PlayStation Related Talks

Design vs. Story: How 'Uncharted: The Lost Legacy' Addressed the Elephant in the Room

Marianne Hayden (Story Animator, Naughty Dog, Inc.)

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Elephant in the Room - PlayStation Related Talks
Location: Room 3016, West Hall
Date: Tuesday, March 19
Time: 2:10pm - 2:40pm
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits
Topic: Game Narrative Summit
Format: Session

Overview

Who wants to ride an elephant in a Naughty Dog 'Uncharted' game? According to play testers, everyone. Aren't wild elephants dangerous? Yes. How do you keep this plausible while still supporting the need of the narrative? Design at Naughty Dog often influences story, and story, design. Sometimes, the Naughty Dog team has a design idea so unusual and unique they find a way to incorporate it into the story no matter the complexity and cost. From background character to full, peaceful story moment, this talk covers the story and design evolution of the elephant ride in 'Uncharted: The Lost Legacy'.

Takeaway

Attendees will get an inside look at the story and design process at Naughty Dog, Inc., when an animal originally intended as background becomes a vital part of the narrative; a vehicle for bonding two characters together.

Making of 'ASTRO BOT Rescue Mission': Reinventing Platformers for VR

Nicolas Doucet (Creative Director / Producer, Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Astro Bot Rescue Mission - PlayStation Related Talks

Location: Room 3016, West Hall
Date: Wednesday, March 20
Time: 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference
Topic: Design
Format: Session

Intended Audience: This talk is intended for game developers of any level with an interest in VR. No technical knowledge is required. Game Designers and Project Managers may get the most out of it.

Overview

In October 2018, Japan Studio's ASOBI Team released 'ASTRO BOT Rescue Mission' for PSVR, a platformer which went on to become one of the highest rated VR titles of all time. In this session, Creative Director Nicolas Doucet talks about the origins of the project, how the team tried new ideas and the ups and downs that went into reinventing one of the world's oldest game genres in VR.

Takeaway

Viewers will leave with an understanding of the game design process that went into 'ASTRO BOT Rescue Mission', how the team prototyped innovative gameplay and maximized the use of the VR Medium.

Creating a Deeper Emotional Connection: The Cinematography of 'God of War'

Dori Arazi (Director of Photography, Sony Santa Monica Studio)

God of War - PlayStation Related Talks

Location: Room 2005, West Hall
Date: Wednesday, March 20
Time: 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference
Topic: Visual Arts
Format: Session

Intended Audience: The target audience is mainly cinematic game artists. From pre-vis/layout, through cinematic animation but mainly for cinematic leads/directors. Though anyone with a passion for creating emotionally evocative narrative in games will enjoy this session.

Overview

This session is for all the lovers of cinematics. It will cover the lessons and techniques learned during the development of 'God of War' that allowed the Santa Monica Studio team to achieve deeper emotional tones within the game experience, including the no-cut camera design. This session will cover thought approaches, technical applications and tools that aided in this process. It will discuss film-making approaches vs. cinematic creation and how 'God of War' leveraged the strength of both to execute on a consistent and clear visual game experience, from pre-pro to shooting on set. Doing so even with a limited "no-cuts" vocabulary.

Takeaway

Attendees will gain a firm understanding of the lessons learned, philosophical approach and techniques used to design 'God of War'’s cinematic experience. They will understand approaches to implement a no-cut design and its impact on the visual experience. Attendees will be given a call to action: what can be achieved with available tools when properly leveraged and be given food for thought on how to move the field forward.

Conquering the Creative Challenges in Marvel's Spider-Man

Bryan Intihar (Creative Director, Insomniac Games)
Marvel's Spider-Man AI Postmortem - PlayStation Related Talks

Location: Room 303, South Hall
Date: Thursday, March 21
Time: 11:30am - 12:30pm
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference
Topic: Design
Format: Session

Intended Audience: The target audience for this presentation is creative directors, writers, designers and anyone interested in general game direction.

Overview

One might think that working with such a well-known IP and character like Spider-Man would make the development process easier. One might believe, "Hey, I already have the answers to the test." However, that's never the case. There were several challenges when proving out the creative vision on Marvel's Spider-Man. This talk will discuss three major hurdles and how Insomniac Games overcame them in order to hit the creative/narrative goals that were set for the game.

Takeaway

Through Marvel's Spider-Man, attendees will gain better insight on some of the major challenges that face developers when proving their creative vision early on and strategies on how to overcome those challenges.

Taming Technologies Behind 'ASTRO BOT Rescue Mission'

Yuki Miyamae (Programmer, Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Astro Bot Rescue Mission Technologies - PlayStation Related Talks

Location: Room 3016, West Hall
Date: Thursday, March 21
Time: 3:00pm - 3:30pm
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference
Topic: Programming
Format: Session

Intended Audience: This talk is targeted at VR game developers with technical understanding, especially in engine and graphics.

Overview

In October 2018, Team ASOBI from Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios JAPAN Studio released 'ASTRO BOT Rescue Mission' for PlayStation®VR (PS VR), a VR platformer which went on to become one of the highest rated VR titles of all time.

In this session, the technical lead of Team ASOBI, Yuki Miyamae, covers the biggest technical challenges of making a big, beautiful PS VR title while maintaining a constant high level of performance.

The talk includes examples of rendering optimizations and VR visual effect implementations that the team spent substantial time fine-tuning, such as water and clouds.

Takeaway

Viewers will leave with an understanding of technical challenges and solutions relating to VR that can be applied to their own VR title.

Concrete Jungle Gym: Building Traversal in Marvel's Spider-Man

Doug Sheahan (Lead Gameplay Programmer, Insomniac Games)
Marvel's Spider-Man - PlayStation Related Talks

Location: Room 2005, West Hall
Date: Friday, March 22
Time: 10:00am - 11:00am
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference
Topic: Programming, Design
Format: Session

Intended Audience: This session will be most interesting for programmers and designers who want to learn about creating diverse player mechanics in third person action games.

Overview

Marvel’s Spider-Man presented a challenging traversal target where players enter with high expectations of functionality, fluidity, control, and presentation. In this session, Doug will provide an in depth view into how the traversal system for the game was created. The talk will focus on how the swinging mechanic was originally executed and the process through which it evolved in order to increase usability and player engagement. This will include a discussion on the integration of additional mechanics as well as how the camera was designed to increase the sense of speed, power, and enjoyment for the system.

Takeaway

Attendees will get an in depth view into how the traversal system in Marvel's Spider-Man was created. They will learn about the processes for creating and executing on intuitive and deep traversal mechanics in a large, open world game.

Research Methods to Improve Live Game Retention, D1 to D100

Sebastian Long (UX Research Consultant, Player Research)
Sarah Romoslawski (Senior Manager, UX Research, Glu Mobile, Inc.)
Alexander Kohorst (User Experience Researcher, Glu Mobile, Inc.)
Molly Sirota (Senior UX Researcher, PlayStation)
Jennifer Torson (UX Researcher, Scopely)

Location: Room 2014, West Hall
Date: Friday, March 22
Time: 10:00am - 11:00am
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference
Topic: Production & Team Management
Format: Session

Intended Audience: These microtalks are for development professionals wishing to understand the spectrum of research methods available to them, with special consideration for their current challenges and needs in regards to understanding player retention. From indie teams to small publishers, this session serves all development professionals with limited knowledge of games UX research.

Overview

How can development teams gather actionable player data to improve long-term play? In this microtalk session, four expert UX Researchers share their approaches to gathering actionable data, from day-1 today-100 and beyond, using a variety of research methods: play diaries, analytics, surveys and in-house playtests. Glu Researchers Sarah Romoslawski and Alexander Kohorst share their approaches to FTUE testing and elder player mechanic deep dives. PlayStation's MollySirota explains how players' diaries improved engagement in the live content of 'MLB: The Show'. Fianlly, Scopely's Jennifer Torson discusses how to study the first seven days to impact the entire player journey.

Takeaway

Attendees will gain an understanding of research methods available for exploring retention, long-term play, and their application. They will leave clear examples on the ROI of long-term retention research and an anatomy of "diary methods", a powerful and underutilized approach while also learning the key dissimilarities between researching elder players and the first-time-user-experience.

Reinventing 'God of War'

Cory Barlog (Creative Director, Sony Santa Monica Studio)

Reinventing God of War - PlayStation Related Talks

Location: Room 303, South Hall
Date: Friday, March 22
Time: 10:00am - 11:00am
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference
Topic: Design
Format: Session

Intended Audience: Developers of all teams, shapes and sizes. Console, mobile, PR, everyone.

Overview

Everything, everywhere changes. Change is an essential part of life. In creative development change is often the explosive spark that transforms good enough into truly memorable. Several years ago, Santa Monica Studio began the journey of creating a new 'God of War'. The Santa Monica Studio team recognized a special honor and responsibility to create a different and better and truly more memorable experience than before. Cory Barlog realized early on that changes had to be made to every aspect of the game. The road to creating a new 'God of War' was a seemingly endless climb up an impossibly enormous mountain, filled with countless gut-wrenching failures and joyfully sweet successes.

Takeaway

Never give into doubt when creating a game.

The Musical Brush: The Interactive Music of 'Concrete Genie'

Samuel Marshall (Composer and Audio Director, Sony Interactive Entertainment, PixelOpus)

Concrete Genie's Interactive Music - PlayStation Related Talks

Location: Room 3002, West Hall
Date: Friday, March 22
Time: 11:30am - 12:00pm
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference, Audio Conference + Tutorial
Topic: Audio, Design
Format: Session

Intended Audience: Composers and audio professionals who are interested in the role of music as it relates to the synergy between emotional, narrative and design elements within a game.

Overview

PlayStation's 'Concrete Genie' features a unique, emotional soundtrack and an interactive system that allows the player to not only paint with color but with music. Composer and Audio Director, Sam Marshall, shares the challenges of creating an original game score and dives deep into the musical brush chime system that allows the player to contribute to the in-game soundtrack in a joyful, effortless and meaningful way.

Takeaway

Attendees will receive inspirational and practical strategies for creating original game music and learn how to solve game design challenges and elevate gameplay with interactive music systems.

PlayStation Related Talks, schedule and location are subject to change.

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