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CONFERENCE  

|    Game Design
    DESIGN

Creating compelling, immersive games requires understanding, visualizing, demonstrating, and tuning the interactions of an ever-increasing number of game tools and systems. While game designers need to understand and exploit the possibilities of new technologies such as realistic physics, facial expressions, and lighting techniques; they must also continue to master the traditional disciplines of drama, game play, and psychology.

The Design Track explores the challenges and ramifications of the interaction between new technologies and established techniques.

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2013 HIGHLIGHTED SESSIONS

Getting Past Pay to Win
Teut Weidemann (Ubisoft Blue Byte)
The pay to win problem always comes up when players, or even developers, talk about the free-to-play business model. However, the pay to win scenario doesn't play a role in popular f2p games. Why is this? Is it that pay to win doesn't exist in those games and that's why they are successful? Or is the pay to win problem exaggerated? This talk will solve the mystery about pay to win in free-to-play games and will establish simple rules to follow to completely circumvent this problem. It will also cover monetization methods which are accepted by the users without being too aggressive or pay to win.
Turning One-Time Visitors into Lifetime Players: Building Retention in Mobile Games
Darion Lowenstein (Scopely)
The stats are grim but true - most players never return after the first day of playing a new game. While the market teaches us to value high installs, the real value is in returning players who increase in value over time. How do you build stronger retention mechanics into your games and when do you need to find the right partner to take your game to that next level? 17-year game industry veteran Darion Lowenstein, who has worked with EA, Activision, Rockstar and now Scopely, will explore the game mechanics, messaging and partners that can turn one-time visitors into lifetime players.
ibb & obb - Ten Talking Points
Richard Boeser (Sparpweed)
Roland IJzermans (Sparpweed)
ibb & obb is a two-player cooperative platformer out on PlayStation3. Roland and Richard will give a quick glance at the past years of development and share ten points of interest, ranging from finances to artistic choices.
Virtual Reality Gaming and Game Development
Palmer Luckey (Oculus VR)
Nate Mitchell (Oculus VR)
For years, developers have strived to make immersive virtual worlds. Software, hardware and input devices have all leapt forward, but the connection between the player and the virtual world has remained limited. We've dreamed of stepping inside of our games, but the best we've been able to do is puppet characters through a tiny window. Technological progress in a variety of fields has finally brought immersive virtual reality within reach of gamers. We'll discuss the following topics: What are the challenges around virtual reality? Why will virtual reality gaming change the way we play games? What does virtual reality mean for the gaming industry?
Staying in Top Eleven: Improving Retention Through the Tutorial
Aleksandar Markovic (Nordeus)
Markovic will present insights gained during the development of step-by-step tutorials, as a retention effort in Top Eleven. The design team found ways to make sure players skipped as few tutorial steps as possible, achieving an impressive percentage of finished tutorials. Markovic will show some neat techniques to improve your tutorial and identify potential situations where tutorials aren't as necessary as you might think.
How Hard Could It Be? The Story of a Cinematic
Brian Kindregan (Blizzard)
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm embraces cinematics as a high-level storytelling tool, a tactic that has been under fire in the games industry in recent years. This panel will examine the strengths and weaknesses of that approach by tracing the story development of one particularly difficult cinematic. By showing multiple versions of the animatic, we will track the differing speed of cinematic production vs. game design, the feedback we received, the choices we made, and how they impacted the story. We will cover the obstacles that we overcame, those we didn't, and the lessons we learned.

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