GDC 2020: Virtual Talks

GDC will stream the recorded sessions of its speakers on Twitch. Don’t miss it out and check the schedule!

Starting today, GDC is going to stream the recorded sessions of the speakers, who planned and prepared their talks for GDC 2020, on Twitch. You can discuss the talks on our Discord server.

To keep you updated, here is the schedule with all the talks going from Monday to Friday. 

Monday, March 16 

9.00 am - 9.30 am - The 'Kine' Postmortem by Gwen Frey (President, Chump Squad)

In the talk, Gwen Frey will share how Kine transformed from the passion project to a full puzzle game and also share some insights into the development of the game, including design goals and methods and budget.

10.00 am - 10.30 am - Storytelling with Verbs: Integrating Gameplay and Narrative by Kaitlin Tremblay (Writer & Narrative Designer, Capybara Games)

Kaitlin Tremblay will talk about the inherent fiction behind our most common gameplay verbs and provide examples from games in AAA, indie, mobile, ARGs, and escape rooms. The goal of the talk is to fasten the collaboration between game and narrative design in order to create more compelling experiences for players. 

11.00 am - 11.30 am - Intrinsically Motivated Teams: The Manager's Toolbox by Alexandre Moufarek (Product Manager, DeepMind)

Alexandre Moufarek will discuss the roots of motivation, explain the Self-Determination Theory, ways of its implementation in the team management and show examples from the manager’s everyday tasks.

12.00 pm - 12.30 pm From 'Assassin's Creed' to 'Dark Eye': The Importance of Themes by Winifred Phillips (Composer, Generations Productions LLC)

Learn from an experienced composer Winifred Phillips how to make the game stand out using the thematic music. The talk will include composing techniques for game themes and its utility. Winifred will explore the variation, development, figures, fragmentation, and motifs and give examples of themes in combat, menus, cutscenes, and stingers.

Assassin's Creed: Odyssey

1.00 pm - 1.30 pm - Representing LGBT+ Characters in Games: Two Case Studies by Tori Schafer (Writer & Designer, Proletariat)

Tori Schafer will share her experience on creating the LGBT+ game characters and narratives respectfully, so they naturally fit in the game. Find out more about the design approach and implementation of the themes in such games as Elder Scrolls Online and upcoming game Backbone.

2.00 pm - 3.00 pm - The Sound of Anthem by Cody Behiel (Audio Lead, Electronic Arts BioWare), Eric Vervaet (Director of Audio, Electronic Arts BioWare)

Director of Audio, Eric Vervaet, and Audio Lead & Technology Supervisor, Cody Behiel will share the goals of The Sound of Anthem and how they achieved them, discuss their audio implementation and dynamic mixing. 

3.00 pm - 3.30 pm - Is Your Game Cross-Platform Ready? by Raymond Arifianto (VP of Tech, AccelByte)

9 tips from Raymond Arifianto on how to make sure that your game is cross-platform ready.

4.00 pm - 4.30 pm - Forgiveness Mechanics: Reading Minds for Responsive Gameplay by Seth Coster (CEO & Game Programmer, Butterscotch Shenanigans, Inc)

Seth will discuss the variety of forgiveness mechanics used in Levelhead and other Butterscotch Shenanigans games, and how you can incorporate these forgiveness mechanics into your own games so your players win more, have a better time, and keep coming back.

4.30 pm (microtalk) - Experimental AI Lightning Talk: Hyper-Realistic Artificial Voices for Games by Zeena Qureshi (Co-Founder & CEO, Sonantic)


Tuesday, March 17 

9.00 am - 9.50 am - What to Write So People Buy: Selling Your Game Without Feeling Sleazy by Chris Zukowski (Founder, Return To Adventure Mountain)

Learn the basics of copywriting and how to make write about your game on Steam and not to sound like a used car salesman from Chris Zukowski.

9:50 am (microtalk) - Failure Workshop: FutureGrind: How To Make A 6-Month Game In Only 4.5 Years by Owen Goss (Co-Founder, Milkbag Games) 

10.00 am - 11.00 am - Stress-Free Game Development: Powering Up Your Studio With DevOps by Seth Coster (CEO & Game Programmer, Butterscotch Shenanigans, Inc)

Seth Coster will share his team’s approach to DevOps, so the game-development won’t wrack your nerves completely and updates deployment won’t cause a panic situation.

11.00 am - 11.30 am - Baked in Accessibility: How Features Were Approached in 'Borderlands 3' by Andrew Bair (Lead UI Programmer, Gearbox Software)

Learn more about accessibility details that were added to the Borderlands 3 game, which one worked out well, and which were cut out. This talk will show how devs can use specific pathways to make the game more accessible and enjoyable.

12.00 am - 1.00 pm - Matchmaking for Engagement: Lessons from 'Halo 5' by Josh Menke (Lead Engagement Designer, 343 Industries)

Learn about the best practices of matchmaking for engagement across the industry from the famous first-person shooter.

Halo 5

1.00 pm - 1.30 pm - Forget CPI: Dynamic Mobile Marketing by Heather Gainer (Marketing Manager User Acquisition, Kongregate)

Find out about the relevant metrics for mobile user acquisition, why using CPI leaves you behind, and what you should focus on instead. 

2.00 pm - 2.30 pm - Integrating Sound Healing Methodologies Into Your Workflow by Matt Levine (Uncle Vector's Audio Lab LLC)

This talk will provide the information on the sound healing methods that you can add to your workflow, how can they be used in various areas, including business, creative and personal goals. The presentation also includes tools that will help you incorporate the principles. 

3.00 pm - 3.30 pm - From 0-1000: A Test-Driven Approach to Tools Development by David Paris (Senior Engineer, Playground Games)

The talk dives into the development of Forza Horizon 4 expansion packs and shares the testing approach to the tools. 

4.00 pm - 4.30 pm - Overcoming Creative Block on 'Super Crush KO' by Gabby DaRienzo (Senior Artist, Drinkbox Studios) 

Gabby DaRienzo will share her experience in overcoming the burnout and going back to the production process and discuss the development of a stunning game, Super Crush KO.

4:30 pm (microtalk) - When Film, Games, and Theatre Collide by Sarah Scialli (Game Director & Mocap Engineer, Tinted Stardust & DreamWorks)

Super Crush KO

Wednesday, March 18 

9.00 am - 10.00 am - Bringing Replays to 'World of Tanks: Mercenaries' by Andrew Glover (Lead Software Engineer, Wargaming Sydney)

Andrew Glover will provide ways of implementation server-side gameplay recording and playback, including the architectural solutions to client-side problems. The talk is based on the team’s experience with World of Tanks: Mercenaries.

10.00 am - 10.30 am - Developing and Running Neural Audio in Constrained Environments by Carter Huffman (Co-Founder & CTO,, Brendan Kelly (Research Engineer, 

In the talk, you will find out about challenges and solutions for developing neural speech systems, taking into account gaming-centric requirements. The talk also covers methods on how to run audio neural networks on devices, focusing on real-time audio manipulation and synthesis.

11.00 am - 12.00 pm - Mental Health State of the Industry: Past, Present & Future by Eve Crevoshay (Executive Director, Take This)

Learn more about the cultural assumptions and norms of the game industry, how they changed over the years. Eve will also share how the future changes can improve the work experiences of game developers.

12.00 pm - 12.30 pm - Empathizing with Steam: How People Shop for Your Game by Chris Zukowski (Game Designer & Marketing Consultant, Return To Adventure Mountain LLC)

Chris Zukowski spent months watching people browse Steam and he is going to share the results of his research with you.

World of Tanks: Mercenaries

1.00 pm - 1.30 pm - Scaling to 10 Concurrent Users: Online Infrastructure as an Indie by Andrew Erridge (Software Engineer & Co-founder, Gamebreaking Studios) 

Andrew will share his experience in creating an online platform through the game's 5-year development cycle and subsequent launch. He will also share the decisions he had to make during the production, such as dedicated servers vs peer to peer, microservices vs monolith, and so on.

2.00 pm - 2.30 pm - Crafting A Tiny Open World: 'A Short Hike' Postmortem by Adam Robinson-Yu (Developer, Independent)

Adam Robinson-Yu will open up about the development of the tiny project, A Short Hike, and discuss design choices and development strategies. 

2:30 pm (microtalk) - Indie Soapbox: UI design is fun! by Nathalie Lawhead (Independent Game Designer, Alienmelon) 

3.00 pm - 3.30 pm - Don't Ship a Product, Ship Value: Start Your Minimum Viable Product With a Solution by Janessa Olson (Product Manager, Data & Tools, Kongregate)

Case studies from Kongregate, Kartridge, Kongpanions, and Adventure Capitalist, where you will find out why Minimum Viable Product is the best strategic approach for launching new projects.

4.00 pm - 5.00 pm - Day of the Devs: GDC Edition Direct by Presented by Double Fine & iam8bit

Day of the Devs aims to nurture the independent development scene with the showcase that will give you the chill festival vibe.

5.00 pm - 7.00 pm - Independent Games Festival & Game Developers Choice Awards hosted by Trent Kusters (IGF) and Kim Swift (GDCA)

A Short Hike

Thursday, March 19 

9.00 am - 10.00 am Machine Learning for Optimal Matchmaking by Josh Menke (Lead Engagement Designer, 343 Industries) 

During this talk, Josh Menke will present TrueMatch, a new matchmaking approach that gives developers an opportunity to intuitively express the value of each metric, and then uses machine learning to automatically optimize over the metrics in real-time. 

10.00 am - 10.30 am -  Skill Progression, Visual Attention, and Efficiently Getting Good at Esports by Dr. Anders Frank (Game Experience Researcher, Tobii) 

Learn how to consider skill development from Dr. Anders Frank and Thomas Papa, who will share their vision to make players' game more efficient.

11.00 am - 11.30 am - Making Your Game Influencer Ready: A Marketing Wishlist for Developers by David Ortiz Lapaz (Communications Director, ICO Partners) 

Learn new and existing methods of making your game content-creator-ready from David’s experience in managing world-class content creators. He will also mention the tools marketing teams that can help establish a long-lasting connection with content creators. 

12.00 pm - 1.00 pm - How to Run Your Own Career Fair on a Tiny Budget by Chris DeLeon, Dru Erridge, David Mullich, Tiffany Otto

Find out the techniques on how to create the career fair on your own and keep the low cost of it. 

Forza Horizon 4

1.00 pm - 1.30 pm - Making a Healthy Social Impact in Commercial Games by Jennifer Estaris (Game Director, Sybo Games) 

In the talk, Jennifer Estaris will examine social impact initiatives in commercial games, which, therefore, can lead to a large number of players to collaborate in finding global solutions.

2.00 pm - 2.30 pm - 'Forza' Monthly: Live Streaming a Franchise by Shay Goldenberg (Producer, Turn 10 Studios / Microsoft)

Shay Goldenberg discusses from Turn 10 Studios will open up about the challenges & learnings of the Livestream production process and evolution of the Forza show.

3.00 pm - 3.30 pm - Aesthetic Driven Development: Choosing Your Art Before Making a Game by Vladimir Slav (Owner & Director, Coldwild Games) 

Coldwild Games team shared its approach to creating the game and how Twitter helped them to choose the right art before having gameplay in mind. 

4.00 pm - 5.00 pm - Reading the Rules of 'Baba Is You' by Arvi Teikari (Game Developer, Hempuli Oy)

Arvi Teikari explained how the sentence-based rule system was implemented in Baba Is You, shares the technical details of the system and challenges that appeared during the development.

Baba Is You

Friday, March 20 

9.00 am - 10.00 am - Beyond Games as a Service with Live Ops by Crystin Cox (Director of Live Operations, Microsoft) 

Learn about Live Ops and its future in the game industry. In the talk, Crystin discusses how game teams can use this powerful approach to better engage their communities.

10.00 am - 11.00 am - Crystin Cox (Director of Live Operations, Microsoft) by Hannah Nicklin (Studio Lead, Narrative Designer & Writer, Die Gute Fabrik)

Hannah will explain how killing the hero form of storytelling will help produce better narrative worlds in games and allow to tell better, more relatable, true stories.

Check the full schedule on the GDC website.

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    GDC 2020: Virtual Talks