Archive for the ‘ What I Learned at GDC ’ Category

What I Learned at GDC: Making Someone Else’s Game

There were a lot of really great talks at this year’s GDC Online, but there was one in particular that proved to be extremely motivational. If you’re going into the game industry, you’ve probably learned by now that you will have to work on a game you don’t want to. While you may be itching to make the next Final Fantasy, you might actually be making a Barbie game. Laralyn McWilliams gave an excellent talk on this very subject, entitled “Get Over Yourself: Making Someone Else’s Game.” 


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What I Learned at GDC: Minimizing Exposition in Games

One of my favorite talks this GDC was from Jeremy Bernstein, the writer on Dead Space 2. I had been to another of his talks during GDC Online this past October, but this talk in particular was very informative for me. Jeremy’s session was titled “No Explanation Necessary: Minimizing Exposition in Games,” which discussed ways for developers to eliminate bad exposition while maintaining and improving what is necessary.

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What I Learned at GDC: Indie Games Summit

Sorry about this post being pretty late, but I will have the rest of the What I Learned at GDC 2011 series posted within the next two or three weeks as I finish up my finals.

Today I’d like to talk a little bit about what I learned at some of the sessions from the Indie Games Summit. While I was not able to go to all of the sessions for the summit, I did go to a few in which I learned some valuable information for independent developers, or even students. This post will be a culmination of several different talks, including “Making Monthly Games” by Luke Schneider (Radian Games), “Retro City Rampage” by Brian Provinciano (vBlank), and “How to Win the IGF in 15 Weeks or Less” by Andy Schatz. I know that there were a lot of other great talks, but these were the ones I was able to make it to and took back the most from. If you didn’t get a chance to see them, I’d definitely recommend to check out all three on the GDC Vault if you can!

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What I Learned at GDC: The Role of a Level Designer

On the Monday of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, there was an excellent session called “Level Design in a Day,” which I was lucky enough to attend all of. The session lasted from 10am to 6pm, and featured individual talks by Ed Byrne of Uber Entertainment, Forrest Dowling of Irrational Games, Joel Burgess of Bethesda, Neil Alphonso of Splash Damage, Jim Brown of Epic Games, and Coray Seifert of Arkadium. While each talk focused on a particular aspect of level design, the majority of them took the time to define what exactly the role of a level designer is. For this post, I’d like to focus on what that role is, as described by the aforementioned individuals.


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A GDC 2011 Postmortem

I just got back from my first Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and if you didn’t get the opportunity to go, I definitely recommend it next year. I worked as a Conference Associate, and it was a wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone in the industry already, indie developers, or even aspiring game developers. So now that it’s over, I thought I’d take a look back and comment on my experiences, and what I would do better next year.

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What I Learned at GDC: The Writing of New Vegas

About a week or so ago, I was in Austin, Texas for the Game Developers Conference Online as a Conference Associate. This was my first trip to GDC, and I had a lot of fun, as well as learned a lot. I wasn’t able to attend all of the sessions I wanted to, but the ones I did attend were very insightful for me. As an aspiring writer, I attended a handful of the Narrative sessions as I could, and plan to check out the sessions I missed on the GDC Vault when available. I wanted to share what I learned from GDC, so the next series of posts, “What I Learned at GDC,” will cover just that, starting with this one.

The first session I’d like to talk about was called “Surviving the Apocalypse: The Writing of New Vegas,” lead by John Gonzalez of Obsidian, the Creative Director for Fallout: New Vegas. This was an extremely insightful session, as we got a chance to see firsthand how Obsidian goes about their narrative process. Keep reading to see an outline of the notes I took during the session, along with some of my own comments.

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