GDC 2017 Flash Forward Series Introduces Major Panels, Including Oregon Trail Postmortem

Scheduled for February 27th through March 3rd, this year's GDC is set to be a huge event that will not only showcase hundreds of upcoming games, but also provide a platform for developers to share their experience and knowledge regarding game development with the world.

GDC is particularly known for its panels, and this year it will host dozens of them. Similar to last year, GDC has delivered a Flash Forward series which serves as an introduction to several of these panels in video form.

Below are just four of the panels that will be at the show along with a description and video.

Classic Game Postmortem: 'Oregon Trail'

'Oregon Trail' began as a mainframe-based game invented by three prospective teachers in Minnesota. Due to its simulation of historical events, its early use of putting the player into a story, and its unique game model for the time, 'Oregon Trail' became a classroom favorite, first in Minnesota, and then nationwide in the U.S. and beyond as it was converted to the initial generation of personal computers and enhanced over time. Don Rawitsch will discuss the serendipitous invention of the game, its simulation model, how it maintained popularity for a period of over 20 years, and its influence on other educational software. In 2016, 'Oregon Trail' became the first educational game inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame of the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY.

Force and Fire: Making Your Game More Metal

Metal is energy. Heavy metal can inspire game narratives and carry them on black wings to towering heights, soaring far above mere genre or soundtracks. Unleash metal's black soul into your narrative design, inspiring cryptic incantations, doom-soaked art direction, Gothic world building, and brutal yet elegant game mechanics. Mine the musical dungeons and lyrical lairs of metal for jewels of visual art and ore for world-building. Forge these worlds in metal's crucible, and they will spawn gripping tales of creation out of chaos, rebellion against the false gods of conformity, and apocalyptic negation of any force that chains imagination.

Unscoring the World of 'Kenshi'

Traditionally, game audio has served a role of enhancing the heroism of the player, but what do you do when a game treats them like a regular NPC in the world? When your primary goal is surviving in a harsh land and barely hanging on each night, stereotypical player heroics seem like a distant dream. In this talk you'll hear from the creator and audio designer of the hit indie game, 'Kenshi', as they share the details behind crafting the music and sound for a gritty, unforgiving, and indifferent world. You'll learn about their unique approach to creating appropriate audio for 'Kenshi' and how they designed the systems. Throughout the event they'll highlight specific talking points and demonstrate their audio system in Wwise.

'Bound': Emotions Through Ballet and Modern Art

This session will showcase an iterative process of creating the game, where only 10% of original design doc was implemented in the final product. The talk will focus on the moments when ballerina character and procedural generation of the world were implemented and the outcome of those decisions on the final emotional story presented in the game.

GameRevolution will be on location at this year's GDC. Stay tuned for coverage of the event.