|    Game 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.


Creating Conflict: Combat Design for AAA Action Games
Michael Barclay (Cloud Imperium Games)
Sam Howels (Deep Silver Dambuster Studios)
Pete Ellis (Guerrilla Cambridge)
Experienced developers from studios including Guerrilla Games, Dambuster Studios and Cloud Imperium Games discuss creating combat scenarios for AAA action games. The panelists will take audience members through the various steps and considerations for creating action packed scenarios for first and third person action games. This includes narrative goals and implementation through to specific geometric arrangements of cover, for both linear and open world action games.
The Living World of The Witcher
Matthew Steinke (CD Projekt RED)
'The Witcher' series of open-world role playing games have beautifully captured the spirit of Andrzej Sapkowski's fantasy novels and immerse you in the journey of Geralt, the witcher of Rivia. For 'The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt', Matthew was asked to design and develop an open-world experience that left the traditional story-based adventure to focus on more of realized role-playing game complete with sandbox gameplay elements like alchemy, crafting and the economy. One major design challenge was to create an immersive, rewarding experience when not engaging in the primary quest line.
What Top Apps Do With IAP That the Rest Don't
Mike Hines (
Amazon has collected data about how users engage with IAP in games and reviewed how the most profitable apps are using IAP to monetize successfully. As a result, they have found data on two levels: HOW the top 50 did differently (Retention data, session length data, units sold and price data) and found WHAT they did differently to get those results. It turns out there are a handful of things that most of the top 50 do that other games don't do. We'll share that actionable data with you in this session.
No Text, No Tutorial: Fully Embracing Human-Centered Design in VR
Kayla Kinnunen (Roadhouse Interactive)
VR, and especially tracked controller VR, requires a dramatic shift in UX development. Many common UX constructs were built for a 2D screen and don't work in three dimensional space. At first glance this can present a huge challenge to VR developers. However, with careful thought, this change opens up whole new interaction models that are more intuitive and natural for players. This talk will review trailblazers in the field; discuss human-centered design principles and explain how to take these principles further in our upcoming title.
Tradeskills for Fun and ROI
Emily Taylor (Daybreak Games)
EverQuest2 is one of very few MMOs that completely separate the leveling of adventuring and tradeskill levels, allowing players to play exclusively as tradeskillers. This allows the EverQuest2 team to examine the behaviour of tradeskill oriented players independently from adventure activities, and draw conclusions about how players who are drawn to tradeskills differ from the average MMO player, what they like to do, and how to keep them happy. Properly planned and handled, the tradeskill community can be developed into a robust core of an MMO player society, impacting direct and indirect monetization, while at the same time increasing player retention.
Following the Fun - How We Designed Gameplay For LawBreakers
Dan Nanni (Boss Key Productions)
What comes first, fun or functionality? There are a lot of moving pieces to account for when designing a video game and it's easy to focus only on getting things working before they're actually fun. This session looks at how we approached, and continue to approach, designing LawBreakers with some key concepts that helped us ensure that we were making a fun game and not just making a game that functioned.