GDC 2010: Complete coverage with GDC Awards, Sony conference video

[UPDATE 4] Uncharted 2 tops Game Developers Choice Awards with five trophies; PlayStation Move debuts; write-ups of Meier, Pardo, Molyneux, Muzyka, Sakamoto, Yamaoka, Toriyama, and Schafer talks also on tap; full rundown of event and new Deus Ex trailer inside.


Doom (1993)
Doom 3
Half-Life 2

SAN FRANCISCO--The 2010 Game Developers Conference began today with the Independent Games Summit kickoff, a session on "guerrilla" development, and a (very) brief talk by Caleb Arseneaux from Scribblenauts developer 5TH Cell.

Though not as flashy as E3, GDC still draws a big crowd of game development's best and brightest.
Though not as flashy as E3, GDC still draws a big crowd of game development's best and brightest.

Wednesday morning, the main conference began with a series of presentations, including talks by BioWare cofounder and CEO Dr. Ray Muzyka, Bungie creative director Joseph Staten, and Electronic Arts COO John Schappert. The event then shifted into high gear when Sony Computer Entertainment unveiled the PlayStation Move motion controller.

As can be seen in GameSpot's live blog of the event, the LED-based controller system will launch in a variety of retail configurations, including a starter kit that includes the PlayStation Eye camera, one Move remote, and one game. That title will likely be Sports Champions, the Wii Sports-like compilation that includes table tennis, archery, and a gladiatorial contest. Also shown were the Move Party minigame compilation, a street-brawling/boxing game called Motion Fighters, and SOCOM 4, which will be playable with the thumbstick-enabled Move Subcontroller.

Thursday saw presentations by Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka, Metroid cocreator Yoshio Sakamoto, Naughty Dog's Richard Lemarchand, Lionhead's Peter Molyneux, and Blizzard Entertainment's Rob Pardo. Besides the arrival of the latest NPD report, there was a special live GDC edition of Today on the Spot.

That evening, GameSpot exclusively streamed the Game Developers Choice Awards, hosted by Deus Ex and Thief creator Warren Spector, who is currently at work on Epic Mickey at Disney Interactive Studios. Uncharted 2 was the big winner at the ceremony, taking home a record five awards, including Game of the Year. Id Software's John Carmack took home the Lifetime Achievement Award for more than 20 years of work on the Doom and Quake series, and Valve Software's Gabe Newell received the Pioneer Award for his work on the Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Team Fortress, Portal, and Left 4 Dead series. The ceremony was accompanied by the Independent Games Festival winners, and both ceremonies can be viewed below.

Friday morning coverage began with a live blog--and video (below)--of GDC keynote speaker Sid Meier, founder of Firaxis Games and creator of the iconic Civilization strategy series. Writer Motomu Toriyama talked about penning Final Fantasy XIII, and there were sessions covering Batman: Arkham Asylum and Xbox Live achievement data and new IP.

GameSpot also covered a panel that saw Gearbox reexamine Borderlands' dramatic art change three-quarters of the way through its development. Pardo, Muzyka, and other industry heavyweights discussed how online connectivity and communities will become more central to games in the future. That afternoon also saw another live edition of TOTS.

Warren Spector hosted the 2010 Game Developers Choice Awards on Thursday night.
Warren Spector hosted the 2010 Game Developers Choice Awards on Thursday night.

GDC 2010 wrapped up on Saturday with sessions focusing on Mass Effect 2 and Assassin's Creed II. Ubisoft Montreal's narrative director Richard Rouse gave a talk on evoking serious emotions in games, while Double Fine CEO Tim Schafer hosted a panel discussing (what else?) comedy. Sims creator Will Wright also gave a surprise session in which he likened making games to dealing drugs.

For more on these events and all the latest screenshots, videos, previews, interviews, and breaking news, keep your browser set to GameSpot's ongoing 2010 Game Developers Conference coverage.



Scheduled Sessions:

--"From Big Studio to Small Indie: Guerrilla Tactics From Hello Games " - Sean Murray (Managing Director, Hello Games)

--"Indies and Publishers: Fixing a System That Never Worked" - Ron Carmel (Cofounder, 2D Boy)

--"5TH Cell: From Mobile to Handheld & Beyond" - Caleb Arseneaux (Producer, 5TH Cell)

--IGF KEYNOTE ADDRESS: "Increasing Our Reach: Designing to Grab and Retain Players" - Randy Smith (Owner and Game Designer, Tiger Style)

BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka shared his thoughts on building blockbuster franchises like Mass Effect.
BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka shared his thoughts on building blockbuster franchises like Mass Effect.


4 p.m. PST: PlayStation Move motion controller unveild at Sony Press Conference, will cost under $100. SOCOM 4 to support system.

Scheduled Sessions:

--"Building a Blockbuster Franchise" -- Joseph Staten (Creative Director, Bungie), Ray Muzyka (CEO and General Manager, BioWare Corp.)

--Indie Gamemaker Rant! - Various speakers

--Mythbusting Fireside Chat - John Schappert (Chief Operating Officer, Electronic Arts)

--"The Relentless March Toward Free…and What It Means to the Games Industry" - Kristian Segerstrale (Vice President and General Manager, Playfish)


4 p.m. PST: Today on the Spot Live: Special GDC Edition

6:30 p.m. PST: Independent Games Festival Awards

~7 p.m. PST: Game Developers Choice Awards, hosted by Warren Spector

Scheduled Sessions:
--"Achievements Considered Harmful?" - Chris Hecker (Definition Six Inc.)

--"Among Friends - An Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Post-Mortem" - Richard Lemarchand (Game Designer, Naughty Dog)

--"As Long as the Audio Is Fun, the Game Will Be Too" - Akira Yamaoka (Grasshopper Manufacture Studio)

--"Building an Open-World Game Without Hiring an Army" - Nate Fox (Game Director, Sucker Punch Productions [Infamous])

--"Creating a Unique Visual Direction: The Successes and Failures of Creating a Near-Future Cyberpunk Setting With a Renaissance Twist in Deus Ex 3" - Jonathan Jacques-Belletete (Art Director, Eidos Montreal)

--"Epic Games/Unreal Engine 3 Media Briefing" - Mark Rein (Vice President, Epic Games), Alan Willard (Senior Technical Artist and Designer, Epic Games), Mary Beth Haggerty (Autodesk, maker of Maya), Dave Jones (Creative Director, Realtime Worlds)

--"From Metroid to Tomodachi Collection to WarioWare: Different Approaches for Different Audiences" - Yoshio Sakamoto (Group Manager/Software Planning and Development Department, Nintendo)

--"Making a Standard (and Trying to Stick to it!): Blizzard Design Philosophies" - Rob Pardo (VP of Game Design, Blizzard Entertainment)

--"Peering Into the Black Box of Player Behavior: The Player Experience Panel at Microsoft Game Studios" - Bruce Phillips (User Researcher, Microsoft)

--"The Complex Challenges of Intuitive Design" - Peter Molyneux (Head of Studio, Lionhead Studios), Josh Atkins (Studio Design Director, Microsoft Games Studio)

Civilization creator Sid Meier used his keynote address to talk about crafting an
Civilization creator Sid Meier used his keynote address to talk about crafting an "epic journey" for players and offered psychological tips to make better games.


10:30 a.m. PST: GDC KEYNOTE ADDRESS: "The Psychology of Game Design (Everything You Know Is Wrong)" - Sid Meier (Director of Creative Development, Firaxis Games)

4 p.m. PST: Today on the Spot LIVE: Special GDC Edition

Scheduled Sessions:
"Accessibility Arcade: Bringing AAA Game Titles to the Disabled Through Controller Hacks" - Michelle Hinn (Chairperson, IGDA Game Accessibility Special Interest Group), Tara Tefertiller (VP Game Industry Relations, Right to Fun Foundation)

--"Borderlands and the 11th Hour Art Style Change. Or: Kids, Don't Try This at Home!" - Brian Martel (Cofounder and Chief Creative Officer, Gearbox), Aaron Thibault (VP of Product Development, Gearbox), and Mikey Neumann (Creative Director, Gearbox)

--"The Crystal Mythos and Final Fantasy XIII" - Motomu Toriyama (Scenario Writer for Final Fantasy XIII, Square Enix)

--"The Art Direction of Batman: Arkham Asylum: Rebooting a Super Hero Video Game IP" - David Hego (Art Director, Rocksteady)

--"The Connected Future of Games" - Min Kim (Vice President, Nexon America Inc.), Ray Muzyka (CEO and General Manager, BioWare Corp.), Rob Pardo (VP, game design, Blizzard Entertainment), Brian Reynolds (Chief Designer, Zynga), Jason Holtman (Director of Business Development, Valve)

--"Double Header Analysis: Xbox Live Achievement Data and Intellectual Property Trends in Video Games" - Geoffrey Zatkin (President & COO, Electronic Entertainment Design and Research), Jesse Divnich (Vice President of Analyst Services, EEDAR)

--"Five Ways a Video Game Can Make You Cry" - Richard Rouse III (Narrative Director, Ubisoft Montreal)

--"Make 'Em Laugh: Comedy in Games" - Tim Schafer (CEO, Doublefine), Rhianna Pratchett (Freelance Scriptwriter and Narrative Designer, Independent), Sean Vanaman (Writer & Designer, Telltale Games), John Teti (Games Writer, The A.V. Club)

--Surprise Will Wright session - Will Wright, Stupid Fun Club

--"Rock Band Network: Postmortem" - Matthew Nordhaus (Senior Producer: Design, Harmonix Music Systems), Caleb Epps (Senior Sound Designer, Harmonix Music Systems)

--"Where Did My Inventory Go? Refining Gameplay in Mass Effect 2" - Christina Norman (Lead Gameplay Designer, BioWare)

--"Designing Assassin's Creed II"--Patrick Plourde (Lead Game Designer, Ubisoft)

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