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GDC 2010 Adds Civilization V, Hecker, Harmonix Talks

As the Game Developers Conference 2010 pre-show registration deadline approaches, organizers have confirmed talks from Spore's Chris Hecker and The Beatles: Rock Band's UI director, as well as a premiere of Civilization V's engine tech.
The near-final additions are helping to round out the March 9-13 event at San Francisco's Moscone Center, which includes two days of summits -- spanning iPhone, indie, social games and more -- and three days of main conference content.
In particular, the freshly highlighted lectures for the show (organized by this website's parent company) include the following notable talks:
- Presenting a lecture called "Achievements Considered Harmful?", former EA fellow (Spore) and current Spy Party developer Chris Hecker tackles an intriguing angle on a major trend: "Achievements, awards, and rewards are ubiquitous in games these days... Unfortunately, more than 50 years of psychology research seems to indicate achievements may be doing subtle but irreparable harm to players and their feelings about playing games."
- In the sponsored lecture "Firaxis' Civilization V: A Case Study in Scalable Game Performance", Firaxis, 2K Games, and Intel "present the world premiere game engine and technology sneak peek of Civilization V, launching this fall." Along the way, according to the talk, "you'll learn how Firaxis developers have used the newly released GPA 3.0 PC platform tools and Threading Building Blocks to offer Civ V playability on myriad systems."

- "The Art of Interface Design at Harmonix Music Systems" is a talk by Harmonix's Kevin McGinnis discussing "an evolution over the years of how the company develops their user interfaces." The description explains: "Using games in their catalogue like Rock Band and The Beatles: Rock Band, a detailed visual thread of preproduction style boards, UI animation mockups, and tool development will be shown in describing their process."
- Finally, in "Guild Wars: The Artists' Vision", NCsoft West's chief art director Daniel Dociu will "explore the role of concept art in the game development process." Referencing art from the award-winning online game franchise, the presentation "will focus on the practical aspects of integrating concept art into game development, such as building an art team, working with game developers, and how art goes from concept to technical implementation."
Other recently confirmed GDC 2010 talks include Blizzard design, Shadow Complex and PS3 Motion Controller lectures, plus notable talks 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 more than 400 lectures for the event. Regular discounted online registration for GDC 2010 is only available until Thursday, March 4 at 1pm PT.


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