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GDC 2012 Debuts Hitman: Absolution, WB Games, Dear Esther Sessions

GDC 2012 has announced its second batch of lectures for the upcoming San Francisco show, featuring an examination of the crowd system in Hitman: Absolution, WB Games Seattle on maintaining the creative process, and mod creator Dan Pinchbeck on finding indie success.

The upcoming conference will take place Monday, March 5 through Friday, March 9 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and will offer seven tracks covering key disciplines in the games industry, including Audio, Business, Marketing & Management, Game Design, Production, Programming, and Visual Arts, with a sponsored track on Monetization.

The following lectures are the newest additions to GDC 2012's Main Conference:

- In the Programming track, Kasper Fauerby of IO Interactive will explain how the studio designed and implemented Hitman: Absolution's crowd system.

In the aptly named "Crowds in Hitman: Absolution," Fauerby will discuss the system's design and implementation, giving attendees some insight into the benefits and complexities involved in creating believable and dynamic virtual crowds.

- Elsewhere, in the Production and Business, Marketing & Management tracks, WB Games VP and general manger Laura Fryer will host "Kinematics and Other Techniques for Managing the Creative Process."

Here, Fryer will explore the best ways to balance creative freedom with the business necessities of game development, using examples from games such as Microsoft and Zipper's Crimson Skies, Monolith's Gotham City Impostors, and more.

- Finally, mod developer and thechineseroom creative director Dan Pinchbeck will host a lecture in the Game Design track dubbed "Dear Esther: Making an Indie Success Out of an Experimental Mod."

Reflecting on his experience working his critically acclaimed Source engine mod (supported by Indie Fund and debuting in an upgraded Portal 2 engine-powered commercial version soon), Pinchbeck will pick apart the relationship between mechanics and the game world, pondering some of the less-explored realms of game design and interactive storytelling.

Last week, show organizers revealed sessions covering art direction in Diablo III, the design process of Halfbrick's Jetpack Joyride, and a a look at the animation of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. These lectures mark just the beginning of GDC 2012's robust lineup, so stay tuned for even more announcements in the coming weeks.

For more information on any of these sessions, keep an eye on the official GDC 2012 website, as more details will become available soon. To ensure you receive the latest news about GDC 2012 as the event takes shape, please subscribe to updates from the GDC news page via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. GDC is owned and operated by UBM TechWeb.


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