GDC 2015 Moscone: Blizzard Entertainment Schedule

Several Blizzard Entertainment developers are currently converging at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in the Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco. Below you can browse through the schedule and what game they will focus on during the panels, which range from Diablo III, StarCraft II, Hearthstone and World of Warcraft. Additional topics focus on Women in eSports and Blizzard Careers.

Check out the GDC 2015 Moscone: Blizzard Entertainment Schedule:

Art Direction Bootcamp : 7 Habits of Highly Effective Art Directors

Ben Thompson | Art Director, Blizzard Entertainment

 

Location: Room 303, South Hall
Date: Monday, March 2
Time: 10:30am – 11:00am
Format: Tutorials & Bootcamps
Track: Visual Arts

 

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits, Tutorials & Bootcamps Pass Get your pass now!
Vault Recording: Video

 

This talk will provide 7 guiding principles that better define the role of the Art Director. These points will help both current Art Directors and those who work with them to define a set of best practices and foster the creativity needed to establish a game in it’s early days. I will discuss how these points intentionally or un-intentionally guided my experiences as the AD on Hearthstone.

 

Intended Audience

This talk will be applicable to not only Art Directors but any and all who have regular interactions with them. By the end it is my hope that the attendee will leave with a set of tools that might work for them on their own teams, in addition to a better understanding as to how and why their own AD may do the things they do. (source)

 

Physics for Game Programmers : Numerical Methods

Erin Catto | Principal Software Engineer, Blizzard Entertainment

 

Location: Room 304, South Hall
Date: Tuesday, March 3
Time: 10:00am – 11:00am
Format: Tutorials & Bootcamps
Track: Programming

 

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits, Tutorials & Bootcamps Pass Get your pass now!
Vault Recording: Video

 

Takeaway

Attendees will learn fundamental elements and practical considerations for using collision detection and physics simulation in games.

 

Intended Audience

Programmers of all disciplines. Some basic knowledge of calculus and physics is helpful. (source)

 

StarCraft II and GameHeart: Evolving eSports Interfaces with Modders

Philip Tan | Research Scientist, MIT Game Lab
Ryan Schutter | Developer, Blizzard Entertainment

 

Location: Room 305, South Hall
Date: Tuesday, March 3
Time: 11:50am – 12:15pm
Format: Session
Track: eSports Summit

 

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits, Tutorials & Bootcamps Pass Get your pass now!
Vault Recording: Video
Audience Level: All

 

In two years, the GameHeart project changed expectations for audiences of StarCraft II by Blizzard Entertainment, becoming the standard for tournaments around the world. The presenters will detail how a game company, a community modding group, tournament managers, and a university research lab worked together to rapidly iterate on the observer experience of an eSport. The presenters will retrace the experiences and best practices in the project, examining how communication between game developers, content-creating fans, and tournament organizers can push further experimentation with the live presentation of competitive digital games. The session concludes with Q&A and discussion between the speakers.

 

Takeaway

Attendees will better understand the responsibilities and opportunities for game developers, publishers, tournament organizers, players, content creators, broadcasters and streamers to create an iterative loop that allows an eSport to respond dynamically to the changing needs of a simultaneously maturing and broadening audience. (source)

 

Growing the Participation of Women in eSports

Lil Chen | Designer, TED
Kim Phan | Senior Manager of eSports, Blizzard Entertainment
Heather SapphiRe Mumm | Managing Editor & Professional Gamer, ESEA.net
Rachel Seltzer Quirico | Esports Host/ Interviewer, Cyber Solutions Agency

 

Location: Room 305, South Hall
Date: Tuesday, March 3
Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Format: Session
Track: eSports Summit

 

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits, Tutorials & Bootcamps Pass Get your pass now!
Vault Recording: Video
Audience Level: All

 

Why aren’t there more women in eSports, and what can we do to change that? Super Smash Bros. former competitor and active community member Lil Chen (TED, The New Meta) leads Kim Phan (Blizzard), Rachel “Seltzer” Quirico (Frag Dolls), and Heather “sapphiRe” Mumm (ESEA.net) in a panel discussion sharing their experiences as women professionals in eSports, enumerating the challenges women face in the industry, and exploring tactics for encouraging women to engage in eSports as fans, players, and professionals.

 

Takeaway

Attendees will come away with an understanding of the obstacles women face in the eSports sector, and ideas for strategies on how to address them. What measures can we take to encourage female participation at every level of eSports? (source)

 

Hearthstone: How to Create an Immersive User Interface

Derek Sakamoto | Senior User Interface Designer, Blizzard Entertainment

 

Location: Room 3020, West Hall
Date: Wednesday, March 4
Time: 11:00am – 11:30am
Format: Session
Track: Design, Visual Arts

 

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Main Conference Pass Get your pass now!
Vault Recording: Video
Audience Level: All

 

Learn about the organization, vision and process used to create an immersive user interface for the popular card crafting game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Time permitting, team culture and cross-platform development will also be discussed.

 

Takeaway

Attendees will get an inside look at the pipeline for a AAA game. They will also learn how team culture can affect a creative environment.

 

Intended Audience

Anybody wanting to learn more about Hearthstone and the team that created it. It would be helpful to be familiar with the game, but there are no technical requirements. (source)

 

Against the Burning Hells: Diablo III’s Road to Redemption with Reaper of Souls

Joshua Mosqueira | Game Director, Blizzard Entertainment

 

Location: Room 135, North Hall
Date: Wednesday, March 4
Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Format: Session
Track: Design

 

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Main Conference Pass Get your pass now!
Vault Recording: Video
Audience Level: All

 

The road from Diablo III to Reaper of Souls was a long and difficult one for the development team. Join Diablo game director Joshua Mosqueira as he discusses the hows and whys behind the seismic shifts in gameplay, core philosophy, itemization and rewards. Learn about how the team managed to remove the controversial Auction House, about the evolution of randomness at the heart of the Diablo experience, and how the value of focusing on the fantasy guided this and other major decisions.

 

Takeaway

  • How to use pillars to focus development and help you solve problems.
  • Why randomness is a tool in the quest for re-playability, not the other way around.
  • How to understand your team’s internal design biases to ensure you are actively solving the cause of the issues and not the symptoms.
  • How and when to take big risks to makes the changes your game needs.

 

Intended Audience

Game designers and developers of all levels. (source)

 

For Students: Careers in Game Development (Presented by Blizzard)

Cat Kiengsiri | University Relations Team, Blizzard Entertainment
Janine Tedford | University Relations Team, Blizzard Entertainment
Stephanie Preovolos | University Relations Team, Blizzard Entertainment
Mike Perry | University Relations Team, Blizzard Entertainment

 

Location: Career Center Theater, Career Center, North Hall
Date: Thursday, March 5
Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Format: Career Center Sponsored Session
Track: Career Development

 

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Audio Pass, Expo Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass, Main Conference Pass, Summits, Tutorials & Bootcamps Pass Get your pass now!
Vault Recording: Not Recorded
Audience Level: All (source)

 

Those that Slay Together A Co-op Manifesto

Kevin Martens | Lead Designer, Blizzard Entertainment

 

Location: Room 3020, West Hall
Date: Wednesday, March 4
Time: 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Format: Session
Track: Design

 

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Main Conference Pass Get your pass now!
Vault Recording: Video
Audience Level: All

 

Co-operative Play is one of the few features that can, on its own, make your game better than the sum of its parts. Join Diablo III Lead Designer Kevin Martens as he walks through 16 years of hard-learned lessons of how to make co-op work. Hear Kevin pitch the Core Values of co-op Gameplay inspired by those lessons and use all of this to apply to your own projects.

 

Takeaway

Takeaways from this talk should be both inspirational and practical, with practical being the bulk. Primarily post-mortem style, the talk will include specific lessons and step-by-step examples of how the teams did and did not overcome different challenges of making co-op work. The talk will also contain a passionate pitch on the unique value that co-op modes add to games and “New Rules/Values” that developers can use to make their co-op games better and more fun.

 

Intended Audience

Game designers, UI artists, engineers, and producers. (source)

 

Edge Detection Based Post Processing in Warlords of Draenor (Presented by Intel)

Matthew M. Williams | Senior Software Engineer, Blizzard Entertainment
John Hartwig | Software Engineer, Intel

 

Location: Room 301, South Hall
Date: Thursday, March 5
Time: 10:00am – 11:00am
Format: Sponsored Session
Track: Programming

 

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass, Main Conference Pass, Summits, Tutorials & Bootcamps Pass Get your pass now!
Vault Recording: Not Recorded
Audience Level: All

 

In this Session, we will present three new post processing techniques added to the Warlords of Draenor expansion to World of Warcraft. We will look at how we integrated Conservative Morphological Anti-Aliasing (CMAA) and the extensions required to Warcraft’s post-processing pipeline, some of the problems faced and the solutions under investigation. The session will also looks at the evolution of the Character and Quest object Outlining technique from its Diablo 3 origins to its implementation in World of Warcraft. The third technique is the sketch shader. Inspired by the opening cinematic in Diablo 3, this technique provides a real-time pen & ink on a scroll look that is used as an effective story telling device. (source)

 

Soundtracking Hell – The Music of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Russell Brower | Senior Director of Audio/Composer, Blizzard Entertainment
Derek Duke | Project Music Director & Composer, Blizzard Entertainment
Neal Acree | Freelance Cinematic Composer, Neal Acree Music
Joseph Lawrence | Supervising Sound Designer/Composer, Blizzard Entertainment

 

Location: Room 3006, West Hall
Date: Thursday, March 5
Time: 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Format: Session
Track: Audio

 

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Audio Pass, Main Conference Pass Get your pass now!
Vault Recording: Video
Audience Level: All

 

Soundtracking Hell – The Music of Diablo III panel presents in-depth discussion of the strategies and challenges for creating the distinctive score of Blizzard Entertainment’s blockbuster franchise Diablo. One of the most lavish game scores of 2013, Diablo III features music performed by a large symphony orchestra and choir and recorded at Abbey Road Studios, Windmill Lane in Europe and Segerstrom Hall in Southern California. Incorporating soloists, distinctive instruments (including the 12-string guitars that tie the music together with the original Diablo games), and broad palette of colors, the score ranges from the mysterious and brooding to the epic. The composers will discuss how they craft the music behind gameplay, utilizing orchestras, choirs and cutting-edge technology to create the game’s immersive world. They will also discuss their stylistic inspirations: the symphonic idioms of 19th and 20th century orchestral music, world music influences, modern cinematic scoring and unconventional aleatoric techniques, thus elevating game scoring to new heights and revitalizing the orchestral tradition for the future.

 

Takeaway

Through musical examples, color slides and detailed discussion, the attendees will gain a deep understanding and insight of an exemplary modern game score. In turn, they will apply this inspiration and practical knowledge of score production to their own projects.

 

Intended Audience

This panel is for anyone interested in game scoring and the aesthetic, creative, score production and collaborative challenges it presents. Novice and seasoned audio professionals will appreciate the innovative and inspired solutions in creating a complex, emotionally riveting and memorable musical experience for a top franchise. (source)

 

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet’s patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donatives will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round.

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