With just days to go before early registration for the 2019 Game Developers Conference ends Wednesday, January 30th at 11:59 PM Pacific, conference organizers encourage anyone interested in attending to register now at a discounted rate!
This is a good opportunity to save a bit of money on your pass to GDC, which will once again play host to a smorgasbord of cutting-edge lectures, panels, and tutorials for game makers and other industry professionals.
For example, in a special Design track talk on "Reinventing God of War", game industry veteran and God of War creative director Cory Barlog will explain the long, complicated, and painful process whereby Sony Santa Monica successfully launched a fresh take on an established franchise.
After a seemingly endless climb up an impossibly enormous mountain, filled with countless gut-wrenching failures and joyfully sweet successes, Barlog will take the stage at GDC next year to share what he's learned from the experience of reinventing God of War, as well as practical takeaways you can apply to your own work. Don't miss it!
Alongside fellow producer Mark MacDonald and Tetris Effect director Takashi Ishihara, Mizuguchi will walk you through the game's production journey, an exciting story of creating a new version of an established franchise that'll leave you with practical lessons applicable to almost all aspects of general game production, from previsualization through launch. This is your chance to peek inside the design of one of the best takes on Tetris since...well, Tetris!
Every year GDC plays host to a bunch of insightful postmortems of classic games, and this year is no exception. We've actually got four Classic Game Postmortems planned for GDC 2019, spanning vintage hits on the Sega Saturn, the PC, and arcades!
- Panzer Dragoon designer Yukio Futatsugi and artist Kentaro Yoshida, two Japanese game industry veterans who now work together at Grounding, will be at GDC in March to discuss designing and developing the Panzer Dragoon series on Saturn!
- John Salwitz, a veteran game programmer who's worked on everything from Rampart to Klax to Medal of Honor, will also be there to deliver a Classic Game Postmortem of Atari's arcade hit Paperboy! Salwitz helped co-create Paperboy, and at GDC he'll walk you through the design and development process that culminated in the creation of a modern classic.
- Plus, Lemmings co-creator Mike Dailly will present a Classic Game Postmortem of Lemmings, in which he'll discuss the creation of the seminal 1991 DMA Design puzzle-platform game starring those allegedly suicidal rodents. This is a rare opportunity to get Dailly's unique perspective on both the development of a classic and what it was like to work at DMA in the '90s, before the arrival of Grand Theft Auto.
- And Louis Castle, a game industry veteran known best for co-founding (with fellow luminary Brett Sperry) the trailblazing Westwood Studios, will be at GDC 2019 to deliver a Classic Game Postmortem on the landmark real-time strategy game Command & Conquer!
There's also a nigh-endless array of talks aimed at showcasing the nitty-gritty technical details which make modern games shine. Notably, in their very timely GDC 2019 talk on "Rocket Man: Creating Flight and Underwater Movement for 'Anthem'", BioWare senior animator David Hoang and senior game designer Daniel Nordlander will reveal the process they used to create some of the more exotic traversal abilities players have at their disposal in Anthem: flight and swim.
Starting with the character physics, they will look at what methods that were employed to get that movement looking and feeling great. They'll also how you how BioWare authored animations to mesh with the character physics in the best way possible.
Together, the pair will also discuss what type of dialogue between animation and design enabled BioWare to achieve a successful end result, and they will provide plenty of examples in the form of videos from development to help illustrate their workflow (and hopefully help you improve yours!)
If you're more interested in AR/VR, there's lots to check out at GDC this year; most notably, in his GDC 2019 VRDC Game AR/VR track talk on "Creating 'Dr. Grordbort's Invaders' for Magic Leap One" lead game designer James Everett will walk you through the process.
While game devs are more familiar than most with the challenges of building things for platforms that don't quite exist yet, Everett's talk is especially exciting because Dr. Grordbort's Invaders is one of the world's first long-form mixed reality action games, and it was created by a brand-new team, on an in-development platform, incubated within the walls of an Academy Award-winning physical props company.
In this talk, Everett will discuss how the Weta Gameshop team, born of a collaboration between Magic Leap and Weta Workshop, delivered on their mandate to build an attention-grabbing game while providing feedback on the ever-evolving hardware and software that became the Magic Leap One Creator Edition!
And don't overlook all the great opportunities to get a glimpse of how the industry's big players are finding success in their lanes. Notably, Supercell's Antti Summala will be presenting "'Designing Two Tasty Cores Three Times Over: The Case of 'Brawl Stars'" that's all about how the mobile game giant conceived of and optimized its new hit game Brawl Stars!
After the game soft launched in 2017, its metrics weren’t hitting the team's ambitious goals. What followed was a more than one-year long beta where the team tried to decide between two control models but ended up with a third, and redesigned the progression system twice, both fundamental core aspects of the game.
After all that time thinking about and testing options, this session will present you with the different controls and progression solutions, and -- based on metrics -- argue that they were all good designs and any one of these six iterations of core elements could have worked!
This is just a small taste of what's in store for you at GDC this year, and more talks are being announced every week. Of course, a GDC 2019 pass also gets access to the GDC Expo Floor, located within the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, which serves as a showcase for cutting-edge technology from some of the industry's biggest and most influential companies. So make sure to register now at a discounted rate!
For more details on these and all other announced talks head over to the online GDC 2019 Session Scheduler, where you can check out all the sessions on offer at the show this year.
Bring your team to GDC! Register a group of 10 or more and save 10 percent on conference passes. Learn more here.