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GDC Next speakers address a few failings of modern game design

Telltale Games' Caryl Shaw and developer Ara Shirinian will share lessons learned from their time in licensed and free-to-play game development at GDC Next 2014 featuring ADC.
Developers, get ready: GDC Next 2014 featuring ADC descends upon the Los Angeles Convention Center in less than a month. Today we're excited to highlight a few of the important talks at this year's conference, which takes place November 3rd and 4th with an eye towards answering a simple question: now that you've made your game, what comes next? If you've ever worried that the industry is losing part of its soul to the remarkable popularity of free-to-play and licensed games, don't worry -- you're not alone. Veteran developers who have spent time working in those sectors of the industry will be at GDC Next this year to share their lessons learned, and examine what the broader industry can learn from some of their experiences. Telltale Games executive producer Caryl Shaw is one such veteran designer who spent part of her career working at free-to-play game companies like DeNA and Kixeye; she'll be speaking at GDC Next about what she learned during that time (and how it can inform the work of game developers across the industry) in a talk entitled "Reclaiming My Soul: Why I Quit Making F2P Social Games." Don't miss it. Developer Ara Shirinian has also spent some time designing games for the mobile market, though his credentials cover everything from indie projects (NightSky) to licensed games for Disney and Pixar. He believes that some of the design techniques that are employed to make modern games easier, more accessible and more profitable may have worrying consequences for the industry at large. "Videogames, Learning and Unintended Consequences" is his attempt to distill his learnings into an hour-long GDC Next talk that will deeply examine several common techniques (monetization tricks, "rubberbanding" AI, etc.) and reveal their long-term consequences, then suggest healthier alternatives for well-meaning game makers. Conference organizers look forward to announcing more talks in the weeks before this year's GDC Next featuring ADC, which takes place November 3rd-4th, 2014 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. For additional details about GDC Next and ADC or to register for the event, visit the conference homepage. Gamasutra, GDC and ADC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.

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