GDC 2011 Adds WoW: Cataclysm, Game Design Challenge, Heavy Rain Talks

- In an extremely rare public lecture, Blizzard's Tom Chilton presents 'Remaking the World Of Warcraft through Cataclysm', a talk in which the expansion's game director -- also responsible for lead designing Wrath of the Lich King and Burning Crusade discusses "what approach we took, what works, and what doesn't seem to work when tackling the challenge of breathing new life into aging game content."

The expansion to the popular PC MMO sold 4.7 million copies in one month after its early December debut. Chilton will discuss how the Blizzard team "rejuvenated aging parts of the game world for existing, former, and new players while at the same time preserving and even enhancing what made the game world special from the start."

- This year's competitors for the popular 'Game Design Challenge'

session, which focuses around some of the industry's lead designers presenting a game design concept, have been revealed - with last year's winner Jenova Chen (Flower, Journey) taking on Doom and Quake co-creator John Romero and independent game maverick Jason Rohrer (Passage, Sleep Is Death).

The challenge for the event this year, MC-ed by Eric Zimmerman, is "creating a game that is also in some way a religion -- or a religion that is in some way a game". As is noted in the description: "The audience plays an important role as well - by voting in the winner of the Game Design Challenge 2011. Expect a free-wheeling session of brave new game design ideas, along with unpredictable debate and dialog."

- Another just-confirmed lecture is from Quantic Dream's David Cage, who will present 'Creating An Emotional Rollercoaster In Heavy Rain', the PS3-exclusive story based title that, as Cage comments, "tried to build an experience entirely based on interactive storytelling, emotional involvement and contextual actions."

In the lecture capping Cage's experience working on the title, released in 2010, "tips and tricks will be revealed about how we dealt to tell a multiple branch story and build characterization through game play rather than cut scenes, and we will expose how we worked to make the player care for the characters, which is of paramount importance for any type of games."

Other highlighted lectures include Insomniac Games' Joel Goodsell on creating satisfying combat experiences at the house of Resistance and Ratchet&Clank, as well as high-rated EA/Maxis speaker Stone Librande on his experience building board/card games for his children every year as they grew from 3 to 18 years old, and Vector Unit's Matt Small (Hydro Thunder Hurricane) talking about 'Tales from the Trenches:

Startup Advice from a Veteran'.

At the forefront of game development, Game Developers Conference continues to deliver the most pertinent and informative updates in digital entertainment, with the full range of GDC 2011 Main Conference and Summit sessions now fully time-scheduled on the event's "Scheduler Builder" software.

Game Developers Conference 2011 -- the 25th iteration of the industry-leading show -- will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from February 28th to March 4th, and pre-show registration is open until February 27th. For more information on all aspects of the show, visit the official GDC 2011 website - http://www.gdconf.com 


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