GDC Next and App Developers’ Conference Free Content Live in GDCVault
GDCNext is the online- and browser-focused event of the GDC family, with ADC happening alongside it for all the app developers working in a similarly connected/social space. GDCNext in particular tries to also acknowledge where games might be heading in the future, which makes for some pretty interesting content people might not otherwise give talks on. They’ve just released the free content from this year’s conferences. Many of the sessions are design and publishing-focused, and there’s a good mix of other topics in there as well. There are relatively few videos and a ton of slide presentations, which is a little unfortunate, but a lot quicker to read through.
Here are a few of the ones I really liked:
“Broken Age: Rethinking a Classic Genre for the Modern Era” by Greg Rice, Tim Schafer, Lee Petty, Oliver Franzke (Doublefine): The title is pretty straightforward, but this is primarily about adapting the adventure game genre to all the new tech-based freedoms that have sprung up since Day of the Tentacle was a shiny new game. It’s a pretty broad discussion, including design, art, and programming.
“The Observer Friendly Game” by Sean Plott (Day): A discussion on the increasing frequency of streaming games online for others to watch, whether eSports or Let’s Play, and how to design a game to make it as watchable as it is playable.
“The Sticky Science of New User Experiences” by Seran Chen (KIXEYE): A talk on early player engagement and retention, with a lot of advice on what to do, how to do it, and what to avoid. (Slides only)
“Luck and Skill in Games” by Skaff Elias (Three Donkeys): An analysis of the roles of luck vs. skill in games and how balancing the two affects individual players and the overall playerbase. (Slides only – they’re a little messy though)