BERLIN — August 20, 2012 — The 2012 Game Developers Conference™ Europe (GDC Europe) concluded on Wednesday, August 15 with a successful showing and a final attendee count of more than 2100 game professionals. Professionals from all areas of the game industry gathered throughout the three day conference to learn and network. The keynote roster included industry leaders from Ubisoft Montreal’s Creative Director Alex Hutchinson, to CEO of Wargaming.net Victor Kislyi, to Epic Games senior engine programmer Niklas Smedberg. These speakers were part of the 100+ European and international speakers, 65+ exhibitors and sponsors, and more than 290 media representatives converging at the leading European conference focusing on game development on PC, social networking websites, consoles and mobile platforms. GDC Europe returns to Cologne, Germany on August 19-21, 2013.
Making its debut at GDC Europe this year was the popular Classic Game Postmortem series, first introduced at the 2011 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. GDC Europe attendees were treated to a rare postmortem for the Nintendo 64 classic GoldenEye 007 from the game's director Martin Hollis. Among the many key learning Hollis offered to attendees, he revealed that, although the game was in development for nearly three years, the popular multiplayer mode that made the game an instant classic was developed at the very last minute, and took only one month to build. The legendary first-person shooter proved to be a trailblazer for console shooters like Halo and numerous others.
Other popular sessions during the three day conference included a lecture given by Bigpoint’s Jan Richter, who heads design for free-to-play browser titles at the online game developer and publisher. Richter advised those developing free-to-play games on making a strong first impression with gamers, how to retain them for months and months, and provided attendees with an equation that calculates the “magic line” designers have to cross for their free-to-play games to become huge.
Dan Pinchbeck of thechineseroom, creators of indie hit Dear Esther, talked about the power of imagination and noted that the key to the game’s success was how the abstract and ambiguous first-person exploration game barely gave players any real details about characters and plot, allowing the players' imaginations to run wild.
The “Ask the Publishers” panel, featuring Matias Myllyrinne of Remedy Games, Careen Yapp of Konami, Zack Karlsson of Capcom, Noah Musler of Microsoft Studios and Dan Sherman of CFC Capital, provided the developer attendees with insights into how top publishers make their decisions. During the discussion, Karlsson announced Capcom’s publishing deal with Paris-based developer DONTNOD for the upcoming new IP, Remember Me, set to release next May.
In his keynote for the conference’s Game Design track, Alexander Hutchinson, Creative Director of Ubisoft Montreal, took attendees through the process of how his team is maintaining the momentum of the Assassin’s Creed franchise by treating it like a new IP while ensuring it continues to exist within the same rich and consistent universe. Hutchinson described the three main pillars of Assassin’s Creed III— the new historical setting of the American Revolution, the new, Native American assassin Connor, and the new player fantasies upon which the gameplay is based, such as being a man of the revolution and a naval master and commander.
“We’re very proud that GDC Europe once again exceeded expectations in delivering best-in-class learnings and insight for the European development community thanks to our excellent lineup of international speakers and our diligent advisory board members,” said Meggan Scavio, general manager of Game Developer Conference events. “This industry is constantly evolving and growing, especially in the mobile and social games realm, and we look forward to returning next year to provide progressive opportunities for learning and networking for developers.”
VIP and All Access pass holders to GDC Europe will also gain access to the video, audio, and presentation recordings at GDC Europe shortly after the conference through the GDC Vault which will host more than 80 lectures, keynotes and panels across five Main Conference tracks (Business, Marketing & Management, Game Design, Production, Programming and Visual Arts) and three Summits (the Independent Games Summit, the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit and the Social & Online Games Summit).
In addition to the conference content, GDC Europe offered several opportunities for creative exchange and business development, with venues including the GDC Europe Expo Floor, VIP Lounge, and the GDC Europe Business Lounge at gamescom, plus a host of industry parties.
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