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.

What's Next? Koster talks 'the revolution', future of games

[Ahead of November's GDC Next, GDC's Director of Online Community Patrick Miller reached out to many games industry luminaries to see where they think the future of video games is headed. This interview is the first installment of a multi-part series that will run up until shortly before the 'future of games' conference, which takes place in Los Angeles, CA from November 5-7, co-located with the App Developers Conference.] 

 Raph Koster needs little introduction. His pioneering work on massively multiplayer online role-playing games as lead designer on Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, and EverQuest II, among others, and his writing on game design (see his seminal book A Theory of Fun), and his work as an advisory board member for GDC Online and now GDC Next all made him one of the first people I wanted to talk to about the future of video games -- both the industry, and the artistic medium. 

GDC Europe 2013 breaks attendance records, returns next year

Organizers of 2013 Game Developers Conference Europe have announced 2,250 attendees across at least 56 countries enjoyed the conference and exhibits for last week's show in Cologne, setting an attendance record for the largest game development show in Europe.
Showing the depth of European and international presence at the show, almost 15 countries sent more than 25 attendees to GDC Europe 2013, including host country Germany, the UK, Holland, Finland, Sweden, Poland, and Italy.
In addition, more than 25 countries had at least 10 game developers and businesspeople attending - including Turkey, Spain, Ireland, with strong U.S. and Canadian presence and those from even further afield like Australia and Brazil.
Organizers have revealed that the conference will return to Cologne, Germany on August 11-13, 2014. It's once again co-located with gamescom, the leading European interactive entertainment consumer trade show, set to take place August 13-17, 2014 - gamescom itself also reported record numbers last week.
In its fifth year, GDC Europe 2013 (full Gamasutra event coverage) welcomed close to 130 national and international speakers and more than 75 exhibitors and sponsors. The conference featured more than 90 lectures and panels on the best practices in game development across five Main Conference tracks (Business, Marketing & Management, Design, Production, Programming and Visual Arts) and three summits (Free to Play Design & Business Summit, Smartphone and Tablet Games Summit and Independent Games Summit).

GDC Europe Day 2: David Cage, next-gen issues, and press outreach

Another day done at GDC Europe! If you weren't able to make it out to Cologne, Germany for the conference, read below for some of yesterday's session highlights. Also, don't forget to check out the day-one recap, or Gamasutra's GDC Europe 2013 event page for more up-to-the-minute coverage.
Highlights from the session talks included:

"I'm saying it loud and clear: We should learn from films. We have many differences, and gameplay and interactivity is the different thing, and it's very crucial, but at the same time we have a lot of things we can learn."

--David Cage (Quantic Dream) on the future of cinematic games

"We rushed Chasing Aurora for release. It would have been a better game with one or two extra months of development."

--Felix Bohatsch (Broken Rules) on Wii U launch title Chasing Aurora

"If we are going to be revolutionary on this next transition, this next generation, we're going to have to find new ways to do it."--Don Daglow (Daglow Entertainment) on next-gen challenges and opportunities
"It's just so much harder to get people to sing and dance about your game now than it was a few years ago."

--Mike Rose (Gamasutra) on how devs should reach out to press in 2013
Microsoft also made a few Xbox One-related announcements in their pre-Gamescom press conference: Microsoft veteran Chris Charla will be heading up the brand-new Independent Developers @ Xbox ([email protected]) self-publishing program, and a few more devs and games were confirmed for the Xbox One launch day.

GDC Europe Day 1: Child of Light, Crytek on team management, and show floor highlights

The first day of GDC Europe in Cologne, Germany is in the books! If you weren't able to check out the show yourself (or just couldn't be everywhere you wanted to be at once), read on to see what you missed.

Highlights from the first day of sessions included Ubisoft Far Cry 3 director Patrick Plourde debuting a new, small-team JRPG title called Child of Light; Linda "Brasse" Carlson's talk on Sony Online Entertainment's approach to community management; Crytek executive producer Joshua Howard on what game design can teach us about team management; Microsoft's Age of Empires Online executive producer Kevin Perry on how removing the spending cap saved the game; and Blizzard's Starcraft 2 lead writer Brian Kindregan on the importance of cinematics for storytelling in real-time strategy games.

To continue following Gamasutra's live show-floor coverage, just head over to the GDC Europe 2013 event page.

IGF China finalists, Indie Summit talks announced for GDC China 2013

GDC China organizers have announced the finalists for IGF China, and have highlighted a series of talks for the Independent Games Summit, including talks by former IGF nominees Thirty Flights of Loving and Retro/Grade.
UBM Tech Game Network's GDC China, now in its sixth year, has moved up to September this year, running from the 15th to the 17th at the Shanghai International Convention Center in Shanghai, China. The event will be co-located with Cloud Connect China.
With over 250 entries this year, IGF China saw almost a 60% increase from 2012's event. The eight main competition finalists and five student finalists are as follows:
Main Competition:
Coated - Muhammad A.Moniem (China)
Dusty Revenge - PD Design Studio Pte Ltd (Singapore)
Eagle & Chicken - Geeeu company, Inc. (China)
Framed - Loveshack Entertainment (Australia)
Mr Pumpkin's Adventure - PUMPKIN Network Technology Development Ltd. (China)
One Upon Light - SUTD Game Lab (Singapore)
Save The Dummy - Sandyloisa (India)
Strange Adventure - Xie Chuang (China)

GDC Europe 2013 reminder on next week's packed session line-up

With GDC Europe 2013 less than a week away and the session schedule finalized, organizers have highlighted a collection of can't-miss sessions for the event.
Highlighted talks include postmortem sessions on Candy Crush, Ridiculous Fishing, Badland, and the classic soccer sim Kick Off, along with next-gen tech talks featuring a new demo of Quantic Dream's The Dark Sorcerer, Sony's PlayStation Shading Language for PS4, and Oculus VR on Virtual Reality game development.
GDC Europe will take place next Monday through Wednesday, August 19th-21st at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany -- just ahead of (and co-located with) the massive 275,000 person 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:

Day[9], Game of Thrones, NBC Universal talks added to GDC Next

Game Developers Conference Next organizers have added new sessions to the November event, including NBC Universal on second screen gaming and broadcast TV experiments, Disruptor Beam on making a story-driven social (and upcoming mobile) game based on popular IP, and Sean "Day[9]" Plott on designing games with an eSports edge.
GDC Next is the spiritual successor to GDC Online. The new event aims to highlight the future of video games, and will take place alongside the App Developers Conference on November 5th-7th, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Continuing the shifted focus for GDC Next, organizers are announcing three new talks today, as follows:
Firstly, famed Starcraft II commentator and eSports personality Sean "Day[9]" Plott will explain how to design games with spectators in mind in 'The Observer Friendly Game.'
Plott will discuss what makes a game as fun to watch as it is to play, in order to tap into the community-building potential of streaming eSports events, Let's Play videos, and other spectator-friendly applications for games.

As online reg ends, Ubisoft, mobile talks added to GDC Europe 2013

With discounted online registration for GDC Europe 2013 ending tomorrow, organizers have announced several more notable sessions from online and mobile game developers.
These include Ubisoft Blue Byte on avoiding pay-to-win in free-to-play, PerBlue's free-to-play design and production tips from Parallel Kingdom, Scopely's VP on mobile player retention, and AppLift's business analytics.
GDC Europe will take place Monday through Wednesday, August 19th-21st at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany -- just ahead of (and co-located with) the massive 275,000 person Gamescom event, with all GDC Europe passes also guaranteeing entrance to Gamescom.
In 'Getting Past Pay to Win,' senior online game supervisor at Ubisoft Blue Byte, Teut Weidemann [The Settlers Online (pictured), Anno Online] will explain how to avoid pay-to-win design in free-to-play games. He will also share how Ubisoft designs monetization methods that its players accept as not being too aggressive nor unfair.

GDC Europe 2013 adds Microsoft, Google, App Annie vendor sessions

With GDC Europe 2013 less than two weeks away, organizers have rounded up several notable vendor sessions, including new talks from Microsoft on its 'Commitment to Indie Success' and cross-platform talks, Google's Dev Day, Blackberry 10 porting and gaming strategy tips, and App Annie's mobile analytics talk.
GDC Europe will take place Monday through Wednesday, August 19th-21st at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany -- just ahead of (and co-located with) the massive 275,000 person Gamescom event, with all GDC Europe passes also guaranteeing entrance to Gamescom.
The Google-sponsored, programming-focused 'Google Developer Day' on Tuesday August 20th now has a full schedule listed, and will go over getting the most out of Google's Cloud, Play service, and Mobile App Analytics, along with showing developers how to attract the most valuable users and how to retain them.
Microsoft will sponsor two freshly announced sessions; the first is entitled 'Be What's Next: Microsoft's Commitment to Indie Success.' Microsoft evangelist Kristina Rothe joins Flaregames' Gunnar Lott (former EIC of GameStar), as he shares how Royal Revolt reached 1 million downloads on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 in just four weeks.
Microsoft's second session with evangelist Rothe will be 'Building Tomorrow's Blockbuster Today Across Phones, Tablets, and PCs.' Joined by Dlala Studios CEO Anthony James Grand-Scrutton, he will discuss how to design, build, and publish your game in the most effective way, as he did with space-based physics adventure Jansky!.

Candy Crush Saga, Crysis, Tale of Tales talks added to GDC Europe 2013

With GDC Europe 2013 two weeks away, organizers have highlighted new conference sessions, including King.com's postmortem on mega-hit Candy Crush Saga, Crytek on Crysis's environmental art production, and Tale of Tales's sneak peek at three new projects as the studio looks into its last and next 10 years.
GDC Europe will take place Monday through Wednesday, August 19th-21st at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany -- just ahead of (and co-located with) the massive 275,000 person Gamescom event, with all GDC Europe passes also guaranteeing entrance to Gamescom.
First up, King.com's Tommy Palm will present the 'Candy Crush Postmortem: Luck in the Right Places,' discussing the mega-hit casual game's genesis. Included in the talk will be how it progressed from "a small competitive flash game and a social envelope to adjust it to Facebook, with an aggressive cross-platform push onto mobile."
In 'The Next Ten Years of Tale of Tales' as part of the Independent Games Summit, studio co-founders Michael Samyn and Auriea Harvey will examine their artistic experiments such as Bientot l'ete, The Graveyard, and The Path from the past decade and share their hopes for the future, along with showing off three new projects. They will also discuss how they organize their artistic practice in video games, despite a discouraging commercial climate.

2014 Independent Games Festival opens call for submissions

Submissions are now officially open for the 2014 Independent Games Festival, the signature competition for indie games, to be held for a 16th year during GDC 2014 in San Francisco next March. This directly follows a record-breaking year which saw nearly 900 entries for the 2013 event, including top prizewinners like FTL: Faster Than Light, Cart Life, and Kentucky Route Zero.
The deadlines for the Main and Student Showcase categories for the 16th IGF are October 19th and October 31st, 2013 respectively, with finalists announced in January 2014. Finalists' games will once again be playable at the packed IGF Pavilion on the Game Developers Conference 2014 Expo Floor, and will compete for nearly $60,000 in prizes.
These plaudits include the Excellence in Visual Art, Audio, Design, and Narrative Awards, which will have an expanded amount of six finalists each, with the winner getting $3,000 in each category. There will also be an expanded six finalists for the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
This year also sees the return of the Best Student Game award, with eight finalists ($3,000 prize), and the special Nuovo Award ($5,000, eight finalists) will again honor 'abstract, shortform, and unconventional' games. Finally, the IGF Audience Award ($3,000) will be decided by a public vote from all of the Main Competition finalists.

GDC China adds CCP, Klei, Blizzard talks; early reg ends August 9

One day before the discounted registration deadline, GDC China organizers have added more presentations for its September event, with talks on Mark of the Ninja's stealth design, EVE Online's network interface, and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm's cinematic production.
UBM Tech Game Network's GDC China, now in its sixth year, has moved up to September this year, running from the 15th to the 17th at the Shanghai International Convention Center in Shanghai, China. The event will be co-located with Cloud Connect China.
In 'Designing Mark of the Ninja,' Klei's lead designer Nels Anderson will discuss how his team adapted stealth gameplay to side-scrolling 2D for the XBLA and PC hit. Attendees will get an up-close look at how Klei innovates within established genres by seeking to understand the true appeal of a genre while avoiding genre tropes.
In 'How Hard Could It Be? The Story of a Cinematic,' Blizzard's lead writer Brian Kindregan will trace the story development of a challenging StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm cinematic. By walking the audience through multiple revisions of the same cinematic, Kindregan will demonstrate how his team reconciled differences between the cinematic production process and the game design process, integrated feedback, and made significant narrative choices -- and show how that impacted the final story.
Lastly, in 'CREST: An Account of Deploying a RESTful Interface to an Established MMO,' CCP senior network programmer Nicolas Tittley will discuss the development process behind CREST, CCP's new REST-style cross-platform network interface for the EVE Online universe. He will touch on its ease of use, scalability, and its enabling multiple 3rd party applications and CCP's new PS3 shooter, Dust 514.

'Unconsoles', BBC, Village Life! talks added for GDC Europe

As GDC Europe 2013 approaches this month, organizers highlighted new sessions for the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, with talks on Nvidia's (Project) Shield, GameStick, MOGA and other 'unconsoles', plus Playdemic on the cross-platform Village Life! and the BBC on children's game strategies.
GDC Europe will take place Monday through Wednesday, August 19th-21st at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany -- just ahead of (and co-located with) the massive 275,000 person Gamescom event, with all GDC Europe passes also guaranteeing entrance to Gamescom.
Firstly, developers will learn how to cope with the challenges of implementing different control schemes and designing for near and far screens, as well as finding the right business model for each of the new channels in the panel 'Will Unconsoles Become the Real Next-Gen Consoles?'.
This panel will include Michael Schade, CEO of Fishlabs (Galaxy of Fire); Phil Scott, technical evangelist at Nvidia (the Project Shield portable console); Sameer Baroova, Head of Games at PlayJam (casual game provider for smart TVs, GameStick, and more); and Brian Bruning, director of mobile phone pocket controller provider MOGA as they discuss what they've dubbed to be "possibly the most disruptive year in video game history."

Warface, ibb & obb, mobile analytics talks added to GDC Europe

As GDC Europe 2013 approaches this month, organizers continue to highlight notable sessions, including extensive overviews of ibb & obb for PlayStation Network and Crytek's free-to-play FPS Warface, along with an Android and iOS analytics session by analytics provider Flurry.
GDC Europe will take place Monday through Wednesday, August 19th-21st at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany -- just ahead of (and co-located with) the massive 275,000 person Gamescom event, with all GDC Europe passes also guaranteeing entrance to Gamescom.
Crytek's general manager Nick Button-Brown will review Crytek's ten key decisions from seven years of developing their free-to-play FPS Warface in '10 Decisions That Took Warface to Our First 10 Million Users.' The discussion will include insights from the partners that Crytek worked with, the challenges involved with switching from a traditional games platform to a F2P business model mid-development, and more.
Sparpweed's two-man indie team Roland IJzermans and Richard Boeser will examine their critically acclaimed PlayStation Network co-op platformer in 'ibb & obb - Ten Talking Points.' The Indiecade at E3 2008 selection and 2013 Develop Indie Showcase winner has over five years of development history behind it, and Sparpweed will discuss everything from their finances to their artistic choices during the dev process.
Finally, Flurry's publisher manager Guillaume Larrieu will share insights into how gender, age, engagement, retention and mobile game mechanics are related in 'Smartphone & Tablet Apps: Mobile Game Metrics.' He'll be drawing on data from over 1 billion mobile Android and iOS app gaming sessions per day in order to demonstrate how analytics can help devs build games to attract key audiences, improve monetization plans, and more.

Advertisement

 

Connecting the Global Game Development Community