"The professional careers of these athletes has been elevated to the level that they can make a living playing these games."
"Motivation is the single biggest factor in moving a game forward."
Other GDC Next 10 talks already available for free include Team Dakota on Microsoft multiplatform MMO Project Spark and 'turning players into creators', along with SWERY on D4 and 'taking control of the Xbox One's Kinect.'
"We're not using the beta moniker as an excuse for shipping an unfinished product. I would say we're almost proud of shipping an unfinished product."
"If you can make it easy, convenient and fun for the community creators to make their own content then great, you get free marketing."
"This idea that I can play anywhere or any time, you're not going to be able to get away with not supporting it."
"Rather than matching our game design to new input control devices, we need to take control of such devices to match OUR game design."
"Be wary of fairness. It's not balance... Halo's not fair."
The follow-up of this talk presented at GDC 2011, titled "Design in Detail: Tuning the Muzzle Velocity of the Plasma Rifle Bolt on Legendary Difficulty Across the Halo Franchise" is also available to view for free. Additionally, the GDC Vault contains a free video on designing, engineering, and scoring the original Halo.
"Speak up when you become the target [of online toxicity]; don't be afraid to tell your story."
Orth apologizes for his comments, explains the aftermath of the off-hand tweet, and offers up suggestions to ameliorate online toxicity, along with looking at games which attempt to abate mob-like behavior.
"Art is not about wistfulness... it is about standing for something, using the tools in your medium to express complex ideas and emotions."
Other microtalks include Anthony Burch (aka Reverend Anthony) on Ubisoft Montreal's Far Cry 2, Frank Lantz on Mark Essen's Flywrench and The Thrill of Combat, and Jason Rohrer on Terry Cavanagh and Stephen Lavelle's Judith.
"Helping your team being great is a lot like helping our players enjoy a great game."
"Design is about constraining people... Games are interesting, because they're only partly in control -- because they're about teaching you how to think."
For more with Koster, he discusses further blending games with social media in this follow-up interview.
Additionally, GDC Vault has made free a postmortem on Ultima Online featuring Koster alongside Starr Long and Rich Vogel.
"We wanted people to be able to escape the confines of the real world, to try on new identities, to be... not so much new people, but to try to find out the people they really were."
"You don't get a soft launch for a branded game."
"There's something strange about social games in that you don't have to play them... you can buy out, or perform other actions so that you don't have to bother to play the game that you're choosing to play."
"The practice of using games to do more than entertain is now mainstream."
"The games industry needs to make the user experience of tools a priority."
"Empowerment is the ability to create a team or an organization or an individual that feels ownership and is actually driving the results for you,"
For more from George on how Riot Games dodged the pitfalls of rapid staff growth, check out this additional, free GDC Vault video.
"You have limitations as a designer. Suck it down."
"To make really good VR games, there is going to have to be some level of making no compromises -- if you want to have the best experiences."
Some of those biggest hurdles, Mitchell explains, are user interface, simulator sickness, and latency. Additionally, Luckey warns that "Pre-cut sequences [don't work], because that's going to remind the user that they're not really inside a virtual world."
Free video link: 'Virtual Reality Gaming and Game Development'
"We have an art form that rewires people's brains... and that means we have to be responsible."
Koster, who serves on the advisory board for the upcoming GDC Next, spoke candidly about the revolution and future of games, and will speak at GDC Next in November in a talk called 'Playing with "Game".'
Free video link: 'A Theory of Fun 10 Years Later'.
"You can try to write down a full marketing plan. It won't happen like that."
Other challenges Sparpweed faced with its award-winning PS3 platformer included explaining a game title without capital letters and implementing the game's single player mode.
Free video link: 'ibb & obb - Ten Talking Points'
"[Releasing on] launch day itself is not that important."
Broken Rules explains how it could have used extra time to polish their game, and that the time polishing would have helped them avoid competing with major launch titles. The studio also warned against developing exclusively for a console that makes cross-platform ports difficult.
For more on the team's latest project, for which Chasing Aurora served as its prototype, check out the unusual evolution of Broken Rules' Secrets of Raetikon.
Free video link: 'Chasing Aurora: The Indie Console Launch Title Postmortem'.
"Social is not just about friends. Social is everything to do with other people, every time it matters that a character is a person, not an NPC."
Woodward later defines the meaning of sandbox in more detail in this Gamasutra interview. He also refers to Scott Rigby's model of intrinsic motivators covered in this GDC Online 2009 talk, available for those with paid GDC Vault subscriptions.
Free video link: 'The Other White Meat: Design Architecture for Sandbox Games'
"I think subconsciously we were part of this social and political change. "
In this free GDC Vault session entitled 'Playmakers in the Maldives', he discusses the social and political climate the developers faced and the games designed for the project, including the latex waterproofing of PS Move controllers for Jelly Stomp and (local favorite) banana costume wearing for The Hunt for The Yellow Banana.
Free video link: 'Playmakers in the Maldives'
"Your primary tools are your people. They have to be imminently adaptable diplomats, and without them, you're done."
In this free GDC Vault session entitled 'Community Relations Management Across the Board', panelists Alex Von Minden of Spacetime Studios (Pocket Legends) and Kellen Kincaid of Portalarium (Ultimate Collector) join Carlson and moderator Richard Weil of Metaverse Mod Squad to discuss core principles of community management in mobile, social media, multiplayer and MMO segments, focusing on subscription-based and free-to-play games.
Free video here: 'Community Relations Management Across the Board'
"We had to drive our stories to be more personal and less about the world around you."
""We wanted to have no subscription fee for our game...and that has a big impact on the tech. You can't rely on the fact that every month you'll be making all these subscription fees...So you need to build things in a really efficient way.""
Free video link here: http://gdcvault.com/play/1016640/Guild-Wars-2-Programming-the
"You need something that is going to make your game more interesting than everybody else's."
In this free GDC Europe 2013 talk titled 'Getting Your Independent Game Noticed in 2013' (courtesy of GDC Vault), Rose blueprints the perfect 20-second pitch for press, with tips such as providing a link to the game or a high-quality video of it in action, all in an email written with a believable, personal touch.
Mike Rose goes into more depth about his study in this Gamasutra article.
Free Video link here: 'Getting Your Independent Game Noticed in 2013'
"...It takes a silly amount of effort to make a conventional game. It's much easier to be original... than to be conventional."
In this free GDC Europe 2013 talk titled 'The Next Ten Years of Tale of Tales' (courtesy of GDC Vault), studio co-founders Harvey and Samyn review the designs and finances behind its first 10 years as a developer, and talk about how their research will inform their future.
The talk ends with trailers for their upcoming projects: Luxuria Superbia, An Empty World, and The Book of 8 (the realization of the team's first unfinished project from 2002).
Free video link here: 'The Next Ten Years of Tale of Tales'
"Getting the front page of the biggest games sites of the world is nothing compared to a 14-year-old who really likes my game."
In this free GDC Europe 2013 talk titled 'The Dumb Hobby Project: Lessons Learned Making Thomas Was Alone' (courtesy of GDC Vault), Bithell speaks about all the market variables which helped propel his game to success.
For more on Bithell's upcoming tactical stealth game mentioned in the video, Volume, check out this interview.
Free video link here: http://gdcvault.com/play/1019358/The-Dumb-Hobby-Project-Lessons
"I really don't see any reason why that process [of making small games in AAA studios] cannot exist, and why that cannot be really healthy for the company."
In this free GDC Europe 2013 talk titled 'Small Projects in AAA Studios: Making of Child of Light' (courtesy of GDC Vault), Plourde explores the game's artistic and fairy tale influences, his pitches to internal executives to build support, his angles for getting consumer and press interest, and the significance of the dev team's gender balance (33% women, compared to 20% overall for Ubisoft Montreal).
For more on Child of Light, check out this extensive Gamasutra interview.
Free video link here:http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1019325/Small-Projects-in-AAA-Studios
"It's not the new technology, but it's the new gameplay mechanics which is the key to success in these new [indie] games."
In this free GDC Europe 2013 talk titled "Porting Contemporary Games to a Vintage Platform" (courtesy of GDC Vault), Koller explains the challenges he faced in porting these indie hits to old platforms, dealing with procedural levels, loads of bullets, and fast-scrolling parallax backgrounds on a 1 MHz CPU and only 64KB of RAM.
Free video link here: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1019305/Porting-Contemporary-Games-to-a
If you're reading this site, chances are you believe in the potential of video games - that they can evoke powerful emotions, and deeply affect the people who play them. Plenty of games have already proven that the medium is capable of dealing with complex issues, but are there subjects that video games just aren't equipped to handle?
Margaret Robertson of the experimental game studio Hide&Seek explored this very question at GDC 2012, as she and her team ran into some real trouble when working on their interactive media experiment, Dreams of Your Life.
The project was originally planned as a game that explored the death of Joyce Vincent, a woman who went unnoticed for three years after she perished in her London flat. Hide&Seek wanted to create a game that explored the complexities of death, and how someone like Vincent could slip through the cracks and become forgotten by society.
To find out how she did this, watch the free video here: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1015525/The-Gamification-of-Death-How
"Great game design is always revolutionary."
In this free session from GDC Vault, Daglow highlights the changing technology and marketplace for games, noting similar lessons learned in the past. He also encourages developers to use the medium to make experiences that positively affect people's lives.
Free video link here: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1019330/This-Time-It-s-Different
"Question conventions before you copy them."
Throughout the session, Francis expounds upon several lessons learned as a game reviewer, and how he implemented those lessons in Gunpoint.
Free video link here: http://gdcvault.com/play/1019349/How-Reviewing-Games-for-Nine
"My objective is to increase the lifespan of everyone in this room by seven-and-a-half minutes."
Courtesy of the GDC Vault is another free video from GDC 2012. This session covers the efforts of three developers creating games combined with health goals.
Jane McGonigal speaks about SuperBetter, her online game with a mobile app, which encourages building physical, mental, emotional, and social resilience. ShapeUp co-founder Rajiv Kumar speaks about his success of adding social games to employee wellness programs to promote physical activity, healthy eating, and weight loss. Finally, GreenGoose founder Brian Krejcarek discusses making all of life a game, including apps for teeth brushing and bathroom etiquette.
Free video link here: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1015783/Health-IT-Enterprising-Approaches-to
"I wouldn't have run a branding campaign... I would have spent the money on more PR activity and to give the user even greater value."
In this free GDC Vault video, Hacker examines sales data and concludes that the biggest spikes he has seen were caused by content updates, not sales or discounts. He also examines a Neverwinter pre-order pack campaign where the $200 pack outsold the $20 and $60 packs, citing consumer value as a large reason for its success.
Also, be sure to check out 'User-Generated Content In MMOs - From Champions Online To Neverwinter' with Cryptic Studios's Craig Zinkievich.
Free video link here: http://gdcvault.com/play/1019359/Balancing-Monetization-to-Succeed-in
"With a 1,000 words, I can do a hell of a lot more than you can do with one picture."
In this free GDC Vault video, he explores how text offers versatility and customizability and is "cheap and stable." He also explains how he avoided the disadvantages of text, which includes reading fatigue, repetition, and lack of agency.
For more from Jon Ingold and others in text-based adventures, check out this interactive fiction renaissance roundtable.
Free video link here: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1019346/A-World-from-Words-Highly
"Creativity is a fragile thing."
The studio eventually pushed through to create the follow-up Ridiculous Fishing, which went on to win an Apple Design Award and amass almost 300,000 sales.
In this free session from GDC Vault, Ismail and partner Jan Willem Nijman discuss finding their motivation, cutting extraneous design, setting an ultimatum for failure, and having co-developrs Greg Wohlwend (Hundreds) and Zach Gage (SpellTower) move in together to complete the game.
For more from Vlambeer, those with paid GDC Vault subscriptions can enjoy 'Sensible Nonsense: On Fiction in Games,' where they describe using a game's fiction as a way to create a great game, along with the refereneced 'Clones: Advancing the Discussion' session from GDC 2012.
Free video link here: http://gdcvault.com/play/1019340/Cloned-at-Birth-The-Story
"The market does not know what it wants... The market will respond to what you believe."
In this free session from GDC Vault, which continues GDC Europe's series of classic postmortems of seminal European video games, Dino Dini recalls his design choices and features for the multiple award-winning Kick Off, from frame rate and ball size to the viewing and shadow angles and his not attaching the ball to the player's feet.
Free video link here: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1019341/Classic-Game-Postmortem-Kick
"If we can get two people to have a connection in a game before their prejudices get in the way, then maybe we can challenge those prejudices."
In this free session from GDC Vault, Bell took the audience through what he considered the rules of play that can weaken or strengthen a game, using opposing examples such as the often risque Chat Roulette and the tamed Telectroscope interactions in London and New York. He then touched on his first experience with MMOs in Final Fantasy XI, and ultimately his work with Journey and Way, which do away with text-based communication entirely.
Also free from GDC Vault, Jenova Chen spoke at GDC 2013 on designing a new emotional experience in Journey.
"Guessing is for rookies; prove everything in a 'production-like' environment."
Available for free thanks to The Guildhall at SMU, this GDC Vault session captured Moore discussing the intense months prior to launch of the MMO, including the middleware and database scaling and load testing done. He also touched on key business decisions that negatively impacted the service, including not requiring players to enter their credit card information during early access.
For more on Star Wars: The Old Republic, check out this free GDC 2012 video with Rich Vogel and Dallas Dickinson, who address the core design concepts and major tenets that power this complex MMO.
Free video link: http://gdcvault.com/play/1016620/Building-the-Scalable-Platform-for
"Players can create more content than you can ever imagine... If you empower your fans, they will reward you 1,000 times over."
Kremers tackled design with the principle of "less is more," which he feels is invaluable for indies, freeing up development time for other areas of the game. He also explored the concept of negative space, using what is not there to help define what is.
Free video link here: http://gdcvault.com/play/1016467/Indie-Level-Design-Adventures-in
According to independent developers Martin Jonasson and Petri Purho (Jesus vs. Dinosaurs), the best way to make a satisfying game is to make it "juicy" -- the "juicier" your game is, the more fun it will be to play.
Now what exactly does that mean? "Juicy things are things that wobble, squirt, bounce around, and make little cute noises; it's sort of a catch-all phrase for things that make a game more satisfying to interact with," Jonasson explained during a presentation at this year's GDC Europe. "Juice is typically auditory or visual, but it doesn't really need to be...it's about maximum output for minimum input."
Purho, who also created the 2009 hit Crayon Physics Deluxe, added, "If a game's juicy, it's way more fun to interact with it and it feels more professional. It doesn't matter if the graphics are crappy, but if it lacks that interactivity, it feels off."
Throughout their GDC Europe presentation, the pair offered even more tips for making "juicier" games, and you can check out their full talk in this free video: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1016487/Juice-It-or-Lose
"What is it about a certain game that only I could have made and not somebody else?"
In the video below, Majewski discusses how Trauma went from a final thesis project to an Independent Games Festival-nominated hit. He explains how Trauma combines an unconventional story with unique photographic visuals and a level design philosophy that focuses on creating a rich experience rather than elaborate puzzles.
Free video link: http://gdcvault.com/play/1016476/TRAUMA-Making-of-From-University
The music- and exploration-based Proteus is a perfect example of minimalist game design. It has few defined goals, and exists primarily to let players wander about its atmospheric, pixelated world.
However, the game almost became something quite different. During an in-depth postmortem at last year's Game Developers Conference Europe, Proteus creator Ed Key explained that he and musician David Kanaga threw around some complex ideas when creating this dynamic musical experience.
"The more creative writers are, the more easily they can iterate, the more autonomous they can be, the more writing they can do... the better dialog you will have."
Ruskin uses Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and internal experiment Two Robots, One Wrench to demonstrate Valve's system for tracking thousands of facts and possibilities, allowing intelligent characters to remember history, and, most importantly, providing writers a friendly interface for creative freedom.
Free video link: http://gdcvault.com/play/1015317/AI-driven-Dynamic-Dialog-through
If you've ever worked at a quickly growing game company, there's a good chance you're familiar with the dangers of rapid growth. With new developers flooding into a studio, processes can collapse, communication can break down, and your company's culture might suffer as a result.
But if your studio is careful about its hiring procedures, you can easily avoid these all-too-common pitfalls. Riot Games senior producer Travis George helped tackle this problem when building and developing the team behind League of Legends, and at GDC Online 2012, he offered his own tips for building an improving a successful team.
As an eSports developer, George said that Riot Games often focuses on hiring what he calls "athletes."
To hear more, check out the free video here.
"The fundamental constraint holding back game design [is] the lack of people."
Crawford's appearance at the 25th anniversary of GDC was particularly special, as he was the founder of the original event, then called the Computer Game Developers Conference. In this talk, titled "In Days of Yore," he revisits the computers of the time (including the Altair 8800, Atari 2600, and Commodore 64), and discusses both the technical and interpersonal resources professionals have gained to make games, and the diversity that he feels modern games have lost.
During the 20-minute Q&A session, Crawford shares his observations between the DIY developers of the 1980s and the rising indie scene. The two differences he spots are how the diversity of games isn't as great from indies, which he believes is because "their minds have already been diluted by what's already out there...people's imaginations weren't bound by past history [then] because there was no tradition at all."
He also notes that there is now a much lower signal-to-noise ratio, with many more indies making it "really hard to find those few gems in it."
Free video link here: http://gdcvault.com/play/1014653/In-Days-of
"Allowing our industry to continue to be narrow in scope, is economically dumb [and] completely undersells the potential of gaming as a medium."
In this free GDC Vault video of the "Writing The Unsung Experiences: Gender In Game Storytelling" panel from GDC Online 2012, critics Leigh Alexander, Mattie Brice, and Jenn Frank share personal experiences and observations regarding the lack of diversity (gender and otherwise) in games.
Free video link here: http://gdcvault.com/play/1016639/Writing-The-Unsung-Experiences-Gender
"There's a lot of noise in the social space, you've got to do what you can to rise above."
In this session from GDC 2012, McDonald discusses the rapidly-changing landscape for sound in social games and urges audio and game designers to work together early in their projects for more impact.
McDonald describes how social game audio has evolved from the music-less Mafia Wars, to Farmville's short and catchy loops and Castleville's live orchestra and vocalists. He then presents what went right and wrong with his attempts to elevate the standard of audio in social games in the projects Ravenwood Fair and Ravenskye City.
Free video link here: http://gdcvault.com/play/1015548/Audio-Evolution-in-Social-Games
"I wanted to find out what happens when you design a game where rewind is not a resource, and there's not a death challenge gating the game."
In Braid, the player can rewind time at will -- the scene plays backward at an accelerated pace, like you might see on a VCR. Blow explains in detail how he programmed and designed this mechanic, why he chose this particular method instead of other possible solutions, and how he dealt with many implementation concerns.
Free video link here: http://gdcvault.com/play/1012210/The-Implementation-of-Rewind-in
For Gamasutra's Alternative Funding week, we're revisiting a GDC Europe panel where Konami, Microsoft and Capcom make cases for a publisher's added value in an age of self-publishing.
At GDC Europe 2012, a panel of publishers Konami, Microsoft and Capcom, along with investment firm CFC Capital, met to discuss where publishing is headed, why there are fewer bets being made in triple-A, and why publishers are still necessary even in an age where self-publishing is easier than ever.
The panel, Ask the Publishers: Adapting and Succeeding in a Changing Games Industry, is presented in its entirety above for free courtesy of the GDC Vault.
BioWare co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk discuss how they formed BioWare and created their classic RPG on the 10th anniversary of Baldur's Gate 2, in this free video from GDC Europe 2010.
Their discussion explores implementing BioWare's four pillars of video games, establishing publisher relationships and handling their expectations, and hiring a 60-person staff that had little to no experience in the industry. The end of the video contains a hefty 20-minute audience Q&A, as well.
'Baldur's Gate - A 10 Year Retrospective' is available to watch here.
"When people watch your video, they kinda have to fall in love with you a little bit, because they're not just giving money to your project, they're giving money to you."
Kickstarter head of community Cindy Au joins Coniglio in this video, now free courtesy of GDC vault. Topics include figuring out how much money was needed to make the game, who was going to fund the game, and how Awkward Hug planned to reach those possible funders.
This video has also been made free as part of sister site Gamasutra's week-long series on alternative funding methods.
Free video link: http://gdcvault.com/play/1015671/A-Strategic-Approach-to
"The [casual] space is defined by a certain kind of lack of hardcore game expectations."
In this classic GDC 2007 lecture, digitized from videotape by digital historian Jason Scott and now available for free courtesy of the GDC Vault, Fortugno offers four casual design principles, beginning with abandoning the standards of hardcore gamers.
The full lecture is available to watch for free on GDC Vault.
For more in the history of casual game design, Nick Fortugno co-wrote this extensive transcript based on his GDC 2009 Casual Games Summit lecture.
"If the hardware is an add-on, motion control will remain niche."
In this GDC Europe 2010 lecture, now free courtesy of the GDC Vault, VandenBerghe discusses input, muscle memory, human psychology, and failed tutorials his team faced in designing this critically acclaimed sequel.
Free video link: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1013663/Chilling-Tales-from-Red-Steel
"Games use maps and [cultural] DNA to describe very complex systems and put them into context."
In this GDC Europe 2010 lecture, Diemer says that a map can provide a foundation for systems in games. He also believes maps in-game can be blank, and that there can be a joy to filling them in.
Free video link: http://gdcvault.com/play/1013668/Imaginary-Places-Strange-Maps-and
From the GDC 2007 Casual Games Summit, PopCap's Tysen Henderson and Jeff Weinstein share "the good, the not bad, and the ugly" in this free video post-mortem for the multiple award-winning puzzle-RPG hybrid, Bookworm Adventures.
In 2009, Gamasutra caught up with Henderson to analyze how Bookworm Adventures juggles fun and education.
For a breakdown of another PopCap classic, check out George Fan at GDC 2012 discussing How I Got My Mom to Play Through Plants vs. Zombies.'
"Having a sense of presence might actually be the best storytelling device we have in our media."-Frictional Games' creative director Thomas Grip believes in letting players' imagination do most of the work.
In this GDC Europe 2012 lecture, Grip shows the science behind and the practical implementations for maintaining this level of immersion. He demonstrates how even lauded games such as Heavy Rain, Dead Space, and Assassin's Creed break this sense of presence and how games such as Limbo facilitate it.
For other perspectives on storytelling, GDC Vault has free lectures from Kent Hudson on player-driven stories and Antony Johnston on what comic books can teach video games.
Free video link: http://gdcvault.com/play/1016433/The-Self-Presence-and
"30 years later, we are still unlearning the lessons of the golden age of the arcade."
Spanning three decades in the industry, Cerny traces video game history from recent blockbuster titles all the way back to when arcade games flourished.
In contrast to those triple-A titles, he presents recent social and mobile hits such as Angry Birds and Farmville and suggests that the industry needs to unlearn what it believes a game is to accept these hits as games and to move forward.
For more peering into the past, be sure to check out Mark Cerny's postmortem for his classic game Marble Madness for free, given during the 25th anniversary of GDC. More currently, read how he is bridging the gap between casual and console in his upcoming PlayStation 4 game, Knack.
free video link: http://gdcvault.com/play/1015001/The-Long
"Human beings can enforce rules, too... We don't need to cede all the authority to the machine."
In this free GDC Europe 2011 lecture, the Sportsfriends developer says not to worry about enforcing rules or preventing cheating. Instead, he says to focus on "deputizing" players and shares lessons he has learned from traditional folk games and design research which support this type of play.
Wilson will present 'Three Folk Games to Inspire Radical New Video Games' at this August's GDC Europe. Passes for GDC Europe 2013 are available now.
"We want to give rewards even in that tutorial where you can do nothing wrong because that is what society has led American kids to expect."
In this free GDC Europe 2012 lecture, Daglow - co-creator of the '90s online game Neverwinter Nights, one of the first graphical MMORPGs, offers up 5 tips for designing for American online players, including advice on user interface, the amount of text in-game, and the craving for recognition as an individual.
The intriguingly titled '5 Things About American Online Gamers that Surprise European Developers' is now available for free.
GDC Vault has recently added two new videos from the special sessions of the GamExecutive Conference held during GDC 2000. In these talks, top game executives debate the merit of broadband, the demise of the PC business, and retail versus e-commerce (as these predate digital distribution channels such as Steam).
First up is Interplay president Phil Adam and analyst Ann Stevens of PC Data who talk about retail, as opposed to online, being "the predominant sales channel for the long haul," and look at the decline in prices and revenues of games 1994 to 1999.
The next talk features a three-person panel with Gerry Kaufhold of research company In-Stat, who brings optimistic data on broadband; Robert Tercek, formerly with Sony, on what developers can do with the broadband, and Bryan Neider of EA, who brings the perspective of one of the few successful online companies at the time.
For more from the GamExecutive Conference 2000, check out this talk on mass market appeal with Hasbro Interactive, Mattel Interactive, Red Storm Entertainment, and THQ, or this lecture and round table on managing risk.
"The essence of gameplay is procedural dialogue between the player and the game."
In this free GDC 2013 lecture from the AAA Level Design in a Day Bootcamp, Worch relates story content and gameplay to monologues and dialogues, respectively. He offers practical advice for their designs; for example, he argues that cutscenes (as monologues) should never trigger unexpectedly and shouldn't change the subject matter.
In the month following this lecture, Worch released an altered version of this talk and its accompanying slides.
Free video link: http://gdcvault.com/play/1017638/AAA-Level-Design-in-a
"Solve the most important problems first."
In this free GDC 2013 lecture, Cheng discusses how his team refined Diablo III's health recovery, command input, and skills support systems that gave the 12-million selling PC hit its strong, tactical combat. Along with his analysis of what stayed and what had to go, he provides in-game demos of the early iterations of each system.
For even more on Diablo III, check out this free GDCvideo on the game's art direction with Blizzard's Christian Lichtner.
Free video link: http://gdcvault.com/play/1017794/Through-the-Grinder-Refining-Diablo
"You cannot overhype a game, you can only under-deliver"- SpyParty developer Chris Hecker at GDC 2013's Indie Soapbox.
All the talks of game developers Emily Short, Tim Rogers, Matthew Wegner, Rami Ismail, Chris Hecker, Renaud Bedard, Rich Vreeland, David Rosen, Colin Northway, and Noel Llopis are now available to view for free on GDC Vault.
Free video link: http://gdcvault.com/play/1018117/Indie
Stuck in the office today? GDC Vault revisits the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards show from GDC 2002, celebrating Grand Theft Auto III, ICO, and Halo: Combat Evolved, along with an appearance from Yuji Naka, who received the lifetime achievement award.
The free video is available to watch on GDC Vault now. For comparison, watch the 2013 Game Developers Choice and the Independent Games Festival awards, as recorded by the events' media partner, GameSpot.
Free video link: http://gdcvault.com/play/1014857/2002-GDC-Choice
"I would like to see an equal treatment for games and movies. I don't see any difference."-Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream's Guillaume de Fondaumiere in his talk at GDC Europe 2011 on how stricter-than-necessary ratings hurt the games business.
Over 50 games have been banned since 2000, according to Fondaumiere's presentation. In his talk, he makes an argument for adopting the same standards as movies and TV, and explains how ratings currently cause consumer confusion and hinder public funding and marketing. The banning of games in certain regions came up again recently -- see Saints Row IV being refused classification under Australia's new rating system.
Also, don't forget to check out Gamasutra's interview with Fondaumiere on how Heavy Rain was edited to meet PEGI standards.
Robot Invader CEO Chris Pruett reviews how Wind-up Knight and Rise of the Blobs were received on iOS and Android in this GDC 2013 talk, comparing what has been accepted as mobile development truths against his own concrete figures.
In this free lecture courtesy of GDC Vault, Pruett examines the validity of focusing on iOS first and localizing in as many languages as possible, and the trouble of Android device fragmentation. While you're at it, check out this related Gamasutra blog post by Gregg Tavares that breaks Pruett's data down further.
Session Name: Fact and Fiction: Lessons from Wind-up Knight and Rise of the Blobs
Speaker(s): Chris Pruett
Company Name(s): Robot Invader
Track / Format: Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit
Description: Everybody has a theory about what makes a successful mobile game, but how much of this conventional wisdom is really true? This session tests the validity of common "best practices" using two Robot Invader games, Wind-up Knight and Rise of the Blobs, as case studies. We will candidly discuss the development, critical, and financial reception of these two games across both iOS and Android. We scoured the Earth for information about what makes a great mobile game. Find out which bits of advice were right on the mark and which led us astray.
Free video link:http://gdcvault.com/play/1018129/Fact-and-Fiction-Lessons-from
For most people, the distinction between a game and a toy is that games rely on a defined set of rules. They dictate how players should experience a game and give structure to a designer's creation.
But for indie developer and Santa Ragione co-founder Pietro Righi Riva (Fotonica), rules aren't everything. At this year's GDC Europe, he argued that truly great games aren't defined by their rules, but emerge naturally if designers give players the freedom to experiment on their own.
"Games happen," Riva said. "They happen largely in the minds of players and not in the things we give them, so you kind of have to let go and stop worrying... We don't really design the games, we design these things, and we hope games will take place in the way we expect them to."
Riva pointed to popular titles like Dear Esther, Minecraft, Animal Crossing, and LittleBigPlanet, noting that they all allow players to piece things together on their own, explore new ideas, and find their own meaning among the tools at their disposal.
"The people who designed these games felt like they could inspire players to make something out of what they are giving them," Riva said.
He even pointed to a quote from world-renowned street artist Banksy, saying that his philosophy for painting very much applies to games. As Banksy says, "The Holy Grail is to spend less time making the picture than it takes for people to took at it."
If game developers can manage that with their own creations, then Riva says they must be doing something right.
In Riva's full presentation, he explains how he applied some of these design philosophies to his games like Fotonica and MirrorMoon, and you can see the entire talk for yourself in this GDC Vault video.
GDC Vault revisits GDC 2004 this week, uncovering David Perry's 2004 production keynote, which focuses on tips for finding and making a license, based in part on his experience with the multi-million selling Enter The Matrix.
Perry (who has since sold his cloud computing company Gaikai to Sony for hundreds of millions of dollars) urges publishers to allow producers to focus on one game at a time. He also offers several tips for making the perfect pitch for a licensed game. Finally, he suggests developers should be recognized individually for their talents and should hire publicists and agents to further establish themselves professionally.
The free video is available to watch here.
Speaker(s): David Perry
Company Name(s): Shiny Entertainment Inc
Producers fail if the game doesn't live up to its potential, says Media Molecule studio director Siobhan Reddy in her GDC 2013 talk about the 'highs and lows' of making games from new ideas.
Producers must juggle the goals of maintaining the game's creative vision and delivering a finished product; achieving both requires understanding what a team needs from a producer at all stages of development. As Reddy looks back on the iterations of upcoming PS Vita title Tearaway, she explains why her studio eventually scrapped a procedurally-generated world with GPS features, in this free lecture courtesy of GDC Vault.
Session Name: Glitter and Doom: The Highs and Lows of Making New Things
Speaker(s): Siobhan Reddy
Company Name(s): Media Molecule
Track / Format: Production
Description: Learn the true highs and lows of producing games with Siobhan Reddy, GDC Advisory Board member and Studio Director at Media Molecule.
Free video link: http://gdcvault.com/play/1017817/Glitter-and-Doom-The-Highs
Free courtesy of GDC Vault is the Game Educators Rant from GDC 2013, featuring Jose Zagal on the best games for learning design, Clara Fernandez-Vara on job ads and hiring practices, Ian Schreiber on diversity in education, and Michael Mateas on answering the question "What do you teach?"
Session Name: Game Educators Rant
Speaker(s): Michael Mateas, Jose Zagal, Clara Fernandez-Vara, Ian Schreiber
Company Name(s): UC Santa Cruz, DePaul University, MIT, Independent
Track / Format: GDC Education Summit
Description: This session will consist of a series of enlightening rants by veteran educators and game scholars. Experience different perspectives on students, schools, pedagogy, the relationship between academia and industry, and the future of game education as presented this cast of colleagues: Clara Fernandez-Vara, Michael Mateas, Ian Schreiber, and Jose Zagal.
free video link: http://gdcvault.com/play/1018066/Game-Educators
GDC Vault peers into the past and makes free the GDC 2004 design keynote from Will Wright, The Sims and SimCity creator, who shares several methodologies applicable to solo or team designers.
Accompanying several sharp witticisms and anecdotes, such as saying that games in 2050 will require 2.5 million people and $500 billion budgets, Wright encourages paying attention to the workload players must manage and how players parse the language of the game. He also suggests observing fellow designer aptitudes, their "superpowers," which can offer complementary perspectives for creativity and problem-solving.
The free video is available to watch here.
Session Name: Triangulation: A Schizophrenic Approach to Game Design
Speaker(s): Will Wright
Company Name(s): Maxis EA / Stupid Fun Club
Track / Format: Game Design