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.

GDC 2012 organizers reveal 'Super Magnetic Game-O-Matic' video, highlights

At this month's Game Developers Conference 2012 in San Francisco, video game artist group iam8bit teamed up with the show's organizers to host the irreverent and exciting "Super Magnetic Game-O-Matic," a creative event featuring top artists from throughout the industry.

Throughout the conference, show attendees re-arranged giant word magnets to create some far-fetched game ideas, while professional artists rendered their own interpretations of the concepts they found interesting -- or just plain strange.

Now that the event has come to a close, show organizers have showcased the results via an exclusively filmed YouTube highlights reel, including timelapse shots of the sketchers in action, as well as a hi-res Flickr gallery of the art created.

The featured artists for the event specialized in all kinds of artistic disciplines, from UI design to concept art, and represented a wide range of companies from all over the game industry.

The notable list of artists at the event included Blizzard Entertainment's Ben Thompson, Weta Workshop's Greg Broadmore, Double Fine artists Levi Ryken and Derek Brand, and much more. The subjects of their "Game-O-Matic" contributions might have been a bit more silly than their typical professional work, but their talent shone through all the same.

From this exciting mix of artists came fantastic and quite often hilarious renderings of game pitches like "Extreme Nanny Adventure Karting," "Tyler Perry's 3D Dino Ninja Revolution," and "Meat Gravity Tale - 4D Space Edition," to name a few.

GDC 2012 reveals record 22,500 attendance, debuts 2013 dates

UBM TechWeb Game Network's 2012 Game Developers Conference, the world's largest and longest-running event serving professionals dedicated to the art and science of making games, hosted a record-breaking 22,500 game industry professionals last week at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, a 17 percent increase in attendance over the previous year's event.

Following the success of the show, organizers have announced that GDC 2013 will return to the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco from Monday, March 25 to Friday, March 29, 2013, - with a call for lecture submissions to open this summer.

GDC kicked off with two days of tutorials and summits focusing on specific emerging platforms and topics, including Smartphone and Tablet Games, Social and Online Games, Independent Games and more. The proliferation of free-to-play business models, new funding options and the explosive growth of mobile device games were frequent themes.

Summits highlights included Kickstarter's Cindy Au's timely talk on crowd source funding (Independent Games Summit), PopCap Games' Giordano Bruno Contestabile's presentation discussing lessons learned in moving Bejeweled Blitz to a free-to-play model (Social & Online Games Summit), and prominent game designers exploring the emotional impact of game design elements (Games for Change @ GDC Summit).

The main conference kicked off on Wednesday with GDC's first-ever "Flash Forward," a session that saw nearly 100 main conference speakers each take the stage for a forty-five second brief overview of their sessions in front of thousands of attendees. The popular Game Design Challenge saw three designers' ideas for creating a 60-second game on this year's theme "upgrading humanity." Richard Lemarchand of Naughty Dog won the Challenge with a game that attempted to first invoke and then eliminate shame.

GDC 2012, Iam8bit remind on 'Super Magnetic Game-O-Matic', detail featured artists

career-pav.jpgIn anticipation of next week's Game Developers Conference, show organizers and independent artist group iam8bit have revealed a number of the featured artists drawing at this year's interactive art exhibit, the "Super Magnetic Game-O-Matic."

As previously announced, this event, taking place in the 2nd floor of Moscone West, features giant oversized poetry magnets, which GDC attendees can rearrange to create their own game ideas.

Throughout the show, notable industry artists will sketch their own interpretations of the most interesting concepts. The featured artists at this creatively driven event each offer their own unique artistic specialties, ensuring that the event will remain spontaneous, unpredictable, and fun.

Here are a few of the notable artists to be featured at the event during the week (with a number of additional guests to be announced on site):

- Ben Thompson is an artist at Blizzard Entertainment, and has worked particularly on the studio's MMO juggernaut World of WarCraft. His lively, detailed style should make for some interesting contributions to the exhibit.

- Levi Ryken is currently an artist at Double Fine Productions, and his creative work spans a number of the acclaimed San Francisco studio's most recent titles, including Brutal Legend, Costume Quest, Stacking, and Happy Action Theater.

- Greg Broadmore is a conceptual artist at the renowned Weta Workshop in New Zealand, and was the lead concept artist for acclaimed sci-fi movie District 9. He also created the Dr. Grordbort's universe (as featured in Team Fortress 2, and spawned into acclaimed physical raygun props.)

GDC 2012 details hiring opportunities at show

With just a couple of days to go until Game Developers Conference 2012, show organizers have detailed some of the numerous companies hiring at the event's robust Career Pavilion.

Developers from all over the industry will be recruiting new talent throughout the show, and the Career Pavilion gives GDC attendees the chance to interact with these companies face-to-face.

The final exhibitor list [PDF] includes traditional game developers, social companies, mobile studios, and much more. Regardless of their interests or discipline, attendees should have no problem finding a company that appeals to them.

The Career Pavilion is open to all GDC pass holders, and will take place Wednesday March 7 through Friday, March 9 in the West Hall of the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Those interested in purchasing a pass can do so on-site starting March 4 (Student passes are only available on March 9).

Here are just a few of the notable companies recruiting at next week's show:

- Metal Gear Solid studio Kojima Productions has big plans for GDC, as the company hopes to expand beyond Japan and staff up for a brand-new office in Northern California. The company is hiring in nearly all disciplines, spanning artists, engineers, designers, and more.

- The social networking giant Facebook is looking to connect with the developers at GDC to help bolster its open platform and enhance its web and mobile services. Specifically, the company is looking for new engineers for mobile development and game partnerships.

- Resistance studio Insomniac Games will exhibit at this year's Career Pavilion to find new staff to fuel its multiplatform projects and an upcoming Facebook title. The developer is seeking programmers, animators, artists, and more.

- The Santa Monica-based Riot Games has seen great success with its action strategy game League of Legends, and the studio now aims to be "the most player-focused company in the world." At GDC 2012, the studio hopes to fill positions positions for both engineers and producers.

Experimental Gameplay Sessions return for 10-year anniversary at GDC 2012

With just days remaining before the Game Developers Conference 2012, show organizers have chosen to detail a special workshop dubbed "Experimental Gameplay Sessions," which returns to GDC for its 10-year anniversary.

This jam-packed, two-hour session -- which takes place Friday, March 9 at 2.30pm in Room 3014 of West Hall -- will showcase an eclectic mix of unusual game prototypes that defy convention and explore new ideas and genres.

Led by Robin Hunicke (Journey) and Daniel Benmergui (Storyteller), it's an exciting opportunity for presenters and attendees alike to explore some brand new territory in game design.

In fact, a number of 'experimental' titles that debuted in previous years have gone on to become some of the most well regarded in the industry. Some of these standout games include Katamari Damacy, flOw, Braid, Portal, World of Goo and Today I Die.

This year, the session aims to recapture that innovative spirit with 11 titles from some of the industry's most creative developers.

Among the presenters this year are Douglas Wilson (Johann Sebastian Joust) and Bennett Foddy (QWOP), who will demonstrate a special enhanced version of one of Foddy's acclaimed physics titles. WallFour's John Sear, meanwhile, will show off a particularly unusual large-scale cooperative game.

In addition, developers such as Vlambeer's Rami Ismail will take a moment to go over some seemingly broken game ideas in GlitchHiker, and Kurt Bieg from Simple Machine will detail his studio's new Twitter-powered golf game.

The session will even highlight a number of more well known titles, including Jenova Chen and Nick Clark showing thatgamecompany's much-anticipated Journey, and Daniel Benmergui showcasing his IGF Nuovo Award finalist Storyteller.

Other participants including Shadow Physics co-creator Steve Swink showing a new title, Pietro Righi Riva and Nicolo Tedeschi showcasing Mirror Moon, Alex Kerfoot, Anna Anthropy, and Mars Jokela displaying Keep Me Occupied, part of the OAK-U-TRON 201X, Mathias Nordvall showing Sightlence, and Robin Arnott exhibiting the claustrophobic Deep Sea.

Since limited information on many of these titles is available online, the best way to see what's on offer is to check out the Experimental Gameplay Sessions for yourself. Attendees will also get the chance to actually participate in a number of these games, leaving plenty of opportunity for spontaneous mishaps and hilarity.

GDC 2012 details full Game Career Seminar lineup

This year's Game Developers Conference is almost upon us, and today show organizers have highlighted the Game Career Seminar, which offers lectures, panels, and presentations to help new and aspiring developers kick-start their careers in the game business.

This one-day program will take place Friday, March 9 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and will give attendees the chance to learn about the industry and network with leading professionals and HR representatives, both within sessions and at the show's robust Career Pavilion.

The Game Career Seminar is open to all GDC pass holders, including Expo Pass holders, as well as with a special one-day Student Pass for currently enrolled students over the age of 18 -- available on-site on Friday, March 9 for just $75.

The following are a few highlights from this year's Game Career Seminar:

- In the two-part session "Killer Portfolio or Portfolio Killer," a panel of artists hailing from Firaxis, Epic, Irrational, Naughty Dog and Valve will help attendees perfect their art portfolio, and hopefully score a job working on games.

The first session will focus primarily on the dos and don'ts of artist portfolios, and will allow the audience to ask the panelists for specific tips and insight. The second segment will instead focus on one-on-one portfolio reviews, giving attendees a chance to get advice and criticism specific to their needs.

- In another panel, leading game professionals such as 343 Industries' Frank O'Connor, Loot Drop's Brenda Brathwaite, Riot Games' Travis George, ex-Portal designer and Airtight Games developer Kim Swift, and Microsoft's Chris Charla will reveal what it takes to secure a job at the top companies in the industry.

The session, "Breaking Into Game Development: Ask the Pros," gives attendees a chance to speak directly with the leading minds behind some of gaming's most influential games and projects. The panelists' expertise spans big-budget development, social gaming, and more, providing a wide range of experience from all realms of the business.

Online registration for GDC 2012 closes tomorrow

This year's Game Developers Conference is less than a week away, and show organizers have issued a reminder that online registration for the event will close Wednesday, February 29 at 11:59 EST.

That leaves a bit more than a day for interested parties to register online for a show pass. Those that choose to register before the deadline will be able to save up to 10 percent on their purchase.

For those that don't register online, GDC 2012 will also offer onsite registration from Sunday, March 4 through Friday, March 9 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The conference itself takes place between the 5th and the 9th.

Alongside the registration reminder, show organizers have also chosen to point out some of the notable events and sessions at the upcoming show.

This year, GDC will host its first-ever "Flash Forward" session, in which all Main Conference speakers will provide a quick, 60-second pitch of their respective sessions. This rapid-fire format will help GDC attendees decide which content they are most interested in checking out.

In another first, the show will offer the brand-new GDC Play hall, in which developers from all over the world will showcase their products and companies to gain publicity, meet potential partners, and strike new business deals. Exhibitors at the showcase range from Facebook gardening game developers to studios working on big-name IPs like Game of Thrones.

In addition, the show will once again bring back the popular Classic Game Postmortem series, this time featuring talks covering influential titles such as Fallout, Gauntlet, Alone in the Dark, and Harvest Moon.

And as usual, GDC will host dozens of sessions across its Main Conference and specialized Summits, covering an wide range of topics related to game development, the industry itself, and much more. Check out the show's official Schedule Builder for more information on the individual presentations.

GDC Play hall adds Lego, conTAGion studios to 2012 exhibitor lineup

GDC 2012 is less than a week away, and show organizers have chosen to highlight a new batch of notable and eccentric game developers at the first-ever GDC Play showcase.

As outlined previously, GDC Play is a new program that gives emerging game developers a chance to show off their games to a host of specially invited industry decision makers, in addition to the 19,000-strong GDC attendee base.

The showcase itself will take place Tuesday March 7th through Thursday March 9th in the Esplanade Ballroom in the South Hall of Moscone Center in San Francisco, and all GDC attendees are welcome to check out the products and companies on display at specially designed IGF Pavilion-style kiosks and meeting rooms.

In addition, GDC 2012 All-Access Pass holders and exhibitors can also sign up in the recently announced GDC Business Matchmaking software and book meetings with GDC Play companies right now, or can turn up on site to check out the kiosks.

The GDC Play hall will also be home to the recently announced 'History Of 3D Games' exhibit from the Bay Area-based Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment, also free to all GDC attendees.

Here are the latest organizer-highlighted companies at the band new GDC Play showcase:

- Mobile gaming company 2clams will host a kiosk at GDC Play to showcase its location-based iOS games. One such title, conTAGion, puts players in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, where their real-world location determines how the game plays out. At GDC Play, the studio is looking to find new developers and investors to grow its mobile gaming business.

- The UK browser and mobile game studio 4T2 Multimedia will attend GDC Play to demonstrate its partnerships with major brands around the world. In 2011, the company released Lego: Hero Factory Breakout, a single player browser game created as a tie-in to Lego's popular toy line (pictured). Now, the publisher is seeking new publishers for future branded partnerships.

- Elsewhere, the Canadian studio Frima will show off original IP titles such as A Space Shooter for Free! and Zombie Tycoon. The multiplatform developer is currently seeking out new partners, platform holders, and publishers interested in exploring new projects and business opportunities.

- The UK developer Tag Games will exhibit at GDC Play to discuss its latest projects on both social and mobile platforms. Previously, the studio has developed original titles and projects based on popular IPs such as Doctor Who and True Grit. At next week's showcase, the studio hopes to find new partners to develop projects for smartphones, handhelds, the web, and more.

GDC 2012's Advocacy Track debuts White House, 'women in games' lectures

Today, Game Developers Conference 2012 organizers are highlighting the show's new Advocacy Track, which will cover key issues facing the game industry, spanning White House-led initiatives to gender equality and beyond.

This special mini-track is new to the conference this year, and aims to improve the game industry by shedding light on pertinent social or cultural issues in the game biz that sometimes don't get sufficient attention.

The sessions within this track will are open to All Access and Main Conference pass holders. Those interested in checking out these sessions can register for a pass on the official GDC website (online registration ends next Wednesday, February 29).

Here are just a few of the Advocacy Track's most notable sessions:

- In "Games to Address National Challenges," Constance Steinkuehler Squire, a senior policy analyst for the U.S. President's White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will detail how the Obama administration hopes to use video games to improve learning, physical health, mental well-being, and more.

Throughout the session, she will explore the government's interest in games, review trends in game-related government investments, detail what game R&D looks like on the Federal level, possible partnerships in this sector, and future trends for the medium.

- In a talk addressing gender equality, Mare Sheppard of the indie game studio Metanet Software (N+) will explain why the game industry needs to view itself as a single community, rather than a segmented population with "others" and rigidly defined social structures.

Her intentionally provocatively-titled talk, "Why I Hate Women in Games Initiatives," will specifically look at women in the game industry, noting that video game professionals need to embrace diversity in order to remain fresh, creative and adaptive. She will also consider what the industry needs to do to find a proper solution to this problem.

GDC Play adds Game of Thrones, GardenQuest devs to showcase lineup

GDC 2012 is drawing ever closer, and show organizers have chosen to highlight even more of the notable and eccentric game developers at the first-ever GDC Play showcase.

As outlined previously, GDC Play is a new program that gives emerging game developers a chance to show off their games to a host of specially invited industry decision makers, in addition to the 19,000-strong GDC attendee base.

The showcase itself will take place Tuesday March 7th through Thursday March 9th in the Esplanade Ballroom in the South Hall of Moscone Center in San Francisco, and all GDC attendees are welcome to check out the products and companies on display at specially designed IGF Pavilion-style kiosks and meeting rooms.

In addition, GDC 2012 All-Access Pass holders and exhibitors can also sign up in the recently announced GDC Business Matchmaking software and book meetings with GDC Play companies right now, or can turn up on site to check out the kiosks.

The GDC Play hall will also be home to the recently announced 'History Of 3D Games' exhibit from the Bay Area-based Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment, also free to all GDC attendees.

Here are the latest organizer-highlighted companies at the band new GDC Play showcase:

- The social gaming startup 10-20 Media will host a booth at GDC Play to showcase GardenQuest, a 3D Facebook title about -- as the name implies -- gardening. The game itself will also include its own virtual economy in which real-world gardening brands and retailers can reach out to consumers with branded virtual goods, rewards, and more. The company is currently looking for potential partners to increase its social growth.

- Elsewhere, Australian developer Brawsome will demo the upcoming PC adventure game MacGuffin's Curse. Overall, the team focuses on capturing the spirit of classic point-and-click titles for a modern audience. The studio is also interested in looking to the mobile realm, and it hopes to meet some interesting partners at GDC Play.

- Perhaps best known for titles such as Pro Cycling Manager, Loki, and Dungeon Party, the French team at Cyanide Studio will discuss its upcoming titles based on existing popular IP, including George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones (pictured), Games Workshop's Blood Bowl, and Rackham's Confrontation. At GDC Play, Cyanide plans to pitch original IPs to some potential publishing partners.

GDC 2012 details Moriarty, Della Rocca, 'Rant' sessions in Education Summit

For the latest update on the Game Developers Conference 2012, show organizers have detailed several sessions within the Education Summit, featuring adventure game veteran Brian Moriarty (pictured) on "sinister" game courses, a look at university based game incubation, and a series of rant sessions from the industry's leading educators.

These sessions join a host of other talks within the show's Education Summit, which will explore experimental educational techniques and influential game research that educators can bring back into the classroom.

As one of GDC 2012's eight specialized Summits, the Education Summit will take place during the first two days of the show -- from Monday, March 5 through Tuesday, March 6 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Those interested in checking out any of the Summit content can do so by registering for an All Access or Summits & Tutorials pass on the official GDC website.

Here are the newest education-focused talks to be added to GDC 2012's Education Summit:

- In a session exploring experimental game design curricula, adventure game veteran Brian Moriarty (Wishbringer, Beyond Zork, Loom) will share his "sinister" method for teaching students about game development.

Moriarty's talk, "Lehr und Kunst mit Perlenspiel," will detail how he plunges his students deep into the trenches of game design, tasking them with developing five complete games over the course of a seven week term. He will argue that this peculiar strategy is surprisingly effective at equipping students with the knowledge they need to succeed in the game business.

- Elsewhere, regular GDC speaker and former IGDA executive director Jason Della Rocca will host "Incubating Indie Games at University." Here, Della Rocca will look back on a recent eight-week course at Montreal's Concordia University, in which indie developers and university staff worked together to develop a number of diverse game prototypes. The session will detail lessons learned from the experience, and will illustrate the importance of bridging the gap between game development and academia.

- In "Game Educators Rant!," a group of leading teachers, scholars, and professors will share their insight and speak out on topics of their choosing, ranging from students, schools, pedagogy, the future of game education, and much more. Of course, given the nature of GDC's rant sessions, the panelists are almost certain to explore some unexpected and unusual issues. Speakers will include prominent game designer and researcher Ian Bogost, UC Santa Cruz' Michael Mateas, storied developer and writer Jesse Schell, WallFour's Adam Russell, and New York University's Jesper Juul.

GDC 2012 details Game IT Summit talks featuring McGonigal, Bogost, more

Game Developers Conference 2012 organizers have debuted a series of notable sessions within the first-ever Game IT Summit, featuring talks from prominent game developers and researchers such as Jane McGonigal (pictured), Ian Bogost, and much more.

This new Summit, scheduled for Monday, March 5, will examine how video games can help accomplish organizational roles through enterprise-focused game development.

Across its numerous sessions, the Game IT Summit will cover new ways to boost productivity, increase user engagement, and encourage group interaction through games.

As Summit advisor Ian Bogost puts it, this Summit isn't about "gamification," but about something far greater.

"Rather than think of Game IT as a less odious nickname for 'gamification,' think of it instead as a more deliberate and long-term commitment to the process of making and using games in the service of different industries."

"This isn't about the next hype cycle or trend, but about figuring out how to make use of games as infrastructure in the context of organizations," he said.

Those interested in checking out the Game IT Summit can do so by registering for an All Access or Summits & Tutorials pass on the official GDC website passes page.

The following are some of the notable sessions to be held within this new Summit:

- The Game IT Summit will open with a series of mini-talks focusing on how games can solve problems by encouraging group interaction. The session, "Game Structured Hiveminds: Organizing People & Solving Problems with Fun," will cover a handful of new game-based projects that use crowdsourcing and collaboration to help researchers decode the human genome, coordinate civic logistics, and develop artificial intelligence. Speakers include Digitalmill's Ben Sawyer (Virtual U), McGill University's Jerome Waldispuhl, Entertainment Technology Center's Evan Brown, and Citizen Logistics' Joe Edelman.

- Elsewhere, a panel of speakers will present their responses to a challenge posed at GDC 2011 -- to create games that help players stay healthy or fight physical and mental illness. In "Health IT! Enterprising Approaches to Combining Health and Games," speakers such as Social Chocolate's Jane McGonigal, ShapeUp's Rajiv Kumar, and GreenGoose's Brian Krejcarek will showcase games and technologies that promote mental, physical and social resilience, boost physical well-being, and much more.

GDC 2012 highlights Sims Social, F2P design panel, Naughty Dog talks

As part of a continuing series of updates for the 2012 Game Developers Conference, show organizers have revealed three new sessions within the Game Design track, featuring a panel with notable speakers such as David Edery (Spry Fox) and Ben Cousins (Ngmoco Sweden), and presentations on EA's The Sims Social and Naughty Dog's approach to psychologically-led design.

As part of the discipline-specific Game Design track, these talks will feature some of the industry's top designers, who will offer insight on using new technologies, designing gameplay systems, refining in-game mechanics, and much more.

The sessions will take place alongside the rest of GDC 2012's Main Conference, which will be held Wednesday, March 7th to Friday, March 9th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Those interested in checking out any of the content within the Main Conference can do so by registering for an All Access or Main Conference pass on the official GDC website passes page.

The following are some of the newest lectures to be added to GDC 2012's Main Conference:

- In a major panel dubbed, "Designing for Free: How Free-to-Play Games Blur the Line Between Design and Business," four talented game designers will discuss how to blend fun game design with the business needs of this emerging free-to-play model.

The session will be moderated by Quarter to Three's Tom Chick, and will feature Spry Fox's David Edery (Triple Town), Ngmoco Sweden's Ben Cousins (Battlefield Play4Free), Dragon Age Legends and Civilization IV designer Soren Johnson, and LucasArts' Matthias Worch, all of whom will discuss the inherent design challenges that come with free to play games

- Elsewhere, Ray Mazza, creative director at EA's Playfish, will look back at the studio's recent Facebook hit, The Sims Social (pictured). During his talk, "Life is a Social Game: Lessons Learned Bringing The Sims to Facebook," Mazza will outline how the team adapted the popular big-budget franchise to social platforms, and he will discuss the game's emphasis on player-to-player interaction, an essential factor in its eventual success.

- Finally, noted Naughty Dog lead game designer Richard Lemarchand (Uncharted franchise) will discuss how to improve game design by focusing on the psychological forces that drive a player's attention. The talk, "Attention, Not Immersion: Making Your Games Better with Psychology and Playtesting, the Uncharted Way," will pick apart the overlapping phenomena of entrancement, compulsion and depth, offering insight on how to better hold a player's attention and, hopefully, make games that are more fun to play.

 

Advertisement

 

Connecting the Global Game Development Community