As you gear up for the 2018 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next week, remember that this year marks the return of the Vision Track - a series of mini-keynotes featuring great speakers and forward-thinking companies discussing the future of the game industry!
These talks will give you new opportunities to learn from companies or individuals who are doing amazing work outside game dev that then feeds back into game innovation. You'll also see talks from leaders in video games that will give you vibrant insight into how to take your work forward in the years ahead.
For example, NYU Game Center director Frank Lantz will deliver "This Is Your Brain On Games", a session devoted to interrogating whether there's any evidence that games are having this effect on us. Lantz will look at examples from specific games and extrapolate to a broad vision of how games might have the capacity to increase our collective intelligence.
And Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen will give a talk on "The Cell Structure: How Supercell Turned the Traditional Org-Chart Upside Down" in which he'll show you how Supercell is built on a unique culture of small and independent game development teams that are called "cells". These cells operate completely independently, one could describe them as their own independent companies inside the larger company.
Paananen will dig into the lessons he's learned as a founder, sharing his experience from building Supercell after years of leading companies that were structured like most games companies, with management owning the vision and having creative control. Supercell has released some of the most dominant mobile games in the market today, so there must be something to his method!
Also, Pixar Animation Studios' Pol Jeremias-Vila and David G Yu will be presenting a special talk on "How Real-Time Graphics Helps Pixar Make Feature Films". The session will be using examples from famous Pixar movies to illustrate the unique needs of film production and possible lessons for the game industry.
Some of the complex technical features showcased by the creators of Cars, Toy Story and the upcoming Coco include loading and run-time management of massive movie sets and complex characters, real-time subdivision surfaces, real-time effects, and how these assets are rendered using the latest hardware features.
And don't miss "You're Not Broken: Finding Your Creative Way Through Difficult Times", a fantastic talk from Skydance Interactive chief creative officer Laralyn McWilliams in which she'll provide devs with tools to recognize when you're deep in the well of darkness, and methods to help reclaim your creativity.
Drawing heavily on McWilliams' own experience making games and going through multiple rounds of cancer (she's now cancer-free on a clinical trial), this talk will explore the challenges of working in a creative field while dealing with stress, grief, and change. Don't miss it!
For more details on these and all other announced talks head over to the online GDC 2018 Session Scheduler.