GDC Europe 2014 adds notable talks from Double Fine and Paradox

From Gamasutra: Last week we announced that Fortnite and Fez were among the featured talks at GDC Europe 2014, and this week we’re happy to reveal another pair of exciting sessions for the major European game conference, which is being held in Germany this August.

The conference covers game industry topics from AAA to indie, with equal focus on the art, business and technical challenges of game development. The pair of talks we’re announcing today share a common focus on game design, and they should include learnings for the entire community.

Organized by UBM Tech Game Network, GDC Europe, now in its sixth year in Germany, will run Monday through Wednesday, August 11-13 at the Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany, co-located with Europe’s biggest video game trade and public show gamescom.

Paradox Studios game director Henrik Fahraeus is coming to GDC Europe this year to present a talk on “Emergent Stories in Crusader Kings II” that should offer some useful insight into how gameplay systems can be designed to help players tell their own stories. Fahraeus served as lead designer on Crusader Kings II, and in his talk he plans to cover how his experience working on the game shaped his approach to balancing interactive storytelling between telling a cogent narrative and letting the player tell their own stories with the help of highly refined gameplay systems. To hear Fahraeus tell it, written narrative and emergent narrative are not mutually exclusive — a mix of the two can provide your players with dramatic gameplay experiences regardless of genre.

On a more technical note, Double Fine’s Anna Kipnis will be bridging the Design and Programming tracks with her talk, “Dialog Systems in Double Fine Games”, during GDC Europe 2014. Kipnis plans to explain the technical details of how a line of dialog finds its way into a finished Double Fine title, starting from the moment a line is written and working all the way through to the point where you’re hearing and seeing the line in the engine, even in a foreign tongue.

Kipnis plans to approach the topic from a very technical perspective (which is fitting, given her stellar work as a senior programmer at Double Fine), but she’ll also be delving into some discussion of dynamic dialog systems and highlighting common obstacles Double Fine has faced in crafting quality dialog for its games, as well as share best practices for delivering it to the player. To do so, Kipnis will offer attendees an in-depth look at Double Fine’s approach to developing games with fully-voiced characters, best practices for building dynamic dialog systems, and how to design your game to ensure it can be translated into another language with a minimum of extra work.

Of course, these are just some of the many exciting sessions that will be announced for GDC Europe 2014 in the coming weeks, and early birds can register for GDC Europe 2014 by July 16 to save 200 euros on an All Access Pass.

In addition, this year marks the GDC Europe debut of the Student Pass, a more affordable alternative to the All Access Pass created specifically for qualified students interested in learning and networking at GDC Europe 2014 – as well as the return of the Indie Games Summit pass. All GDC Europe passes also allow visitors to attend Gamescom from Wednesday to Friday. For more information, please visit the GDC Europe website.

Read more at Gamasutra.

Updated: June 24, 2014 — 7:38 am