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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Get tips on writing great characters from an Uncharted dev at GDC 2018

Before you know it, the year will be 2018 and you just might be in San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference. To give you a glimpse of what’s in store for you there, organizers are excited to announce a talk from Naughty Dog’s Josh Scherr about the art of writing great characters in games.

His GDC 2018 Narrative Summit talk on “Character Development in Non-Linear Spaces: ‘Uncharted: The Lost Legacy‘” will showcase how Naughty Dog had to adapt its usual “wide-linear” narrative techniques to allow for more player choice, while still keeping the development of Chloe and Nadine’s relationship consistent and natural.

Scherr was a co-writer on both Lost Legacy and Uncharted 4, and in his talk he hopes to provide an overview of Naughty Dog’s story development techniques, followed by a detailed look at the writing process for this unique area, including: cutscenes and gameplay dialogue, the choices and compromises they made to make it work, and the mistakes they hope to avoid in the future.

Continue reading

Game Developers Conference 2018 debuts ‘Vision Track’ with Pixar talk

GDC 2018 is re-introducing its Vision Track – a series of mini-keynotes featuring great speakers and forward-thinking companies discussing the future of the game industry, with a talk from a Pixar duo about use of real-time graphics.

Pixar Animation Studios’ Pol Jeremias-Vila and David G Yu will be presenting a special talk at next March’s show in San Francisco called “How Real-Time Graphics Helps Pixar Make Feature Films“. The session will be using examples from famous Pixar movies to illustrate the unique needs of film production and possible lessons for the game industry.

Some of the complex technical features showcased by the creators of Cars, Toy Story and the upcoming Coco include loading and run-time management of massive movie sets and complex characters, real-time subdivision surfaces, real-time effects, and how these assets are rendered using the latest hardware features.

Continue reading

Game Developers Conference announces the inaugural GDC Film Festival

We’re delighted to announce the inaugural GDC Film Festival, one of the first ever documentary & narrative film fests focused on the art and culture of video games.

The 1st Annual GDC Film Festival will take place at the Yerba Buena Center For The Arts’ Screening Room – directly adjacent to the Moscone Center – from Monday, March 19th to Wednesday, March 21st during Game Developers Conference 2018.

Screenings will be open to all GDC 2018 pass holders, on a first-come, first-served basis. Across the three days, there will be a wide range of documentaries & other filmed material based around the video game medium, some of which will be debuting for the first time.

Continue reading

See Doom devs break down its ‘push forward’ combat design at GDC 2018

The organizers of the 2018 Game Developers Conference are lining up a fantastic array of stuff to do at the March show, including a very cool talk from the folks at legendary game studio id Software about how they designed the next stage of Doom.

So if you’re thinking about coming to GDC in San Francisco next year, you should know that Jake Campbell and Kurt Loudy from id Software will be there to present a cool Design track talk on “Embracing Push Forward Combat in ‘Doom‘”.

To hear them tell it, in designing Doom id had to refine a new approach to FPS combat design that emphasizes brutality, aggression and speed. “Push forward” combat is the result and stares down genre conventions like regenerating health, reload and cover, and instead puts the onus on the player to take what they need from adversaries.

Continue reading

Attend GDC 2018 to hear from The Long Dark‘s creator on storytelling in a sandbox game

The 2018 Game Developers Conference will be here before you know it! To give you a taste of what’s in store for you at the San Francisco event next March, organizers are proud to announce a talk from Hinterland Games founder Raphael van Lierop.

In his GDC 2018 talk “A Long Dark Road: Blending Player and Authored Story in a Sandbox Survival Game”, which spans the Design and Production & Team Management tracks of talks, van Lierop will examine how it’s possible to successfully marry a linear, authored narrative experience to an open-world sandbox.

Using anecdotes and insights gained through the ongoing development of Hinterland’s flagship game The Long Dark, van Lierop will share hard-won lessons about community-informed development, the principles that define a successful sandbox gameplay experience, and the challenges of wrapping a story mode around the core of a popular survival sandbox, with a large vocal community of players who might just prefer you left it alone!

Continue reading

Come to GDC 2018 for real talk on staying creative in difficult times

As the 2018 Game Developers Conference draws closer, organizers want to take a moment to let you know about a great Advocacy track talk that’s been confirmed for next year’s show.

Attendees of GDC in San Francisco next March will have a chance to take part in a very special session presented by veteran game developer and Skydance Interactive chief creative officer Laralyn McWilliams.

Her talk, titled “You’re Not Broken: Finding Your Creative Way Through Difficult Times”, will provide devs with tools to recognize when you’re deep in the well of darkness, and methods to help reclaim your creativity.

Drawing heavily on McWilliams’ own experience making games and going through multiple rounds of cancer (she’s now cancer-free on a clinical trial), this talk will explore the challenges of working in a creative field while dealing with stress, grief, and change.

Continue reading