This week, GDC 2012 has revealed three notable Main Conference sessions, featuring Valve on dynamic dialog systems, Double Fine on kid-friendly design, and Rocksteady on the soundtrack for Batman: Arkham City.
The 26th GDC show will take place Monday, March 5 through Friday, March 9 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and the Main Conference (March 7th-9th) offers six tracks covering key disciplines in the games industry, including Audio, Business, Marketing & Management, Game Design, Production, Programming, and Visual Arts.
The following lectures are the newest highlights for GDC 2012's Main Conference:
- In the Programming track, Valve's Elan Ruskin will break down the process the studio uses to create dynamic and responsive dialog systems in games like Left 4 Dead. The talk, dubbed, "AI-driven Dynamic Dialog through Fuzzy Pattern Matching. Empower Your Writers!", will delve into the mechanisms used to track thousands of possible scenarios and ensure that in-game characters always react appropriately.
Ruskin will also detail how this system allows writers to easily edit and add new lines of dialog without putting a heavy burden on the studio's programmers.
- Over in the Design track, Double Fine project lead Nathan Martz will host "Fun for Everyone: Lessons in Accessible Design from Sesame Street: Once Upon A Monster." Looking back on the studio's recent Kinect-based children's game, Martz will explore how to best introduce mechanics and teach players about a game, even if it's the first one they've ever played.
- Finally, the Audio track will feature a Rocksteady-led lecture on composing the score for the studio's highly-acclaimed Batman sequel. In the talk, "Composition Process in Batman: Arkham City," audio director and composer Nick Arundel will offer some tips for composing a score that remains cohesive and fresh, even over the course of a 20 hour game. In addition, Arundel will look beyond Arkham City to examine whether formal musical development has a place within the game industry at large.
In addition to the above sessions, GDC organizers recently added new Main Conference talks covering the visual effects in Gears of War 3, a breakdown of our psychological need to play, and Ninja Theory's approach to motion capture. Show organizers have also announced new Summit talks featuring a look at the localization of StarCraft II, a talk from Triple Town creator Daniel Cook, and a series of mini AI lectures.