I always look forward to the Game Developers Conference. It’s my chance to hang with 20,000+ of my closest gaming friends from all over the industry. If you’re going, here are my picks. If you’re not going, keep an eye on twitter feeds for some great insights.
First, shameless self-promotion. My sessions!
Friday 3/29: 10-11am, Room 2004, West Hall
This session builds on the foundation established in past Little Hands, Foul Moods, and Runny Noses sessions. Children have unique intellectual and physical needs, which designers must take into account in order to create engaging gaming experiences. This session provides development guidelines for mobile game design for children (ages 0 to 12), with particular emphasis on developmental milestones, usability, and interaction design findings that are relevant to game developers. Findings are grounded in industry and academic research.
Thursday 3/28: 2:30-3:30pm
The GDC Microtalks session returns with more short talks packed with gigantic concepts, presented by a bevy of distinctive voices from the world of games and play. The Microtalk concept is game-like and simple: each of the session’s ten speakers gets 20 slides, each of which will be displayed for exactly 16 seconds before automatically advancing. That gives each speaker five minutes and 20 seconds to talk about things that they might not otherwise get to discuss on stage at GDC.
The microtalks are hands-down my favorite session. This year, I’m one of the ten speakers! Holy &*@$&))!!
Child’s Play: Making Games for Kids Roundtables
The children’s game design roundtables gather industry professionals for face-to-face discussions of topics relevant to their work. Conversations include the topics of game mechanics and usability for kids, mobile development for kids, and user testing and research with kids.
I’m happy to say that there are other folks talking about kids-related issues as well.
Rex Ishibashi, Callaway Digital Arts
Tuesday, 3/26: 11:15-11:40 Room 134, North Hall
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media and USA Today
Tuesday, 3/26: 11:50-12:15 Room 134, North Hall
Christopher Barney, Poptropica/Pearson
Friday 3/29: 4-5, Room 304 South Hall
Finally, some other picks of general interest.
- Surviving High School: Game to Novel and Back Again: When else can you talk about a game that became a novel?! Anne is also obsessed with games like Surviving High School.
- Ideas Per Second: How Double Fine Optimizes for Human Performance One of the most talented people I know (Nathan Martz) talking about the process at one of the most talented studios I know (Double Fine Productions). It’s a win-win!
- Scapegoats No More: Improving the Public Image of Games (If you’ve read my recent article about my experience as a victim of gun violence and a game designer, you know that this is a particularly important subject to me.)
- Experimental Gameplay Workshop: If you want to see innovation in games, this is the place.
It’ll be a busy week, that’s for sure. If you’re around and want to say hi, please do! Otherwise, as always, we’re at KidsGotGame@NoCrusts.com or on Twitter @NoCrusts.