With GDC Europe 2014 less than a week away and the session schedule finalized, we've taken the liberty of highlighting a collection of can't-miss sessions for the event.
Online registration for GDC Europe 2014 will be closed on August 6th at midnight UTC (7 PM ET). If you miss your chance to register online before the window closes, you'll have to pay extra to register onsite.
GDC Europe organizers are also offering a special last-minute deal for online registrants: you can save 10 percent on your GDC Europe 2014 pass when you register online and use the code "FINAL10" (sans quotes.)
GDC Europe will take place next Monday through Wednesday, August 11-13th at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany -- just ahead of (and co-located with) the massive Gamescom event, with all GDC Europe passes also guaranteeing entrance to Gamescom.
Highlights from the complete set of 80+ sessions happening next week are as follows:
- The #1ReasonToBe panel makes its GDC Europe debut this year with a rapid, fun microtalk-style celebration and exploration of what it means to be a woman in games, European style. Each panelist will share their experience, its highs and lows, and explore a vision for a future industry that is inclusive for everyone. The session will be hosted by Brenda Romero (Game Designer & Program Director, Romero Games/UC Santa Cruz) and Leigh Alexander (Editor at Large, Gamasutra); Panelists include Auriea Harvey, (Co-Founder, Tale of Tales), Zuraida Buter (Curator and Events Organizer, Playful Arts Festival/Global Game Jams), Henrike "Riker" Lode (Art and Biz Development, Machineers) and Siobhan Reddy (Studio Director, Media Molecule).
- We're excited to have veteran game designer Chris Roberts joining us for a candid chat about his experience in the industry and his work on the upcoming Star Citizen. The interview session, appropriately titled "A Candid Interview With Star Citizen's Chris Roberts," will be hosted by Gamasutra editor Mike Rose and span some of the hottest topics surrounding Star Citizen -- from its remarkably successful crowdfunding campaign to the shifting economic landscape of game development to the importance of creating and maintaining a strong community around your work.
- Don't miss the first-ever European Innovative Games Showcase -- which includes titles like Bounden, Superhot and Perfect Woman -- at GDC Europe 2014 in Cologne, an event that aims to shed light on some of the most interesting games to come out of the region. European indie developer Jonaton Van Hove is helping to organize and host the event, which he spoke about in a recent interview.
- Charles Cecil, the influential British game designer best known for his work creating seminal adventure games like the Broken Sword franchise and Beneath A Steel Sky, will be delivering a Classic Game Postmortem on seminal '90s adventure game Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars at GDC Europe 2014. The award-winning 1996 adventure game has become a canonized part of game development history that developers at studios like Telltale Games and the now-defunct LucasArts cite as a meaningful influence on their work.
- Independent developers might also want to check out Capybara Games co-founder and creative director Kris Piotrowski's talk titled "The Isle: Creating A Space Worth Exploring." In his session, Piotrowski hopes to delve into the ongoing process of creating The Isle, the mysterious setting for Capy's upcoming game Below.
- Epic Games' Niklas Smedberg will be at the conference to deliver a talk about the future of engine technology, "Next-Generation Mobile GPUs and Rendering Techniques", that should provide plenty of interesting insight for graphics programmers and any developer interested in better understanding the new Unreal Engine 4.
- Mobile and microconsole developers might appreciate the sponsored Amazon developer day at the conference on Tuesday, August 12. The day's programming will encompass a variety of sessions aimed at helping game makers better utilize Amazon technology in their games, and key Amazon personnel will be on-hand to answer developer questions and lead talks on topics like building better games for the Fire TV and the Fire smartphone, tips and tricks for using Amazon Web Services to build scalable online games, and more.
- Streaming fans, take note: Twitch's Stuart Saw will be speaking at the conference about how developers can turn the popularity of livestreaming to their advantage. Saw serves as the EMEA regional director for Twitch, and in his Business track talk "How Developers Can Get The Most Out of Live Streaming" he plans to demonstrate some of the best examples of developers using livestreaming culture to build up their communities and sell their game.
- Conference attendees can also look forward to learning more about the nuts and bolts of developing for Sony's Project Morpheus VR headset by attending "Rebooting Game Design for Virtual Reality," a session led by Sony's Jed Ashforth. As the senior game designer for Project Morpheus, Ashforth has spent several years exploring this exciting new frontier and compiling a novel set of guidelines and best practices for how developers should approach, and make best use of, the new game design principles that virtual reality affords us.
- Developers with a passion for dialog should take pains not to miss Anna Kipnis' talk, "Dialog Systems in Double Fine Games," as it should shed light on how dialog gets into a Double Fine game. It's a complex process, one that Double Fine senior programmer Kipnis spoke at length about in a recent interview.
- We're also happy to have Yager Interactive design director Joerg Friedrich joining us in Cologne to give a talk on the challenges of sandbox game design titled "The Players are Loose! Developing a Seamless Multiplayer Sandbox for Dead Island 2." Friedrich plans to run down the mistakes that Yager made when transitioning from Spec Ops: The Line to Dead Island 2 -- and how other developers can avoid them. He also hopes to share a behind-the-scenes look at development on the upcoming Dead Island 2 and offer some design principles for developers embarking on similar projects.
Attendees can plan ahead for these and the other 80-plus sessions using the online schedule builder, and they can also browse the list of exhibitors appearing on the GDC Europe Expo Floor using the current floor plan. Organizers are also reminding that a mobile scheduler and attendee directory app is available for iOS, Android, and HTML5 compatible devices.
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