What’s in GDC 2020?

Welcome to the first press newsletter for the 34th Game Developers Conference (GDC), GDC 2020! we’ll share a bit of info about the conference that could be helpful to you, including recently announced session. As a reminder, GDC 2020 will take place March 16-20 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, CA.

1) GDC 2020 Session Highlights

GDC 2020 will feature sessions from the game studios and companies behind some of the industry’s biggest innovations and most beloved games. We’ve highlighted a few recently announced sessions below:

In a special Design track talk titled “Becoming a Living Legend: An Apex Legends Postmortem” senior game designer Carlos Pineda will go through the development of Apex Legends and how it went from a Titanfall 2 battle royale mode to a hugely popular standalone game.

This summer, League of Legends maker Riot Games added a mega-popular auto-battler mode to the game called Teamfight Tactics. During Teamfight Tactics Design Lessons, lead designer David Abecassis will talk about how the game was designed in less than six months.

The illusion of a living, breathing world full of wildlife was key to the open-world design of Red Dead Redemption 2. In a special Visual Arts track talk titled “Breathing Life into the Wild West: Animating the Animals of Red Dead Redemption 2” animation director Alex O’Dwyer will reveal how the virtual ecosystem of Red Dead Redemption 2 was planned, conceived and delivered.

Kojima Productions’ Eric Johnson will be presenting “Death Stranding: An AI Postmortem”, which will focus on how difficult it was to make characters that could reliably and believably traverse the game’s unapologetically unforgiving Iceland-inspired, post-apocalyptic United States landscape.

As part of the GDC Vision Track, a series of unique talks exploring the impact and future of the game industry, author and design historian Tim Lapetino will deliver a fresh talk on “The Tron Effect”, about how Disney’s ’82 classic Tron continues to influence the zeitgeist across video games, pop culture, and beyond.

2) GDC Classic Game Postmortems

Each year, GDC honors and examines classic games that have left a lasting impact on the video game industry with special talks from their creators. So far for GDC 2020, the following classic game postmortems have been announced.

In a rare opportunity, Warren Davis, the designer and programmer of the original 1982 arcade version of Q*bert, will give the inside story on the making of the arcade classic and the legacy of the character and the game through the present day during the Classic Game Postmortem of Q*bert.

Star Wars has never been bigger or broader, and few Star Wars games have had a greater impact in the game industry than Star Wars Galaxies. Playable Worlds chief Raph Koster and Certain Affinity VP Rich Vogel will be presenting a Star Wars Galaxies Classic Game Postmortem to tell the story of how it rose and fell.

The Classic Game Postmortem of The 7th Guest promises to be a rare opportunity, as three members of the original team – Graeme Devine, Rob Landeros, and George ‘The Fat Man’ Sanger – will be reunited for the first time in 20 years to discuss the origins and development of the seminal FMV horror game that sold millions, drove adoption of CD-ROM drives, and paved the way for modern FMV games.

3) Game Developers Choice Awards Ceremony Ambassador Award Recipient

During the 20th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, the premier accolades for peer recognition celebrating the industry’s top games, studios and developers, Kate Edwards, the former head of the International Game Developers Association and current Global Game Jam executive director, will receive the Ambassador Award for helping video games advance to a better place through advocacy and action.

Kate is known for evangelizing the game community worldwide – both via speaking and mentoring at a multitude of game industry events yearly – and helping new and diverse initiatives across the entire worldwide community. Her open and caring nature in connecting people across a multitude of important game communities makes her a natural choice for the Ambassador Award

4) GDC Film Festival

The third annual GDC Film Festival, one of the first documentary and narrative film fests focused on the art and culture of video games, will take place at the Yerba Buena Center For The Arts’ Screening Room – directly adjacent to the Moscone Center – from Monday, March 16 to Wednesday, March 18.

Screenings will be open to all GDC 2020 pass holders, on a first-come, first-served basis. Across the three days, there will be a wide range of documentaries and other filmed material based around the video game medium, some of which will be debuting for the first time.




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