More lectures!

I just came back from Mundos Digitales 2006 in La Coruña, where I gave a lecture on Game Design. It was a blast! Lots of interesting presentations, great people from the animation and computer graphics industry, and a whole load of fun partying at night.

Next week I’ll be flying to the north of Spain again. The GameLab group at the Universidad de Oviedo has invited me to give a similar lecture. This one is aimed at explaining the dynamics of game design to programmers. Half of a team’s output depends on a proper, confident and fluent interaction between the different disciplines, and I usually find designers and programmers to have the biggest problems talking to each other.

Hopefully, these two lectures will help spread the knowledge and understanding of what Game Design is.

During Mundos Digitales, I had a very interesting talk with Marco Besas, one of the finalists for Best Animated Short (and quite a character). Among other things, he mentioned how great it was, after hearing my lecture, to see that we had figured how to structure the production and development of games, in stark contrast with the chaos that is so common in filmmaking. You can imagine my surprise! Game developers usually refer to films when we talk about a mature industry that knows what it’s doing… We went on exchanging anecdotes during my games and his films, and I think we both learned that the grass is not THAT greener on the other side. 🙂

Edit: Lecture slides can be downloaded here.

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Slides and Cars

I posted the slides (in Spanish) for the design lectures I gave this month. Hope both designers and programmers find them useful.

I also went to watch Cars from Pixar, and was once again surprised at the ways these guys can twist stories, objects and characters. The plot itself is very predictable and derivative, but there are lots of genuinely funny moments. Technically, rendering is very detailed and the camera and animation are once again brilliant.

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Episodic content

Mark Rein’s dismissal of episodic content as a "broken model".

He mentions marketability, user interest, price and other things that have come up in this thread. Can’t wait for the full writeup. Although I can’t avoid a certain level of agreement with him, it does seem to me that he’s talking as if the whole distribution and publishing model is not going to change at all.

+ Yes, in the current retail, console manufacturer-controled, extremely competitive market, boxed episodic content can’t work.

– No, the market is evolving and changing (thanks in no small part to downloadables), and the future will likely be more friendly to episodic content, making it a viable model.

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