that have since been released in the series, right up to the current generation of console hardware. During his talk, Igarashi hopes to share some of his own personal experiences and his game design methodology.
Making weird games for weird people
The enigmatic Taro Yoko, director of games like Nier and the Drakengard series, is coming to GDC 2014 to give a talk about the process he uses to create worlds and stories that get noticed and foster dedicated fans. You can’t miss his talk; it’s titled Making Weird Games for Weird People, and it seems like an interesting way to spend an hour no matter what part of the industry you work in. Yoko plans to explain his personal development methods, such as backwards scriptwriting (where the ending defines the entire setting), and what he calls “photo thinking” — thinking photographically to maintain a cohesive setting, using examples from his work on the afore-mentioned Drakengard games, Nier, and other titles to elucidate his unique approach to design.
Come rain or shine: a rain postmortem
Yuki Ikeda and Ken Suzuta, the director and the producer (respectively) of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan’s puzzle game rain, will share their experiences designing the game during the Japanese language GDC 2014 talk Come Rain or Shine: rain Postmortem. During the session they intend to run through every aspect of rain‘s production, from the initial planning phases, the selection of the Unity engine and the art production style, to the issues they faced with narrative and game design and the results of their promotional activities. The pair plan to focus more on the design and artistic aspects of the game’s development, rather than the more technical programming aspects, so designers and artists will probably get the most from this talk.
More essential GDC details
Earlier GDC 2014 announcements include the announcement that this year’s ‘Best in Play’ winners have been chosen from the lineup of GDC Play 2014 exhibitors, the news that Xbox’s Marc Whitten will be interviewed by Gamasutra Editor-In-Chief Kris Graft during a fireside chat session, and the Indie MEGABOOTH Showcase revealing the lineup of indie games its making available to play on the show floor. Developers on Thief, Super TIME Force, and Hearthstone will also be giving talks.
All of the announced talks are now available in the online GDC 2014 Session Scheduler, where you can begin to build your conference week and later export it to the up-to-the-minute GDC Mobile App, coming soon.
GDC 2014 itself will take place March 17-21, 2014 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. You can register for the event by visiting the info page on the official GDC 2014 website.
For more information on GDC 2014, visit the show’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.
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