Generation: Gamerz Paris GDC – Part 1

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Bonjour mon ami, Paris is lovely this time of year and the state of gaming, or rather game development, is in full bloom.  

The event kicked off with none other than the illustrious grandfather of gaming himself, Ralph Baer. I had a chance to chat with Mr Baer for a few minutes. For those who might not know he invented the Magnovox Odyssey and if that weren't enough he went on to develop the first light gun for gaming, the game Simon and numerous other things. In fact, he's still hard at work on 'a wireless device we're hoping to see on the PS3 or Wii.'

All this time, Mr. Baer was born in 1922, and he's still working, still inventing and still being the hacker he has always been. He has taken his interest and turned it into his livelihood and that's something I can personally appreciate as I have done so as well. While sitting on the table and chatting I had to ask him if he could believe the $18B in games sales last year in the US and if he foresaw it way back when, he simply stated 'how could I?' He's still a modest man and claimed that he was just doing something he wanted to do making things he liked.

No matter Mr. Baer, the gamers of the world thank you for your contributions to our beloved pastime. Keep on beating those mayors at Pong, we'll keep our eye out for what comes next from you.

After the "holy crap I spoke with Ralph Baer" wore off I got moving again and caught up with David Freeman from Freeman Games. David and The Freeman Group are working or have worked as designers and/or writers on games for Electronic Arts, Activision, Ubisoft, Sony, Microsoft, Take2, Eidos, Vivendi Games, Konami, Midway Games, 3D Realms, Atari, and numerous European publishers. He personally specializes in bringing emotions into gaming. Not only the emotions of the characters but the emotion of the gamers as well. He spoke about the 6 layers of characterization that help us as gamers relate to the characters and environments in a game. He utilizes what he calls emotioneering which is creating emotion without the use of dialog. 

It was an interesting talk and I wish more game companies would look at character development in the same way. After all if we don't love or hate the characters in the games we play then we won't be totally engrossed in the experience now will we?

Check out more of my Paris GDC coverage tomorrow when I have time to write up some of the other sessions I attended and the interviews I did. 

In : PC

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