GDC is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Reminder: 24 Hours Left To Early Register For GDC Europe 2011

With just a day left until early registration ends on July 20 at Midnight UTC, GDC Europe 2011 organizers have chosen to reveal information on the show's Expo Floor and its gamescom-based Business Lounge, and recap some of the show's most notable lectures and panels.

GDC Europe's Expo Floor, located within the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, in Cologne, Germany, will once again showcase the most cutting-edge technologies from the industry's biggest and most influential companies.

Unity Technologies, Crytek, Epic Games, Onlive, and Glu Mobile are but a few of the notable exhibitors at the show this year -- please visit the GDC Europe website for the complete list of the show's 35+ exhibitors.

The Expo Floor is open to all GDC Europe pass holders, and provides attendees with numerous opportunities to learn about upcoming products, interact with developers and publishers, and establish business relationships with some of the industry's top professionals.

In addition to the show's Expo Floor, GDC Europe attendees will also receive a 3-day pass to the major gamescom trade show, which takes place just after GDC Europe. As in previous years, gamescom will feature a specialized business-centric area for game industry professionals, also open to GDC Europe attendees.

In this dedicated area, GDC Europe will host its very own Business Lounge, providing gamescom attendees with a perfect venue for networking, gaining exposure, and more, even after GDC Europe proper officially concludes - with meeting rooms from many of GDC Europe's major exhibitors.

GDC Europe 2011 Reveals Keynote From Epic President Mike Capps

GDC Europe organizers have announced that Epic Games president Dr. Michael Capps will give a keynote at next month's GDC Europe, revealing secrets behind the studio's major releases, from big-budget shooters such as Gears of War to mobile titles like Infinity Blade.

Capps will join Ultima creator Richard Garriott and Wooga founder Jens Begemann as the third keynote speaker to be announced for the 2011 Game Developers Conference Europe, which will take place August 15-17, and is located in Cologne, Germany alongside gamescom, the leading European trade and consumer show.

The keynote, titled "Size Doesn't Matter: How Epic Brings AAA Attitude to Every Game, from Gears of War 3 to Infinity Blade", will delve into Epic's development process for its various games, which range from AAA console titles to mobile releases and classic PC shooters.

Dr. Capps will discuss the key development similarities that pervade all of Epic's projects, even when team sizes and budgets differ wildly. He will also cite specific examples of how the studio benefits from its shared staff and infrastructure, using examples from the upcoming Gears of War 3.

In addition to serving as Epic's president, Dr. Capps is also an advisory board member for the Game Developers Conference, and holds a seat on the boards for the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and the Entertainment Software Association.

Before entering the game industry, Dr. Capps worked as a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, specializing in defense and entertainment collaboration, virtual reality, and computer graphics. He holds degrees in computer science and electrical engineering from the University of North Carolina and MIT, and a doctorate in computer science from the Naval Postgraduate School.

GDC Europe Reveals Mark Cerny, Age of Empires, Bigpoint Talks

GDC Europe has revealed a new batch of lectures for the upcoming August show, featuring industry legend Mark Cerny on the future of the industry, Age of Empires and Titan Quest veteran Brian Sullivan on level design, and Battlestar Galactica Online developer Bigpoint on handling large IP.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, alongside the major gamescom trade show, GDC Europe will again provide the essential pan-European perspective of game development and business trends.

Some of the new highlights from the Main Conference, which features tracks on Business & Marketing, Game Design, Production, Programming and Visual Arts, include the following:

- Industry veteran Mark Cerny, whose career spans titles such as Marble Madness, Crash Bandicoot, and Resistance, will host a high-profile talk in the show's Design track titled, "The Long View," which will examine the last forty years of video game history, as well as provide a look into the future.

Cerny notes that "2009 and 2010 have now shown some erosion in console video game sales," and his talk will discuss what this trend could mean for the industry, and why developers might have to adapt to considerable changes in their creative process.

- In a retrospective Design track lecture, "Level Design: Lessons Learned from Age of Empires and Titan Quest," Northeastern University instructor Brian Sullivan will provide attendees with a look back at lessons learned from two popular isometric PC titles he was a part of.

Sullivan, who worked with Ensemble on the Age of Empires series and founded Titan Quest developer Iron Lore Entertainment, will go over the level design processes for these games, offering developers "insight into how to design their levels with respect to gameplay, play style, topic, story, quests, pacing, performance, tech, art, budget, schedule, and fun."

GDC Europe Speaker Spotlight: Bluebyte's Weidemann On Community Management

In the latest in a series of interviews with speakers from this August's GDC Europe, online specialist Teut Weidemann of Ubisoft's Bluebyte Germany (The Settlers Online) discusses the essentials of community management on social networks.

Weidemann has worked in the industry for over 25 years, and began his career as a producer and development director for Amiga titles such as Turrican. He later founded Panzer Elite developer Wings Simulations, and in 2005 served as CTO of Panzer Tactics DS publisher CDV Software Entertainment.

In 2007 Weidemann entered the online games market, consulting with various companies before finally landing at Ubisoft's Bluebyte to work on the acclaimed browser based title The Settlers Online.

Drawing from his experience working in online games, Weidemann will host two talks at this year's GDC Europe: A Production track lecture on supporting free-to-play games dubbed, "f2p Online Games: The Game Is Not Enough," and a Community Management Summit talk titled, "Community Management in The Settlers Online."

With GDC Europe just over a month away, Weidemann particularly discussed his upcoming Community Management Summit talk, and outlined the importance of regular developer-to-player interaction, as well as the differences between Facebook and other social channels.

In your experience, what are the best ways to foster the growth of an online game community?

The most important thing is service. If your community perceives that you care about them, they stay. Players love the attention, and they'll recommend the service to their friends. It's the best way to grow a game because it's free. Marketing is growing the community fastest, but that growth is meaningless if you don't manage to keep the new users.

Did you or your team learn any hard lessons when managing the community for The Settlers Online?

We are still learning. We approached the community for the game with years of experience in community management, and we still had problems satisfying players' needs.

We established an open communication strategy, but we underestimated the frequency of interaction the users demanded. The internet is moving faster than ever, which means that we need community managers constantly online and talking to users.

GDC Europe 2011 Debuts Thatgamecompany, Glu, Digital Chocolate Talks

GDC Europe 2011 has revealed a selection of new lectures from the show's Summits, including thatgamecompany on reaching out to new audiences, Glu Mobile on freemium viability, and Digital Chocolate on making social games with hardcore gameplay.

This year, the gamescom co-located mid-August show in Cologne, Germany will host Summits on Social Games, Independent Games, Smartphone & Tablet Games, and Community Management.

Some near-final new highlights from these Summits, which have largely rounded out their line-ups, include the following:

- In the keynote for Monday's Independent Games Summit, president and co-founder of thatgamecompany Kellee Santiago will discuss how to reach out to new demographics in "Developing New Audiences: When the Past Can't Predict Your Future."

Drawing from her experience working on flOw, Flower, and Journey, Santiago will explain "how to make effective decisions based on little data to create commercially successful titles that, in the beginning (and maybe right up until you ship), no one will think you can sell."

- In the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, Mike Breslin, VP of global marketing at mobile publisher Glu Mobile (Gun Bros.), will host a talk titled "From Free-to-Play to Freemium: Emerging Category in Mobile Gaming."

GDC Europe 2011 Adds Quantic Dream, Gameforge, Jon Blow Talks

GDC Europe 2011 organizers have revealed new sessions for next month's show in Cologne, featuring talks from Braid
creator Jonathan Blow on truth in game design, free-to-play game leader
Gameforge on virtual goods success, Quantic Dream's co-CEO on flawed
game rating systems, and more.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the
Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, alongside the major gamescom trade show, GDC Europe will again provide the essential pan-European perspective of game development and business trends.

Some of the new highlights from the Main Conference, which features tracks on Business & Marketing, Game Design, Production, Programming and Visual Arts, include the following:

- Renowned game designer and Braid/The Witness creator Jonathan Blow will host a talk in the show's Design track titled, "Truth in Game Design,"
which Blow says will "illustrate that games, being algorithmic systems
implemented on computers, are biased toward revealing truth, so long as
we do not quash the truth in order to force our own high-level wishes
into the design."

Blow's cerebral talk will also seek to explain how "we use games as
instruments, like telescopes or electron microscopes, to observe aspects
of the universe that we would not normally have access to."

GDC Europe Speaker Spotlight: CCP's David Press On Automated MMO Testing

In the latest in a series of interviews with speakers from this August's GDC Europe, David Press, technical director at EVE Online
developer CCP Games, discusses the importance of automated testing in
MMOs, and why implementing such a system became a "now-or-never
decision" for the company.

Before joining CCP, Press worked at EA Chicago as a graphics programmer on Def Jam: ICON
and an unreleased fighting title. In 2007, he left for Atlanta, Georgia
to work at CCP as a graphics programmer, and then moved on to become a
systems programmer, and later a technical director.

In anticipation of his GDC Europe talk, "Orchestrator: A Postmortem on an Automated MMO Testing Framework,"
Press explains the various game elements an automated testing system
should or should not test, and how CCP implemented such a system for its
World of Darkness MMO.

What are some of the advantages of automated MMO testing?

Most MMOs are very large projects with numerous interacting game
systems, and it is simply infeasible to have manual testers constantly
testing every nook and cranny of the game. Automated tests allow
developers to get wide test coverage before they even check in their
changes and they can be run on a changelist-by-changelist basis so that
narrowing down bugs is trivial.

At what point did CCP realize that automated testing was necessary? What were the driving actors behind the decision?

For the World of Darkness project, we started unit testing
within the first year of active development, and system testing came in
during the next year. We knew that it is nigh impossible to bolt
automated testing onto code that wasn't written with it in mind, so it
was a now-or-never decision.

GDC Europe 2011 Unveils Obsidian, GameStop, PlayStation Vita Talks

GDC Europe 2011 continues to debut talks for the August event opposite gamescom in Cologne, including Obsidian's J.E. Sawyer on RPG mechanics, GameStop on expanding into the digital market, and Sony on the PlayStation Vita.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, alongside the major gamescom trade show, GDC Europe will again provide the essential pan-European perspective of game development and business trends.

Some of the new highlights from the Main Conference, which features tracks on Business & Marketing, Game Design, Production, Programming and Visual Arts, include the following:

- In the Business & Marketing track, Steve Nix, divisional vice president and general manager of digital distribution for video game retail giant GameStop, will host a talk dubbed, "GameStop's Digital Strategy: Bringing Immersive Gaming to a Digital Audience."

As the traditionally retail-heavy GameStop reaches into the digital space by acquiring Stardock's Impulse download service along with streaming technology company Spawn Labs, Nix will examine the growth and evolution of the digital space and how his company plans to work with publishers and developers to shift beyond the traditional console market.

GDC Europe Speaker Spotlight: Ernest Adams On Storylike MMOs

In the latest of a series of interviews with speakers from this August's GDC Europe, game designer Ernest Adams discusses why "in most persistent worlds, the player cannot change the world permanently" -- and why that needs to change.

Adams has worked in the game industry since 1989, and has worked as a
game developer, professor, and more. He previously served as an audio
and video producer on the Madden NFL franchise for Electronic Arts, and later worked at Bullfrog Productions as a lead producer on the Dungeon Keeper series.

In addition, Adams has written several books on game development, and is the founder of the International Game Developers' Association.

With his GDC Europe talk, "Making MMOGs More Storylike"
drawing ever closer, Adams discussed the flaws of modern online games,
and explained how they should change to make the game world more
dramatic and believable.

With MMOs and similar online games, players share a single,
persistent world. How does this sort of design hinder a developer's
ability to tell a story?

All stories are about change. Either the protagonist changes the
world, or the world changes the protagonist, or both. But in most
persistent worlds, the player cannot change the world permanently. Any
creature you kill respawns in a few minutes, leaving you wondering why
you bothered. This impairs the dramatic impact of events in the world,
because nothing really changes.

How do you suggest online games change to better accommodate an in-game story?

To feel as if they are really part of a story, players need to be
able to make permanent, meaningful changes to the world they inhabit. I
also feel that they need to drop the "Hero's Journey" story form. It
works well for adventure games and single-player RPGs, but it's a bit
ridiculous when hundreds of thousands of people are all trying to have
the same heroic experience.

GDC Europe Reveals Talks For Community Management Summit

GDC Europe organizers have unveiled the full lineup for the show's Community Management Summit, featuring a keynote from industry veteran Gordon Walton on creating an online "code of conduct," SOE on controlling player backlash, and EVE Online developer CCP on learning from Jurassic Park.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, alongside the major gamescom trade show, GDC Europe 2011 will again provide the essential pan-European perspective of game development and business trends.

This year the show will debut its Community Management Summit, which will feature noted industry professionals on attracting attention, fostering fandom, and managing social media for the benefit of a game or studio.

The sessions and lectures featured in the Community Management Summit include the following:

- In the Summit keynote "Community Management's Time is NOW!," industry veteran (Air Warrior, Ultima Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic) and Playdom exec Gordon Walton will point out the growing importance of online communities, and will "raise the call-to-arms for a professional society of community management," encouraging developers to establish a "code of conduct" that encourages community growth and development.

- Teut Weidemann of Ubisoft's BlueByte Germany will host a talk titled, "Community Management in 'The Settlers Online,'" in which he will outline how the studio communicated with fans and nurtured a healthy online community. Drawing examples from the game's development, Weidemann will also reveal how the team saw "some surprising results even when we had bad news to tell."

- Elsewhere, Valerie Massey, senior director of PR and communication from EVE Online developer CCP, will take a humorous approach to discussing community management in, "Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Online Communities I Learned from Jurassic Park," a talk that will illustrate the ins and outs of the job using examples from the classic Stephen Spielberg film and its sequels.

GDC Europe 2011 Adds Playdom Talk, Unity Day

GDC Europe organizers have revealed new Main Conference talks in the show's Game Design, Visual Arts, and Programming tracks, featuring Playdom on the aesthetics of social games, and a full day of Unity lectures and tutorials.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, alongside the major gamescom trade show, GDC Europe will again provide the essential pan-European perspective of game development and business trends.

Some of the new highlights from the Main Conference sessions, which encompass tracks on Business & Marketing, Game Design, Production, Programming and Visual Arts, include the following:

- In "Gardens of Time: Art and Iteration," Playdom's Eric Todd will examine the company's hit hidden object Facebook game Gardens of Time, detailing the challenges of balancing aesthetic design, game design and technical constraints when creating a free-to-play social title.

- Notable game engine creator Unity Technologies will present its very own sponsored "Unity Track Day" during the show, which will feature a series of lectures and tutorials focusing on the technical and business aspects of using the Unity toolkit. The company promises to help attendees understand the basics of developing with Unity, as well as how to make their game stand out in today's increasingly digital market. Dates and times for these sponsored Unity-focused sessions will be announced soon.

GDC Europe Details Indie Games Summit Talks, Pass

GDC Europe organizers have detailed the 2011 show's Independent Games Summit, which includes lectures from Amnesia's Thomas Grip, B.U.T.T.O.N. developer Douglas Wilson, and many more.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, GDC Europe
-- alongside the major gamescom trade show -- will again provide the
essential pan-European perspective of game development and business
trends.

New to the conference this year is the Independent Games Summit,
which will feature lectures and panels from the most influential
figures from the indie games space on topics covering game design,
business strategies, marketing, and more.

The notable sessions, panels, and lectures featured in the Independent Games Summit include the following:

- In "Beyond Fun: Perspectives on Video Games as Expressive Experiences," a panel of indie developers will argue that video games, just like
literature or film, can provide audiences with complex and satisfying
emotions in addition to the shallow "fun" offered by competitive games.

Speakers at the panel will include Tale of Tales' Michael Samyn (The Path), Stout Games' Jeroen D. Stout (Dinner Date), Moboid's Heather Kelley (GAMMA), thechineseroom's Dan Pinchbeck (Dear Esther), and Frictional Games' Thomas Grip (Amnesia: The Dark Descent).

- In addition to speaking in the previous panel, Thomas Grip will also give a lecture dubbed "Evoking Emotions and Achieving Success by Breaking All the Rules,"
in which he will outline the unconventional design decisions his team
made when creating the company's popular indie horror title Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

The game abandons fail states and other horror game staples, and Grip will explain why these omissions made Amnesia
more enjoyable to play. Moving beyond the context of his own game,
Grip will also discuss how these sorts of unusual design choices can
benefit games of other genres.

GDC Europe 2011 Reveals Keynote From Wooga Founder Begemann

GDC Europe organizers have announced that wooga founder and CEO Jens Begemann will give a keynote for the conference's Business & Marketing track, offering insight into the development of free-to-play, browser based social games.

This keynote is the first to be announced for the 2011 Game Developers Conference Europe, which will take place August 15-17, and is located in Cologne, Germany alongside gamescom, the leading European trade and consumer show.

Begemann will examine the methods and design principles that go into the creation of the most popular free-to-play titles on social networks, such as Wooga's own Diamond Dash and Happy Hospital.

The Berlin, Germany-headquartered firm, which just received $24 million in funding, currently holds the third largest number of active game users on Facebook worldwide, with almost 30 million monthly unique players.

"Wooga's success is a testament to Europe's pervasive social and browser games economy, and Jens' insight as a keynote presenter for the Business & Marketing track will prove to be incredibly valuable and timely," said Frank Sliwka, Vice President of European Business Development and Event Director of GDC Europe.

GDC Europe 2011 Adds Silent Hill, Zynga, Bulletstorm Talks To Program

GDC Europe 2011 organizers have debuted fresh talks for August's show, with online game-centric talks from Zynga's Mark Skaggs and The Settlers Online's Teut Weidemann, plus AAA lectures on the creation of Bulletstorm and the upcoming Silent Hill: Downpour.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost ahead of the major gamescom trade show, GDC Europe 2011 has now revealed more than 60 sessions in the event's just-launched Schedule Builder.

Some of the new highlights from the Main Conference sessions, which encompass tracks on Business & Marketing, Game Design, Production, Programming and Visual Arts, include:

- Zynga's Mark Skaggs is giving a lecture called 'Designing Successful Social Games' as part of the Game Design Track, discussing "the design frameworks he uses when creating social games, including the popular global sensations FarmVille and CityVille."

- In 'Silent Hill: Past, Present & Future', Czech studio Vatra Games' Matthew Seymour and Brian Gomez, working on this year's much-awaited Silent Hill: Downpour, "provide a survey of this seminal survival horror series, describing the challenges of disempowering players and creating a sense of dread when mainstream titles are empowering players like never before."

- Also in the Main Conference, German game development veteran Teut Weidemann (Turrican, X-Out) is talking on 'F2P Online Games: The Game Is Not Enough', focusing on The Settlers Online and 'out of client' learnings for the popular European online game around "web presence, support, payment systems, community management, and e-marketing."

- A high-profile talk debut at GDC Europe is 'The Triforce of Courage: Bulletstorm's Key Learnings on Global Distributed Development', with Epic's Tanya Jessen discussing the popular console title, which was developed in Poland but produced by Epic in the U.S. -- focusing on the "challenges and lessons learned from developing AAA in a global distributed way."

GDC Europe 2011 Debuts Notable Smartphone Summit, Design Talks

GDC Europe organizers have announced new lectures for the August show, including Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit talks on topics including Android game development, Catan's tablet gaming push, and a Main Conference talk on blending existing IP with creative design.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, GDC Europe 2011 -- alongside the major gamescom trade show -- will again provide the essential pan-European perspective of game development and business trends.

New to the conference this year is the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, which will feature panels and lectures from some of the most influential figures in the mobile space - on topics including the emerging business trends and successful design strategies for platforms such as iOS, Android and more.

As part of the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, Fishlabs Entertainment's Marc Hehmeyer will discuss how to best move an iOS title to Android devices in his talk, "From iOS to Android - Galaxy on Fire 2 Does the Green Robot."

Using the German studio's own hit space simulator Galaxy on Fire 2 as an example, the Fishlabs CTO will outline the challenges and intricacies involved with porting mobile games to the Android platform, with many practical examples.

The Summit will also feature Exozet Games' head of mobile development Matthias Hellmund -- the studio behind Catan and Carcassone's smartphone and tablet versions -- in a talk on how to bring popular board game titles to mobile platforms.

Hellmund's lecture, entitled "Board Game Mobilization - What's Now, What's Next," will go over the company's work and other successful examples of mobile board games -- outlining how they take advantage of the accessibility, technology, and form factor offered by a number of popular mobile devices.

Elsewhere, in the GDC Europe 2011 Main Conference's Game Design track, Ubisoft creative director Jason VandenBergh -- whose highest-rated GDC Europe 2010 talk on Red Steel 2 is available to view for free on GDC Vault -- will outline how to satisfy your creative itch when working within the constraints of an existing IP.

 

Advertisement

 

Connecting the Global Game Development Community