As Game Developers Conference 2010's online pre-registration nears its end, GDC organizers are highlighting talks on Borderlands, Mass Effect 2, and Unreal Engine 3's iPhone port, among others.
The conference, taking place from March 9th-13th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, is closing its discounted pre-show registration at 1pm PT on Thursday, March 4th.
With nine notable Summits - spanning iPhone, social/online gaming, indie, GamesBeat@GDC and beyond -- and multiple tutorials on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th, followed by three days of Main Conference content from Thursday 11th through Saturday 13th, there are now more than 450 sessions in total.
The final set of highlighted sessions, including recently announced lectures and relatively unpublicized talks, include the following notables:
- In 'Where Did My Inventory Go? Refining Gameplay in Mass Effect 2', BioWare's lead gameplay designer Christina Norman "will discuss how a small vision shift lead to radical design changes in Mass Effect 2â€™s combat gameplay and RPG systems. Lessons learned will be presented, including the challenge of communicating gameplay changes to the existing player community."
- The audio track now includes a Rock Band Network postmortem, with Harmonix's Matthew Nordhaus and Caleb Epps discussing the creation of the still-in-Beta system which allows any musician to record and then sell their music in the Rock Band franchise, thanks to a complex user-created content pipeline.
- In the amusingly named 'Borderlands and the 11th Hour Art Style Change. Or: Kids, Donâ€™t Try this at Home!', Gearbox's Randy Pitchford and Brian Martel will discuss, regarding the 'first successful shooter-looter', why "the company made the decision to change the art style of the game... not in the concept phase, not in preproduction, not at the midpoint, but three quarters of the way through development" -- and how the change was marshaled through.
- An iPhone Games Summit lecture called 'Bringing UE3 to Apple's iPhone Platform' sees Epic Games' Josh Adams discussing "the methods Epic used to bring a large-scale game engine over to a mobile device in only a few months time. Important points include what we had to change in Unreal Engine 3 to target the iPhone, what we were able to leverage directly, and what features we cut to overcome limitations of the hardware."
- Several signature GDC microlecture and rant sessions round off this year's show, including Uncharted 2's Richard Lemarchand leading the second GDC Microtalks session, with CMU's Jesse Schell and Denki's Gary Penn; The Indie Game Maker Rant at the Indie Games Summit, including Captain Forever's Jarrad Woods and Thatgamecompany's Robin Hunicke; and the Game Design Challenge, this year including Portal's Kim Swift and Flower's Jenova Chen and focusing on 'real-life permadeath'.
Other recently confirmed GDC 2010 talks include Civilization V and Chris Hecker lectures, plus Blizzard design, Shadow Complex and PS3 Motion Controller talks. Other notable talks have been announced on Deus Ex 3's "cyberpunk renaissance" look, Silent Hill producer Akira Yamaoka's ethos, and Batman: Arkham Asylum's art direction. Organizers also detailed a talk by Metroid creator Yoshio Sakamoto, confirmations of Peter Molyneux and Pixar lectures, and a keynote from game design legend Sid Meier (Civilization).
More information about GDC 2010 is available on the official Game Developers Conference weblog, and the GDC Schedule Builder has a complete list of lectures for the event. Regular discounted online registration for GDC 2010 is only available until Thursday, March 4 at 1pm PT.