GDC 2018 Blizzard Entertainment Panels

The Game Developers Conference (GDC 2018) will take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco through March 21-23. Several Blizzard Entertainment developers are scheduled to speak at various panels.

The Blizzard Entertainment booth will be located at the North Hall by the Business Center at BMR5232. Check out the Moscone Center Map for the North Hall and South Hall. Use the + and – symbols to zoom in/out. The Blizzard Booth is set as Yellow in the map. Easy to find.

Read the schedule below.

Animation Bootcamp: Animation Leadership: Teaching Your Team to Fish
Speaker: Nick Chilano (Lead Animator)

With 12 years in development at Blizzard and 6 years as an Animation Lead, Nick Chilano felt that capturing what makes animating for Blizzard, specifically the ‘Diablo’ franchise, unique and challenging. Keeping a team small when creating hundreds of monster animations, multiple hero animations, and being able to lead a team responsibly means creating pillars and philosophies a team can rally behind and believe in. Nick will share with how he captured Blizzard’s process, how it is applied, and the results they create.
Animation Bootcamp: Animation Microtalks
Lana Bachynski (Animator)
David Gibson (Senior Animator)

Finish off the day with these fast-paced, high-energy talks. 1 hour, 10 professionals, all dedicated to educate, entertain and inspire with rants, raves, observations and wild musings on animation and the industry as a whole.
Dynamic Dialogue: The Game Designer's Guide to Voice Recording
Speakers: Andrea Toyias (Senior Casting & Voice Director)
Steve Danuser (Lead Narrative Designer)
Justin Dye (Lead Writer)

As a game dev, joining an actor and director in the recording studio to record VO for your game can easily be a daunting and somewhat overwhelming process. How should you prep? What is expected of you? How can you best communicate what you want? How do you give feedback? How do you approach the process? These questions and more are often asked by game devs recruited to handle the VO pipeline for their team. Blizzard’s Senior Casting and Voice Director, Andrea Toyias, together with the Lead Narrative Designers from 'World of WarCraft' and 'StarCraft', will answer these perplexing questions. By sharing their approaches, philosophies, workflows and personal stories from the frontlines of VO recording, the VO pipeline will become an experience of fun, collaboration and discovery….no longer scary nor overwhelming. You will learn how to lend your voice and insights into to the formula that is successful VO recording.
Game Art Remasterd: From Crash, to Kerrigan, to Corley Motors
Speaker: Brian Sousa (Lead Artist, Blizzard Entertainment)

Striking the balance in the production of a video game remaster is tricky business. You can easily please as many fans as you disappoint. With modern tools and technology, gamers' expectations range between revisionism and purism. There is also a general assumption that it is an easy process. In this panel three speakers will share their insights, experiences, and eventual success of remastering 'Crash Bandicoot', 'Starcraft', and 'Full Throttle', three classic games everyone knows and loves. Hear the stories and learn about the unexpected revelations that went into remastering these classic games for the next generation.
Juggle ALL THE THINGS! Community Managing Tons of Games
Speaker: Stephanie Bayer (Manager, Community Development)

Community management is now an established and essential function in any good game company, but how do you manage an entire game platform or a large portfolio of games? Gone are the days of a single community manager being assigned to each game. Juggling resources on a tight budget, keeping details straight from patch notes for a bunch of games (or dozens!) to keeping in-sync with all internal business and marketing teams, can be insane. This session will share best practices from community management experts. Come learn the best tips and tricks from the pros for managing a community of a large portfolio of games or even an entire game platform.
Making Good Tools for Making Great Audio
Tomas Neumann (Senior Software Engineer)

Guy and Tomas have collected deep technical knowledge of contributing audio for award-winning games. In this talk, they will share ways to proactively identify audio needs and how to evaluate them. They will discuss proven strategies to address those needs, guided by examples from shipped games. A union of efficiency, correctness, and productivity come together in the end to unlock sound designers' creativity, which leads to better game audio, and ultimately, better games.
Technical Artist Bootcamp: Rigging with Triangles
Richard Katz (Senior Technical Artist)

Technical artists may be aware of vectors and matrices but aren’t quite sure how to apply them to their daily work. The uninitiated may fear the wall of numbers that make up a vector or a matrix. This session will emphasize visualizing vectors as artist-friendly arrows or planes, instead of arrays of numbers. Richard will discuss how to build matrices from joint locations when constructing an animation rig and how to make them bend to your will.
Tools Tutorial Day: Playtesting Overwatch
Speaker: Rowan Hamilton (Lead Software Engineer, Tools)

While regular playtesting is an important part of development for any title, it is critical when working on a multiplayer game. When iteration for designers requires getting 12 developers into a game together, the process of creating and joining a playtest needs to be as fast and painless as possible. Achieving this requires a holistic approach that ties many pieces of your production pipeline together. This talk will cover how a "playtesting first" approach helped guide the 'Overwatch' team's design for their data pipeline, build system, server stack and many other aspects of their day to day workflow.

Moscone Center
747 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103

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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)

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