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 2013 opens registration, Summit submissions close tomorrow

Next March's Game Developers Conference 2013 is now starting to take shape, and those interested in attending can secure their passes now, as online registration is now open for the major industry event.

You can register for the show by visiting the info page on the official GDC 2013 website, and discounted Early Bird pricing will remain in effect until February 13. If you're looking to host a Summit presentation at the 2013 event, however, be sure to act soon, as GDC 2013's call for Summit submissions will close tomorrow, October 23, at 11:59pm ET.

The GDC Summits, which take place the first two days of the five day conference, are one and two day events that cover relevant topics in emerging sectors of the game industry, with a focus on broadening the scope of games to incorporate new audiences, new platforms and new gameplay ideas.

This year, the show will add three new Summits to its robust lineup: The Game Narrative Summit, the QA Summit, and the Free-to-Play Design & Business Summit. (Submissions for the GDC 2013 Main Conference have already closed.)

The Game Narrative Summit comes to GDC in San Francisco after being held for seven years at GDC Online in Austin, Texas. The two day program covers interactive narrative in all its forms, from AAA blockbusters to indie games to transmedia projects. The summit is looking to feature an all-star lineup of speakers from every corner of the discipline, with session content ranging from the advanced and theoretical for writers, designers and others seeking to hone their skills.

The introduction of the QA Summit, meanwhile, marks the first time that the GDC will have dedicated content to quality assurance, which is a critical component in game development. Since there is no standard methodology to QA, this summit will discuss new and/or current tools, processes and organization methods being used in QA today and to show how QA is an integral part of development.

Finally, the Free-to-Play Design & Business Summit (the successor to the Social & Online Games Summit) will be taking submissions covering a range of topics relating to free-to-play (F2P) titles - from postmortems on new and successful F2P games, to the latest and greatest monetization techniques, to lessons learned in designing F2P titles from the ground up, to experiences on social features, among other pressing trends that F2P developers face.

Portal co-creator Kim Swift to give Indie Summit keynote at GDC China

There's certainly no one path to success in the game industry, but Kim Swift's rise to fame still stands out as a particularly interesting case.

After joining Valve and helping to mastermind the acclaimed Portal right out of college (cuing off IGF Student finalist Narbacular Drop), Swift has gone on to become one of the industry's most renowned designers. Today, she serves as a creative director at Airtight Games, where she co-created the first person puzzler Quantum Conundrum.

Swift has accomplished quite a bit in just a few short years, and at next month's GDC China, she will host a keynote at the Independent Games Summit to discuss the lessons she's learned along the way, where things went wrong, and how other developers can learn from her experience.

She'll also take a moment to discuss her "design principles for creating games for a more mass appeal, how to work best with a team of talented, passionate developers, and how to create an enjoyable and fun game."

This keynote, titled "Designing Fun: Easier Said Than Done," will be open to GDC China's All Access and Summits & Tutorials pass holders. Online registration is now open on the GDC China website, and the show itself will take place November 17-19 at the Shanghai Convention Center in Shanghai, China.

In addition to the above presentation, GDC China organizers have also added the following talks to the show's Independent Games Summit:

GDC supports memorial fund for game developer Paul Steed

In August, the game industry lost one of its pioneer artists with the passing of Paul H. Steed, who served as a major 3D modeler for the Quake and Wing Commander series.

He served as an Advisory Board member for the Game Developers Conference for a number of years, and now the Board is highlighting, via the official GDC website, a memorial fund to support his family in this tragic time.

Steed spent more than two decades working as a video game artist, and had served on the GDC Advisory board for several years. In addition to working on some of the industry's most influential and critically-acclaimed titles, he also helped other game artists hone their craft with his Thinking Outside the Box column for Loonygames, and his numerous books on animating and modeling 3D characters.

"Unlike most of us, Steed didn't labor in obscurity. If you were involved in games during the '90s -- whether as a professional or as a fan -- it was hard not to pay attention to Paul Steed. He worked on some of the seminal titles of the decade, notably the Wing Commander series and the Quake series," recalled Steve Theodore, a GDC Advisory Board member and technical art director at Undead Labs.

"He produced the first demo for Xbox 360, presented a Game Career Seminar keynote at the Game Developers Conference, and was a leading exponent of art outsourcing -- proving that he could remain topical for nearly two decades. Always outspoken and always controversial, he was not a typical game artist -- but he was the most public exemplar of what we do for people both inside and outside the business."

Naughty Dog to detail Uncharted 3's visual effects at GDC China

Uncharted 3 is considered easily one of the best-looking games on the PlayStation 3, and at next month's GDC China in Shanghai, developer Naughty Dog will provide an in-depth look at the tools and technology used to produce the particle effects in this critically acclaimed title.

In a presentation dubbed "Effects Techniques Used in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception," Naughty Dog programmer Marshall Robin will look under the hood of this popular game, noting the various tricks and techniques the studio uses to get the most out of its full scale console titles.

Robin's talk will offer "an overview of the tool pipeline used to author and process particle assets, a detailed walk through of the simulation and rendering runtime, and some shader techniques used in our effects."

This talk is part of GDC China's Programming track, and will be open to All Access and Main Conference pass holders. Discounted Early Bird registration is now open on the GDC China website, and the show itself will take place November 17-19 at the Shanghai Convention Center in Shanghai, China.

In addition to the above presentation, GDC China organizers have also added the following talks to the show's growing lineup:

- As part of the Game Design track, Ubisoft creative director Jason VandenBerghe (Far Cry 3) will host "The 5 Domains of Play: Applying Psychology's Big 5 Motivation Domains to Games." Expanding on his well-received presentation from GDC 2012, VandenBerghe will draw from research and scientific evidence to help designers create games that are more satisfying at a psychological level.

- In the Business & Marketing track, Kongregate co-founder Emily Greer will compare the Eastern and Western game markets in "Core Games, Real Numbers: Comparative Stats on Asian & Western Games." Greer will draw from Kongregate's game data to note some important trends across both these markets so developers can better understand what makes a game succeed or fail with its specific audience.

'Tales from the GDC Vault' debuts lost Halo, MMO design talks

As part of the continuing "Tales from the GDC Vault" series, the Game Developers Conference presents a new batch of classic lectures from the show's past.

GDC Europe and GDC Online have come and gone, but there can never be too much GDC content, so "Tales from the GDC Vault" returns with three new free talks from roughly a decade ago.

These lectures include a look at the development of Halo: Combat Evolved, lessons on building MMO worlds such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies, and a keynote on the shifting importance of computer graphics pioneers at the turn of the millennium.

First, Marty O'Donnell, Jaime Griesemer, and Mat Noguchi from Bungie speak at GDC 2003 in 'Halo: Development Evolved' about how experimentation and communication were key to designing, engineering and scoring the first Halo. The members describe how they rapidly concepted and prototyped level, character, and gameplay designs to figure out which direction they wanted to go.

The team even touches on some development lore, discussing how Halo was a real-time strategy game and third-person title before it finally became a first-person shooter. [GDC Vault free video]

Going further back in time to GDC 2001, Raph Koster and Rich Vogel (both of whose credits include Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies) give an advanced lecture in 'Design Patterns for Massively Multiplayer Environments'. According to their recipe, online worlds need a spatial environment of a virtual world (not just a gaming lobby), some kind of persona or avatar, and a sense of persistence.

The pair also explores classic models for such games. These included the scavenger model (derived from Zork and seen in Pokemon) which requires players to gather objects and return them somewhere, the impositional model (D&D style) based on earning points from dominating the environment, and the expressive model (seen in many PvP games) where players determine social hierarchy. [GDC Vault free video]

Going even further back to GDC 2000, Silicon Graphics, Incorporated (SGI) co-founder Kurt Akeley delivers the programming keynote ''New Pioneers at the Graphics Frontier'. Here he examines how the shifting importance of computer graphics pioneers, along with corporations and the open-source community, affects the evolution of the graphics industry. He also describes some of SGI's experiments, and lack of success, with programmable hardware and microcode. [GDC Vault free video]

Double Fine to discuss striking UI design at GDC China

When a player first boots up your game, the first thing they're going to see is your main menu. This is a great early opportunity to create an emotional bond with the player, yet most games don't do enough in those precious first moments.

But at next month's GDC China in Shanghai, Double Fine user interface designer Joe Kowalski will host an in-depth presentation on how developers can make their UIs more interesting and memorable for their audience.

Kowalski helped create the striking record-inspired main menu for Double Fine's Brutal Legend, and even worked on the UI for Harmonix's Guitar Hero titles, and in his session, dubbed "Working the Crowd: Engaging Players through the User Interface," he'll explain why these and other interfaces can play a very important role in the player's overall experience.

This talk is part of GDC China's Game Design track, and will be open to All Access and Main Conference pass holders. Early bird registration is now open on the GDC China website, and the show itself will take place November 17-19 at the Shanghai Convention Center in Shanghai, China.

In addition to the above presentation, GDC China organizers have also added the following talks to the show's growing lineup:

- As part of the Business track, former Game Developer magazine editor-in-chief and Necrosoft Games founder Brandon Sheffield will discuss the major trends in the Western game market in a session titled "Fastest Game in the West." Drawing from his experience working on Game Developer magazine and speaking with developers around the world, Sheffield will provide a detailed overview of the Western game industry and explain how it differs from Eastern markets.

- Also in the Business track, ZeptoLab's chief revenue officer Diana Moldavsky will examine the studio's hit mobile game Cut the Rope in "Building a Global Brand: Capitalizing on an Icon." Moldavsky will explain how this cute puzzle game became an instant hit around the world, and allowed ZeptoLab to create a brand that extended far beyond the game itself.

One week to go for 2013 IGF's Main Competition entries

Organizers are reminding that submissions for the 2013 Independent Games Festival Main Competition, which reveals winners at GDC 2013 in San Francisco next March, will close in just 7 days.

The longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit and showcase continues to accept entries to the 15th annual Festival, with deadlines in the Main and Student Showcase categories in one week (October 17th) and three weeks (October 31st) respectively, with finalists to be announced on January 2013.

Following over 850 entries to IGF 2012, the Festival has expanded each existing category to six finalists, all of which will be available in playable form at a larger, expanded IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor, and will compete for nearly $60,000 in prizes.

These include the $5,000 Nuovo Award, honoring 'abstract, shortform, and unconventional' games, as well as the Excellence in Art, Audio, Design, Technology, Student Game and Audience Award prizes, each worth $3,000, and the crowning $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.

Notable former Independent Games Festival winners over the previous 15 years include Spelunky, Fez, Minecraft, Limbo, World of Goo, Braid, Castle Crashers, Everyday Shooter and many more of the game industry's breakthrough independent titles.

Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with the IGF Pavilion open from March 27-29, and the sister Independent Games Summit event taking place on March 25 and 26.

All of the Independent Games Festival events take place as part of the 2013 Game Developers Conference, which is held March 25th - March 29th, 2013 in San Francisco, and the IGF continues as the most vital showcase of independent game talent across the wide spectrum of artistically- and commercially-aimed development.

Sponsored Post: Meet the people at GDC Online's GDC Play showcase, Pt.2

At this year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the GDC Play showcase introduced the industry to some of the top independent and emerging game companies in the business.

It marked a great opportunity for GDC attendees to check out upcoming and undiscovered projects, and this week industry professionals will get a chance to experience the showcase all over again when it makes its Austin debut at GDC Online.

This time, a brand-new batch of exhibitors will be on site to demonstrate their latest games, discuss new business opportunities, and network with the GDC Online attendees. We recently got in touch with these companies to learn who they are and what makes them tick. You can check out our first set of GDC Play interviews here.

The showcase itself will take place during the first two days of GDC Online, which will run Tuesay, October 9 through Thursday, October 11 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas -- but until then, here are some of the major exhibitor's at next month's GDC Play:

Blazing Soft

Blazing Soft is an independent iOS developer located in Barranquilla, Colombia. The studio has already released a mobile platformer known as CrossWolf and is currently working on a new iOS game dubbed Fluffy Cloud.

"Our company was started in January of 2011 by three good friends who met playing online games. Our discussions regarding how we'd improve the games we played eventually led us towards making games ourselves.

"We have made a couple games in the past for universities and innovation conventions which managed to grab us a spot in a national newspaper. Currently, we are working on a game called Fluffy Cloud.

"The games we will showcase at the GDC are CrossWolf, a 2D platform runner, and also the beta version of Fluffy Cloud. We wish to gain more exposure in the mobile app community and to share our products and games. It would be even better if we can build some partnerships with other like-minded companies."

- Fouad Hayoun, Blazing Soft co-founder

Bytebin

The small indie team at Bytebin is looking to follow in the footsteps of Minecraft and Terraria with a new multiplayer (and multiplatform) world-building game known as Deepworld. The game is now available for Mac, and will soon debut on both iOS and PC.

"We are Bytebin, a three-person startup working on our first online game. Between us we've developed a number of iOS and Flash games, along with a wide variety of other applications, but this is our biggest and most exciting project to date.

Wing Commander's Chris Roberts marks his return to games at GDC Online

Chris Roberts, the veteran game designer behind the 1990s classics Wing Commander and Privateer, has stayed away from game development for the past 10 years, but at next week's GDC Online, Roberts will peel back the curtain on a brand new project that marks his long-awaited return to the industry.

During a press event sponsored by his own Roberts Space Industries, the renowned PC game designer will demo a prototype of his new game, which promises to one again allow players to jump into the cockpit of a high-tech space fighter.

In a letter on his official website, Roberts notes that he's excited to return to the industry and to make the most out of today's modern technology.

"I grew up making video games. I sold my first game at the age of 13 and created Wing Commander when I was 21. But 10 years ago, at the height of my career I took a break. Not because I stopped loving or playing games but because I had become frustrated with the limits of the technology at the time to realize my vision," he said.

"I always said the moment I became interested in making games again was when I was going to come back. With the power of today's computers and the reach of the internet I finally feel I have the tools to build the connected experience that I always dreamed of."

Next week's press event will take place at GDC Online in Austin Texas on Wednesday, October 10 at 9AM Central Daylight Time (or as Roberts puts it, "10AM Eastern Standard Time on the 10th day of the 10th month of this year").

All GDC pass holders are welcome to attend, as well as those who picked up special 'golden tickets' directly from Roberts Space Industries, and the event will also be livestreamed on GameSpot.com.

Discover Linden Lab's approach to multiplayer narrative games at GDC Online

Creating an interactive game narrative can be a complex, nuanced, and difficult process, and at next week's GDC Online, writer and Linden Lab developer Emily Short will take a moment to explore how developers can create choice-driven games for multiple players.

During her session, "Choice and Character: Lessons from Writing Multiplayer Narrative Games," Short will draw from her experience working on Linden Lab's new interactive storytelling platform to discuss various types of player choice, and how designers can create dynamic and emotionally satisfying experiences.

For example, she'll explain how developers can pay off significant player choices by "designing character crises that can be triggered automatically at dramatically appropriate moments." This talk will offer plenty of useful insight for developers working on story-driven games, or those interested in simulating complex, nuanced characters.

Short is particularly well-equipped to discuss complex character simulation, as she is one of the co-founders of the experimental game studio Little Text People, a small company dedicated to exploring the possibilities of interactive fiction (the studio was acquired by Second Life creator Linden Lab earlier this year).

As part of GDC Online's Game Narrative Summit, this talk will be open to All Access pass holders. The show itself will take place October 9-11 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

In addition to the above presentation, GDC Online recently added the following talks to the show's Game Narrative Summit:

- Playdom designer Martha Sapeta will share the complex backstory of one of the studio's major hidden object titles in "Playdom's Blackwood & Bell Mysteries: The Nutshell Narrative Case." Unlike most social games, Blackwood & Bell Mysteries put a distinct emphasis on story, and during this session Sapeta will discuss how her team found a way to introduce an actual narrative into the typically minimalist Facebook space.

- Elsewhere, Zynga designers Steven Williams and Jonathon Myers will discuss their approach to telling stories on Facebook in "Indiana Jones Adventure World: Narrative for Social Games." Using examples from this popular Facebook game, the pair will discuss how developers can draw inspiration from serialized storytelling techniques and traditional Sunday comic strips to create new, weekly online stories.

GDC Mobile App now available for GDC Online

With just days to go until GDC Online opens its doors, event organizers have added new functionality to the GDC Mobile App to help attendees get the most out of next week's Austin-based conference.

The recently-launched GDC Mobile App - available on iOS, Android, and mobile web platforms -- now includes full support for GDC Online, and offers a number of scheduling and business tools for all GDC Online attendees.

The app allows users to view GDC Online's full session roster, create and export customized schedules, locate exhibitors on the Expo Floor, and directly request meetings with exhibitors via the app's 'Exhibitors' section.

This has been made possible in association with the GDC business matchmaking, also available via a Web version, through which users can identify, contact, and request and schedule meetings with exhibitors. This new mobile resource will make it even easier to connect with the numerous other industry professionals at the show.

In addition to these scheduling and business matchmaking features, the app will also let users view event photos, check-in to specific sessions and locations, and more.

GDC Online will be held next week, from October 9-11 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, and those interested in attending the final Austin-based conference can secure their pass by registering on the GDC Online website.

ArenaNet details the tech powering Guild Wars 2 at GDC Online

Creating a modern MMO requires an enormous range of technical expertise. From the server backend, to the client graphics engine, to the web hosting infrastructure, studios need to be prepared to tackle a lot of challenges to get their game running smoothly.

ArenaNet's recently launched Guild Wars 2 is of course no exception, and at this month's GDC Online, the studio's technical director, Cameron Dunn, will outline the various technical challenges the team had to overcome when crafting this large-scale online RPG.

During his session, "Guild Wars 2: Programming the Next Generation Online World," Dunn will discuss the tech that powers Guild Wars 2's combat system, its World vs. World PvP arenas, and much more. He'll also pull back the curtain on the game's patching system, which allows ArenaNet "to roll out new builds in a matter of minutes without requiring downtime."

Attendees at this talk will walk away with a better understanding of what it takes to create and launch a game like Guild Wars 2, and they'll also learn how the tools used to create these major MMOs can also benefit other types of online games.

As part of GDC Online's Programming track, this talk will be open to All Access pass holders. The show itself will take place October 9-11 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

In addition to the above presentation, GDC Online recently added the following talks to the show's Main Conference:

- As part of the show's Programming track, Electrotank's RJ Lorimer and Versant Corporation's Robert Greene will examine how to maximize online game performance in "Lag Sucks: Making Online Gaming Faster with NoSQL, and without Breaking the Bank." During this session, the pair will discuss "how Electrotank used their existing, Java-standard based skills to migrate their database to a NoSQL solution," and created a codebase that could more easily support online games.

IGF China 2012 unveils Main Competition, Student finalists

The Independent Games Festival China has revealed the Main Competition and Student finalists for its 2012 award ceremony, which celebrates the most creative indie games from throughout the Pan-Pacific area,

The GDC China co-located event is now in its fourth year, and this time around the finalists include indie games such as the action-platformer Dustforce, the retro-inspired puzzler Cubetractor, the mobile action game Flying Daggers, and more.

Drawing from a prize pool totaling 45,000 RMB (roughly $7,150), IGF China's Main Competition will give away five distinguished awards, covering Excellence in Audio, Design, Technology, and Visual Arts, as well as the Best Mobile Game and Best Game awards. In addition to the prestige and prizes, winners will also receive two All-Access Passes for the upcoming GDC 2013 in San Francisco.

Alongside IGF China's Main Competition, the ceremony will also host the Student Competition, which honors six of the top regional student games, with teams this year hailing from Mainland China, Singapore, and Taiwan.

This part of the competition includes two awards -- for Best Student Game and Excellent Student Winners -- and offers roughly 13,000 RMB (roughly $2,050) in cash prizes.

Winners in both competitions will be chosen by a panel of expert jurors including Kevin Li (CEO, TipCat Interactive); Monte Singman (Founder/CEO, Radiance Digital Entertainment); Xubo Yang (Director of Digital Art Lab and Assistant Professor; Shanghai Jiaotong University's School of Software), Haipeng Yu (Producer, Tencent Shanghai), and jury chairman Simon Carless, IGF Chairman Emeritus and EVP of the GDC shows, Gamasutra, and Game Developer magazine.

This year's awards ceremony will take place the evening of November 18, and will run alongside the rest of GDC China, which will be held November 17-19 at the Shanghai Convention Center in Shanghai, China.

Here are the finalists for this year's IGF China.

Main Competition

Army and Strategy: The Crusades, by Pied Pipers Entertainment, South Korea [Website, Video]

Cubetractor, by Ludochip, Singapore [Website, Video]

Diggin' Dogs, by Soap Creative, Australia [Website, Video]

Deus Ex, Fallout notables talk 'the art of the reboot' at GDC Online

In today's market of follow-ups, reboots, and trilogies, developers need to understand what it takes to make a good video game sequel.

There are plenty of challenges that come with working on a beloved or classic IP, but at next month's GDC Online conference in Austin, Texas, a panel of experienced industry pros will share their advice for getting the most out of your next major sequel or reboot.

The session, titled "In the Shadow of Greatness - Sequels and Reboots Deconstructed," will feature seasoned designers and writers including Mary DeMarle (Eidos Montreal), Tom Abernathy (Microsoft Studios), Chris Avellone (Obsidian Entertainment), Raphael Van Lierop (HELM Studio) and Ivan Mulkeen (Eidos Montreal).

These speakers have worked on some of the most notable sequels and follow-ups recent memory, with credits spanning Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Halo: Reach, Knights of the Old Republic II, Fallout: New Vegas, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, and much more.

During this talk, these developers will discuss the major considerations studios will need to make when creating a follow-up to a successful game. Along the way, they'll also touch on some common misconceptions about working on a sequel, how DLC can fit into your narrative structure, and the future prospects of new IP.

As part of GDC Online's Game Narrative Summit, this talk will be open to All Access and Summits & Tutorials pass holders. The show itself will take place October 9-11 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

Advertisement

 

Connecting the Global Game Development Community