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Brenda Romero and The Witcher talks join GDC Europe 2014

Brenda Romero and a lead designer on The Witcher join the lineup of speakers exploring the art and business of making games at GDC Europe 2014 this August in Cologne.
In the wake of last week's announcement that GDC Europe would include remarkable sessions from Epic Games and Amazon, we're pleased to debut two more notable sessions for the major European game conference, which is being held in Germany this August. The event will include topics spanning AAA through mobile gaming and indie, both technical and business-focused. The pair of talks we're announcing today cover both the systemic and the human sides of game design, and they should include learnings for the entire community. Organized by UBM Tech Game Network, GDC Europe, now in its sixth year in Germany, will run Monday through Wednesday, August 11-13 at the Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany, co-located with Europe's biggest video game trade and public show gamescom. Game industry veteran Brenda Romero makes her GDC Europe debut this year with an inspirational talk, "I, Outsider," aimed at breaking down perceived barriers between "insiders" and "outsiders" in the game industry. Romero believes the industry currently praises the outsider talent and applauds their tremendous innovation, whimsy and creativity. She posits that experienced developers crave the creative freedom "outsiders" seem to have, even as developers outside the traditional game industry -- those who push boundaries with their work -- often feel quite alone. Romero has spent some time studying this problem, and during her GDC Europe session she plans to explore the seemingly paradoxical situation and seek out viable career paths that allow all developers to move in and out of the industry in a way that works for everyone. For those who are hungry for practical, nuts-and-bolts design advice, 11 Bit Studios' Maciej Szczesnik, a former CD Projekt veteran, will share what he's learned in designing and balancing the systems at play in every The Witcher game in a talk titled "Fun or Frustration: Game Balance Pitfalls and Recipes." Szczesnik intends to walk through his theory of game balance, explain how psychological concepts like flow theory and the balance between tension/release can be applied to game design, and give useful examples from his own experience. He also hopes to share a set of methods, observations and guidelines useful for planning and designing compelling games, including tips on creating combat rating calculations for encounters, avoiding dynamic difficulty adjustment, avoiding dominant strategies, pacing game progress, and more. Of course, these are just some of the many exciting sessions that will be announced for GDC Europe 2014 in the coming weeks - with a list of announced talks now available, and early birds can register for GDC Europe 2014 by July 16 to save 200 euros on an All Access Pass. In addition, this year marks the GDC Europe debut of the Student Pass, a more affordable alternative to the All Access Pass created specifically for qualified students interested in learning and networking at GDC Europe 2014 - as well as the return of the Indie Games Summit pass. All GDC Europe passes also allow visitors to attend Gamescom from Wednesday to Friday. For more information, please visit the GDC Europe website. Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech

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