Join us for the Guacamelee! postmortem at GDC 2014

PSN and PC developer DrinkBox Studios on Guacamelee!, EA Mobile's Loeb on player retention, and Immersyve's Scott Rigby and Troy Skinner on player autonomy are the newest highlights for GDC 2014.
With the Independent Games Summit passes sold out and others going fast for the Game Developers Conference 2014, we're announcing even more sessions for the Main Conference that you'll want to check out. Today's highlights are DrinkBox Studios' Chris Harvey giving a postmortem on the PSN and PC hit Guacamelee!, EA Mobile's Aaron Loeb on how retention is the driving force for success, and Immersyve's Scott Rigby and Troy Skinner on satisfying player autonomy. 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.

Learning from our mistakes

DrinkBox's co-founder Chris Harvey will discuss concepting, developing, and marketing his team's last PS3, PS Vita, and PC hit in "Learning from Our Mistakes: A Postmortem of Guacamelee!" From concept to release, he will share all the high-level decisions made at each stage and also will reflect on the studio's previous games (Tales from Space: About a Blob, Mutant Blobs Attack): what went wrong, what they learned, and how they addressed those issues for Guacamelee!.

Running a mobile live service 24/7

The current tension in freemium game services between "creative" and "business" is a false dilemma, says EA Mobile's VP & group GM Aaron Loeb. He will use examples from The Simpsons: Tapped Out and The Sims Freeplay to illustrate this point along with showing how providing quality and fun, even when sacrificing short-term revenue, can lead to greater success in "Running a Mobile Live Service 24/7: Retention is the Driving Force for Success."

The importance of player autonomy

Speaking on meeting players' psychological needs for autonomy, Immersyve president Scott Rigby and EVP Troy Skinner's talk will explore GTA, Minecraft, Skyrim and League of Legends' designs in "The Importance of Player Autonomy: Motivating Sustained Engagement through Volition and Choice." The two will discuss how autonomy satisfaction can be included in a game's core mechanics, story development and implementation, reward and progression systems, and other actionable areas.

More essential GDC details

Earlier GDC 2014 announcements included UC Santa Cruz's Brenda Romero talking about re-inspiring designers for greatness, Ubisoft's Patrick Redding on enabling setbacks in stealth games, and Operations Catalyst Consulting's Lucien Parsons on gender-based pricing and in-app payment psychology, along with developers on Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Skylanders Swap Force, and Dragon Age. 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. Early Bird pricing, with discounts up to 30 percent, will remain in effect until January 31st. Some passes have limited amounts, and with the Independent Games Summit pass already sold out, interested parties should register now. 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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