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GDC reveals talks on The Walking Dead, Outernauts, banned Halfbrick prototype

GDC 2013 organizers have added major talks for the March show on The Walking Dead's art, Insomniac's experiment in free-to-play and Flash, and Halfbrick Studios' banned, socially destructive prototype.

Game Developer, Staff

January 8, 2013

2 Min Read

GDC organizers reveal three new talks for the upcoming March conference, including a nontraditional approach to The Walking Dead's art, console developer Insomniac's experiment in free-to-play and Flash, and Halfbrick Studios' divisive and ultimately banned prototype. The lectures are part of the Design, Visual Arts, and Programming tracks in GDC's main conference, taking place March 27-29 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, CA. Halfbrick's chief creative officer Luke Muscat will share in his design lecture details about the strategy game that seemingly tore his company apart in 'The Prototype that was Banned from Halfbrick.' The short-lived title Tank Tactics ignited destructive social behavior, and had to have its plug pulled before its prime by the Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride developer. Fortunately, the spirit of the game lives on in Muscat's talks, which "demonstrates the power and persuasion of game mechanics." Accompanying this story, he will explore the responsibility designers have "to create mechanics that have a positive impact on players' social behaviors." In the art lecture 'The Walking Dead: Crafting a Stylized World for the Mature Franchise,' Telltale Games' Jonathon Banks will discuss techniques used to create the art style of the award-winning IP. As opposed to more realistic and gritty zombie games, The Walking Dead blended Telltale's signature colorful adventure style with the comic source material. Banks will share how the team arrived at a style which satisfied adventure game players, comic enthusiasts, and even hardcore zombie fans. In the programming talk 'Outernauts: From AAA Console to AAA Flash Games,' Joe Valenzuela will explain how the Ratchet & Clank and Resistance developers overcame the challenges of many firsts. Outernauts was their first non-console and first free-to-play game, and the first not written in a low-level language. Instead, Insomniac had to adjust to a different development environment and tools pipeline while trying to follow best Flash practices. Those with console backgrounds will particularly appreciate learning from Insomniac's experiment in the lands of Flash and free-to-play. For more information on these or others in the show's growing lineup, check out GDC 2013's official Schedule Builder, which continues to add new talks every week. The deadline for discounted Early Bird passes is February 13th, and GDC 2013 itself will take place March 25-29 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. For more information on GDC 2013, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

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