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GDC organizers highlight a fresh batch of hot talks, including a session about the audio design of Grand Theft Auto V, a guide to helping designers and engineers work better together, and more.

Game Developer, Staff

February 24, 2014

4 Min Read

Passes for the Game Developers Conference 2014 are still going fast, and today we're highlighting even more sessions for the Main Conference that you'll want to check out. Today we're showcasing some of our excellent talks from the Audio, Production and Design tracks, including a talk about the audio design of Grand Theft Auto V, tips on helping designers and engineers work better together from a veteran of Blizzard Entertainment, and more. Now in its 28th year, GDC is the world's largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry event, and will once again take place at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California during March 17-21, 2014.

Laying down the soundtrack to Grand Theft Auto V

Rockstar North’s Alastair MacGregor is giving a GDC 2014 talk titled simply The Sound of Grand Theft Auto V that aims to address how one of the most acclaimed games of 2013 was scored. MacGregor hopes to offer insight into the technology and processes used to create the sound of Grand Theft Auto V, cover the major audio features in the game, and describe the approaches taken by the audio team to create a diverse and immersive world. MacGregor plans to explain how every aspect of the game's audio production was pushed further than before, building on and evolving approaches used in previous titles -- like Red Dead Redemption -- while making new advances in many areas, including real-time synthesis, DSP, and other large-scale open world audio production techniques.

Designers are from Saturn, programmers are from Uranus

Don’t miss Blizzard Entertainment’s Brian Schwab leading Designers Are from Saturn, Programmers Are from Uranus, a talk meant to address a number of difficulties developers face in working across the design/engineering divide. It will address ways in which the designer can gain a better understanding of engineering motivations, and as such have clearer communication and more productive work. The talk will also address the new hybrid appearing in the field, the technical designer, and how it is a necessary bridge for game work, but how it is also very rife with pitfalls if not handled well (green programmer issues, "programmer" not reporting to the engineering department, rogue check-ins in the name of fun, hacks, etc.). The talk will address the overall goal of uniting these two groups and how this can be achieved by thinking ahead of time, prioritizing the iterative work that needs to happen, creating workable pipelines for this work to happen in, and by trusting each other now that the boundaries separating them are gone through better understanding.

Come Rain or Shine: a rain Postmortem

Yuki Ikeda and Ken Suzuta, the director and the producer (respectively) of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan’s puzzle game rain, will share their experiences designing the game during the Japanese language GDC 2014 talk Come Rain or Shine: rain Postmortem. During the session they intend to run through every aspect of rain's production, from the initial planning phases, the selection of the Unity engine and the art production style, to the issues they faced with narrative and game design and the results of their promotional activities. The pair plan to focus more on the design and artistic aspects of the game’s development, rather than the more technical programming aspects, so designers and artists will probably get the most from this talk.

More essential GDC details

Earlier GDC 2014 announcements include the Indie MEGABOOTH Showcase revealing the lineup of indie games its bringing to GDC 2014, Sean “Day[9]” Plott speaking about building a sustainable community, and the full lineup of sponsored developer day sessions from Google, Tencent, Amazon and Unity. Developers on Plants vs. Zombies 2, Gone Home, and Hearthstone will also be giving talks. All of the announced talks are now available in the online GDC 2014 Session Scheduler, where you can begin to build your conference week and later export it to the up-to-the-minute GDC Mobile App, coming soon. GDC 2014 itself will take place March 17-21, 2014 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. You can register for the event by visiting the info page on the official GDC 2014 website. For more information on GDC 2014, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS. Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech

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