Cast for two

Thursday, February 21, 2008

GDC08 Day 4 Awesome

Another day at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. If you're not interested in my experiences at GDC just skip the posts with GDC in the title.

I started they day with a panel: "The future of story in Game Design" a panel Deborah Todd, Denis Dyack (Silicon Nights), Mary DeMarle (Eidos), Matt Costello (id Doom), Metthew Karch, Michael Hall (Timeshift) and Tim Willits (id soft, Doom). Most panels are boring but this one is the exception that confirms that rule. There was strong controversy that made the panel fun. The conclusion was that game writers/story tellers should be part of the overall game design from the beginning.
Deborah Todd was involved in several games for kids and wrote a book "Game Design : From Blue Sky to Green Light".

Next, I went to the keynote "The next 20 years of gaming" by Ray Kurtzweil (picture below).
Ray Kurtzweil
I bought Rays book a few year ago but I didn't like it. Some I putted my expectations low for this keynote. It turned out that his presentation was even worse. He skipped a lot of slides, he had no new message, it was not about games and he was not inspirational. He was explaining what Spore was about, you can image how he didn't know his audience. Cleary a miscast by gdc. To bad.

"Halo vs. Facebook: the emotions that drive play" by Nicole Lazzaro (author of "Why we play games together"). Last years presentation was realy interesting. I also think that a social approach to games is a very important angle to understand games. So I was curious what this presentation would bring. She compared Facebook with Halo from an emotion point of view. Nicole believes there's a lot of potential for gaming in Facebook. One of her points is that current Facebook games are only about ping. If the ping triggers some threshold in the social fabric a viral wave is created that grows quickly but then dies. In games like Halo, there is ping and pong and hence a sustainable conversation can emerge.

There was a critic that a social comparison of an social platform like Facebook with Halo is a bit unbalanced and of course favors Facebook.

"Creating Spielberg's BOOM Box" by Louis Castle (Electronic Arts) Boom Box is a new game from EA for the Wii. The game concept is: "A software toy maximizing the Wii's controller with the compulsion loop of destruction and creation".

It looks like the free game Phun is something in the same direction.

In "My first MMO" Dave Jones (of Grand Theft Auto, Crackdown fame) presented his new upcoming game: APB. A lot of attention has been paid to free form personalistation. The realism of the character editor is realy awesome:

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