GDC2013Header.jpg Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) is the world’s largest and longest-running gaming professionals industry event. The conference contains 400 lectures, panels, tutorials and round-table discussions on a comprehensive selection of game development topics taught by leading industry experts. GDC 2013 begins March 25th and lasts March 29th.

This year, SimCity (2013) will featured in various panels. The summaries of these can be found below. We would like to ask, is there any elements or details of these sessions that you would be interested in getting more information about? How about any questions that you would like answered? Let us know in the comments: we will be attending these sessions, and can help gather the answers you seek! 

Building SimCity: Art in the Service of Simulation

Highdensity residential
The art in SimCity has a big job to do. It's providing the player with a toolkit for city creation, it's enabling the illusion of a living city, and it's showing the player what's going on in the underlying simulation. In this session, Ocean will go over the motivations that drove SimCity's aesthetics and the methods that were developed to achieve them. He'll describe the techniques that were used to make SimCity's dynamically composable world, and the techniques that were used for authoring the buildings, vehicles, networks, and Sims that populate it. Attendees should come away with an overview of the techniques we used for creating the different bits of content that make up SimCity, and an overview of how SimCity's art works within aesthetic, technical, and UI constraints.

Exploring SimCity: A Conscious Process of Discovery

At their core, Maxis games are tools that let players delight in their own discoveries of how a system works. As developers of sandbox-style games, we have the unique challenge of simultaneously creating an underlying system and then discovering the fun hidden inside, before we can package it up and present it to players. In this session, Dan will outline a methodology for building sandbox games, giving specific examples from SimCity's simulation, player tools, and feedback mechanisms. He'll also outline advantages and drawbacks to this type of "discovery-based" methodology. Attendees will come away with practical strategies and ideas for more efficient and discovery-based game development, as well as an overview of specific gameplay systems that make up SimCity, and how those systems developed over the length of the project.

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