GDC 2013 adds Hitman: Absolution, Mass Effect 3, and Kingdom Age talks

GDC organizers have revealed new talks for the upcoming  March 2013 conference , including those on programming AI and NPCs for Square Enix's Hitman: Absolution, reinforcing and strengthening the narrative for Commander Shepard in BioWare's  Mass Effect 3, and analyzing the numbers behind GREE's Kingdom Age for the mobile market.

These talks are part of the Main Conference, encompassing  Business, Marketing & Management Production Programming Visual Arts , and  Design  tracks, to be held Wed-Fri, March 27-29 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, CA.

For the Programming track, Mika Vehkala and Maurizio De Pascale of IO Interactive will discuss  'Creating the AI for the Living, Breathing World of  Hitman: Absolution' . Along with AI, the pair will explore creating NPC animation that adapts to gameplay situations and player actions in a believable way.

Attendees will learn about building systemic AI for a sandbox game that offers a cinematic experience. Lessons include "an overview of the general architecture, details about multi-agent coordination, behavior trees usage, and discretized world representation for reasoning decisions."

For the Design and Visual Arts tracks, Dave Feltham will share his team's  'Emotional Journey: BioWare's Methods to Bring Narrative into Levels'  for the acclaimed  Mass Effect 3. Feltham's team realized it needed new ways to reinforce the narrative in Commander Shepard's missions for the end of this trilogy. In his talk, he will discuss "some of the methods they used to bring narrative to some of the levels' pacing and flow, measure it, and how it helped increase the level of player engagement."

Lastly, covering Business, Marketing & Management, and Production tracks for mobile game developers, GREE's Aaron Bannin will present  ' Kingdom Age by the Numbers: A Postmortem' . Bannin will review how the team uses player data to deliver and sustain the  multi-million dollar generating iOS game , sharing "production debates over numbers, analytics, and how deceiving these numbers can be."

More information on the talks and passes for the conference is available here:


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