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Learn about the art of  The Witness  at GDC 2014

Learn about the art of The Witness at GDC 2014

December 23, 2013 | By GDC Staff

Passes for the Game Developers Conference 2014 are going fast, and today we're announcing even more sessions for the Main Conference that you'll want to check out.

Today's highlights include a behind-the-scenes look at the visual design of The Witness, a frank talk from DrinkBox Studios Chris McQuinn about what works -- and what doesnt -- when youre trying to market a new game, and a postmortem analysis of how Jackpot Slots claimed the top-grossing slot on Googles Play store from Gree's Alex Rosen.

Now in its 28th year, GDC is the world's largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry event, and will once again take place at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California during March 17-21, 2014.

The Art of The Witness

Thekla, Inc. sought to create a unique visual landscape that aided and abetted the player's sense of immersion in The Witness, the upcoming atmospheric 3D puzzler designed by Jonathan Blow. To that end, the studio brought in landscape designers and architects to consult on the art design process for the game. Senior 3D artist Luis Antonio will walk attendees through that process in his talk, The Art of The Witness, and explain how he thinks small indie studio art teams can contribute to game design via the collaborative creative process.

Indie Game Public Relations

DrinkBox is best known for creating the vibrant Guacamelee!, but not everyone knows that the studio made a few great games before that. DrinkBox designer and PR gentleman Chris McQuinn will take the GDC stage to explain why that is, in his talk Indie Game Public Relations: 5 Years of Painful Lessons. McQuinn plans to share what the studio learned from trying different methods of getting the word out about their earlier games, including Tales From Space: About A Blob, and how effective those different efforts proved to be -- as well as what they cost. Also, there will be charts!

Jackpot Slots: A Postmortem

Finally, anyone interested in monetary success on mobile should consider sitting in on Jackpot Slots and Live-Ops: A Postmortem on How We Got to #1, a look back on how Gree's Android social casino game Jackpot Slots climbed the top grossing charts, from Gree's Alex Rosen. If you have any interest in strategies for increasing app downloads, improving monetization rates or keeping player retention of your next mobile game high, this talk is for you.

More essential GDC details

Earlier GDC 2014 announcements included Drinkbox Studios' Chris Harvey (@c_j_harvey) doing a postmortem discussion of development on Guacamelee!, UC Santa Cruz's Brenda Romero (@br) talking about re-inspiring designers for greatness, and Google's Noah Falstein (@nfalstein) leading a postmortem on the rise and fall of classic studio Lucasfilm Games. Developers on Shenmue, Dragon Age, and Splinter Cell: Blacklist will also be giving talks.

All of the announced talks are now available in the online GDC 2014 Session Scheduler, where you can begin to build your conference week and later export it to the up-to-the-minute GDC Mobile App, coming soon.

GDC 2014 itself will take place March 17-21, 2014 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. You can register for the event by visiting the info page on the official GDC 2014 website. Early Bird pricing, with discounts up to 30 percent, will remain in effect until January 31st. Some passes have limited amounts, and with the Independent Games Summit pass already sold out, interested parties should register now.

For more information on GDC 2014, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

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