Austin GDC was yet another well-run GDC event taking place in... hey look at that, Austin Texas! Like last year, it was held in the spacious convention
center downtown, which is within easy walking distance of the famous 6th Street and tons of bars, resteraunts and clubs. So you know the game developers
were out partying until all hours of the night, every night. The weather was absolutely great - Austin can still be pretty steamy this time of year but a bout of rain swept through that ended
literally the day people started arriving and temps stayed in the low 80's during the day, mid 70's during the night. Considering people were mainly inside all day, venturing outside mainly for
lunch, we all got to enjoy some great weather as the sun went down and the parties began.
The conference was smaller than last year, although that didn't really affect the overall quality at all. Sessions were still very top-notch almost across the board from what John and I attended,
and although the Expo was tiny, it was at least densly packed enough to "appear" really busy at times. But then at times it was still as dead as the huge main GDC Expo floor earlier this year in San
Francisco. Yes, the economy is still biting people hard, but it was nice to see that everyone who came to the event was still stoked about the games industry moving forward with all speed. There
hasn't been any sort of post-conference press release yet delivering attendance numbers or anything like that, and some people voiced concerns that this would be the last Austin GDC - but it appeared
to me that AGDC downsized its event appropriately to account for a smaller number of attendees.
Austin GDC is scheduled to return next year, October 5-8.
Table of ContentsAGDC Twitter Stream
iPhone Games Summit Day 1
iPhone Games Summit Day 2
Conference Sessions/Keynotes @gdevnet
during the conference. To save you from a wall of text, it's been formatted into seperate lectures, and at the bottom is all the retweets from people also covering sessions via twitter.
iPhone Games Summit
Postmortem: The Design & Business Behind Fantastic Contraption
How To Operate Your Indie Game Business - For Fun And Profit!
Effective Marketing For Indie Game Developers
The Rise of Premium Flash Games
The Blurst of Times: How to Make a (Shader-Heavy, Physics-Based, 3D) Game in 8-Weeks
Beyond the Finish Line of Shipping an Indie Game
And Yet It Moves: From Student Prototype To Published Indie Game
Making an XBLA Game in 6 Months: A Splosion Man Postmortem
The Universe of World of Warcraft
Resumes, Cover Letters and Websites
Developing in the Cloud
Randomness: The Danger and Value of Chance Elements in Game Design
Where Agile Falls Apart
http://www.gamespress.com/http://www.lostgarden.com/http://www.pivotaltracker.com/Steve recommends the book "A Whack on the Side of theHead" by Roger von Oech for creative ideasFlashbang on technology: Unity. Flash. Mac OS. The endFlashbang, BTW, will also have their presentation slides online soon - http://www.flashbangstudios...ChrisA9
Registration bounce rate when asked birthdate = 40%. When changed to "How Old Are You?" bounce rate = 10%.RT @SnappyTouch Indie business tip #1: Develop something that becomes a hobby for the player, not a consumable game like fast food.RT @SnappyTouch My GDC Austin 09 slides are up: Squeezing Every Drop Of Performance Out Of The iPhone http://bit.ly/JjOGmRT @bengarney Post on integrating google spreadsheet with your game for tweaking: http://tr.im/z8id - saved us majorhassle!RT @jradoff Here is my presentation for #agdc on the Blurring Lines Between Casual and Hardcore Games: http://bit.ly/Co7zSRT @bengarney Video of my Austin GDC talk, "Developing in the Cloud" http://bit.ly/cQvYF - w/ 12 bonus slides basedon Q's I got at the showFrom AAA to indie: Tiger Style and the making of Spider
Pangea's Road To Success: Launching and Marketing an iPhone app
Bringing Games to the iPhone: A Business Approach
The Goldilocks Conundrum – Steering A Middle Path Through Apple's Orchard
Viral Marketing and Propagation on iPhone, YouTube, and Facebook Tips for Success as an Indie iPhone Developer
Squeezing Every Drop of Performance Out Of The iPhone
iPort: How to Bring any C++ Game to the iPhone The Universe Behind World of Warcraft Keynote
Next Phase of Casual Games: How to Make the Free-to-Play Model Work for You
Building Browser-based MMOG's: Challenges and Solutions
A New Social Era for Games: How your friends are changing the way the world plays games
The Universe Behind World of Warcraft KeynoteFrank Pearce (Co-Founder & Executive Vice President of Product Development, Blizzard Entertainment), J. Allen Brack (Production Director, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.)
WoW started with the Warcraft franchise that started in 1994 with Warcraft and 1995 with Warcraft 2. Warcraft 3 brought about the "yellow exclamation point" that's become a cornerstone of WoW.
The original project that became WoW started out as a squad-based RPG called "Nomad". Meanwhile they were playing Ultima Online and Everquest. They decided that if they were going to restart the
project, it'd be an MMO based on the Warcraft universe, so Nomad was set aside and WoW was born.
They try to keep teams around 5-8 people, but they routinely break that rule. The Engineering team is broken into five sub-teams, Engine, Gameplay, Tools, Server, and UI.
The art team is divided into characters, environment, dungeons, props, and animation. They have a dedicated "technical art team" that builds tools as well as maintains things like the correctness
of the meshes and such.
The creative teams do not report to producers. The creative team reports to other members of the creative team. The producers ultimately aren't the "boss" of the creative team. Over the course of
the project, the producers have tracked over 33,000 tasks.
As for design, there's a team that takes care of everything from "trash spawning" to the quests for players and guild leveling system. The "zones" are all built by hand and aren't built
procedurally. The design team consists of 37 people , creating over 70,000 spells and 30,000 NPC's.
The Cinematics department (123 people) takes care of all of the pre-rendered cinematic sequences. They also build the teasers, promotional trailers and machinima sequences.
The in-house sound department takes care of sound effects, music, and voice casting/recording. WoW currently has 27 hours of music, and that grows with every patch. About half of the size of most
patches are sounds.
Original WoW shipped with 2600 quests. Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expanded the number of total quests to 7650. The QA team is 218 people who are needed to play through all of
these. They currently track about 180,000 bugs in the system (most are fixed).
Localization is handled in-house, and the game's localized into ten languages. There are no "partial" localizations. Localizations are not taken lightly, as each new language is a huge task. Each
localization requires translating over 300,000 phrases.
Every patch must be multiplied by ten because there are ten languages (English, German, French, European Spanish, Russian, Latin Am Spanish, Koream, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and
European English). And all those patches must be tested to work with all previous patches. Ultimately each patch ends up becoming 126 targets.
There are 13,250 total server blades and 75,000 total CPU cores and 112.5 terabytes of RAM running the servers. Data Centers include Washington, California, Texas, Massachusetts, France, Germany,
Sweden, Seoul, China, and Taiwan. The server staff worldwide is 68 people.
International offices are in France, Ireland, Korea, Taiwan, and China. China and Taiwan work through partner companies who handle most of the