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GDC '07: Day One

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I'm sat in the press lounge. I've had a muffin. I have about an hour until I have to leave for my session, "Casual Games Summit 101." It's a day-long tutorial thing that breaks down into smaller lectures:

  • What is a casual game? Figures that the day starts by discussing a definition of what we're spending the rest of the day talking about.

  • Design principles for casual games. Sounds like it should be good - covers good approaches, bad approaches, discusses how to integrate the try/buy model, etc.

  • Art direction for casual games. I'm expecting this one to resonate a bit with the style advice that we got from the Kyles at the Experimental Gameplay session last year - lots of feedback, cute and bouncy is good, etc.

  • Bookworm Adventures postmortem. True postmortems - that is, postmortems where you're not afraid to piss people off - are very good things. Hopefully this will be one of those, and not another "the team was great, the publisher interfered, we needed more time" template ones. At the very least they promise some deleted scenes.

  • Casual game technology face off. The people behind things like Flash, PopCap Framework, Torque Game Builder, and other 'casual' techs come and sell their own tech to the audience. In particular, they've all been given the same set of art assets and game design and been asked to build a demo on their tech, that they'll show off. Should be a really good way to compare how they stand up in a realistic situation.

  • Business models on parade. A catalog of the methods people have used, and comparisons between them. Sounds good.

  • Publishers? Hot seat. The title of this one mystifies me, but the description says that it's basically a Q&A session (publisher portfolio managers taking the 'hot seat,' hence the title).

  • So you want to start a casual game company. A discussion of the climate for startups, how it's changed over the past few years, and pointing out the niches so that they won't be niches for very much longer.

After that I'll be heading to the reception (a.k.a. party without music) to schmooze the casual games industry's leading lights. Being as charming and charismatic as I am, that shouldn't be a problem.
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Bookworm Adventures fucking rocks out. Hard.

Good luck dealing with the games press without losing the top of your head. I damn near spit bile onto a copy of EGM that was deriding the IGF as hoping they'd someday get real jobs in the games industry. [rolleyes]

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