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2011 Game Developers Conference

News on the talks, covering StarCraft II, Dance Central and Valve.

Organizers of the 2011 Game Developers Conference have debuted initial

lectures from the Game Design and Programming Track for the Main

Conference, spanning a Starcraft II postmortem, Harmonix's Dance

Central dissected, Valve on forensic debugging, and much more.

As the overall session list for the event further expands, organizers

are specially highlighting the initial Main Conference session

announcements around these two areas.

The Game Design and Programming Tracks take place from Wednesday March

2nd to Friday  March 4th, 2011 during the pre-eminent, San

Francisco-based event, alongside other discipline-specific Tracks

dedicated to art, audio, business and management, and production.

All of the above Track sessions are open to those with a Main

Conference or All-Access Pass. Some of the top sessions debuting in

the Game Design and Programming Tracks are as follows:

Game Design Track

Being revealed as a key Design Track talk for 2011's 25th edition of

Game Developers Conference is 'Remaking a Classic: The Game Design of

Starcraft II' by Blizzard Entertainment’s Dustin Browder.

Drawing from the experience of designing the standout RTS, Browder

offers a rare glimpse into Blizzard’s core design philosophies, as

well as insight into the special challenges of Starcraft II's complex

game design and the benefits and costs of designing an e-sport.

Another notable lecture is 'The Design Process and Philosophy of Dance

Central', led by Matt Boch and Dean Tate of Harmonix. The duo talk

about the nuances of designing for full-body motion gaming on the

standout Kinect title, also considering unconventional ways to

approach exploratory prototyping when starting from scratch.

Other major Game Design Track sessions confirmed thus far include a

session that examines how to keep player and character interests

aligned by Visceral Games’ Matthias Worch (Dead Space 2), a discussion

about moral storytelling in gameplay from Richard Rouse III of Ubisoft

Montreal, plus a charming talk on how personal game-craft can help

your growth as a designer, presented by Stone Librande of EA/Maxis.

Programming Track

The Programming Track sure to be of interest is ‘I Shot You First:

Networking the Gameplay of Halo: Reach’, by Bungie's David Aldridge,

revealing the patterns and processes that have allowed them to

repeatedly set new technical standards for online gameplay quality

around the highly regarded Halo franchise.

Another notable talk led by Valve Corporation’s Elan Ruskin delves

into game stability issues and the value of crash dump dissection. In

'Forensic Debugging: How to Autopsy, Repair, and Reanimate a

Release-built Game', Ruskin goes through how the Half-Life and Portal

2 creator "captures and processes crash dumps from testers, servers,

and customers to solve stability problems even after release."

Other notable new Programming Track talks from already confirmed

sessions include ‘Mega Meshes - Modeling, Rendering and Lighting a

World Made of 100 Billion Polygons’, a lecture around Milo & Kate's

tech given by Lionhead Studios’ Ben Sugden and Michal Iwanicki, a talk

on the use of occlusion culling on the PS3 from Will Vale of Second

Intention, and a presentation on AI navigation given by Insomniac

Games' Reddy Sambavaram.

At the forefront of game development, Game Developers Conference --

part of the UBM TechWeb Game Network, as is this website -- continues

to deliver the most pertinent and informative updates in digital

entertainment, with a host of GDC 2011 Summit and Main Conference

content announcements to come over the next few weeks.

Game Developers Conference 2011 -- the 25th iteration of the

industry-leading show -- will be held at the Moscone Center in San

Francisco from February 28th to March 4th, and registration is now

open. For more information on all aspects of the show, visit the

official GDC 2011 website - 

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