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Free GDC 2014 Video: Breaking down the seven-year development of Antichamber

posted Apr 21 2014


"Making games is hard. This was the hardest thing I've ever done, and it absolutely destroyed me."

- Alexander Bruce, speaking about the creation of
Antichamber at GDC 2014.

As part of the GDC 2014 Independent Games Summit, Antichamber creator Alexander Bruce spoke very candidly about how -- and, more importantly, why -- he went about developing his IGF Award-winning game, the price he paid to make it, and what other developers should learn from his experience.

It was a powerfully affecting presentation, and a video recording of the talk is now freely available for anyone to watch via the GDC Vault.

Free GDC 2014 Video: #1ReasonToBe panel inspires standing ovation

posted Apr 11 2014


The ever-popular #1ReasonToBe GDC panel, inspired by the #1ReasonWhy and #1ReasonToBe hashtagged discussions that erupted across social media in 2013, is a rapid, fun microtalk-style celebration and exploration of how the game industry treats with gender and why alternative voices matter.


The panel returned to GDC 2014 earlier this year, where each panelist shared their experience, its highs and lows, and explored their vision for a future industry that is inclusive for all. The panel was hosted by industry veterans Brenda Romero and Leigh Alexander, and panelists include Anna Kipnis, Colleen Macklin, Deirdra "Squinky" Kiai, Laralyn McWilliams and Lauren Scott.


The free video of '#1ReasonToBe: A Celebration of Diversity in the Industry' is now available to watch here on the GDC Vault.


Free GDC 2014 Video: Is publishing dead?

posted Apr 10 2014


"Tencent is the largest video game company in the world...this is what the new publishing business in the 21st century looks like, and nobody in the West is paying attention."

- Mitch Lasky, Benchmark general partner, speaking at GDC 2014.


The business of game publishing is rapidly evolving, so it's worth watching venture capitalist and game industry veteran Mitch Lasky's GDC 2014 talk about the pros and cons of the competing next-generation publishing models: super-developers like Wargaming, social/chat networks like Facebook or Line, aggregators like Tencent, and more.


Lasky suggests that recent changes in the game industry have not eliminated the economic benefit of scale, that publishers can still offer something of value to developers, investors and everyone who purchases games.


You can watch it here on the GDC Vault.


Free GDC 2003 Video: Will Wright's 'Dynamics for Designers'

posted Mar 13 2014


"Our typical approach to building larger, more dynamic spaces has been to enlist legions of developers creating them, and I think that can only carry us so far."

Continuing our GDC Vault retro week, we're sharing another vintage video, this time of Will Wright speaking at GDC 2003.


It's a great opportunity to look back and watch the veteran designer walk his audience through several prototypes in order to explore a variety of dynamic gameplay systems, which he defines as "the rules and principles that govern the way in which structures change through time." He also points out these systems should not be used as a "recipe for design, but rather as a spice."


Will Wright's 'Dynamics for Designers' is now available to watch here.

Free GDC 2005 Video: Watch history being made at the 2005 IGF and Choice Awards

posted Mar 11 2014


As part of a GDC Vault retro week we're sharing some newly-archived footage from past GDC events, starting with the 2005 Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards. Relive the joy and excitement of this seminal event, which celebrates IGF winners such as Gish, Alien Hominid, and Wik and the Fable of Souls, while Shadow of the Colossus earns a total of four Choice Awards for Sony and Team Ico.


Watch the two-hour IGF and GDC Awards here.

Free GDC 2013 Video: The making of X-COM: UFO Defense

posted Mar 10 2014


"I believe that a game system should have a life of its own, such that it repeatedly generates experiences that are fresh, engaging, and challenging for the player."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC 2013, X-COM creator Julian Gollop shares his game design philosophy and explains how X-COM: UFO Defense was created over 20 years ago with his small team and publisher MicroProse during the Classic Game Postmortem for X-COM: UFO Defense.

Free ADC 2013 Video: Making mobile games better with good tactile design

posted Mar 06 2014


"Good tactile feedback effects are really about adding truth to that app experience."

- In this free GDC Vault video from the App Developers Conference 2013, Immersion Corporation developer evangelist Bob Heubel speaks about the value of making mobile games and apps that incorporate high-quality tactile feedback. Heubel also shares some core design principles developers should follow when building tactile effects into mobile games during his talk, "Enhancing the User Experience Through Good Tactile Design."

Free GDC Next 2013 Video: Jumping from AAA to indie

posted Mar 04 2014


"If you're doing it all yourself, the marketing spend is all time, not money... It's moreso [about] pounding the pavement, going to conferences, talking to journalists, building relationships."

- In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, Moonshot Games' Damian Isla speaks about the leap from AAA to indie, self-promotion, monetization, platform choices and more with Plush Apocalypse's Borut Pfeifer, SomaSim's Robert Zubek, and moderator Lucky Puppy's Damon Pidhajecky in the panel, "Going from AAA to Indie: New Studio Founders Share Their Experiences."

Free ADC 2013 Video: How to design better gesture controls for 3D space

posted Feb 27 2014


"Interfaces shouldn't rely heavily on gestures common to a particular language, common to a particular culture or group, while ignoring everyone else."

In this free GDC Vault video from App Developers Conference 2013, app architect Nate de Jager of Universal Mind explores the challenges that designers of motion-sensing, gesture-based apps and games face in his talk, "Beautiful Gestures."

Free GDC Next 2013 Video: 'Where the Whales Live: The Pyramid Model of F2P Design'

posted Feb 26 2014


"[N]one of my clients will admit that they have a retention problem, because that means admitting they're not very good at making games that people want to play."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, Gamesbrief founder and author of "The Curve" Nicholas Lovell explores how to achieve what he feels is the goal of free-to-play game design -- let anybody access your game, and allow people who love what you do to spend money on things they truly value -- in his talk, "Where the Whales Live: The Pyramid Model of F2P Design."


The content of this talk expands on what Lovell posted earlier on the Gamasutra member blogs, where you can find brief discussions of the core loop, the retention game, the superfan, and more.


Free GDC 2000 Video: advice for managing creative talent

posted Feb 24 2014


"It's more fun and maybe more productive to get teamwork between the creative people and the suits."

In this free GDC Vault video from the GameXecutive Conference held alongside GDC 2000, Bing Gordon (quoted, EA), Neal Robison (Sega), Mitch Lasky (Activision), Rob Dyer (Eidos), and Kelly Flock (989) join moderator Chris Charla (NEXT Generation magazine) to share strategies for attracting great creative talent and fostering a productive working relationship between game developers and business executives in a panel entitled Managing Creative Talent.

Free ADC 2013 Video: Second screen app design lessons learned from Viggle

posted Feb 21 2014


"Make sure that anytime the user pulls out their phone, interaction is available, but never force them to [look away from the TV]."

- In this free GDC Vault video from the 2013 App Developers Conference, Viggle VP of product Kyle Brink shares design lessons learned from the building, launching, and operating of his company's self-named, second-screen TV companion app -- which rewards people for playing along while watching TV and movies -- in the talk, "Multi-screen, Multi-platform App Design: Train Wreck or Voltron?"

Free GDC Next 2013 Video: In the time it takes a heart to beat

posted Feb 20 2014


"How do you want the thing you're making to be remembered? How do you want to be remembered?"

- Ste Curran speaks during his GDC Next 2013 session, "In the Time It Takes a Heart to Beat," available free on GDC Vault.


There's no easy way to explain what Ste Curran's GDC Next presentation is about -- you have to see it for yourself. In Curran's words, this is a story about a 3AM phone call, a girl called Epher and a heartbeat. The game designer and writer talks about moments in games: how we remember them, why we remember them and why they're the one thing you need to care about. This session is about games, life and death -- it is not a traditional lecture.


Free GDC 2006 Video: Iwata explains Nintendo's disruptive strategy

posted Feb 19 2014


"Thinking differently and holding strongly to your strategy can disrupt an entire industry, and in a good way."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC 2006, Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata explains how and why Nintendo took advantage of disruptive development practices to find success in the game industry. He also shares the story behind the popular Nintendo DS Brain Age games and hints at "The Revolution" (the codename for what would become the Wii), with its motion controller concept and Virtual Console platform, during his "Disrupting Development" presentation.

Free GDC 2004 Video: Maximizing object and enemy placement in Medal of Honor

posted Feb 19 2014


"When you're designing a background, if you're not thinking about where enemies are going to go, you're going to have a disconnect."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC 2004, Chris Cross -- who at the time worked as a design director on EA's Medal of Honor -- explains how knowing your enemy and object limitations can help you optimize your level design. He goes through the design and technology limitations he faced while making Medal of Honor -- and the techniques used to overcome them -- in the talk, "Four at a Time: Techniques for Maximizing Enemy and Object Placement."


For a more recent discussion on how Medal of Honor deals with multiplayer expectations, check out this interview featuring Danger Close's Luke Thai.


Free GDC Next 2013 Video: Playing with 'game' - What games can be, and what they can mean

posted Feb 06 2014


"Games are meant to wiggle; they're like machines. You poke and prod at them to see what comes out the other end. That is the overall scope of play of the system."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, Raph Koster takes a craft-centric approach to the question "what do we make, who do we make it for, and how can we best make what we want?" in the talk "Playing With 'Game'."


Additionally, GDC Vault has made free a video of Koster on how games and social media are converging. Most recently, Koster has shared here how he analyzes games, evaluating a game's systems and overall experience.

Free GDC 2004 Video: Making games look like movies

posted Feb 05 2014


"With the current programmable graphics hardware and floating point pipeline, we could leverage a lot of shading and rendering techniques from the cinematic world for use in our games."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC 2004, Arcot Preetham from ATI (quoted above) and Hector Yee and David Hart from PDI/Dreamworks discuss how movie shaders -- like those used in the Shrek series -- and real-time shaders in games like Jak 2 differ, and which shader techniques are transferrable from movies to games, in the talk "Procedural Shaders: A Feature Animation Perspective."

Free GDC 2004 Video: how Western games succeeded in Japan, circa GDC 2004

posted Feb 03 2014


"What people in Japan really would like to see is a very well-developed personality."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC 2004, former Sony localization director Ryoichi Hasegawa discusses how character designs for iconic IPs such as Jak and Daxter and Crash Bandicoot were tweaked for the Japanese market, along with how GTA3 and Medal of Honor were a success overseas.


Hasegawa also compares the Western ESRB rating system to Japan's CERO system, examines trends in Japanese market (several of which continue today), and more in the talk "A Peek Behind the Shoji: Japan's Videogame Market Today."


Free ADC 2013 Video: Using analytics to understand players and inform design

posted Jan 31 2014


"Balancing the gameplay in the first [play] sessions is the best thing you can do in improving your retention rates."

In this free GDC Vault video from the inaugural 2013 App Developers Conference, GamesAnalytics co-founder Mark Robinson discusses best practices for using analytics in design from day-one, including quickly adapting gameplay to new players' skills, in the talk "Analytics Driven Design."

Free GDC Next 2013 Video: 'Going beyond crowdfunding' with Star Citizen's Chris Roberts

posted Jan 29 2014


"It's not just about raising money.... this is the mistake I see a lot of other campaigns make. The best thing about crowdfunding is that you get to build your community early."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, Chris Roberts of Cloud Imperium Games discusses how he continues to build his community of pledgers-turned-fans while amassing over $26 million in funding, in the talk, "Star Citizen: Going Beyond Crowdfunding."

Free GDC 2010 Video: indie devs rant at GDC 2010

posted Jan 27 2014


"We have to learn to tell stories with rules, with design, and with play, instead of aping other cultural forms."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC 2010, Anna Anthropy shares her stack of rants alongside Adam Saltsman, Brandon Boyer, Robin Hunicke, and more. Keep an eye out for Tommy Refenes, who tests his theory as to why the App Store is the 'Tiger Handheld Games of this generation,' in this special Indie Game Maker Rant.

Free ADC 2013 Video: Programming as Art for Nintendo and Apple platforms

posted Jan 24 2014


"What was the biggest challenging coming from [Nintendo] DS development to iOS? I would say there was no challenge, like it was such a relief."

In this free GDC Vault video from the first App Developers Conference, Bob Sabiston of Flat Black Films notes that development for the newer 3DS has improved and discusses several differences he found while exploring the design and UI possibilities on Nintendo's and Apple's portable devices, in the talk "Programming As Art."

Free GDC Next 2013 Video: How The Muppets, Realism, and music can inspire games

posted Jan 21 2014


"We forget that games are part of a much larger universe,"

In this free GDC Vault video from the first GDC Next, co-host John Sharp notes some of the influences outside of games along with co-host Colleen Macklin, introducing USC educator and former Uncharted developer Richard Lemarchand, Journey developer Kellee Santiago, The Unfinished Swan's Ben Esposito, and Wizardry designer Brenda Romero, who share their inspirations from art to music to The Muppets, in the talk "Influences: Thinking Outside the Game."

Free GDC Next 2013 Video: Diversifying feminine archetypes, with Ubisoft's Jill Murray

posted Jan 20 2014


"The challenge for many people is seeing women as any characters, and not as women characters, as if it was a subcategory to itself."

In this free GDC Vault video from the first GDC Next, Ubisoft Quebec director of narrative design Jill Murray (Assassin's Creed III Liberation and AC IV: Black Flag) walks the audience through several examples in history of the breadth and depth of women characters ripe for research, in the talk "Binders Full of Women: Diversifying Feminine Archetypes in Games."


This talk is a follow-up to one Murray gave at GDC 2013, entitled "Diverse Game Characters: Write Them Now!" and is also free to watch.


Free ADC 2013 Video: Trip Hawkins applies the EA Sports model to education games

posted Jan 17 2014


"You have to have the attention of the student, and you have to have them be motivated. This is an area where the game industry has a huge leg up."

In this free GDC Vault video from the first App Developers Conference, Trip Hawkins (EA, 3DO founder) discusses what the game industry can teach educational app developers who target a preteen audience by highlighting how his team will create iPad game IF..., in the talk "Revolutionary Bedfellows: IF Teachers and Game Mechanics Unite to Innovate."

Free GDC 1999 Video: Dreamcast GDC keynote by Bernie Stolar

posted Jan 16 2014


"[E]verything you know about video gaming is about to change, thanks to Dreamcast."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC 1999, then-president of Sega of America Bernie Stolar delivered a keynote that introduced Sega's final console prior to its US launch. Stolar extolled the virtues of its pioneering Virtual Memory Unit, game-extending online capabilities, and demos of memorable titles such as Shenmue and Capcom's Power Stone, in the talk "Changing for the Better: Redefining Game and Hardware Development through Evolution."


For more on the Dreamcast, Gamasutra has a 10-year retrospective on the console. Also of note for Dreamcast fans: the Shenmue Classic Game Postmortem will be held at GDC 2014 in March, too.


Free GDC Next 2013 Video: from LucasArts to indie, the story of Dynamighty and CounterSpy

posted Jan 15 2014


"This was the version of the games industry that I'd always been waiting for."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, Dynamighty co-founder David Nottingham reflects on getting the indie itch and founding Dynamighty with John Elliott, then successfully pitching their first new IP to Sony. Nottingham explains how and on what values his team was formed, in the talk "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Making CounterSpy."


To hear about how Dr. Strangelove and Mission Impossible inspired CounterSpy, check out this interview with Nottingham.


Free GDC Next 2013 Video: tricks for procedural terrain generation in iOS MMO Supernauts

posted Jan 10 2014


"There's no need to reinvent the wheel... [Using Unity] removes the need for maintaining overhead for the technology."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, Grand Cru lead graphics programmer Harri Hatinen says his team chose Unity for the client side of their mobile social MMO. This freed up time to focus on creating quick and efficient procedural algorithms for vibrant terrain, which he covers in the talk "Graphics Technology Challenges and Innovations for iOS in Supernauts."


Other GDC Next 10 talks already available for free include Josh Sawyer of Obsidian on Making a 90s-style PC RPG for today with Project Eternity, Storyteller creator Daniel Benmergui on using plot devices to create gameplay, HumaNature's Greg Johnson on connecting players emotionally in DokiDoki Universe,The Odd Gentlemen's Matt Korba on 'using Lego and literary genius to prototype Wayward Manor', Double Fine 'rethinking the adventure genre' for Broken Age, Team Dakota on Microsoft multiplatform MMO Project Spark and 'turning players into creators', Capy's Nathan Vella on Super Time Force and "turning game jam games into 'full' games", and SWERY on D4 and 'taking control of the Xbox One's Kinect.'

Free GDC Next 2013 Video: Making a 90s-style PC RPG for today with Project Eternity

posted Jan 07 2014


"A lot of people who want to play those [D&D] games are not good at them. That is okay, but we have to help them get into it."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, Obsidian Entertainment project director Josh Sawyer shares the challenges of capturing the look and feel of classic CRPGs and appealing to newcomers for the team's Kickstarter-funded game, along with tricks to handle the rendering of HD environments with tremendous size and scope, in the talk "Gathering Your Party with Project Eternity."


Other GDC Next 10 talks already available for free include Storyteller creator Daniel Benmergui on using plot devices to create gameplay, HumaNature's Greg Johnson on connecting players emotionally in DokiDoki Universe,The Odd Gentlemen's Matt Korba on 'using Lego and literary genius to prototype Wayward Manor', Double Fine 'rethinking the adventure genre' for Broken Age, Team Dakota on Microsoft multiplatform MMO Project Spark and 'turning players into creators', Capy's Nathan Vella on Super Time Force and "turning game jam games into 'full' games", and SWERY on D4 and 'taking control of the Xbox One's Kinect.'


Free GDC 2010 Video: how Indie Fund works, with 2D Boy's Ron Carmel

posted Jan 06 2014


"Publishers give too much... [they also] take too much in return, because they have to. Not because they're evil."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC 2010, 2D Boy's Ron Carmel explains how the old retail publishing model doesn't work well for smaller games coming from the explosive indie scene and how Indie Fund (now funding its 10th game, Framed) aims to help fix the funding model, in the talk "Indies and Publishers: Fixing a System That Never Worked."

Free GDC 2010 Video: Embracing minimalist design with Osmos

posted Dec 30 2014


"I think that all games really can use as much polish as possible in the first few minutes."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC 2010, Hemisphere Games' Eddy Boxerman reflects on what went right with Osmos in the team's second attempt at IGF and demos early prototypes of its propulsion and growth mechanics, along with Andy Nealen on ecnomony and coherence in game design, in the talk "Minimalist Game Design: Growing Osmos."

Free ADC 2013 Video: learn how 'bad guys' attack apps

posted Dec 24 2013


"Storing data on [a mobile] device is a pretty dangerous activity."

In this free GDC Vault video from the first App Developers Conference, Denim Group founder and CTO Dan Cornell offers tips while analyzing an Android, iOS, and web app from the perspective of an attacker to show potential vulnerabilities, in the talk "Smart Phone, Dumb Apps: How the Bad Guys View Your Mobile Applications."

Free GDC Next 2013 Video: using plot devices to create gameplay

posted Dec 23 2013


"I wanted the simulation of the game to be predictable so players can feel they are in control of the story."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, Today I Die and I Wish I Were the Moon developer Daniel Benmergui demos his upcoming game extensively to illustrate its instantaneous and simple story-building mechanics, in the talk "Using Plot Devices to Create Gameplay in Storyteller."


Other GDC Next 10 talks already available for free include HumaNature's Greg Johnson on connecting players emotionally in DokiDoki Universe,The Odd Gentlemen's Matt Korba on 'using Lego and literary genius to prototype Wayward Manor', Double Fine 'rethinking the adventure genre' for Broken Age, Team Dakota on Microsoft multiplatform MMO Project Spark and 'turning players into creators', Capy's Nathan Vella on Super Time Force and "turning game jam games into 'full' games", and SWERY on D4 and 'taking control of the Xbox One's Kinect.'


Free ADC 2013 Video: Developing apps and games in the 3rd dimension

posted Dec 16 2013


"The goal is to make [your app or game] as inuitive as possible, so intuitive that hopefully [it] requires no instructions or any tutorials."

In this free GDC Vault video from the first App Developers Conference, Funktronik Labs founder Eddie Lee discusses creating his audio-visual Lotus app for the Leap Motion controller, while recalling his time at Q-Games developing IGF-nominated, PS Move-controlled PixelJunk 4AM and other 3D input and gesture technologies in "Developing Apps in the 3rd Dimension."

Free GDC Next 2013 Video: connecting emotionally in PlayStation's Doki-Doki Universe

posted Dec 13 2013


"We wanted to touch on some sweeter emotions, the kind that make you tear up and smile at the same time, not what you usually find in the games biz."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, HumaNature Studios' Greg Johnson (Starflight, ToeJam & Earl) discusses how this PS3, PS4, and PS Vita game's interactive story and world were crafted for emotional connectivity, in the talk "Doki-Doki Universe: Sweet, Simple and Genuine."


Other GDC Next 10 talks already available for free include The Odd Gentlemen's Matt Korba on 'using Lego and literary genius to prototype Wayward Manor', Double Fine 'rethinking the adventure genre' for Broken Age, Team Dakota on Microsoft multiplatform MMO Project Spark and 'turning players into creators', Capy's Nathan Vella on Super Time Force and "turning game jam games into 'full' games", and SWERY on D4 and 'taking control of the Xbox One's Kinect.'


Free GDC 2009 Video: 'Designing for the Blue Ocean' at the GDC Casual Games Summit

posted Dec 12 2013


"Casual gaming is all about simplicity. How am I going to work four characters into a game and not make it overly complicated?"

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC 2009's Casual Games Summit, Jane Jensen discusses the challenges faced with designing hidden object adventure Women's Murder Club during one of three postmortems, along with Brian Goble on Build-a-lot and Margaret Wallace on CampFu, in "Designing for the Blue Ocean."


The second half of the extended session features the first ever Casual Games Summit Design Challenge, with Jason Kapalka of PopCap, Nick Fortugno of Rebel Monkey, and Todd Kerpelman of EA/Pogo each pitching an idea for ten minutes on a casual game about the casual games industry.


Free GDC Next 2013 Video: Using Lego and literary genius to prototype Wayward Manor

posted Dec 11 2013


"We're not going to tell the story through cut scenes. That's boing. Nobody plays a game to watch cut scenes."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013's 'Next 10' selections, P.B. Winterbottom developer The Odd Gentlemen's creative director Matt Korba paraphrases how multi-award winning writer Neil Gaiman's views made him an ideal collaborator, along with the benefits of paper and Lego prototyping, in "An Odd Collaboration: How Neil Gaiman and The Odd Gentlemen Decided to Make Wayward Manor Together."


Other GDC Next 10 talks already available for free include Double Fine rethinking the adventure genre for Broken Age, Team Dakota on Microsoft multiplatform MMO Project Spark and 'turning players into creators', Capy's Nathan Vella on Super Time Force and "turning game jam games into 'full' games", and SWERY on D4 and 'taking control of the Xbox One's Kinect.'


Free GDC Next 2013 Video: Rethinking the adventure game genre for the modern age

posted Dec 10 2013


"There's a real entertainment to being stuck in the right way."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013's 'Next 10' selections, Tim Schafer of Double Fine shares his passion for puzzles and thoughts on good and bad puzzle design, while joined by Greg Rice, Lee Petty, and Oliver Franzke, in "Broken Age: Rethinking a Classic Genre for the Modern Era."


Other GDC Next 10 talks already available for free include Team Dakota on Microsoft multiplatform MMO Project Spark and 'turning players into creators', Capy's Nathan Vella on Super Time Force and "turning game jam games into 'full' games", and SWERY on D4 and 'taking control of the Xbox One's Kinect.'


Free GDC Next 2013 Video: The evolution of eSports - from hobby to international pastime

posted Dec 08 2013


"The professional careers of these athletes has been elevated to the level that they can make a living playing these games."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, VP of eSports at Riot Games Dustin Beck discusses the evolution of eSports with Kevin Lin of Twitch, League of Legends pro player Cloud 9, and GPL commissioner Jason Ng with moderator djWHEAT (famed eSports commentator) in 'The Evolution of eSports as a Sport, Entertainment and International Pastime.'

Free GDC Next 2013 Video: Turning game jam games into 'full' games

posted Dec 05 2013


"Motivation is the single biggest factor in moving a game forward."

As part of this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, Capy's Nathan Vella (Super Time Force) discusses his and other studios' approaches and philosophies for turning a 15-minute game jam entry into a full commercial release in 'From Game Jam to Full Game - Super Time Force & Other Shining Examples.'


Other GDC Next 10 talks already available for free include Team Dakota on Microsoft multiplatform MMO Project Spark and 'turning players into creators', along with SWERY on D4 and 'taking control of the Xbox One's Kinect.'

Free GDC Next 2013 Video: How Project Spark wants to turn players into creators

posted Dec 04 2013


"We're not using the beta moniker as an excuse for shipping an unfinished product. I would say we're almost proud of shipping an unfinished product."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, Team Dakota's Soren Hannibal discusses the plans for using community feedback to improve the upcoming free-to-play game, along with how to build a sandbox as a service and maintain 'build once play anywhere' worlds across the vastly different Xbox 360 and Xbox One, in the talk 'Project Spark: Enabling and Inspiring the User to Make (Almost) Anything.'

Free GDC Next 2013 Video: Making an observer-friendly game, according to Day[9]

posted Dec 03 2013


"If you can make it easy, convenient and fun for the community creators to make their own content then great, you get free marketing."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, famed Starcraft II commentator Sean 'Day[9]' Plott discusses online streaming as a marketing tool and a way to build community around your game, along with design considerations to make streaming easier, in the talk 'The Observer Friendly Game.'

Free GDC Next 2013 Video: 9 trends for the next decade of games

posted Dec 02 2013


"This idea that I can play anywhere or any time, you're not going to be able to get away with not supporting it."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, 20-year game industry veteran and former Ultima Online director Starr Long explores future trends and how they are already changing the way we make and consume games, during his talk 'Nine Trends for the Next Decade of Video Games.'

Free GDC Next 2013 Video: 'Swery' takes control of Xbox One's Kinect

posted Nov 25 2013


"Rather than matching our game design to new input control devices, we need to take control of such devices to match OUR game design."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, Hidetaka 'Swery' Suehiro explains how he is implementing the Xbox One's new Kinect technology, during the talk 'D4: Dawn of the Dreaming Director's Drama.' [The translator jumps in at about 40 seconds.]

Free GDC 2010 Video: 0.2 seconds to balancing Halo 3's sniper rifle

posted Nov 22 2013


"Be wary of fairness. It's not balance... Halo's not fair."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC 2010, Bungie's Jaime Griesemer discusses the intricate process behind changing the shot time for just one of over 40 weapons in the talk 'Design in Detail: Changing the Time Between Shots for the Sniper Rifle from 0.5 to 0.7 Seconds for Halo 3.'


The follow-up of this talk presented at GDC 2011, titled "Design in Detail: Tuning the Muzzle Velocity of the Plasma Rifle Bolt on Legendary Difficulty Across the Halo Franchise" is also available to view for free. Additionally, the GDC Vault contains a free video on designing, engineering, and scoring the original Halo.


Free GDC Next 2013 Video: Adam Orth on dealing with the internet mob

posted Nov 21 2013


"Speak up when you become the target [of online toxicity]; don't be afraid to tell your story."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Next 2013, Adam Orth finally shares his story on the internet backlash he received regarding his infamous "#dealwithit" tweet about Xbox One's now-reversed "always on" policy, in the talk 'Mob Rules: The Destructive Power of Opinion and Online Community.'


Orth apologizes for his comments, explains the aftermath of the off-hand tweet, and offers up suggestions to ameliorate online toxicity, along with looking at games which attempt to abate mob-like behavior.


Free GDC 2010 Video: Games as expression - GDC's Artgame Sessions

posted Nov 18 2013


"Art is not about wistfulness... it is about standing for something, using the tools in your medium to express complex ideas and emotions."

- As part of this free GDC Vault video from GDC 2010, Wesley Erdelack (aka Iroquois Pliskin) discusses how Jonathan Blow's Braid treats the player like a human and imparts meaning through play, in the talk "Artgame Sessions.".


Other microtalks include Anthony Burch (aka Reverend Anthony) on Ubisoft Montreal's Far Cry 2, Frank Lantz on Mark Essen's Flywrench and The Thrill of Combat, and Jason Rohrer on Terry Cavanagh and Stephen Lavelle's Judith.


Free GDC Europe 2013 Video: Better teams through game design

posted Nov 13 2013


"Helping your team being great is a lot like helping our players enjoy a great game."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Europe 2013, Crytek executive producer Joshua Howard explores how the rules of video game design can often apply to managing one's team in the talk 'Better Teams Through Game Design.'

Free GDC Online 2011 Video: Raph Koster on how games and social media are converging

posted Nov 08 2013


"Design is about constraining people... Games are interesting, because they're only partly in control -- because they're about teaching you how to think."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Online 2011, Ultima Online lead designer and Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided creative director Raph Koster shares how developers can take control of social media and avoid it taking control of them in the talk 'It's All Games Now! How Games and Social Media are Converging.'


For more with Koster, he discusses further blending games with social media in this follow-up interview.


Additionally, GDC Vault has made free a postmortem on Ultima Online featuring Koster alongside Starr Long and Rich Vogel.


Free GDC Online 2010 Video: Richard Bartle on the origins and design of MUD

posted Nov 07 2013


"We wanted people to be able to escape the confines of the real world, to try on new identities, to be... not so much new people, but to try to find out the people they really were."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Online 2010, Richard Bartle shares the origins and design details of the first multi-user dungeon and explores where early MUDs are more capable than today's MMOs in the talk 'MUD: Messrs Bartle and Trubshaw's Astonishing Contrivance.'

GDC Europe 2013 Free Video: Free-to-Play the Wrong Way in Age of Empires Online

posted Nov 06 2013


"You don't get a soft launch for a branded game."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Europe 2013, Microsoft's Kevin Perry discusses the business, design, and production problems that his team faced while trying to fix this MMORTS in the talk 'F2P the Wrong Way: Age of Empires Online.'

Free GDC Online 2010 Video: Creating the social game satire Cow Clicker

posted Nov 05 2013


"There's something strange about social games in that you don't have to play them... you can buy out, or perform other actions so that you don't have to bother to play the game that you're choosing to play."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Online 2010, Professor Ian Bogost from The Georgia Institute of Technology discusses the creation and reception of his playable satire born from his dislike of and research in social games, in the talk 'Making a Mockery: Ruminations on Cow Clicker.'

Free GDC Online 2012 Video: Cutthroat Capitalism educates without manipulation

posted Nov 04 2013


"The practice of using games to do more than entertain is now mainstream."

In this free GDC Vault video from the last GDC Online, Wired's Shannon Perkins discusses how his game Cutthroat Capitalism managed to educate its players without being manipulative in 'Faster, Cheaper, Better: Deeply Integrated Game Mechanics.'

GDC Europe 2013 Free Video: Build better dev tools, build better games

posted Oct 31 2013


"The games industry needs to make the user experience of tools a priority."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Europe 2013, Ubisoft UX director David Lightbown shares his research into the fields of user experience and human-computer interaction and shows how they designed better dev tools in 'The User Experience of Game Development Tools.'

GDC Online 2011 Free Video: Game production, the League of Legends way

posted Oct 30 2013


"Empowerment is the ability to create a team or an organization or an individual that feels ownership and is actually driving the results for you,"

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Online 2011, Travis George of League of Legends developer Riot Games says a producer's job isn't to manage other developers, but to empower them. In his talk, 'Letting Go: Creating Self-Managed, Self-Directed Teams,', he shares advice to help producers break their bad habits and become a better resource for their teams.


For more from George on how Riot Games dodged the pitfalls of rapid staff growth, check out this additional, free GDC Vault video.

GDC Online 2012 Free Video: Classic postmortem of early 3D MMO Meridian 59

posted Oct 29 2013


"You have limitations as a designer. Suck it down."

In this free GDC Vault video from the last GDC Online, Bioware Austin's Damion Schubert discussed the challenges of making the seminal 3D MMORPG and the lessons he learned from it in 'Classic Game Postmortem: Meridian 59'.

GDC Europe 2013 Free Video: Oculus VR co-founders on VR's biggest challenges

posted Oct 22 2013


"To make really good VR games, there is going to have to be some level of making no compromises -- if you want to have the best experiences."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Europe 2013, Oculus VR co-founders Palmer Luckey (quoted) and Nate Mitchell discuss considerations that developers should make in creating VR games and hurdles they will need to overcome in 'Virtual Reality Gaming and Game Development'.


Some of those biggest hurdles, Mitchell explains, are user interface, simulator sickness, and latency. Additionally, Luckey warns that "Pre-cut sequences [don't work], because that's going to remind the user that they're not really inside a virtual world."


For more on Oculus VR, read this follow-up feature interview, along with some developer stories on VR horror and experimental projects.


Free video link: 'Virtual Reality Gaming and Game Development'


GDC Online 2012 Free Video: Raph Koster revisits 'A Theory of Fun'

posted Oct 21 2013


"We have an art form that rewires people's brains... and that means we have to be responsible."

In this free GDC Vault video from the final GDC Online, Ultima Online designer Raph Koster revisits his own talk from the first GDC Online and the book he has written, along with the science, theory and games that have come with the passing of a decade in 'A Theory of Fun 10 Years Later'.


Koster, who serves on the advisory board for the upcoming GDC Next, spoke candidly about the revolution and future of games, and will speak at GDC Next in November in a talk called 'Playing with "Game".'


Free video link: 'A Theory of Fun 10 Years Later'.


GDC Europe 2013 Free Video: 10 lessons from creating an award-winning PS3 platformer

posted Oct 18 2013


"You can try to write down a full marketing plan. It won't happen like that."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Europe 2013, the importance of staying flexible with marketing is just 1 of 10 important lessons Sparpweed developers Roland IJzermans and Richard Boeser share in the talk 'ibb & obb - Ten Talking Points'.


Other challenges Sparpweed faced with its award-winning PS3 platformer included explaining a game title without capital letters and implementing the game's single player mode.


Free video link: 'ibb & obb - Ten Talking Points'


GDC Europe 2013 Free Video: The ups and downs of releasing an indie Wii U launch game

posted Oct 17 2013


"[Releasing on] launch day itself is not that important."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Europe 2013, Felix Bohatsch of And Yet It Moves developer Broken Rules discusses the pros and cons of releasing a game at the Wii U's launch, in the talk 'Chasing Aurora: The Indie Console Launch Title Postmortem'.


Broken Rules explains how it could have used extra time to polish their game, and that the time polishing would have helped them avoid competing with major launch titles. The studio also warned against developing exclusively for a console that makes cross-platform ports difficult.


For more on the team's latest project, for which Chasing Aurora served as its prototype, check out the unusual evolution of Broken Rules' Secrets of Raetikon.


Free video link: 'Chasing Aurora: The Indie Console Launch Title Postmortem'.


GDC Online 2012 Free Video: 3 pillars for making EVE Online a compelling sandbox

posted Oct 16 2013


"Social is not just about friends. Social is everything to do with other people, every time it matters that a character is a person, not an NPC."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Online 2012, CCP Games's Matthew Woodward explained the three pillars that CCP relied on to make EVE Online into a compelling sandbox MMO worth coming back to, in his talk 'The Other White Meat: Design Architecture for Sandbox Games'.


Woodward later defines the meaning of sandbox in more detail in this Gamasutra interview. He also refers to Scott Rigby's model of intrinsic motivators covered in this GDC Online 2009 talk, available for those with paid GDC Vault subscriptions.


Free video link: 'The Other White Meat: Design Architecture for Sandbox Games'


GDC Europe 2013 Free Video: Bringing 'play' to the streets of the Maldives

posted Oct 15 2013


"I think subconsciously we were part of this social and political change. "

At GDC Europe 2013, Copenhagen Game Collective co-founder Patrick Jarnfelt reflects on creating playful events in the public spaces of a socially and politically tense Male.


In this free GDC Vault session entitled 'Playmakers in the Maldives', he discusses the social and political climate the developers faced and the games designed for the project, including the latex waterproofing of PS Move controllers for Jelly Stomp and (local favorite) banana costume wearing for The Hunt for The Yellow Banana.


Free video link: 'Playmakers in the Maldives'


GDC Online 2012 Free Video: Community management tips from the experts

posted Oct 14 2013


"Your primary tools are your people. They have to be imminently adaptable diplomats, and without them, you're done."

In a community management panel at GDC Online 2012, Linda Carlson of Sony Online Entertainment stressed that there is no optimal social media or video streaming tool for all games; however, having the right people to address those audiences across all channels is imperative.


In this free GDC Vault session entitled 'Community Relations Management Across the Board', panelists Alex Von Minden of Spacetime Studios (Pocket Legends) and Kellen Kincaid of Portalarium (Ultimate Collector) join Carlson and moderator Richard Weil of Metaverse Mod Squad to discuss core principles of community management in mobile, social media, multiplayer and MMO segments, focusing on subscription-based and free-to-play games.


Free video here: 'Community Relations Management Across the Board'


GDC Online 2012 Free Video: Using MMO game systems to tell BioWare stories

posted Oct 10 2013


"We had to drive our stories to be more personal and less about the world around you."

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Online 2012, BioWare's Damion Schubert discusses the challenges of bringing the studio's hallmark choice-focused narrative style to the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO in a talk called 'Behind the Curtain: Using MMO Game Systems to Tell Bioware Stories'.


For more from Schubert, check out his articles on balancing risks and rewards for player engagement and evaluating a game's design for breadth or depth.


Free video link:'Behind the Curtain: Using MMO Game Systems to Tell Bioware Stories'


GDC Online 2012 Free Video: The tech challenges in Guild Wars 2's no-sub MMO model

posted Oct 09 2013


""We wanted to have no subscription fee for our game...and that has a big impact on the tech. You can't rely on the fact that every month you'll be making all these subscription fees...So you need to build things in a really efficient way.""

In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Online 2012, ArenaNet's Cameron Dunn talks about the programming challenges of shipping its triple-A MMO without relying on monthly subscription fees to cover the server bill in a talk called Guild Wars 2 in 'Guild Wars 2: Programming the Next Generation Online World'.


Free video link here: http://gdcvault.com/play/1016640/Guild-Wars-2-Programming-the


GDC Europe 2013 Free Video: Getting your indie game noticed by the press

posted Oct 04 2013


"You need something that is going to make your game more interesting than everybody else's."

At GDC Europe 2013, Gamasutra UK editor Mike Rose shares the results of over 100 journalists surveyed, who said "an interesting developer story" is the most important element for getting coverage for a new studio and game.


In this free GDC Europe 2013 talk titled 'Getting Your Independent Game Noticed in 2013' (courtesy of GDC Vault), Rose blueprints the perfect 20-second pitch for press, with tips such as providing a link to the game or a high-quality video of it in action, all in an email written with a believable, personal touch.


Mike Rose goes into more depth about his study in this Gamasutra article.


Free Video link here: 'Getting Your Independent Game Noticed in 2013'


GDC Europe 2013 Free Video: 'It's much easier to be original than conventional' - Tale of Tales

posted Oct 03 2013


"...It takes a silly amount of effort to make a conventional game. It's much easier to be original... than to be conventional."

At GDC Europe 2013, Tale of Tales developers Michael Samyn and Auriea Harvey share this as part of their list of resolutions for the next decade.


In this free GDC Europe 2013 talk titled 'The Next Ten Years of Tale of Tales' (courtesy of GDC Vault), studio co-founders Harvey and Samyn review the designs and finances behind its first 10 years as a developer, and talk about how their research will inform their future.


The talk ends with trailers for their upcoming projects: Luxuria Superbia, An Empty World, and The Book of 8 (the realization of the team's first unfinished project from 2002).


Free video link here: 'The Next Ten Years of Tale of Tales'


GDC Europe 2013 Free Video: The 'Dumb Hobby Project' - Lessons Learned Making Thomas Was Alone

posted Oct 02 2013


"Getting the front page of the biggest games sites of the world is nothing compared to a 14-year-old who really likes my game."

At GDC Europe 2013, Thomas Was Alone developer Mike Bithell shares the changing landscape of community engagement.


In this free GDC Europe 2013 talk titled 'The Dumb Hobby Project: Lessons Learned Making Thomas Was Alone' (courtesy of GDC Vault), Bithell speaks about all the market variables which helped propel his game to success.


For more on Bithell's upcoming tactical stealth game mentioned in the video, Volume, check out this interview.


Free video link here: http://gdcvault.com/play/1019358/The-Dumb-Hobby-Project-Lessons

GDC Europe 2013 Free Video: Creating Ubisoft's Child of Light - a small project in a big studio

posted Oct 01 2013


"I really don't see any reason why that process [of making small games in AAA studios] cannot exist, and why that cannot be really healthy for the company."

At GDC Europe 2013, Far Cry 3 and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood creative director Patrick Plourde explains how and why his upcoming UbiArt-powered RPG Child of Light came to be.


In this free GDC Europe 2013 talk titled 'Small Projects in AAA Studios: Making of Child of Light' (courtesy of GDC Vault), Plourde explores the game's artistic and fairy tale influences, his pitches to internal executives to build support, his angles for getting consumer and press interest, and the significance of the dev team's gender balance (33% women, compared to 20% overall for Ubisoft Montreal).


For more on Child of Light, check out this extensive Gamasutra interview.


Free video link here:http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1019325/Small-Projects-in-AAA-Studios


GDC Europe 2013 Free Video: Porting Canabalt and Super Crate Box to the Commodore 64

posted Sep 24 2013


"It's not the new technology, but it's the new gameplay mechanics which is the key to success in these new [indie] games."

At GDC Europe 2013, Paul Koller explains that popular indie games which do not rely on modern technology can be brought to older platforms, as he has done for the Commodore 64 with hits Canabalt and Super Crate Box.


In this free GDC Europe 2013 talk titled "Porting Contemporary Games to a Vintage Platform" (courtesy of GDC Vault), Koller explains the challenges he faced in porting these indie hits to old platforms, dealing with procedural levels, loads of bullets, and fast-scrolling parallax backgrounds on a 1 MHz CPU and only 64KB of RAM.


Free video link here: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1019305/Porting-Contemporary-Games-to-a


GDC SF 2012 Free Video: Are some subjects too complex for video games?

posted Sep 23 2013


If you're reading this site, chances are you believe in the potential of video games - that they can evoke powerful emotions, and deeply affect the people who play them. Plenty of games have already proven that the medium is capable of dealing with complex issues, but are there subjects that video games just aren't equipped to handle?


Margaret Robertson of the experimental game studio Hide&Seek explored this very question at GDC 2012, as she and her team ran into some real trouble when working on their interactive media experiment, Dreams of Your Life.


The project was originally planned as a game that explored the death of Joyce Vincent, a woman who went unnoticed for three years after she perished in her London flat. Hide&Seek wanted to create a game that explored the complexities of death, and how someone like Vincent could slip through the cracks and become forgotten by society.


To find out how she did this, watch the free video here: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1015525/The-Gamification-of-Death-How


GDC Europe 2013 Free Video: Don Daglow on next-gen transition 'traps and treasures'

posted Sep 18 2013


"Great game design is always revolutionary."

At GDC Europe 2013, industry veteran Don Daglow reviews the past and discusses the risks and opportunities present as the industry enters the new era of game development.


In this free session from GDC Vault, Daglow highlights the changing technology and marketplace for games, noting similar lessons learned in the past. He also encourages developers to use the medium to make experiences that positively affect people's lives.


Free video link here: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1019330/This-Time-It-s-Different


GDC Europe 2013 Free Video: How reviewing games for 9 years helped design Gunpoint

posted Sep 17 2013


"Question conventions before you copy them."

At GDC Europe 2013, Tom Francis discussed the five-second checkpoint system he designed in his hacking puzzle platformer Gunpoint, in response to his frustration of games often forcing him to replay areas he has mastered.


Throughout the session, Francis expounds upon several lessons learned as a game reviewer, and how he implemented those lessons in Gunpoint.


Free video link here: http://gdcvault.com/play/1019349/How-Reviewing-Games-for-Nine


GDC SF 2012 Free Video: Making games that make people healthier

posted Sep 16 2013


"My objective is to increase the lifespan of everyone in this room by seven-and-a-half minutes."

- Jane McGonigal, SuperBetter.


Courtesy of the GDC Vault is another free video from GDC 2012. This session covers the efforts of three developers creating games combined with health goals.


Jane McGonigal speaks about SuperBetter, her online game with a mobile app, which encourages building physical, mental, emotional, and social resilience. ShapeUp co-founder Rajiv Kumar speaks about his success of adding social games to employee wellness programs to promote physical activity, healthy eating, and weight loss. Finally, GreenGoose founder Brian Krejcarek discusses making all of life a game, including apps for teeth brushing and bathroom etiquette.


Free video link here: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1015783/Health-IT-Enterprising-Approaches-to


GDC Europe 2013 Free Video: Balancing free-to-play in Dungeons & Dragons Neverwinter

posted Sep 12 2013


"I wouldn't have run a branding campaign... I would have spent the money on more PR activity and to give the user even greater value."

At GDC Europe 2013, Perfect World Europe general manager Gabriel Hacker responds to an audience question about what he would have done differently leading up to the launch of F2P MMO Dungeon & Dragons Neverwinter.


In this free GDC Vault video, Hacker examines sales data and concludes that the biggest spikes he has seen were caused by content updates, not sales or discounts. He also examines a Neverwinter pre-order pack campaign where the $200 pack outsold the $20 and $60 packs, citing consumer value as a large reason for its success.


Also, be sure to check out 'User-Generated Content In MMOs - From Champions Online To Neverwinter' with Cryptic Studios's Craig Zinkievich.


Free video link here: http://gdcvault.com/play/1019359/Balancing-Monetization-to-Succeed-in



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