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GDC 2012 Reveals Plants Vs. Zombies, Naughty Dog, Saints Row Sessions

GDC 2012 organizers have revealed a tranche of new talks for March's show, including George Fan on the accessibility of the seminal Plants Vs. Zombies, Naughty Dog's approach to ensuring quality releases, and the over-the-top art direction for Volition's Saints Row: The Third.

The upcoming conference will take place Monday, March 5 through Friday, March 9 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and the Main Conference (March 7th-9th) offers six tracks covering key disciplines in the games industry, including Audio, Business, Marketing & Management, Game Design, Production, Programming, and Visual Arts.

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

- In the Game Design track, PopCap senior game designer and Plants Vs. Zombies creator George Fan will present a rare talk breaking down the essentials of appealing to hardcore and brand-new players alike.

His lecture, dubbed "How I Got My Mom to Play Through Plants vs. Zombies," will provide 10 techniques he uses to better teach game mechanics to players, drawing specific examples from PopCap's smash hit undead/floral-themed strategy game.

- Over in the conference's Production track, Naughty Dog senior game designer Benson Russell will host, "The Last 10, Going From Good To Awesome."

Here, Russell will examine how the acclaimed Uncharted studio ensures its games release as polished as possible, going over the team's approach to development schedules, the level of detail developers should shoot for, and how to make a high-quality game while still shipping on time.

- Elsewhere, in the Visual Arts track, Volition project art director Frank Marquart will host "The Art Direction of Saints Row: The Third," offering a look at the eccentric art style in the studio's most recent open-world action game.

This lecture will examine how the newest Saints Row game deviates in style from previous entries in the series, and will break down the game's seven art pillars, which helped Volition develop a cohesive, meaningful aesthetic.

In addition to the above sessions, GDC organizers last week announced sessions featuring IO Interactive on Hitman: Absolution, WB Games on maintaining the creative process, and mod developer Dan Pinchbeck on creating the acclaimed Dear Esther. Other previously revealed talks feature in-depth looks at games such as Diablo III, Jetpack Joyride, and Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.

For more information on any of these sessions, keep an eye on the official GDC 2012 website, as more details will become available in the coming weeks. 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.


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