So I just presented at Game Developers Conference. GDC is nutty. At any given time, there are about 14 people that I want to be talking to as well as another 82 sessions that I’d like to be attending. Granted, I’m slightly prone to exaggeration, but suffice to say, there’s a lot of interesting stuff at all times.
Because of that, my notes become kind of insane. Rather than coherent sentences summarizing key ideas, I end up with fragments that I then have to rehydrate into #brilliant. Luckily, other people take much more detailed and helpful notes. So we’ll call this my clip show blog post – great summaries of the awesome talks at GDC from the good people at Escapist Magazine and Gamasutra!
1. Good Design, Bad Design, Great Design
2. GDC Microtalks 2012: One Hour, Ten Voices, Countless Ideas
The Microtalks is a crazy ride of a session. It’s 10 talks in an hour, and their slides auto advance every 20 seconds. Some totally keep it together, some spin out of control, and some jam so much information into 20 minutes that your head spins. Here’s a brief summary of the talks on Gamasutra
3. Breaking the Rules of Game Design: When to Go Against Competence, Autonomy and Relatedness
Kaitlyn Burnell from Naughty Dog (of Uncharted fame) talks about game design rules and when to break them. Summary at GDC 2012: Psychological advice for making players care
4. How I Got My Mom to Play Through Plants vs. Zombies
I love PvZ. I particularly love that you can replay the entire game several times over with different rules. But aside from that, they also teach you how to play the game in a smart way, which is what they discuss in this talk – GDC 2012: 10 tutorial tips from Plants vs. Zombies creator George Fan
5. Fun for Everyone: Lessons in Accessible Design from OUAM
Nathan Martz, who was the project lead of Once Upon a Monster (Xbox Kinect) and is an amazing thinker in general, talks about his experience making Once Upon a Monster – GDC 2012: Double Fine’s Martz on the joy of accessibility
6. Interesting Decisions
Sid Meier is a Video Game Designer God. He made Civilization. If he talks, it’s a good idea to listen – GDC 2012: Sid Meier on how to see games as sets of interesting decisions
7. Folk Games, Festivity and Subversive Game Design
Die Gute Fabrik made this crazy game called Johann Sebastian Joust. In short, it’s a game with a Play Station Move controller but no Play Station. Wait, wah? Yes, you can sometimes divorce the controller from the console. In this particular talk, he discusses combining folk games and tech – GDC 2012: Die Gute Fabrik’s Wilson on how simple tech enhances folk play
8. Forgotten Tales Remembered: The Games that Inspired Leading Innovators.
Again, if Video Game Gods speak, you listen. This panel had them all! In one place! Talking about what inspires them! GDC 2012: Taking Inspiration From the Greats
That should keep you busy and inspired. Now we’re in Austin for SxSW. Our highlights of this trip to come next week! But if you’re in Austin and want to meet up, give us a yell at kidsGotGame@noCrusts.com