My Favorite Week: 2011 Edition

GDC 2011 start on Monday, and I am even more excited than normal this year because I helped program the conference. The GDC Advisory Board invited me to join them last summer, and it’s been very interesting watching how the sausage gets made. I’m looking forward to seeing which ideas and sessions work out and which ones don’t. (If you don’t like that the “fuzzy” sessions – the rant, the microtalks, and the challenge – are scheduled during lunch, you can blame me!) It’s been an honor to be part of the process – I am as much a GDC junkie as ever.

I’m taking part in one talk this year, a panel on strategy gaming, for which I hand-picked the members. Hope to see you there!

Strategy Games: The Next Move

SPEAKER/S: Tom Chick (Quarter to Three)Ian Fischer (Robot Entertainment)Soren Johnson (EA2D)Dustin Browder (Blizzard Entertainment) and Jon Shafer (Stardock)

DAY / TIME / LOCATION: Friday 11:00-12:00 Room 134, North Hall
TRACK / FORMAT: Game Design / Panel

DESCRIPTION: Strategy games have one of the longest traditions within the industry, including two of last year’s biggest games, STARCRAFT II AND CIVILIZATION V. In what direction is the genre heading? What are some of most important, and possibly overlooked, gameplay innovations of the last few years? How has the growth on online, persistent play affected the way strategy games are developed? Has the rapidly expanding mainstream audience changed how strategy games are targeted, or is the genre at risk of turning into a ghetto? As the market moves towards free-to-play, micro-transaction-based gaming, how will strategy gaming adapt while maintaining fairness of play? Is there still room for traditional, boxed strategy games?

TAKEAWAY: Several experienced strategy developers will share their own perspectives on the future of the genre, offering insights on both game design and the challenges facing the genre in the coming years.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Although primary of interest to strategy game developers, the session will also be relevant to anyone interested in how a game genre evolves and reinvents itself in the face of a changing market.

3 thoughts on “My Favorite Week: 2011 Edition

  1. see this is competing with that maniac mansion postmortem and I loved that game. this whole week is about difficult decisions. what is a girl to do.

  2. Soren, did you manage to see by what kind of voodoo the organizers set up the the schedules in such frustratingly awesome ways? It’s always so hard for me to choose which talks to see, but it must be harder for an organizer who has to resist the temptation to shape the schedule in twisted, selfish ways, hehe.

    It’s great to see Tom Chick on the speaker list. I don’t recall seeing his name there the first time I looked at the session info, but that might’ve been an oversight.

  3. Your session was fantastic, one of my favorites this year. I wish I’d managed to catch you afterwards. I’ve made a prototype of a game that is very much along the lines of what you said about a very asymmetrical game where different players join as different modes.

    Thanks again for the great session!

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