Game Developers Conference organizers are dedicated to cultivating space for attendees of all stripes and skill levels to grow their game industry careers, and today we wanted to highlight some of the unique opportunities game designers will find at GDC 2020 in March!
Most game designers will want to pay special attention to the Design track at GDC 2020, which will continue to be updated with GDC 2020 talks aimed at helping you discover ideas for new games, learn tips to push your project forward, and master the use and tuning of an ever-increasing number of tools, systems, and techniques required to design great games.
To quickly get up to speed on some of the latest game design techniques, check out some of the many game-specific Design sessions available to GDC 2020 attendees. "Curiosity-Driven Exploration: The Design of 'Outer Wilds'", for example, will give you an hour with the co-creative leads on 2019 hit Outer Wilds as they share techniques for inspiring and rewarding player curiosity, surmounting the challenges of communicating an unconventional game structure, and how curiosity-driven exploration fits into the broader landscape of open-world game design!
And in "Becoming a Jedi: Gameplay in 'Jedi: Fallen Order'" Respawn's Justin Perez will give you an inside look at specific gameplay design decisions made during the development of Jedi: Fallen Order, including changes and cuts made along the way. Come spend an hour in an air-conditioned conference room and learn everything about the design of a game set in a popular galaxy far, far away.
Riot has been responsible for some of the grabbiest game design in the business, so don't overlook your opportunity to learn more about the League of Legends studio's learnings while making its hit new game Teamfight Tactics! In 'Teamfight Tactics' Design Lessons at GDC 2020, game designers will learn how to characterize an audience and use that characterization to make design decisions, and how to lead teams to take real design risks and make necessary pivots -- even when deadlines loom!
Working in the ever-expanding business of free-to-play games requires a fundamental shift in the way we think about game design, and you can get some great insight into that shift in a special GDC 2020 talk on "Blockers: Analyzing Difficulty Drivers in Candy Crush Games"; King's Lucien (Yen-Chu) Chen will showcase a new method of analyzing "blockers" in F2P which creates a common language for designers. Expect to use this analysis to understand how a game "feels" based on the blockers it uses, and recognize what types of blockers are missing in your game.
"Rules of the Game 2020: Five Unique Techniques from Distinguished Designers" is a great GDC 2020 talk that should be helpful for game designers of all skill levels, as it features five accomplished game designers sharing their very specific, practical, unique, and personal game design rules. Expect to leave with an interesting new set of design principles to try out on your own projects!
Next year GDC 2020 runs from Monday, March 16th through Friday, March 20th. This will be the 34th edition of GDC, and now that registration is officially open, you'll want to take a look at the (ever-expanding) session schedule and your GDC pass options -- register early to lock in the best price!