March 2, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson
With just days remaining before the Game Developers Conference 2012, show organizers have chosen to detail a special workshop dubbed "Experimental Gameplay Sessions," which returns to GDC for its 10-year anniversary.
This jam-packed, two-hour session -- which takes place Friday, March 9 at 2.30pm in Room 3014 of West Hall -- will showcase an eclectic mix of unusual game prototypes that defy convention and explore new ideas and genres.
Led by Robin Hunicke (Journey) and Daniel Benmergui (Storyteller), it's an exciting opportunity for presenters and attendees alike to explore some brand new territory in game design.
In fact, a number of 'experimental' titles that debuted in previous years have gone on to become some of the most well regarded in the industry. Some of these standout games include Katamari Damacy, flOw, Braid, Portal, World of Goo and Today I Die.
This year, the session aims to recapture that innovative spirit with 11 titles from some of the industry's most creative developers.
Among the presenters this year are Douglas Wilson (Johann Sebastian Joust) and Bennett Foddy (QWOP), who will demonstrate a special enhanced version of one of Foddy's acclaimed physics titles. WallFour's John Sear, meanwhile, will show off a particularly unusual large-scale cooperative game.
In addition, developers such as Vlambeer's Rami Ismail will take a moment to go over some seemingly broken game ideas in GlitchHiker, and Kurt Bieg from Simple Machine will detail his studio's new Twitter-powered golf game.
The session will even highlight a number of more well known titles, including Jenova Chen and Nick Clark showing thatgamecompany's much-anticipated Journey, and Daniel Benmergui showcasing his IGF Nuovo Award finalist Storyteller.
Other participants including Shadow Physics co-creator Steve Swink showing a new title, Pietro Righi Riva and Nicolo Tedeschi showcasing Mirror Moon, Alex Kerfoot, Anna Anthropy, and Mars Jokela displaying Keep Me Occupied, part of the OAK-U-TRON 201X, Mathias Nordvall showing Sightlence, and Robin Arnott exhibiting the claustrophobic Deep Sea.
Since limited information on many of these titles is available online, the best way to see what's on offer is to check out the Experimental Gameplay Sessions for yourself. Attendees will also get the chance to actually participate in a number of these games, leaving plenty of opportunity for spontaneous mishaps and hilarity.
The session itself is open to All Access and Main Conference pass holders, and will take place from 2:30 to 4:30 PT on Friday March 9. Interested parties that have not yet registered for a pass can do so on-site in San Francisco starting March 4.
For more information about previous Experimental Gameplay Sessions events, visit the independently run Experimental Gameplay website.
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