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Today’s highlights include a rundown of how Naughty Dog crafted Ellie’s buddy AI in The Last Of Us, Adam Orth fighting toxic behavior online, and a smorgasbord of industry data from EEDAR co-founder Geoffrey Zatkin.

Game Developer

January 6, 2014

4 Min Read

Passes for the Game Developers Conference 2014 are going fast, and today we're announcing even more sessions for the Main Conference that you'll want to check out. Today’s highlights include a rundown of how Naughty Dog crafted Ellie’s buddy AI in The Last Of Us, an expanded talk from Adam Orth on how developers can combat toxic behavior online, and a smorgasbord of data from EEDAR co-founder Geoffrey Zatkin that can help attendees understand the trends -- big and small -- shaping the industry. It should make for a good mix of talks on how players are behaving, how they can behave better and how games can benefit from more realistic behavior. 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.

Ellie: Buddy AI in The Last Of Us

Max Dyckhoff is part of the Naughty Dog engineering team that brought Ellie to life in The Last Of Us, and he’s taking the stage at GDC 2014 to show you how they pulled it off. The talk, entitled Ellie: Buddy AI in The Last Of Us, will run down the systems that make Ellie act the way she does and explain why the team chose them. Dyckhoff also intends to highlight some of Ellie’s AI shortcomings, and attendees of all disciplines should be able to walk away with a better understanding of how buddy AI in The Last Of Us ticks.

The destructive power of opinion and online community

When Adam Orth shared his opinions about Xbox One on Twitter the backlash was so caustic he had to quit his job and move his family to avoid harassment. The experience gave him a unique perspective on the power online communities hold, and he’ll share that perspective at GDC 2014 in his talk Mob Rules: The Destructive Power of Opinion and Online Community. It's an expanded version of a similar talk he gave at GDC Next -- attendees can expect to learn more about what’s being done to ameliorate negative mob mentalities in the game industry and what developers can do encourage positive change in their own communities.

Awesome video game data of 2014

EEDAR president Geoffrey Zatkin brings his popular presentation on the data that defined the year in video games to GDC this year in a talk entitled, appropriately enough, Awesome Video Game Data 2014. He’s planning to present charts and graphs chock full of data showcasing trends in the game industry, both large and small. Zatkin promises to cover a broad array of “timely industry topics” including the maturation of mobile games, the numbers that define next-gen consoles and how sales performance changes in relation to game promotion. The talk is designed to appeal to anyone interested in the trends that shape the business of making games.

More essential GDC details

Earlier GDC 2014 announcements include a presentation on the graphics technology powering Ryse from Crytek, a call for submissions to the Experimental Gameplay Workshop, and a postmortem from Trion Worlds detailing the process of transforming Rift from a subscription-based game to a free-to-play MMORPG. Developers on Bioshock Infinite, Destiny, and inFamous: Second Son 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. 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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