At GDC 2018, see how a diverse writers’ room created the Life Is Strange prequel

As the 2018 Game Developers Conference draws closer, organizers want to take a moment to let you know about a really interesting session taking place at the March event that’s all about the writing process of Deck Nine’s emotional narrative adventure Life Is Strange: Before the Storm.

As part of the GDC 2018 Game Narrative Summit, Deck Nine Games narrative director Zak Garriss will be delivering a talk on “Productive Dissension: How a Diverse Writers’ Room Created ‘Life is Strange: Before the Storm.”

Check it out, because Garriss aims to explain how the team adapted a TV writers’ room for the production of a 1500+ page interactive script. His talk covers the strengths and challenges of writers working together: greater diversity of representation and perspective, more eyes criticizing the work, faster iteration and production, higher quality of story, but all potentially at the risk of coherency of voice and vision becoming compromised.

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GDC and Unity debut the Unity Student Scholarship for GDC 2018!

The Game Developers Conference has partnered with Unity Technologies to launch the Unity Student Scholarship, which will give 50 students with outstanding Unity projects All Access passes to GDC 2018.

The scholarship is now open, there is no application cost and students can enter here! The deadline to submit is December 31, 2017.

“Unity is thrilled to be able to offer students who are doing outstanding work in Unity the opportunity to attend the premier professional conference for the games industry,” said Jessica Lindl, Global Head of Education at Unity Technologies. “Democratizing development and enabling success are two of Unity’s driving forces and we’re happy to be able to channel these values to students through the Unity Student Scholarship.”

The Unity Student Scholarship was created to provide learning and networking opportunities for up and coming developers. Those selected for the scholarship will receive an all-access pass for GDC 2018, which also includes access to a pre-show kickoff, hosted by GDC on-site before the week begins.

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Come and get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Hellblade

Organizers are lining up a 2018 Game Developers Conference that’s full of insightful talks and events, and today they’d like to quickly highlight a talk that promises a fascinating look into the development of Ninja Theory’s remarkable Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. 

In their Advocacy track talk “Breaking Through: Psychosis and the Making of ‘Hellblade“, Ninja Theory cofounder Tameem Antoniades and commercial director Dominic Matthews will discuss the approach taken by a small team of 20 to deliver a high-quality game that touches on themes of mental illness.

In particular, they’ll focus on the team’s approach to researching and collaborating around the subject of psychosis, in order to try and deliver a compelling and thoughtful depiction.

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Come and get expert advice on making great interactive experiences for mobile devices

The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next March promises a smorgasbord of interesting and useful learning opportunities for devs, including an expert panel discussing the art of making great interactive narrative experiences on mobile.

This GDC 2018 Narrative Summit session on “Designing Great Interactive Narratives on Mobile” will feature a panel of mobile story experts from Inkle (80 Days), Big Fish Games (Lifeline), and Pocket Gems (Episode) discussing and debating how to create great narratives for mobile users, navigating shorter attention spans, on-the-go consumption, and smaller interactive screens.

The panel will be moderated by GamesRadar+ senior news editor Rachel Weber, and you’ll want to be in attendance because you’ll hear multiple perspectives on how to make the best interactive mobile narratives.

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Speaker Q&A: Art Director at ustwo games David Fernandez Huerta discusses the vision of Monument Valley 2

David Fernandez Huerta is the art director at ustwo games and will be at GDC 2018 to present the talk The Art of Monument Valley 2, which will discuss the ways in which the Monument Valley team solidified a vision for the game and all the challenges that came with making that vision a reality. Here, Fernandez Huerta gives us information about himself and what he does.

His Visual Arts and Design talk will discuss the ways in which the Monument Valley team solidified a vision for the game and all the challenges that came with making that vision a reality.

Don’t miss out! The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next March is going to be full of interesting and informative sessions like David’s. For more visit the show’s official website.

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Come to GDC 2018 and see how Owlchemy brought Rick & Morty into VR

Heads up, devs: Game Developers Conference organizers are excited to host a talk at GDC 2018 next March that’s all about how the VR wizards at Owlchemy Labs made Rick & Morty: Virtual Rick-ality!

In their playfully-titled “Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality‘ Postmortem: VR Lessons *burrrp* Learned” talk, Owlchemy Labs’ Alex Schwartz and Devin Reimer will break down the successes, failures, and lessons learned during the development of the game, which was recently published by Adult Swim.

If you make time to attend their talk you’ll be able to feast your eyes on tons of early development videos and failed prototype interactions. You’ll also learn first-hand of the horrors of building portals, interacting with characters in room-scale, zone-based teleportation, and managing performance.

It promises to be a fun session, and those who check it out can expect to walk away with multiple real-world lessons of production gone right as well as gone wrong that can be applied directly to their own VR projects. Don’t skip it!

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GDC partners with Unity to present the Unity 3D Game Art Challenge!

The Game Developers Conference and Unity Technologies have partnered to curate and host a 3D art contest for games using Unity, with the winners to be displayed at a co-organized showcase during GDC 2018!

The contest is free to enter, and you can do so via the Unity 3D Game Art Challenge website. The deadline to enter is December 31stand the 12 winners will be notified in late January.

Organizers of the Unity 3D Game Art Challenge are looking for the most beautiful and skillfully created 3D game environments produced in the Unity engine.

Judges will be rating the submitted games – which can be created for any game platform – based on the modeling, animation, and special effects of the 3D environments displayed in the videos, screenshots, and playable demos submitted.

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Come and learn how XCOM 2‘s procedural level design works

Organizers are working hard to pack the 2018 Game Developers Conference full of fascinating, practical sessions and events, including one great talk from the folks at Firaxis Games about the level design of XCOM 2.

Firaxis‘ Brian Hess served as lead level designer on the hit tactical turn-based game, and in his Design track talk “Plot and Parcel: Procedural Level Design in XCOM 2” he’ll walk you through the trials and tribulations of designing and implementing such a system, as well as the benefits it offers and problems to avoid.

You want to be there, because attendees of Hess’ talk will get to hear how the XCOM team at Firaxis survived the transition from the handcrafted levels of 2012’s tactical strategy game XCOM: Enemy Unknown to the procedural levels of XCOM 2 and beyond.

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Speaker Q&A: Skydance Interactive’s Laralyn McWilliams talks reclaiming creativity in the face of hardship

Laralyn McWilliams is Chief Creative Officer at Skydance Interactive and will be at GDC 2018 to present the talk You’re Not Broken: Finding Your Creative Way Through Difficult Times.

Her Vision Track talk will discuss ways to recognize when your creativity is affected by stress, loss or other derailing emotions; methods for connection and communication with other creatives; emotional and practical tools to begin to reclaim your creativity. Here, McWilliams gives us information about herself and what she does.

Don’t miss out! The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next March is going to be full of interesting and informative sessions like Laralyn’s. For more visit the show’s official website.

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Learn how Kongregate built its F2P hit Animation Throwdown at the GDC 2018 Mobile Summit

If you want to better understand the art and business of making games make sure you come out to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next March, where Kongregate will be presenting a behind-the-scenes look at the making of its hit free-to-play game Animation Throwdown.

The game is packed with popular cartoon characters and the story of how it was made is fascinating, involving a skeleton crew split between two developers, one publisher, one IP owner, and five individual IPs.

In their GDC Mobile Summit talk on “All the Families: The Making of ‘Animation Throwdown“, Kongregate’s Katrina Wolfe and Peter Eykemans will explain how it happened.

They’ll also share lessons learned about structuring a complex production involving multiple parties, making limited resources work, and the pitfalls to watch out for when trying to undertake something so big, including working with well-known IP.

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