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.

Game Developers Choice Awards Honor Yu Suzuki, Brengle/MacKenzie

This March's 11th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, the peer-awarded highest honors in video game development, have revealed the recipients of its two final Special Awards - the Pioneer Award, for creating breakthrough video game genres or concepts, and the Ambassador Award, for those who "helped the game industry advance to a better place".
This year's Pioneer Award will be given to Sega Corporation veteran and game design legend Yu Suzuki, honoring his amazing work over the last three decades, inventing entire game genres and making seminal titles spanning Hang On through Virtua Fighter to Out Run, After Burner and Shenmue - and beyond.
In addition, the Ambassador Award, also picked by the prestigious Game Developers Choice Awards Committee, will celebrate the managers of the Game Developers Conference Associates (CA) program, Tim Brengle and Ian MacKenzie.
Yu Suzuki
Sega veteran Yu Suzuki will be making a rare Western appearance to accept his award in person on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at the San Francisco Moscone Center during Game Developers Conference 2011, where he will also be presenting a special one-off game design lecture.
Suzuki himself first joined Sega Corporation in 1983 and is well known for his many industry firsts and genre-originating titles. In 1985, Suzuki created innovative arcade game Hang On, one of the first ever titles where the player's movement on a motorcycle facsimile was copied by the onscreen avatar.
From there, Suzuki's output defined a 'golden age' of Sega arcade games, including all time classics such as Out Run, Space Harrier, After Burner, Power Drift, and Virtua Racing. Following this, his pioneering work in 1993 created Virtua Fighter, which spawned the 3D fighting game genre, and has been recognized for its contribution in the fields of Art & Entertainment by the Smithsonian Institution.

GDC 2011's Summits Add Super Meat Boy, Angry Birds, FarmVille/CityVille Talks

GDC 2011 organizers have debuted the final set of GDC Summit talks, including a Super Meat Boy postmortem, Zynga on its journey from Farmville to Cityville, and Rovio talking Angry Birds.

The GDC 2011 Summits, taking place on February 28th and March 1st at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, present a series of illuminating, focused sessions about the technology, design, business, marketing, and future of key game industry markets.

There are a total of seven notable standalone Summits, including Social & Online Games, AI, Indie, GDC Education, Serious Games, Localization and the GDC Smartphone Summit, joining multiple high-profile tutorials on the Monday and Tuesday of Game Developers Conference 2011.

As the final sessions get locked into place as part of the overall GDC 2011 schedule, the following major lectures are now confirmed:

- In an Indie Games Summit lecture catchily entitled 'Team Meat Presents: Super Meat Boy - A Team Meat Meatmortem', Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes will examine "sales numbers, contract details... and revel as myths [are debunked]."

The talk will "touch on everything from development of features, mistakes made during the final stages of development, the launch of a game that Microsoft didn't believe in, why Steam is amazing, and the inevitable success of the best indie game of 2010."

- The newly added Social & Online Games Summit lecture 'Click Zen: Zynga's Evolution from FarmVille to CityVille' sees Zynga exec and veteran game maker Mark Skaggs discussing "how [100 million unique user Facebook hit] CityVille represents a fundamental shift in how Zynga makes games, highlighted by the similarities and differences between CityVille and FarmVille."

The 'GDC 25' Chronicles: The Best Kind of Drudgery

[Continuing his 'GDC 25' archival research ahead of the 25th Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this February/March, official GDC historian Jason Scott debuts newly digitized audio from multiple years of the show, from an American McGee's Alice postmortem through the Messiah Engine and beyond.]

The UPS guy has started to build up a level of respect for me these days - I get that kind of glance that says somehow I've become one of his big dropoff stops, when it's supposed to all be simple one-box deliveries in a suburban neighborhood. I make it a point to always help unload the truck, which keeps me on his good side and not finding boxes dumped sideways at the end of the driveway or worse.

So when he showed up and I came out, all he had to do was look me in the eye and go "Fourteen".

Fourteen? Well, it appears that while in the process of moving some offices, my corporate masters had packed up every last scrap of material related to GDC, sealed all the boxes, and sent this pile of history off to the archive guy. So now I have all the cassettes, programs, documents, CD-ROMs and flyers for all of GDC's past from about 1996. Not bad. This is what some of it looks like. Some of it:

gdcdig2.jpg

This is not the same as the first photo I put up a while ago - this is an entire other set of material. Formats include VHS, Betamax, Mini-DV, CD-ROM, Audio Cassette, Jaz Drive (shudder), and in one particularly interesting development, an entire hard drive with the year scrawled on it.

So this is the crossroads, or more accurately the threshold; from here it stops being a novelty to have material to digitize or an inbox with work left to do - from here it starts being a haul. The presentations also can't be cherry-picked like at the start; this is just simply all of them, all types, every subject that the GDC organizers thought needed to be spoken about in later half of the 1990s. It's about duty over fun now.

But that's a duty I think is worth taking on. So I've been going through the tapes I've already digitized, uploading them, and getting things together.

Frankly, this amount of material coming in has meant I've had to really step up the ingesting hardware. Here's what we have going on right now in that department:

GDC 2011 Reveals Full Game Career Seminar Lineup

GDC 2011 organizers have revealed the complete Game Career Seminar lineup, spanning Schell Games' Jesse Schell, Epic's Cliff Bleszinski and notable Xbox Live Indie Games creators at the one-day student event this March.

This special one-day program -- taking place on Friday, March 4 during Game Developers Conference 2011 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco -- offers a series of talks and presentations to help students and prospective developers make their way into the industry.

Attendees, who are eligible for special reduced-price passes if they are students, will get the opportunity to view lectures, network with industry professionals, meet with HR representatives from a number of leading game companies and gain insight from industry experts.

A number of talks are featured on the Seminar's homepage and the Game Career Seminar section of GDC's Schedule Builder. Highlights include the following:

- In 'From Student to Start Up: Case Studies,' Schell Games' Jesse Schell provides an in-depth look at student projects that successfully made a name for themselves in the industry.

From Portal to Fl0w, Schell will provide examples of how to best make the transition from school to professional development, as well as note some examples of how the process can go awry.

- In the a panel on Xbox Live Indie Games, industry professionals and independent develops will discuss pricing, visibility, and other methods to help ensure success on the console-based indie platform. With Game Developer magazine's Brandon Sheffield moderating, panelists include representatives from Mommy's Best Games (Weapon Of Choice), MagicalTimeBean (Soulcaster), Ska Studios (I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1NIT!!!1), and Zeboyd Games (Breath Of Death VII).

GDC 2011 Adds Cave Story Creator, Limbo, Crawford Talks

Organizers of GDC 2011 are highlighting a first-ever public lecture from Cave Story creator Pixel, plus talks on Playdead's acclaimed Limbo and Chris Crawford on gaming's 'days of yore'.

As the overall session list for the February/March event expands further, following the announcement of the classic postmortems series and a keynote from Nintendo's Satoru Iwata, new lectures continue to be showcased.

These new talks are part of GDC 2011's Main Conference, which takes place at the Moscone Center from Wednesday March 2nd to Friday March 4th, 2011 during the pre-eminent, San Francisco-based event.

The GDC 2011 Main Conference features discipline-specific Tracks dedicated to programming, design, art, audio, business and management, and production.

These additions to the GDC 2011 roster, highlighted for the first time here, include the following lectures:

- In his first-ever public speech and Western appearance regarding much-beloved 2D indie title Cave Story, Japanese 'dojin' game developer Daisuke 'Pixel' Amaya will discuss his creative process in making the PC freeware title that debuted in 2004.

The evocative retro-themed game -- a 2D platform adventure with genuine emotion, depth, and an intriguing story -- which took 5 years to complete, is an IGF finalist this year in its enhanced WiiWare version, and Amaya will talk about what went both right and wrong in creating a game that turned out completely unlike what he initially had in mind.

- Presenting a lecture called 'Designing Limbo's Puzzles', Playdead's lead gameplay designer Jeppe Carlsen discusses design takeaways from the most-nominated game in this year's prestigious Game Developers Choice Awards.

GDC 2011 Adds Google, Kinect, Unity Developer Tutorial Days

Organizers of the 2011 Game Developers Conference are highlighting full-day sponsored tutorials on Android, Microsoft's Kinect, Unity, and Google's full product suite, for the 25th edition of the industry's leading event for game creators.

With the overall session list for the event now almost full, organizers are taking the opportunity to highlight the sponsored full-day tutorials from major firms available to attendees.

These sessions, part of a full roster of one and two-day tutorials will once again be held alongside the GDC Summits on the first two days of the San Francisco-based event, Monday, February 28th and Tuesday, March 1st.

They will be open to those with a Summits & Tutorials or All-Access Pass, and interested parties can select their preference during the process of online registration and onsite check-in to help GDC staff with room capacity.

(Organizers note that some tutorials may become full and no longer be selectable during registration - attendees who select a particular tutorial and have it printed on their badge will be allowed into busy tutorials first.)

Sponsored GDC 2011 tutorials of particular note to the wider audience include the following:

- A Google Developer Day taking place on Monday includes Google game development-centric luminaries such as Bill Budge and Gregg Tavares, promising to allow development and business-centric attendees to "get a peek at the brand-new technologies Google is developing for games."

Two-Day Scrum Development Course To Run Alongside GDC 2011

Organizers of GDC 2011 have announced an affiliated two-day crash course for Scrum development on Feb 28th and March 1st, led by Clinton Keith, author of "Agile Game Development With Scrum."

Clinton Keith has over 15 years of experience in the industry, five of which have been spent applying Scrum to video game development. He has worked on titles including Midnight Club, Darkwatch, and Bourne Conspiracy.

GDC 2011 Adds WoW: Cataclysm, Game Design Challenge, Heavy Rain Talks

Organizers of GDC 2011 have revealed a new Blizzard talk on the making of World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the all-star competitors for this year's Game Design Challenge, and David Cage lecturing on Heavy Rain's "emotional rollercoaster".

As the overall session list for the February/March event expands further, following the announcement of the classic postmortems series and a keynote from Nintendo's Satoru Iwata, new lectures continue to be highlighted.

These particular talks are part of GDC 2011's Main Conference, which takes place at the Moscone Center from Wednesday March 2nd to Friday March 4th, 2011 during the San Francisco-based event.

The GDC 2011 Main Conference features discipline-specific Tracks dedicated to programming, design, art, audio, business and management, and production.

These brand new additions to the GDC 2011 roster include the following lectures:

- In an extremely rare public lecture, Blizzard's Tom Chilton presents 'Remaking the World Of Warcraft through Cataclysm', a talk in which the expansion's game director -- also responsible for lead designing Wrath of the Lich King and Burning Crusade discusses "what approach we took, what works, and what doesn't seem to work when tackling the challenge of breathing new life into aging game content."

The expansion to the popular PC MMO sold 4.7 million copies in one month after its early December debut. Chilton will discuss how the Blizzard team "rejuvenated aging parts of the game world for existing, former, and new players while at the same time preserving and even enhancing what made the game world special from the start."

- This year's competitors for the popular 'Game Design Challenge' session, which focuses around some of the industry's lead designers presenting a game design concept, have been revealed - with last year's winner Jenova Chen (Flower, Journey) taking on Doom and Quake co-creator John Romero and independent game maverick Jason Rohrer (Passage, Sleep Is Death).

GDC 2011 Social & Online Games Summit Debuts Google TV, Playfish, Playdom Talks

GDC 2011 organizers have debuted the full Social & Online Games Summit line-up, including talks from Google on Google TV, plus major talks from leading firms like Playfish, Bigpoint, Zynga, and Playdom.

The popular multi-track summit, taking place on February 28th and March 1st during Game Developers Conference 2011 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, presents a series of illuminating sessions about the technology, design, business, marketing, and future of social games.

The Summit description notes that "the features and tropes of connected gaming are catching on across the gaming landscape - encompassing Facebook gaming, web-based online games, downloadable persistent MMOs and beyond."

"New best practices are being discovered at a rapid pace, and we are seeing more high-quality entertainment experiences on social networks than ever before."

Advisors for this particular Summit include track co-chairs Raph Koster and Steve Meretzky from Playdom, as well as EA/Playfish's Sebastian De Halleux, Sulake's Sulka Haro, Making Fun's John Welch and more notables.

A number of major talks have been revealed on the Summit homepage and the GDC Education Summit section of GDC's Schedule Builder. Highlights include the following:

- In the 'Design' microtrack, notable talks include the always popular 'Social & Online Game Design 2010: A Year in Review' by Playmatics' Nick Fortugno and Joju Games' Juan Gril, as well as Raph Koster on 'social mechanics for social games'. Additional talks of interest in this area of the program include a postmortem of Kabam's popular Facebook title Kingdoms Of Camelot and a look back at the development of Riot Games' extremely popular 'DoTA'-style online game League Of Legends.

- The 'Vision' microtrack sees a lecture by Ian Ni-Lewis and Andres Ferrate of Google on "the lessons learned from developing Google's Smart TV platform, GoogleTV" with particular reference to game creators developing social titles for 'smart TVs', as well as a provocative debate, 'Are Social Games Legitimate?', as Nabeel Hyatt of Zynga and Curt Bererton of ZipZapPlay "go head to head" with Ian Bogost of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Daniel James of Three Rings.

GDC 2011 Reminds On Jan. 24th Early Registration Deadline

Organizers of Game Developers Conference 2011 are reminding that the deadline to save 35% on passes to the upcoming event in San Francisco is Monday, January 24th at 11.59pm PT.

As the overall session list for the February/March five-day event spans over 500 speakers and hundreds of sessions, and GDC's Expo show floor reaches more than 150 exhibitors, organizers are pointing out the following show highlights:

- A large range of key one- and two-day Summits, including Social & Online Games, Smartphone Games, Independent Games, Serious Games/Gamification and more, will kick off GDC week on Monday, February 28th and Tuesday, March 1st.

These innovative and informative programs are led by advisory boards of industry experts, and speakers include notables from Zynga, Google, the Humble Indie Bundle, MIT, Klei Entertainment, and many more. Monday and Tuesday also see major tutorials, spanning the Game Design Workshop through a Microsoft Kinect developer day.

- The GDC 2011 Main Conference takes place on Wednesday, March 2nd to Friday, March 4th and features discipline-specific Tracks specially filtered by the event's expert Advisory Board, and dedicated to programming, design, art, audio, business and management, and production.

The GDC 2011 Main Conference keynote is from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, on "Video Games Turn 25: A Historical Perspective and Vision for the Future", and the GDC News page and specific track pages mention a multitude of Main Conference highlights, which include Epic's Cliff Bleszinski through GDC founder Chris Crawford and beyond.

The 'GDC 25' Chronicles: An Audio Avalanche

[Continuing his 'GDC 25' archival research ahead of the 25th Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this February/March, official GDC historian Jason Scott unearths and digitizes late '90s audio talks on the Chinese game market, adapting games, game engineering discipline and making casual games.]

There's quite a huge amount of historical Game Developers Conference audio and videotapes in my to-do pile, so it's been a case of knocking through them as fast as possible, to turn them from decaying analog recordings into longer-lifed digital ones. A few dozen are finished, with dozens more waiting.

When you have a historical archive of a bunch of presentations from such a fast-moving field as game development, it might seem to be a matter of dismissing these historical items as "out of date" and then waiting for the latest and greatest.

But there's something to be said for listening to well-assembled, clear sessions on aspects of game-making that still hold true. Here's a few issues that have been around for some time, and continue to be relevant.

In one notable audio talk we've digitized onto GDC Vault, William Dalton lays out a CGDC 1998 wake-up call that the development environment of games need to bring in the same qualities that software has had for years in other industries.

Entitled 'Bringing Engineering Discipline to Entertainment Development', and now available on GDC Vault, he describes what happens when these time-tested best practices are laid in front of the then-still-young computer game development culture. Listening to it, it might be interesting to compare to your own group's practices and see how many points you have already internalized, and how many have been cast aside.

Elsewhere, noted puzzle designer Scott Kim's 1997 CGDC talk now available on GDC Vault in audio, 'Games for the Rest of Us' has a really amazing delivery style. As he steps through the current state of the game-creation industry and the type of games that are appealing to a mass-market, he drops asides and wry observations that keep his audience engaged and chortling throughout.

'GDC 25' Reveals All-Star Classic Game Postmortem Line-Up

Organizers of Game Developers Conference 2011 have revealed an all-star line-up of game developers, from John Romero (Doom) through Will Wright (Raid On Bungeling Bay) to Toru Iwatani (Pac-Man) and beyond, presenting 'postmortems' on the making of some of the most famous video games of all time.

The special one-off hour long lectures, part of celebrations for the 25th iteration of GDC, will all take place during the Main Conference of this year's show, held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from March 2nd to 4th.

Some of the other highlights of the sessions include Jordan Mechner on the making of the original Prince Of Persia and Mark Cerny on the classic Marble Madness.

In addition, Ron Gilbert is discussing the making of Maniac Mansion, David Braben is talking seminal space exploration title Elite, and Eric Chahi analyzes Out Of This World/Another World.

Finally, David Crane discusses the making of Pitfall!, Jason Kapalka looks at his work on PopCap's Bejeweled, and Peter Molyneux presents a lecture on the making of original 'god game' Populous.

As detailed on a special 'classic postmortems' webpage on the Game Developers Conference website, the following eleven special lectures are now confirmed for GDC 2011:

- Prince Of Persia (Jordan Mechner)
"Decades before it was a Hollywood film with tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of workers supporting its production, Prince of Persia was mostly the project of a single man. Jordan Mechner rotoscoped the game's fluid and realistic character animations, designed its difficult puzzles, crafted its thrilling sword-fighting combat, and penned its captivating story. He will present a postmortem discussion on the landmark cinematic platformer."

- Pac-Man (Toru Iwatani)
"More than just the man who created and designed Pac-Man, Toru Iwatani revolutionized an arcade industry filled with space shooters and Pong clones, introducing a new kind of game that was both immediately accessible and highly addictive. In this session, Iwatani will share how he created one of the world's most successful and beloved arcade games around a circle with a wedge sliced off."

2011 Choice Awards Give Molyneux Lifetime Achievement, Schafer Returning To Host

The 2011 Game Developers Choice Awards, the peer-awarded highest honors in video game development, will honor Peter Molyneux, co-founder of Bullfrog Productions and founder of Lionhead Studios, with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the art and science of games.

Along the way, the organizers have also revealed the return of Tim Schafer, the LucasArts veteran and founder of Double Fine Productions (Brutal Legend), as host of the March 2nd ceremony during the 2011 Game Developers Conference, which is being streamed live online by GameSpot.com, this year's official GDCA media partner.

This news comes shortly following the announcement of this year's Choice Awards finalists, led by games including Limbo, Red Dead Redemption and Mass Effect 2.

As a passionate creator of video games for more than 25 years and counting, and one of the creators of the 'god game' genre, Peter Molyneux exemplifies the principles of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award recognizes "the career and achievements of a developer who has made an indelible impact on the craft of game development and games as a whole."

While at Bullfrog Productions, which he co-founded in Guildford, England in 1987, Molyneux helped to create a string of seminal, innovative 'Britsoft' titles, including beloved games such as Theme Park, Magic Carpet and Dungeon Keeper.

His time at Bullfrog is particularly known for classic 'god game' progenitor Populous, which Molyneux will also be talking about as part of a special to-be-announced GDC 2011 lecture series.

After leaving Bullfrog Productions in 1997, when it was owned by Electronic Arts, Molyneux went on to form Lionhead Studios. The developer created notable PC franchises including Black & White before devising the acclaimed, choice-laden Fable RPG franchise and being acquired by Microsoft in 2006.

The Lifetime Achievement recipient is chosen by the elite Game Developers Choice Awards Advisory Committee, which includes game industry notables such as Doug Lombardi (Valve), Mark Cerny (Cerny Games), Harvey Smith (Arkane), Raph Koster (Metaplace), Julien Merceron (Square Enix), John Vechey (PopCap), and Clint Hocking (LucasArts).

GDC 2011 Adds Major Nintendo 3DS, Bleszinski, Donkey Kong Country Returns Talks

Organizers of GDC 2011 have revealed two new Nintendo-related lectures, including 3DS producer Hideki Konno on the handheld's development and a Donkey Kong Country Returns postmortem, plus a rare design lecture from Epic's Cliff Bleszinski.

As the overall session list for the February/March event expands even further ahead of the Monday, January 24th early registration deadline, following the confirmation of a Nintendo keynote from the company's president Satoru Iwata.

These talks are part of GDC 2011's Main Conference, which takes place at the Moscone Center from Wednesday March 2nd to Friday March 4th, 2011 during the pre-eminent, San Francisco-based event.

The GDC 2011 Main Conference features discipline-specific Tracks dedicated to programming, design, art, audio, business and management, and production.

These brand new additions to the GDC 2011 roster include the following lectures:

- Nintendo veteran Hideki Konno is presenting a rare lecture at GDC called 'The Development Process Of The Nintendo 3DS'. This is the first time that the Super Mario Kart director -- who has worked at Nintendo since 1986 -- has talked in detail about his work on the glasses-free 3D handheld gaming system.

As the lecture description explains of Konno: "Recently, for the first time in his career, he was assigned the role of overall producer for new Nintendo hardware: the Nintendo 3DS system. Mr. Konno will discuss how he has dealt with the challenges of developing the successor to Nintendo DS while, at the same time, being deeply involved in the software creation process of Nintendogs+Cats as the game's producer."

- In his first public game design talk in several years, Epic's Cliff Bleszinski is presenting 'Industry Lessons Learned and Applying Them to the Road Ahead' at GDC this year. He'll be focusing on a multitude of topics, starting with "understanding marketing and PR are not only important to a game's promotion but to its actual design and implementation."

GDC 2011's Indie Games Summit Adds Talks From Monaco, Retro City Rampage Creators

This year's Independent Games Summit, which will run from February 28 to March 1 alongside the 2011 Game Developers Conference at San Francisco's Moscone Center has just added a number of new lectures, including from IGF Grand Prize winner Andy Schatz (Monaco), Eliss/Faraway designer Steph Thirion and industry veteran Luke Schneider (Radiangames series).

Monaco's Schatz will be presenting a lecture called 'How to Win the IGF in 15 Weeks or Less', explaining how the acclaimed co-op heist game was "entered into the IGF after 6 weeks of work by only one person. It became a finalist in the Grand Prize and Excellence in Design after 11 weeks of work. And it won both after 15 weeks."

Along the way, one-man team Schatz "will show how design-by-brownian-motion can not only lead to a better finished product, but a faster schedule as well", as "Monaco's fanciest tech tricks and failed experiments will be revealed."

Elsewhere, Radiangames' Schneider will join Vblank Entertainment's Brian Provinciano, Copenhagen Game Productions' Dajana Dimovska, and Nonchalance's Jeff Hull in a talk titled "The Next Steps of Indie: Four Perspectives", which gives attendees "a glimpse into their unexpected paths in the past, and what we can expect from [them in] the future".

The four sequential 15 minute lectures will cover Radiangames' one-game-per-month strategy on Xbox Live Indie Games, Vblank's development of a compelling NES/GTA homage with Retro City Rampage, Copenhagen Game Collective's approach on "making the monitor the mediator" with IGF finalist B.U.T.T.O.N., and Nonchalance's Jejune Institute ARG, "the best real-world game you've never played, happening right underneath our noses".

 

Advertisement

 

Connecting the Global Game Development Community