Learn animation principles, design tips, and more at the Visual Effects Bootcamp

The GDC 2018 Visual Effects Bootcamp runs all day on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018, with a slew of expert sessions that dive deep into the art and tech of visual effects design in contemporary games.

Experienced visual effects artists from across the industry — everywhere from Epic Games to Nvidia to ILMxLab — will share their best tips, tricks, anecdotes and inspiration during this day designed to help overcome those limitations and elevate visual effects to a new level.

This is important because visual effects tie together game experiences, breathe life into real time rendered worlds, and provide an all-important final layer of visual polish.

So for example, in his VFX Bootcamp presentation on “Zip! Thwack! Ping! Animation Principles of VFXSideFX senior technical artist Michael Lyndon will look at the 12 principles of animation as they apply to VFX.

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Come get a behind-the-scenes look at Detroit: Become Human‘s tech

As Quantic Dream prepares to release its neo-noir thriller Quantic Dream next year, some of the game’s dev team are laying plans to speak at the 2018 Game Developers Conference about how the game’s remarkable tech works.

Both Quantic Dream lead engine programmer Ronan Marchalot and graphics programmer Guillaume Caurant will be giving GDC 2018 Programming track talks, the former on the game’s rendering tech and the latter on its lighting engine.

In “Cluster Forward Rendering and Anti-Aliasing at Quantic DreamMarchalot will give an overview of Quantic’s rendering technology, how the engine is integrated in Maya and how artists produce materials.

He’ll cover the switch from deferred lighting to cluster forward lighting, what the benefits are and how his team addressed the issues they met. He’ll also take a look into how they implemented temporal anti-aliasing, and how they used it to improve some features such as SSR, SSAO, PCF shadows, skin subsurface scattering and volumetric lighting.

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Get expert advice on porting your game to consoles from someone who makes a living doing it

Seasoned engineer and PlayEveryware studio director Thomas O’Connor knows a lot about porting games, and in his GDC 2018 Independent Games Summit talk “Your Indie Game on Console: A Practical Guide to Porting” he’ll share what he’s learned so other devs can make better decisions about shipping games on consoles.

Drawing from the work O’Connor has done porting indie games to consoles for other studios, and as a developer support engineer at Nintendo, he’ll show you how you can prepare your own games to be ready for releasing on any console.

Using examples from recently released console versions of games like Hello Neighbor (pictured) he’ll cover numerous issues that developers run into throughout the process, from onboarding and development to submissions and release. If you think a console port might be in the cards for you, or if you want to refine your porting processes, this is a talk you’ll want to see!

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At GDC 2018, learn how and why you should set up an inclusive tech space

Should your studio or company set aside permanent spaces dedicated to game accessibility research, feedback, education, and design?

Microsoft has done just that with its Inclusive Technologies Lab, and at GDC 2018 in San Francisco next March, Microsoft’s Gaming & Community leads Tara Voelker (Program Manager, Mixer) and Brannon Zahand (Release Manager, 343 Industries) will discuss the value of such a dedicated inclusive technologies space.

In their Advocacy track talk on “Building an Inclusive Tech Lab: How and Why You Should Too“, the pair will show fellow game makers how Microsoft’s lab was launched, what went right (and not quite right) during the first 6 months of operation, and provide detailed tips and tricks for setting up your own accessibility-centric space.

It promises to be a great talk with forward-thinking ideas, real-world examples and practical takeaways, so don’t miss it!

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Get mobile game dev tips from the maker of Good Pizza, Great Pizza at GDC 2018

It can be tricky to balance the demands of making a great mobile game and making a mobile game that earns enough to let you keep making mobile games.

At GDC 2018, TapBlaze president Anthony Lai will be offering fellow game makers advice on how they can do both in his talk “Good Pizza, Great Pizza‘: Game Design, Iteration, and Business Lessons Learned.”

Drawing on Tapblaze’s experience taking its free-to-play mobile game Good PizzaGreat Pizza from 3,000 to 60,000 daily active users in the space of a year (without paid user acquisition), Lai will walk you through the process of making a good, sustainable game under significant resource constraints.

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See how economic downturns shaped games throughout history at GDC 2018

Preparations for the 2018 Game Developers Conference are well underway, and today organizers want to take a minute to let you know about a really promising talk that’s taking place during the big event in San Francisco next March.

Specifically, GDC organizers are happy to welcome back Untame creative director Julia Keren Detar, who has put together a great GDC 2018 presentation on “History Shaping Design: How Economic Downturns Shape Play.”

It’s a very timely talk, one meant to focus on how a changing economy can shape a design’s success and downfall — and how games (both tabletop/board games and video games) have shaped modern interaction with financial products. This historical perspective might help devs understand outside circumstances when designing games that can alter behavioral patterns.

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Come to GDC 2018 and hear how sounds tell stories in Night in the Woods

If you press your ear to the ground on a chill winter’s eve, you just might hear it: the muffled sound of game makers around the world making preparations to attend GDC 2018 in San Francisco next March.

Among them is Em Halberstadt, a sound designer with Shell in the Pit Audio who’s going to be at the Game Developers Conference next year to deliver a neat talk about “How Sound Tells the Story of ‘Night in the Woods.'”

The story of Night in the Woods is based on the environment, and the sound works in conjunction with each scene to make players feel as though they’re there. It aims to mimic the liveliness of real life, and in her talk Halberstadt will be exploring how she created appropriately atmospheric audio, including the ways in which it changes over time, and brings life to that which cannot be seen.

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Pitch your offbeat prototypes to the GDC 2018 Experimental Gameplay Workshop!

It’s November, so you know what that means: the mad geniuses behind the Experimental Gameplay Workshop have issued their call for submissions of intriguing new (and playable!) video game prototypes. The more interesting and experimental, the better!

Select entries will get to make an appearance in the two-hour Experimental Gameplay Workshop session at GDC 2018 in San Francisco next March. You want to be there, because it’s a fun and perennially popular showcase for offbeat, unusual game concepts that explore new ideas and genres.

Workshop organizers Robin Hunicke (Luna, WattamJourney) and Daniel Benmergui (Storyteller, Ernesto) aim to give developers from all over the industry a chance to show off games that stretch boundaries and — hopefully — move the industry forward.

Sometimes those games go on to become high-profile success stories, to boot; a number of “experimental” titles that appeared first at the EGW (Portal, for example, as well as Katamari DamacyBraidSpelunky, and more) went on to become some of the most well-regarded games in the industry.

To submit your own experimental prototype for this year’s workshop, you must have a playable build of your game ready for consideration and fill out the official submission form. While your (playable) submission can be in any stage of development, it must match up with the expectations for experimental gameplay outlined in the call for submissions.

Organizers expect to select 15-20 prototypes from the pool of submissions, and if your prototype is selected for the EGW (and you can attend the session in person) you’ll receive a full GDC 2018 Speaker Pass, allowing access to the entire conference.

This call for submissions will remain open until 11:59 PM Pacific time on Sunday, December 31st, 2017.

Folks submitting from outside the US are being encouraged to submit on the earlier side of the window, so that organizers have time to help work on visas and letters should the need arise!

The Experimental Gameplay Workshop is expected to take place Friday, March 23rd — the final day of the 2018 Game Developers Conference, which runs March 19th through March 23rd next year at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

For more information on GDC 2018, visit the show’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via FacebookTwitter, or RSS.

IGF 2018 debuts juries for Narrative, Nuovo, and Visual Art awards

Winter is nearly here, and that means the 2018 Independent Games Festival is about to enter its jurying phase — the period in which experts in specific disciplines play, evaluate and discuss the most notable games of the nearly 600 entered in the 2018 Festival Competition, which together continue to push the boundaries of video game development and design.

This year the list of experts tasked with evaluating IGF 2018’s most promising entries is once again studded with game industry luminaries. Now that hundreds of evaluators have conducted the first round of IGF judging, these expert juries will convene to determine the finalists and winners of the various IGF 2018 awards at the 2018 Game Developers Conference.

To recognize their contributions to the process, today we’d like to celebrate those who have volunteered their time and talent to take part in judging the Excellence in Visual Arts Award, the Excellence in Narrative Award, and the Nuovo Award.

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Attend GDC 2018 and hear how Call of Duty: WWII was scored

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 music of Call of Duty: WWII.

Composer Wilbert Roget will be at GDC in San Francisco next year to deliver a talk on “A Modern Take on Historical Fiction: Music for ‘Call of Duty WWII’

According to Roget, this session will use specific examples from the score to show how the composer satisfied the dramatic needs of a modern action game, while simultaneously expressing the historical setting with authenticity and respect. The discussion will include their use of instrumentation, playing technique, signature sounds and designed elements, and melodic and harmonic restraint, as well as give insights on the meaning of a “modern” cinematic orchestral score..

Make time to sit in on this presentation, because you’ll learn both specific techniques for how to approach an action score with authentic historical elements, as well as broader ideas on how to modernize a traditional score, and the difference between a contemporary approach to orchestration and a standard/traditional one.

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