GDC Coming to a close

This past week has been a real trial, and I have learned a lot. I have, above all else, learned that I have a long way to go before I can say I am a game engine programmer – but that is definitely where I want to go. Monday I was able to see into the more artistic, and as such a more nebulous view of the world of game development through the eyes of a level developer. In sharp contrast, sitting through a number of programming and engineering related talks on Tuesday and Wednesday, each talk was followed with a mentioning of a white paper and/or at least a published discussion of the intricate details of what is going on in the slides. Continue reading “GDC Coming to a close”

GDC Day 1 – Level Design in a nutshell

I am not always quick to complain about my experiences, but I feel that I need to vent a bit before I get to sleep. GDC is a complicated narrative about two duders from out of town looking for information and guidance, but only finding frustration and pain. This day has come to a close with the following overly simplified statements.

  • Scapegoating is a horrible practice – causing dissent and irritation
  • Building levels is more than just piecing together art and code – it is also where the seeds of fun are planted
  • Most people have really stupid, and repetitive, questions
  • Showering is optional (at least with level designers)
  • Pacing, Tempo and Story Beats are immensely important in level design
  • Pacing, Tempo and Story Beats are not important in presentations
  • Building power point slides and reading them to an audience is well worth the admission ticket price at GDC
  • Chairs are not meant to make you feel comfortable – they are to make you really miss, or reminisce depending on your disposition, scoliosis.

Nothing really interesting picked up just yet. Was nice to finally put some names to the games that I’ve been playing, and more over to realize they are just (above) people.

GDC Day 0 & BulletStorm

I’ve spent a good portion of today doing two interesting things – Burning through Bulletstorm and I picked up Dan Miede from the Airport and prepped for tomorrow’s insanity. While I will tend to be the first to offend in mixed company, the controversy around BulletStorm, Violence and Fox News is just plain ridiculous. Although typically fair and balanced, they stray way out of the loony bin with this one, fishing about for “Experts” with opinions that agree with their views and sharing beneficial and important quotes with us of this caliber:

Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?

Video game publishers traditionally stay glib about the issue of violence. Microsoft, maker of the Xbox 360 console, declined to comment. Epic Games did not respond to requests, and the developer did not respond. Remi Sklar, the vice president of Public Relations at Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment, which makes numerous video games (though is unconnected to Bulletstorm), offered the following statement: “We don’t have a comment for that story.”

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