Zurück aus Köln, wo ich die letzte Woche komplett weilte. Die ersten drei Tage standen dabei ganz im Zeichen der GDCE. Der was?
Kurz zur Erläuterung:
“The Game Developers Conference™ Europe (GDC Europe) is the largest professionals-only game industry event in Europe. The GDC Europe will be held in conjunction with gamescom, the leading European consumer show, creating a full week of activity and opportunity for the games industry. This confluence of industry professionals allows GDC Europe to address the development community at a central location in the heart of Europe, and command the critical mass of the European games sector. GDC Europe is the essential platform for learning, inspiration and networking for the creators of computer, console, handheld, mobile, social, and online games in Europe.” (Quelle)
Folgende Talks besuchte ich vor Ort:
(The gaming industry is in a period of rapid transition as social, mobile, and F2P quickly have become the fastest growing sector. The conversation has turned from what makes great games into a war between platforms, business models or distribution methods, ignoring what gaming is all about – entertainment. Instead of focusing on what device will reign supreme in the future, DICE’s general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson will talk about how to develop products that gamers love. The magic of interactive entertainment is in its ability to capture the imagination of the player and create a truly immerse experience. In this session, Troedsson will share his insights of how to innovate in a long running franchise, build and support a loyal fan base, and transform gaming from a fire-and-forget business to living, breathing entertainment entity 24/7/365. 2012 marks Battlefield’s 10th anniversary and DICE’s 20th anniversary. We will follow the ups and downs of the studio and learn about the passionate struggles and reward of creating great games.)
(Not so long ago, we finished working on ‘The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings’. The game was extremely successful on both platforms, but obviously, we weren’t able to avoid making some mistakes on the way. We have just started our new, still secret, project and its scale exceeds the previous two combined. We would like to tell how our approach to design and game production changed, how we have used our past experience and how we are dealing with the never ending conflict between dreams and deadlines.)
(Innovating in game play is well accepted within this industry, however, innovating around how games are created is not as common. The goal of this presentation is to share the learnings that we made regarding setting up a distributed studio. Topics that will be covered include hiring processes, tools, how work is defined and mistakes made.)
(Considered by many to be one of the best and most addictive multiplayer gaming experiences on the Nintendo 64 — or on any platform in the ’90s really — Rare’s GoldenEye 007 set the standard for what a first-person shooter on a console could accomplish. Its single-player campaign was also much better than any movie tie-in deserved to have. 15 years after GoldenEye 007 first hit stores, its director Martin Hollis shares how his team created the biggest release for the N64 without Mario in its title, and how what started as a Virtua Cop-style on-rails project became the legendary FPS that paved the way for console shooters like Halo and countless others.)
(Do the terms ‘Theme park’ and ‘sandbox’ mean anything to you? While too many an MMO is an MMO, for designers and veteran players alike there is a fast growing search for the next frontier in virtual worlds. How do we balance accessibility with the wish to create dynamic and evolving worlds where players can forge their own stories? This session will explore the complex relationships that players have to virtual worlds and how designers need to understand the forces at play.)
(How often can you release a game in a AAA franchise? How do you keep it fresh? How much change is too much, and how much is too little? Why would an audience come back again and again to the same universe? Assassin’s Creed has grown to become own of the premiere franchises in the industry and one of the few that tries to maintain a completely consistent universe of characters, history and perspective. This talk looks at the challenges of creating such a franchise, expanding into other media, and of shipping a new core title every year, through the lens of the development of Assassin’s Creed 3. By breaking down the team’s goals in January 2010 and re-presenting example deliverables at key milestones over the last two and half years, Hutchinson will explain how Ubisoft Montreal built AC3, and show how the studio’s features and approach evolved along the way.)
(A video-game typically presents the player with a system to figure out and conquer, building everything else on top of that. In this talk an alternative design approach will be discussed. Instead of having traditional game mechanics, the focus should lie on creating a sense of presence and on letting the imagination do most of the work. This lecture will go over basic scientific and philosophical ideas for this approach, and then go into the concrete design decisions needed to achieve it.)
(There will always be a place for big-budget blockbusters – but innovation is happening elsewhere. Designers have never had more freedom than with F2P games on mobile and social platforms. It’s the biggest opportunity to innovate for core gamers since the introduction of the console. Small, nimble teams can experiment, going directly to consumers without the fear of failure that accompanies a EUR50M budget. But how do you balance the tension between creativity and finances? What metrics should you pay attention to? Which should you ignore? How do you deepen engagement with players and keep them coming back?)
Insgesamt überraschte die GDCE durch ihre Themenvielfalt UND durch die Qualitätsunterschiede der Vorträge, aber ich denke, das ist der geneigte Konferenzteilnehmer gewohnt, zwischen seelischer Nostalgie, hartem Profitum und lockerem Plaudern war alles dabei – und nach drei Tagen war man froh, jede Menge alte und neue Bekanntschaften getroffen bzw. geschlossen zu haben. Wenn es so auch nächstes Jahr zugeht, kann die GDCE ruhig kommen. Ich warte.