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GDC 2014 Indie Games Summit features Molyneux, Vollmer and more

GDC organizers have revealed a fresh slate of Independent Games Summit talks, including sessions explaining how to build better tutorials from the Threes creator Asher Vollmer, best practices for indie development from Peter Molyneux, and more.

Game Developer

February 11, 2014

3 Min Read

Game Developers Conference 2014 organizers have revealed a few new Independent Games Summit talks for its March conference, including sessions explaining how to build better tutorials from the co-creator of Threes, best practices for indie development from Peter Molyneux, and more. These talks are part of the Independent Summit, one of eight that will take place Monday, March 17 and Tuesday, March 18 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA during the first two days of GDC 2014. Asher Vollmer, progenitor of the smash mobile hit Threes, is giving an intriguing talk about designing tutorials that empower players without patronizing them as part of GDC 2014’s Narrative Summit. The talk, Prime, Teach, Observe: Tutorializing Innovative Mechanics, will explore the unique challenges developers face when trying to teach unique game systems in an unobtrusive and inoffensive way. Vollmer, who has worked on acclaimed games like The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom, Puzzlejuice and Threes, will share his own design processes to better explain the best way to progressively iterate your tutorial’s design. Peter Molyneux returned to his indie roots in 2012, and now he’s coming to GDC 2014 to talk about what he’s learned. Molyneux, who started out coding his own games and rose to become Creative Director of Microsoft Game Studios Europe before leaving to help found indie studio 22cans, will share his ideas about how games can connect millions of people together. During his talk, From Indie to AAA to Indie: The Rebirth of Design, Molyneux will share his findings from operating Curiosity: What's Inside the Cube? and PC god game Godus. He'll also discuss how his recent experiences at an indie studio differ from his time in AAA development, and explain why he thinks game design needs an element of danger. Perhaps most intriguingly, Molyneux plans to cover how the experience of working in big teams has influence his work as a contemporary indie designer. Tomorrow Corporation COO Kyle Gray is giving a great GDC 2014 talk about the design and development of Little Inferno, Tomorrow Corp.’s IGF award-nominated mobile game about burning things. Gray’s talk, Trial by Fire: The Making of Little Inferno, will shed some light on how the game started as a fireplace simulator, then became an adventure game, then became an arcade game, and so on and so forth until it wound up as a darkly satirical fireplace simulator with a secret. Gray plans to reveal the adventurous development of Little Inferno’s rich world with the help of concept art, pitch documents and early prototypes. Last but not least, Squad technical artist Chad Jenkins will be leading a neat session titled Sandbox Lessons: Modular Design in Kerbal Space Program about how modular design principles made Kerbal Space Program possible. Jenkins believes flexible, reusable systems can help indie teams avoid having to waste time remaking assets over and over again, and during his talk he’ll explain why Squad tossed out its original structure and made a new one that enabled them to update and expand Kerbal Space Program with less difficulty. This proved to be important for players who wanted to mod the game, as well as for the game's commercial success, which is predicated -- at least in some small part -- on its frequent updates. For more information on these or others in the show's growing lineup, check out GDC 2014's official Schedule Builder, which continues to add new talks every week. GDC 2014 itself will take place March 17-21 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. 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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