I will be attending Boston Gameloop on August 18th. As is the case with “unconferences”, I don’t know whether I will be speaking — or about what, if I do. I certainly am looking forward to theÂ camaraderieÂ and inspiration from everyone there, though!
After taking a year off from the annual Game Developers Conference Online in Austin, Dave is once again speaking this October. This year’s lecture is, as with his 2010 lecture, a game design lecture rather than one on artificial intelligence. Here is the title and description as submitted to GDC…
Psychology vs. Structure:Â The Power of Numbers in Game Design
Numbers, visible or not, are often at the core of game design. They are the expression of the designerâ€™s vision of â€śhow the world works.â€ť There are considerations that go beyond simply balancing an equation, however. Through the selection of numbers such as scores, abilities, damage ranges, and even prices, we are often crafting what a player perceives, believes, and even feels. Through extensive use of (often amusing) examples, this lecture will demonstrate what our numbers may be conveying and explore ways that we can leverage the psychology of numbers to build more engaging games.
Attendees will see concrete examples of how perception, belief, and emotion can be swayed or even manipulated by numbers selection as well as given ideas about how to apply these techniques in their own game designs.
While the lecture is intended primarily for game designers of all experience levels, it will be informative and beneficial to all disciplines including programming, production, art, and executive (e.g. setting prices!).
GDC Online is October 9-11 in Austin, TX. Hope to see you there!
On Friday, December 16th, 2011, I will be participating in an event, The Kill Screen Dialogs at the New Museum in New York City. I will be part of aÂ triptychÂ of 2-person panels on games and art.
The event is in conjunction withÂ Rhizome.org as part of their New Silent series presenting “contemporary art engaged with new technology.“Â Rhizome itself isÂ ”dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology.”
Specifically, the Kill Screen Dialogs event is organized with the help of Jamin Warren, co-founder and president of Kill Screen Media (who wrote an interview/article on me in their pilot “Issue 0″).Â I want to thank Jamin for inviting me to be part of this event. I am truly honored.
From the event page:
When are games more than games? When they are communicating with others?
Although videogames are bigger than ever, they are often perceived as cultural silos and not in conversation with other art forms or cultures. In conjunction with videogame arts and culture company Kill Screen, Rhizome invites you to an evening of conversations between game designers and new media artists. Divided into three mini-conversations, the talks will explore three areas: artificial intelligence, with Dave Mark and Mary Flanagan; the feeling of digital objects, with Tabor Robak and Katherine Isbister; and games as space, with Casey Reas and Andy Nealen.
I am excited to be paired up with Mary Flanagan for this as we discuss the role of AI in art and games (and “art games”, I suppose). Mary has done some interesting, thought-provoking work as an artist and game developer, and as a writer.
I urge those of you in the New York area to join us. Tickets are only $8 ($6 for New Museum members). I am sure it will be interesting, educational, and inspiring!
I will be presenting a 1-hour lecture on artificial intelligence in games at the Lockheed Martin facility in Burlington, MA outside of Boston. The presentation, “Beyond State Machines: AI Doesn’t Have to be Robotic”, is based on a combination of lectures that I have presented at GDC and GameX in the past year.
Thanks to long-time game AI developer, colleague, tech editor, and good friend, Kevin Dill, for inviting me to speak. (Actually it was more along the lines of “you’re coming to Boston? You’re speaking at Lockheed.”)
On a related note, I’m looking forward to meeting with a number of companies in the Boston area, and especially being able to spend some time with a portion of the veritable cornucopia of excellent AI devs in the area.
I will be speaking at the 2010 GDC Online conference in Austin again this year. GDC Online is October 5th – 8th at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX.
Here is the tentative description of his session proposal as accepted by the GDC Online Advisory Board:
Many areas of game design and programming benefit from very simple premises found in the 50-year old discipline of game theory. When games go awry, it is often due to not applying one or more of these ideas. Online competitive games in particular are prone to tipping precariously out of balance. By comparing staple online games such as World of Warcraft, Team Fortress 2, and Starcraft to classic game theory examples such as Rock-Paper-Scissors and Prisonerâ€™s Dilemma, this lecture offers practical tips on how game theory methodologies can be used to craft well-balanced gamesâ€”and potentially avert disaster!
The attendee will see some of the classic example problems of game theory in action, how their concepts can be applied to the design of online competitive games, and how those applications can create richer gameplay.
This will be my second appearance at GDC Online (formerly GDC Austin) and my 4th overall participation at GDC events. My 2009 GDC Austin lecture,Â ”Cover Me! Promoting MMO Player Interaction through Advanced AI” garnered a attendee rating of 4.9 (out of 5) compared to the conference average of 4.29. This included a 4.9 score on the item, “Would you recommend this session to a colleague?”
My thanks to the GDC Online advisory board and the wonderful conference staff, Jen Steele and Kara Foley, for the opportunity once again. A special nod to board member Raph Koster whose excellent “Games Are Math” session from last year gave me a reminder of Â how relevant this topic is.
Hope to see you all there!
(To download lecture slides from any of my past conference lectures, visit our “media” page.)