Key takeaways from Epic’s open development of Unreal Tournament

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Epic Games’ senior designer Jim Brown took the stage at GDC Europe today to talk about some of the lessons the Unreal Tournament team has learned about open development and turning players into contributors. Gamasutra’s Alex Wawro was in attendance, and shares some highlights of Brown’s talk below.

Epic is up to something intriguing with the new Unreal Tournament: shortly after it was announced, before it was even really a playable game, Epic made the game freely available for people to download and check out.

At GDC Europe in Cologne today, senior designer Jim Brown outlined what Epic has learned from the experience so far. He pitched the experiment as less of an exercise in getting people to develop a game for free and more of an open-minded experiment that reflects design philosophies at Epic, a company with deep roots in the modding scene.

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Advice on making believable VR games from Sony’s Heist designer

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Gamasutra’s Alex Wawro relates how, at GDC Europe today, SCEE’s John Foster shared advice for fellow devs on making believable, enjoyable VR games based on his experiences crafting Project Morpheus demos like The London Heist and The Deep.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is, by virtue of association, one of the leading authorities in VR game design right now.

SCEE was one of the first studios to get involved with the Project Morpheus headset, over two years ago, and is best known now for producing high-profile Morpheus demos like The London Heist and The Deep. At GDC Europe today, SCEE’s John Foster shared some advice for fellow game makers on making believable, enjoyable VR experiences.

The key to compelling VR game design, says Foster, is fostering immersion. You have to fool a player’s subconscious into thinking “yes, this is real,” and you have to keep that illusion going for as long as possible. A good way to start, while VR game development is still young, is to focus on making one specific action or experience feel really good in VR.

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Cat and mouse: How Bohemia bags cheaters in DayZ

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After  studying the problem of players cheating for some time, DayZ associate producer Eugen Harton took the stage at GDC Europe today to share best practices and lessons learned in detecting and combating cheaters in your own game. Gamasutra editor Alex Wawro relates some of the highlights below. 

Bohemia Interactive’s DayZ has been remarkably successful and helped jumpstart the game industry’s current fascination with survival games, but its also been plagued by cheaters. Today at GDC Europe, associate producer Eugen Harton described Bohemia’s efforts to crack down on cheating in the wake of an exploit plague.

“It’s a huge game of cat and mouse,” says Harton. “You’re basically trying to get ahead, and try to get those guys dead.”

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How CD Projekt Red made crafting work with Witcher 3‘s dynamic economy

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Speaking at GDC Europe today, CD Projekt Red’s Matthew Steinke offered a behind-the-scenes look at how he led design of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s crafting system and how he made it play nice with the game’s dynamic economy. Here’s a look at some of the highlights of his talk, courtesy of Gamasutra editor Alex Wawro.

Much has been made of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s open-world design, but less attention has been paid to its intriguing crafting system and how well (or not) it ties into the game’s dynamic economy.

At GDC Europe in Cologne today CD Projekt Red senior gameplay designer Matthew Steinke said his dream in designing the economy of Wild Hunt was to create “a gameplay mechanism to bind the world together,” but the reality of doing so proved difficult.

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Reminder: GDC Europe online registration closes today

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With GDC Europe 2015 less than a week away and the session schedule finalized, conference officials have taken the liberty of highlighting a collection of can’t-miss sessions for the event.

Online registration for GDC Europe 2015 will close today, July 29th at 23:59 PM ET. If you miss your chance to register online before the window closes, you’ll have to pay extra to register onsite.

GDC Europe will take place next Monday and Tuesday, August 3rd and 4th at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany ahead of (and co-located with) the massive gamescom trade fair, with all GDC Europe passes guaranteeing entrance to gamescom.

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GDC Europe EIGS Roundtable: What’s the state of European indie dev?

gdceurope1.jpgHeads up, European game makers: some of the most innovative and intriguing indie developers in Europe will be showcasing their work at GDC Europe next week as part of the second annual European Innovative Games Showcase.

The nine games featured in this year’s showcase were selected by a coterie of judges from across the industry, and the winning developers will be offered full Speaker Passes to GDC Europe as well as the opportunity to give a 5-minute microtalks at the final session of GDC Europe’s IGS about the nature of their work.

It promises to be a great session, so if you’re attending GDC Europe in Cologne next week be sure to make time to see it —  last year’s inaugural EIGS is viewable now in video form on GDC Vault if you’d like a taste of what’s in store.

To get a better sense of the EIGS itself, we sat down ahead of the show with a few of its judges — game designers and showcase organizers Lea Schönfelder anJonatan Van Hove, GDC Europe Indie Games Summit advisor Kitty Calis, and Dutch indie developer/advocate Zuraida Buter — to talk about the nature of European indie game development and the evolving role of the EIGS.

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Gamescom exec chats about the ‘exciting and diverse’ state of European game dev

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With just weeks to go until some of the best and brightest in the game industry meet in Cologne to attend GDC Europe, conference officials want to remind attendees that your GDC Europe pass grants you complimentary access to the gamescom trade fair, which is co-located with GDC Europe.

In order to shed some light on the state of gamescom for GDC Europe attendees who may be unfamiliar with the event and its role in the European game industry, we chatted briefly with BIU managing director Maximillian Schenk.

The BIU (or Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware) represents the European interests of Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony and other game makers, and is the primary organizer of gamescom. 

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Come to GDC Europe for VR game design advice from Valve and Sony

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Heads up, game makers: The big GDC Europe conference in Cologne, Germany is just around the corner, and today GDC officials are proud to announce another pair of great talks you’ll be able to see at the August event.

You’ll find both of these sessions on GDC Europe’s popular Design track of talks, a perennial crowd-pleaser that explores the challenges, benefits and practice of game design.

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GDC Europe and Gamescom partner for first annual Women In Tech Day

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The organizers of GDC Europe are happy to announce a partnership with gamescom to help put on the first annual Women in Tech Day in Cologne, Germany.

Taking place immediately after the close of GDC Europe, this limited-capacity event will be held on Wednesday, August, 5th, the first day of gamescom. Prominent leaders from the video game industry and other areas of tech will come together to speak, network and share their unique experiences.

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GDC Europe: Wargaming shows you how to succeed with F2P on consoles

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GDC officials are lining up some great talks for the big GDC Europe conference next month in Cologne, Germany, and today they’re happy to announce two more exciting sessions for the event.

Both of these talks encompass multiple aspects of game design and development, but share a common thread in their placement on the GDC Europe Business Track of talks and their shared emphasis on helping game makers make a living while doing what they love.

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