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 Europe 2012 details new Facebook Developer Day

Over the past several years, Facebook has changed quite a bit as a game platform. It's expanded onto mobile devices, added its own app marketplace, and has continued to grow as one of the largest venues for online web games.

There are a lot of changes to keep track of, and if you're interested in learning how to make the most of the popular social network, next month's GDC Europe in Cologne, Germany will address that very topic in its sponsored Facebook Developer Day.

This full-day event will be held the second day of the show, on Tuesday, August 14, alongside the show's Main Conference, and will include nine distinct presentations and discussions where attendees will learn how to develop, grow, and maintain successful social games.

The Developer Day is available only on a first-come, first-served basis to all GDC Europe pass holders (except IGS Pass). Those who have not registered for GDC Europe 2012 yet can now pick the Facebook Developer Day as an option when registering online.

If you've already purchased your pass, and wish to attend, please contact us via our web form or phone with your name and pass type, and we'll add you while spaces are available. (There may also be an opportunity to attend individual talks on the day of the event, if attendees drop out to join other classes.)

The full details on GDC Europe's Facebook Developer Day are as follows:

- First, Julien Codorniou, Facebook's head of games partnerships in Europe, will host "Growing Social Games With Facebook: Lessons From European Partners," during which he will showcase some of the most successful developers on the platform, noting what they've achieved and how they got there.

- In "Building Your Next Generation Social Game With Facebook," product manager for games and apps Matt Wyndowe will share his vision for social games on Facebook and offer his advice for how developers can grow their games on both the web and mobile devices.

- Next up is a technical talk dubbed "Simple Steps To Build & Grow A Social Game On Facebook," in which partner engineer for games Colin Creitz walks attendees through the best ways to set up Facebook's Developer App, incorporate social channels, leverage achievements, and much more.

- During the lunch break, a number of developers will take a moment to share their experiences on Facebook, noting how they incorporated social features into their games, how they leveraged the specific features on the platform, and where they think social games are headed.

- After the break, engineer Ali Parr will discuss how developers can integrate Facebook into their native iOS or Android games in a lecture titled "How Mobile Games Can Plug Into Facebook For Massive Growth."

- In "Driving Installs And Re-engagment With Open Graph," Facebook's Gareth Morris will showcase how Facebook's Open Graph has helped increase traffic and user engagement for games such as SongPop (FreshPlanet) and Marvel Avenger's Alliance (Playdom).

GDC Europe's Indie Games Summit adds Trauma, Proteus design talks

With GDC Europe almost upon us, the show's Independent Games Summit has added three new talks, covering experimental titles like Trauma and Proteus, as well as what developers should do after they've launched their game.

The Independent Games Summit takes place Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany during the Gamescom trade show, and is accessible via a special reduced-price Indie Games Summit Pass, as well as by all other regular pass types.

The full details on the Summit's new sessions are as follows:

- First, independent Polish/German developer Krystian Majewski will detail the creation of his atmospheric point and click adventure game, Trauma.

The game has been nominated by numerous competitions, including the Independent Games Festival, and in his session, "Trauma Making of: From University to Indie," Majewski will discuss the game's entire history, beginning with its inception as a final thesis project for his university and leading up to its final commercial debut.

- Elsewhere, attendees will get a behind the scenes look at the minimalistic, exploration-focused title Proteus (pictured) - a game that values abstraction and aesthetics over more traditional game design tropes. During this session, "Abstraction and Experience: Observations on Proteus," UK indie Ed Key will explain how he and his partner, David Kanaga, referenced their personal experiences to craft this unusual game.

- Finally, Rob Davis, the founder of the London-based game studio Playniac, will host "Beat the Post-Launch Blues: Your Game is Out, What Now?" During this session, he'll discuss the things developers need to keep in mind once their game is out in the wild. The talk will cover everything from promotion, content updates, business partnerships, and more - everything an indie dev needs to consider to make sure their game survives after its launch.

GDC Online 2012 adds programming talks on CityVille, HTML5, more

In the latest update for GDC Online 2012, show organizers have revealed three new programming-focused talks, covering Zynga's CityVille, the realities of HTML5, and tips for improving rendering pipelines.

These talks all fall within the Programming track in GDC Online's Main Conference, which offers attendees the world's leading content on persistent and online games. The event will be held Tuesday, October 9 to Thursday, October 11 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

The full details on these newly announced sessions are as follows:

- When it comes to the Facebook space, there aren't many games as popular as Zynga's CityVille, and at GDC Online, engineer Kartik Ayyar will offer an inside look at the tools, infrastructure, and strategies Zynga employs to keep the large-scale title up and running.

Ayyar's talk, "CityVille: Lessons Learned & Tools Used to Run a Large Social Game," will showcase what it takes to maintain one of the web's most popular titles, and attendees will walk away understanding how to operate large-scale web games, and ensure that content updates remain both frequent and efficient.

- Elsewhere, Jiri Kupiainen, the VP of Disney Interactive's HTML5 specialist studio Rocket Pack, will pick apart the realities of working on the web with the technology in his talk, "HTML5 Reality Check."

Over the past several months, developers all over the industry have sung the praises of HTML5, claiming it could revolutionize the way developers approach multiplatform games. Here, Kupiainen will reassess those claims, noting the common pitfalls of the emerging web standard, its recent developments and trends, and what developers can expect if they use HTML5 themselves.

- Finally, Intel graphics software engineer Omar Rodriguez will set out to improve developers' rendering pipelines in "Dynamic Resolution Rendering for OpenGL ES 2.0 and WebGL."

As Rodriguez notes, "pixel shading work is one of the most expensive stages in games' rendering pipelines due to lighting, post processing, and other image space effects," and in his talk he'll share a technique to help programmers "reduce pixel shader load by dynamically modifying the rendering resolution." His technique is widely applicable, but Rodriguez says it's particularly suited to web and mobile development.

GDC Europe reminds on highlights, final 24 hours for early pricing

This year's GDC Europe is almost here, and if you're looking to attend, organizers are reminding there's just one day left to secure discounted passes for the August show.

Those who register online before the July 18th deadline will save up to 200 Euros on individual show passes. Since those lower prices are about to expire, now's a great time to sign up for what promises to be the biggest and most exciting GDC Europe yet.

As always, the show is bringing together some of the biggest names in the European and international game industries to discuss major practical takeaways for today's video game market, with presentations ranging from in-depth lectures, panels, case studies, postmortems, and more.

GDC Europe will take place Monday through Wednesday, August 13-15, 2012 at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany, just before the popular Gamescom trade show. In fact, a Gamescom ticket is included alongside all regular GDC content passes.

Here are just a few of the major talks to be featured at this year's GDC Europe:

- Robin Hunicke, formerly of thatgamecompany (and now of Tiny Speck) will host an in-depth postmortem on the critically acclaimed PSN-exclusive Journey. She'll pull back the curtain on the game's three-year development cycle, examining how the game lived up to its original vision and what the team learned along the way.

- Elsewhere, attendees will get an inside look at the creation of the Nintendo 64 classic, GoldenEye 007. During this postmortem, former Rare director Martin Hollis (now of independent studio Zoonami) will showcase how this licensed movie title evolved from an on-rails shooter into the 8-million unit selling title that popularized the console-based first person shooter.

- Wargaming.net's World of Tanks has grown into one of the industry's most popular online games, and at GDC Europe, Wargaming.net CEO Victor Kislyi will outline the game's explosive growth, and argue why the free to play model could spell the end of the boxed retail game.

- In addition, concept artist Tobias Mannewitz will discuss what video game artists can learn from HBO's hit fantasy show, Game of Thrones. Mannewitz worked on Season 2 of the George R.R. Martin-inspired epic, and at GDC Europe he'll share what he learned to help artists improve both their pipelines and the quality of their work.

- For years, DICE's Battlefield series has stood out as one of the leading franchises in the first person shooter space, and at next month's show, DICE general manager Karl Magnus will reflect on the last 10 years of the successful series, noting how it changed, and how the studio has sustained the franchise's success.

GDC Europe debuts '10 years of Battlefield' talk, Unreal Engine 4 demo, more

With just two days to go until early registration ends for GDC Europe 2012, show organizers have debuted brand new talks including a major retrospective on Battlefield developer DICE, a panel on financing games, as well as presentations on both Unreal Engine 4 and CryEngine 3.

These talks 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. Be sure to register soon, as those who do so before July 18 will save up to 200 Euros on their show pass.

The full details on GDC Europe's new sessions are as follows:

- In the show's Production track session, "Passion For Entertainment: 10 years of Battlefield/20 years of DICE," DICE general manager Karl Magnus will chart the trends and changes that helped shape this long-running and successful big-budget studio.

Along the way, Magnus will explore how DICE supported and altered its popular Battlefield franchise as it transitioned from working as a traditional boxed product developer to one that supports persistent online services around the clock. In addition, he'll share some key design insights behind the studio's biggest games, giving attendees a chance to learn what's made DICE's games so successful.

- Over in the Business & Marketing track, a notable panel of independent European game developers and financiers will help answer one of the biggest questions in modern game development: How do you get your game financed?

In this panel, "Financing Options for Smaller Games," speakers including Nicholas Lovell (GAMESbrief), Jonathan Newth (Tenshi Ventures), Patrick O'Luanaigh (nDreams), and Ciaran O'Leary (Earlybird) will share their thoughts on how developers should raise money from investors, the benefits and pitfalls of crowdfunding, and much, much more.

- In a number of recently added GDC Europe sponsored sessions, major companies including Intel, Crytek and Epic will discuss their business in talks open to all attendees. In particular, Epic Games will host a real-time demo of the upcoming Unreal Engine 4. Here, the studio will provide one of the first public showings of the engine's "Elemental" demonstration. In addition, Crytek will showcase a brand new, small-scale project created with CryEngine3's free SDK, and a look at the tools used in the the upcoming free to play shooter, Warface.

GDC Europe adds World of Tanks session, Diamond Dash postmortem, and more

In the latest update for GDC Europe, event organizers have revealed an all-new session covering the evolution of World of Tanks developer Wargaming.net, as well as mobile game talks covering Wooga's Diamond Dash and tips for cross-platform development.

Like the rest of the sessions at GDC Europe, these talks will take 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:

- Over in the Business & Management track, Wargaming.net CEO Victor Kislyi will discuss how the free to play model was essential to the success of the studio's hit game World of Tanks, and why that model could spell the end of the boxed retail game.

The talk, "World of Free-to-Play - Triple A by Wargaming.net," will examine the company's growth since it embraced the free to play model, and Kislyi will argue why it works, how it should be implemented, and why it's a better fit for today's players than any other business strategy out there.

- As part of GDC Europe's Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, Wooga lead product manager Christopher Parschat will look back on how the social giant moved one of its most popular games to mobile in "Postmortem: Bringing Diamond Dash to iOS."

Diamond Dash was the first Wooga game to make it from Facebook to iOS, and in this session Parschat will outline how the company created a new version of the game that offered synced cross-platform play with the original version on social networks. Along the way, he'll share some important lessons learned to help any developer looking to adapt a Facebook title to iOS.

- Also in the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, Darya Trushkina, the VP of business development for the Russian game studio Game Insight, will present a number of case studies to help developers create mobile games that span both iOS and Android platforms.

His talk, "Cross-Platform Mobile Game Development: What, Why, and How Much?," will examine cross-platform Game Insight titles like Mystery Manor and Paradise Island to explain what works when creating a multiplatform game, and perhaps more importantly, what doesn't.

GDC Online adds psychology, SOE community talks

GDC Online continues to take shape this week, as show organizers have debuted a new batch of talks including a look at the psychology of numbers, and how one SOE director took community management tips from goat herders, of all things.

These talks all fall within GDC Online's Main Conference, which offers come of the world's leading content on persistent and online games. The event will be held Tuesday, October 9 to Thursday, October 11 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

The full details on these newly-announced sessions are as follows:

- Over in the Design track, Intrinsic Algorithm president Dave Mark will host, "Psychology vs Structure: The Power of Numbers in Game Design," offering an analysis of how numbers dictate nearly all realms of game creation.

Numbers influence everything from scores, abilities, damage ranges, and even prices, and Mark will argue that they play a key role in crafting what a player perceives, believes, and even feels. Using a number of unusual (and often amusing) examples, he will demonstrate the messages these numbers send and how game developers can use the psychology of numbers to make better games.

- Elsewhere, Sony Online Entertainment's director of community relations, Linda Carlson, will share her insight on how to build and nurture a strong community using examples from a very unexpected field: Goat herding.

Carlson actually has hands-on experience working with goat herders, and in her Customer Experience track session, "Everything I Needed To Know About Community Management, I Learned From Goat Herders," she will explain how the skills she picked up apply directly to online games like EverQuest and Star Wars Galaxies. It's an odd comparison, to be sure, but it promises to really shed some light on how to manage a community, regardless of whether you're working with animals or making video games.

GDC Europe's Indie Games Summit adds Fotonica, Eufloria HD design discussions

In the latest update to the GDC Europe Independent Games Summit, organizers have added three new talks, including discussions on game design from Fotonica developer Santa Ragione and level design from Eufloria HD developer Omni System, with postmortems on the 100-player Renga and the 250 square-meter LED screen displayed Rocket Bullet Storm.

The Independent Games Summit takes place Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany during the gamescom event, and is accessible via a special reduced-price Indie Games Summit Pass, as well as by all other regular pass types.

The full details on these new sessions are as follows:

- In 'Games Happen: Design Lessons from MirrorMoon and Fotonica', Santa Ragione's Pietro Righi Riva will provide insight into creating his team's experimental games, sharing the design concepts and philosophies he discovered making titles that focused on the player's freedom to enact and interpret them.

- Rudolf Kremers of Omni Systems will explore how to do more with less in creating game worlds much like Eufloria HD's own, implementing techniques such as procedural content generation and modular design. Kremers will also discuss how to employ user generated content in his 'Adventures in Negative Space' lecture.

- Finally, the postmortems of wallFour's Renga and Nemesys Games' Rocket Bullet Storm will highlight creating unorthodox games which involve social gaming at live events. Renga asked 100 players to interact cooperatively, and Rocket Bullet Storm had its debut projected onto 250 square meters of LED screen. This session will be especially for developers who want to bring in new gamers to play in unorthodox spaces.

GDC Europe adds Witcher 2, Love postmortems, and more

The lineup for GDC Europe 2012 continues to grow this week, as show organizers have released three new talks featuring a look at the production of CD Projekt RED's The Witcher 2, a programming-heavy postmortem on the online indie game Love, and a look at Cryptic's approach to user-generated content in MMOs.

Like the rest of the sessions at GDC Europe, these talks will take 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, CD Projekt RED developers Maciej Szczesnik and Marek Ziemak will host "The Witcher 2: Between Dreams and Deadlines: AAA RPG Design and Pre-Production," offering a behind-the-scenes look at the Polish developer's recent RPG hit.

During this session, the pair will look back on The Witcher 2's production cycle to explain how CD Projekt RED crafts its complex hardcore titles from pre-production to full-scale development and beyond. Along the way, they'll share some of the studio's missteps, and explain how those hard lessons have informed the team's approach to production going forward.

- Over in the programming track, independent developer Eskil Steenberg will peel back the curtain on the tech behind his 2010 release Love, an unusual online game that combines procedurally-generated elements with the structure of an MMO.

The session, "Love Engine Postmortem: Lean and Mean C Engine Design," will detail how Steenberg single-handedly wrote the game's engine, noting the unconventional techniques he used to create a complex game with some surprisingly simple code.

- Finally, Cryptic Studios COO Craig Zinkievich will host a talk in the Social Games Summit dubbed "User-Generated Content In MMOs - From Champions Online To Neverwinter."

Here, Zinkievich will showcase Cryptic's user generated content tools known as "The Foundry," and will share insight on how the studio aims to extend an MMO's lifespan by letting the users influence how the game evolves. Of course, allowing players to create their own content can really affect a game's balance and overall appeal, so Zinkievich will make sure to outline the various factors developers need to consider to ensure such a model succeeds.

GDC Europe adds Journey postmortem, major publisher panel

In the latest update for GDC Europe 2012, show organizers have unveiled three new talks, including a postmortem on thatgamecompany's Journey, a panel on how publishers need to react to the latest industry trends, and a look at SOE's approach to social media.

These talks 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, former thatgamecompany producer Robin Hunicke (now of Tiny Speck), will look back at one of the most highly-regarded downloadable titles of this generation in "The Long Journey."

During this postmortem, Hunicke will outline how the PSN-exclusive Journey embraced the unknown to create meaningful social gameplay without relying on traditional video game tropes. The game took three full years to make -- double thatgamecompany's original goal -- and Hunicke will reflect on its production to determine whether the title lived up to its initial vision, while sharing some key lessons learned along the way.

- Over in the Business & Marketing track, a handful of major publishing executives will discuss their thoughts on the biggest trends facing game development in, "Ask the Publishers - Adapting and Succeeding in a Changing Games Industry."

In this panel, speakers from major companies including Microsoft, Konami and Capcom - moderated by Remedy (Alan Wake) head Matias Myllyrinne - will discuss the latest digital distribution models, new funding options like Kickstarter, and much more. The panelists will examine all of these trends, offering their take on how they will impact the industry and what developers and publishers need to so to survive in the years ahead.

- Also in the Business & Marketing track, Sony Online Entertainment's Linda Carlson will host "Surviving Social Media - Experimentation Leads to Innovation," detailing how companies can improve their online community outreach and better take advantage of the latest online developments.

Carlson will share SOE's own social media efforts, noting that the best way to find success with these initiatives is to experiment, abandon unsuccessful tactics, and constantly seek out new ideas. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how to leverage online media, regardless of their studio's size, structure, or ambition.

GDC Online 2012 adds Zynga, Aion free to play, happiness talks

In the latest update for GDC Online 2012, show organizers have revealed a trio of new talks covering Zynga's Draw Something backend infrastructure, lessons on making Aion free to play, and tips for making your team happier and your games more fun.

These talks all fall within GDC Online's Main Conference, which offers come of the world's leading content on persistent and online games. The event will be held Tuesday, October 9 to Thursday, October 11 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

The full details on these newly-announced sessions are as follows:

- First, Zynga Chief Technology officers Allan Leinwand and Jason Pearlman will share their stories and advice on how game developers can handle the growth of games that become overnight sensations.

During their Programming track talk, "Bootstrapping the Infrastructure of Draw Something and Other Hit Games," the pair will reflect on Zynga's Omgpop-developed sensation along with a number of other titles to give attendees a blueprint for developing a scalable backend infrastructure that keeps things running smoothly even during times of crisis and exponential growth.

- Over in the Business & Marketing track, Gameforge 4D CEO Carsten van Husenwill discuss how to turn a subscription MMO into a free to play game in "7 Learnings from Making Aion Europe Free-to-Play."

Looking back on how the European version of the fantasy MMO Aion made the free to play transition, van Husenwill will offer some essential insight to other online game developers regarding how to create an effective monetization system, how to prepare for a number of inevitable technical hiccups, and how to re-establish an existing brand under a new business model.

- Finally, highly rated GDC speaker Scott Crabtree of Happy Brain Science will explain how developers can use neuroscience and psychology to effectively build happy teams that work well together and create more quality work.

His Production track talk, "Fun Makes Fun: The Brain Science of Happy Game Teams," will teach attendees about the science of great teamwork, helping them establish a stronger bond between co-workers, limit everyday stress, and ultimately make better games.

GDC Europe adds Game of Thrones art, Ernest Adams, Bigpoint talks

In the latest update for GDC Europe 2012, show organizers have revealed three new sessions, which cover the ways in which Game of Thrones can inspire concept artists, how developers can visualize and create new game mechanics, and how studios should react to the saturation of the free to play market.

These talks 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 Visual Arts track, concept artist Tobias Mannewitz (who's worked on games including Anno 1404, Gothic 4, and Killzone 3) will demonstrate what game artists can learn from television in "Concept Art Learnings From Game Of Thrones To... Games!"

In addition to working in the game industry, Mannewitz has also contributed concept art to Season 2 of the hit HBO television series Game of Thrones (pictured), and in this session, he will discuss how artists can learn from the show and use several filmmaking techniques to improve their pipelines and artistic output.

- Over in the Game Design track, veteran game designer and teacher Ernest Adams and gameplay engineer Joris Dormans (who holds a PhD in game design) will introduce a new and invaluable tool for creating gameplay mechanics in "Machinations: A New Way to Design Game Mechanics."

During this session, the pair will showcase how the free Machinations software will help developers visualize and diagram their ideas for new gameplay systems. Attendees will also get a chance to try the software for themselves, giving them hands-on experience in using the new game design tool.

- Finally, Bigpoint founder Heiko Hubertz will present the Business & Marketing track lecture, "This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us - Trend Compendium for the F2P Online Games Industry," offering an in-depth look at the maturation and saturation of the free to play market.

Over the past few years, the free to play space has only grown more competitive -- companies are beginning to fight over larger and larger segments of the market, and users are beginning to expect more from the games that use the free to play model. In this session, Hubertz will outline these key trends, and will offer his advice on what developers need to do to survive as the market evolves.

GDC Europe adds GoldenEye N64 'classic postmortem', Ngmoco, Ubisoft Blue Byte talks

GDC Europe 2012's session lineup continues to grow this week, as show organizers have debuted new sessions including a 'classic postmortem' on seminal N64 title GoldenEye 007, as well as talks on working with a distributed team and how music can influence user experience design.

These talks 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:

- Over in the Game Design track, former Rare game director Martin Hollis (now of independent studio Zoonami) will debut the first ever GDC Europe 'classic postmortem', chronicling the development of seminal Nintendo 64 title Goldeneye 007.

Hollis led the creation of this hit movie tie-in game, and during this session he will detail how the game came to be, detailing its roots as a Virtua Cop-influenced on-rails project all the way to its eventual release in 1997. It'll be a rare chance to get an inside look at the much-loved 8-million unit selling title that paved the way for the future of console based first person shooters.

- Over in the Production track, Ngmoco senior development director Senta Jakobsen will host "Changing How Games Are Made - Building and Working in a Distributed Team."

Here, former Crytek director and DICE COO Jakobsen will explain the ins and outs of working with a team that's spread all over the world, discussing everything from hiring processes, tools, overall guidelines, and more. In addition, she'll share a number of common mistakes so other studios know what to avoid.

- Finally, Simon Davis of Ubisoft Blue Byte (Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online) will discuss how to refine overall user experience in the Game Design track lecture, "The Wonderful World of UX: How We Can Make Games That Resonate Better and Learn From Approaches to Music."

By using musical genres such as Jazz and Blues as an overall template, Davis will outline what user experience design is, and how developers can use it to create better games. In addition, he'll analyze a number of different approaches to applying user experience design, and the results they generate when applied to games.

GDC Online 2012 debuts first sessions for Game Narrative Summit

With GDC Online 2012 quickly taking shape, show organizers have revealed the initial lineup for the event's Game Narrative Summit, which features a talk on writing for casual players, a look at crafting in-game romances, and a discussion on mystery and occult game design.

Now in its seventh year, the Game Narrative Summit -- formerly the Game Writers Conference -- will once again showcase leading industry professionals on the many facets of interactive storytelling, with sessions ranging from roundtable discussions, workshops, case studies, and more.

GDC Online itself will take place Tuesday, October 9 to Thursday, October 11 at the Austin Convention Center at Austin, Texas.

The initial sessions and lectures featured in the two-day Game Narrative Summit include the following:

- If you're writing for a traditional console game, chances are your stories are aimed squarely at a young male audience, but as Big Fish Games' Lisa Brunette will explain, storytelling techniques have to change quite wildly if you move over into the social or casual realm.

In her talk, "Immersive Storytelling for a Misunderstood Audience," Brunette will discuss how Big Fish writes games for the over-35 female audience with games like Cooking Dash and Mystery Case Files (pictured). Along the way, she'll detail how social audiences differ from the traditional console crowd, noting what developers need to do to write stories for each demographic.

- Elsewhere, Schell Games designer Heidi McDonald will outline a new model for writing successful romances in single player RPGs, which draws influence from games, writing, psychology, and more.

The session, dubbed "Writing the Romance-able NPC: ICING the Content Cake," will showcase how this "ICING" model leverages scholarly works to make virtual romances more believable, interesting, and complex.

- Finally, video game academic and story analyst Jeff Howard will present "Occult Game Design: An Initiation into Secrets and Mysteries," which will examine titles such as The Binding of Isaac and The Legend of Grimrock, and explain how mystery plays a key role in hooking a player's attention.

According to Howard, "mystery enables puzzles that are pervasive and organic rather than localized and artificial," and during his talk he will provide some advice on crafting in-game mysteries that "heighten player engagement, enrich player communities, and keep satisfied players wanting more."

 

Advertisement

 

Connecting the Global Game Development Community