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Posts with tag lectures

Rob Pardo speaks about Blizzard game design

The tenth annual Game Developers Conference is in full swing in San Francisco, CA -- and yesterday included a panel by Rob Pardo, Executive Vice President of Game Design at Blizzard Entertainment. Pardo spoke about design philosophy and how Blizzard approaches it, sharing not only Blizzard's success stories, but where they failed along the way, and what they did to fix it. Blizzard's design philosophy follows some key elements:

Gameplay First: Before anything else, you want to concentrate the game on the fun. All aspects of the game -- the design, the mechanics of encounters, the quests and story are focused on making the game fun to play. Not only fun to play -- but fun to play for players, not developers. The challenge is to keep players jumping through the correct hoops, while making those hoops fun. Sometimes this involves making some changes -- for example, only night elf males could be druids in Warcraft III, but for the sake of making the druid class, something that sounded like all kinds of fun, they had to be made accessible to both genders, and both sides. So the lore was adjusted so that females and tauren could both be druids -- otherwise they couldn't have introduced the class at all. And that wouldn't be any fun.

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Filed under: News items

Blizzard developers to speak at GDC 2010

Following the pattern held in previous years, Blizzard will again be loaning out some of their top developers for panels at this year's Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco, CA. WoW's former Lead Producer Jeff Kaplan, a.k.a. Tigole, presented the keynote speech at last year's GDC, and this year two top developers will be on tap to give horribly esoteric panels.

Brian Schwab, Blizzard's Senior AI/Gameplay Engineer, will be presenting a lecture on AI architecture ...

"AI programmers rarely use a pure architecture such as a State Machine, Planner, or Behavior Tree in isolation. Rather, several symbiotic architectures are mashed together, resulting in an overall architecture that is unique and powerful in its own way. This lecture is designed as a series of three mini-lectures where you will hear about several mashed up AI architectures along with intriguing lessons and insights."

... and Erin Catto, Blizzard's Principle Software Engineer, will be presenting a workshop on physics engines.

"This one-day tutorial continues the 10-year tradition of the Math for Programmers and Physics for Programmers tutorials by bringing together some of the best presenters in gaming physics. Over the course of a day they will get programmers up to speed in the latest techniques and deepen their knowledge in the topic of physical simulation."

More information, including panel times and availability, can be seen on BlizzPlanet's writeup of the announcement. This is basically total nerd talk -- it's very unlikely that we'll have any new WoW-related info from these panels, unlike Kaplan's keynote, but anything is possible. We'll keep you posted.

Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews

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