Photo courtesy of the Game Developers Conference® Europe

GaIn got to meet interesting game professionals again, as we landed to Cologne, Germany last week. At Cologne we got another glance of game industry approaches to innovation and game development this time @ Game Developers Conference Europe. At the conference site we continued our data collection and were able to record yet again interesting views on the subject matter. We now have a total of 25 interviews and more scheduled to be conducted by phone. Happily the data seems to saturate.

The themes of recession followed to the conference speeches again, especially on the first day of the conference. Examples of these were Bostjan Trohas speech “Surviving Project Cancellation in the Economic Downturn” and “Top Trends in Casual Games” panel led by Ariella Lehrer, which turned out to be about scenarios that casual game companies are facing these days.

Perhaps on Tuesday and Wednesday people were more relaxed due to nice parties on Monday (Gameforge) and Tuesday (Crytek). Interesting views on design, innovation and game developing processes were expressed on several speeches. We also got a glimpse on upcoming Remedy title Alan Wake, as Matias Myllyrinne was sharing his views on developing entertainment to gamers.

Couple of interesting GDCE09 speeches:

  • Generally on design and development processes:
  • “Design, Constraints and Integrity” by Dino Dini
  • “Outsourcing & Distributed Development: Smarter, Better, Faster Way to Develop Games” panel led by Alexander Fernandez (panellists including Olya Nikitova, Rajesh Rao, Jason Manley and Charles Speyer)
  • “Creating Visual Identity for Games” by Viktor Antonov
  • About the changing audiences:
  • “Designing for New Audiences” by Don Daglow
  • “Writing Interactive Narrative for a Mature Audience” by David Cage
  • “Designing Women” panel led by Margaret Wallace (panellists including: Tracy Fullerton, Sheri Graner Ray, Kellee Santiago and Cynthia Woll)
  • Processes and philosophies of specific titles:
  • “FLOWER: Design Postmortem” by Kellee Santiago
  • “From Max Payne to Alan Wake: Creating Intellectual Properties the Remedy Way” by Matias Myllyrinne

We will be covering couple of these presentations in more details in the following posts.

Game Developers Conference Europe drew over 1500 participants this year. And the trade fair gamescom following the GDCE09 almost quarter of a million (245 000) visitors.

Yet again we also took a look at the broader spectrum of the city as we started our trip by visiting Cologne Museum of Applied Arts on Sunday. The exhibition “Design Meets Arts” presented nice collection of furniture and objects of different era of industrial design. Worth to mention is also the architecture of Cologne that manifested the obvious impact of the Bauhaus school. The strong and impressive form of modernism goes surprisingly well together with the famous Kölner Dom.