Xbox One Fans Will Enjoy Halo 5, Forza Motorsport 6, Rise of the Tomb Raider Panels at GDC

on January 9, 2016 2:23 PM

Sony isn’t the only console manufacturer bringing its studios to the Game Developers Conference, that will open its gatest on March 14th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Microsoft will also be present with Turn 10, 343 Industries and Minecraft. Xbox darling Rise of the Tomb Raider will also get its own panel, even if by then it will have been released for PC as well.

Making Moves: Designing Spartan Abilities for Halo 5: Guardians

Ryan Darcey | Senior Systems Designer, 343 Industries

Halo has a long legacy of delivering highly balanced, competitive FPS gameplay where concepts like “30 seconds of fun” and “golden triangle” lay the foundation for the player experience. After releasing six successful FPS titles spanning the course of 14 years, how do you advance the IP while maintaining the fundamental model & philosophy? How much do you risk alienating the community that helped us arrive to this point? What’s going to make Halo feel fresh again?

Spartan Abilities are just some of the features 343 delivered in Halo 5: Guardians as an answer these questions. During this talk, you will gain insight into the process of taking the new Spartan Charge and Ground Pound actions from concept to final release. More specifically, this talk will focus on:

1) Choosing where to innovate.
2) Mapping actions to controls.
3) Tuning for balance.

Takeaway
Attendees of this talk will walk away with a detailed understanding of how to approach designing new features for an established franchise, how to weigh control scheme options and a methodology for tuning highly balanced, competitive games.

Intended Audience
Some basic experience with FPS games is the only prerequisite. Designers looking to learn more about where to focus their time, energy & resources when developing new features are the target audience, though all disciplines may benefit from understanding the fundamental ideas expressed here.

Simulating the Race Day Experience: Mixing Forza Motorsport 6

Ask anyone who’s been to a race day event to sum up the experience in one word and there’s a good chance they’ll all say the same thing: “LOUD.” The roar of highly tuned engines screaming past, the reflections from surrounding structures, and the echoing in the distance all make up the aural chaos that is race day.
But how do you simulate all of that to the player and still allow them to hear crucial audio feedback like tire noise that will either send them to the front of the pack or send them careening into a stack of tires?
In this talk, Turn 10 Studios’ Creative Audio Director, Nick Wiswell, and Audio Lead, Chase Combs, will discuss how the team approached the mix of the game, attempting to balance a dense sonic landscape with detailed audio feedback for players.

Takeaway
Though mixing for racing titles presents unique problems, the approaches used and lessons learned during mixing Forza Motorsport 6 could be beneficial to a range of gameplay genres on varying platforms.

Intended Audience
The target audience for this talk is sound designers, audio leads and directors, audio producers, and audio mixers. A basic level of common audio DSP and mixing terminology is recommended.

Taking Minecraft to School: Re-Engineering the Game for Learning

Michelle Dauphiny Becker | Executive Producer, Minecraft in Education, Microsoft

Minecraft is not an educational game. It’s a game used in education. It has gained traction with over 10,000 schools, in spite of the difficulty setting up the Java game and servers in a classroom environment. In this talk, it will be discussed how the Minecraft team and its partners have broken down barriers to entry to make the popular game accessible to K-12 classrooms across the globe. Additionally the talk will cover how the game has been extended with special features designed for education, and make suggestions about how you could make similar changes to your own games.

Takeaway
This presentation will share insights on Education as a market and about the unique use cases of games in the classroom. In addition attendees will learn about the journey of customizing a popular title in a way that’s not just palatable but awesome in schools!

Intended Audience
All are welcome. No prerequisites.

Raid on Rise: Narrative Creation on Rise of The Tomb Raider

Rhianna Pratchett | Writer, Independent
John Stafford | Lead Narrative Designer, Crystal Dynamics
Cameron Suey | Narrative Designer, Crystal Dynamics
Tore Blystad | Performance Director, Crystal Dynamics
Jeff Adams | Senior Story Artist, Crystal Dynamics
Noah Hughes | Creative Director, Crystal Dynamics

The narrative team behind Rise of the Tomb Raider share how they worked together to build the next successful stage of Lara Croft’s adventures, and demonstrate how a strong story and characterization are fundamental for AAA success.

Takeaway
A behind- the-scenes look at the narrative process used on Rise of the Tomb Raider, which will showcase how the different disciplines worked together to create the second successful installment of the rebooted Tomb Raider franchise.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.
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