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GDC 2011 Adds Cave Story Creator, Limbo, Crawford Talks

Organizers of GDC 2011 are highlighting a first-ever public lecture from Cave Story creator Pixel, plus talks on Playdead's acclaimed Limbo and Chris Crawford on gaming's 'days of yore'.

As the overall session list for the February/March event expands further, following the announcement of the classic postmortems series and a keynote from Nintendo's Satoru Iwata, new lectures continue to be showcased.

These new talks are part of GDC 2011's Main Conference, which takes place at the Moscone Center from Wednesday March 2nd to Friday March 4th, 2011 during the pre-eminent, San Francisco-based event.

The GDC 2011 Main Conference features discipline-specific Tracks dedicated to programming, design, art, audio, business and management, and production.

These additions to the GDC 2011 roster, highlighted for the first time here, include the following lectures:

- In his first-ever public speech and Western appearance regarding much-beloved 2D indie title Cave Story, Japanese 'dojin' game developer Daisuke 'Pixel' Amaya will discuss his creative process in making the PC freeware title that debuted in 2004.

The evocative retro-themed game -- a 2D platform adventure with genuine emotion, depth, and an intriguing story -- which took 5 years to complete, is an IGF finalist this year in its enhanced WiiWare version, and Amaya will talk about what went both right and wrong in creating a game that turned out completely unlike what he initially had in mind.

- Presenting a lecture called 'Designing Limbo's Puzzles', Playdead's lead gameplay designer Jeppe Carlsen discusses design takeaways from the most-nominated game in this year's prestigious Game Developers Choice Awards.

The talk will discuss "puzzle design principles and the creative, iterative process of going from early puzzle idea to a polished puzzle in the shipped game", including an in-editor "live, carefully commented creation of a rudimentary puzzle", and joins a second lecture from the firm's Martin Stig Andersen on 'The Environment is the Orchestra: Soundscape Composition in Limbo'.

- As part of the special lectures around the 25th GDC show, original CGDC founder and Balance Of Power creator Chris Crawford will present a session called 'In Days Of Yore', explaining how "the earliest days of computer games were times of technological swashbuckling, shoestring budgets, amateur designers, amateurish products, and wild experimentation. "

As Crawford's description explains: "Nobody knew what the hell they were doing, but everybody knew that we were creating a new medium and a new industry. Come back to the Wild West days of game design, when games were created by individuals and sold in zip-loc bags. You'll be amazed by the differences -- and stunned by the similarities."

Other notable lectures not yet highlighted include Magic: The Gathering-related designer Skaff Elias on 'What Can Video Games Learn from CCGs?', as well as Naughty Dog's John Bellomy on animating NPCs in the Uncharted franchise, and Red Storm's Richard Dansky on 'The Player-Shaped Hole: Allowing for Both Narrative and Story'.

Game Developers Conference 2011 -- the 25th iteration of the industry-leading show -- will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from February 28th to March 4th, and pre-show registration is open until February 27th. For more information on all aspects of the show, visit the official GDC 2011 website.


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