With the session lineup for GDC Europe 2012 quickly expanding, event organizers have debuted a second batch of talks, covering everything from unconventional gameplay mechanics to operating large-scale game sites.
This trio of new sessions includes speakers such as thechineseroom's Dan Pinchbeck (Dear Esther), Frictional Games' Thomas Grip (Amnesia: The Dark Descent), and IMVU's Jon Watte, each of whom will present robust talks targeted at the pan-European game development community.
These sessions all fall within GDC Europe's Main Conference, which takes place Monday through Wednesday, August 13-15, 2012 at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany. The full details on these new sessions are as follows:
- As part of the Game Design track, thechineseroom creative director Dan Pinchbeck will reflect upon his studio's atmospheric indie title Dear Esther, which "abandoned traditional gameplay altogether" in favor of creating a rich and complex interactive story.
Throughout this session, called 'Ambiguity and Abstraction in Game Writing: Lessons from Dear Esther', Pinchbeck will detail the game's "deliberately problematic" approach to in-game narrative, offering insight into how defying conventions can help a game really resonate with its players.
- Elsewhere, Amnesia: The Dark Descent creator Thomas Grip (who's now working with Pinchbeck on an Amnesia sequel) will present a psychology-focused talk that examines how video games differ from film and writing in how they capture their audience.
Grip will explore the ins and outs of interactivity in game design in 'The Self, Presence, and Storytelling', noting that "when interaction is no longer about conquering a system, the underlying mechanics can be kept obscure and opaque to the player, leaving the imagination to do most of the work."
- Finally, IMVU technical director Jon Watte will host a talk in the show's Programming track detailing the essentials of operating an online game site. These sites often grow to include everything from real-time messaging, microtransactions, to user generated content, and Watte will use IMVU's web service as a case study to outline the pros and cons of various approaches to operating a game site at scale.