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GDC 2012 Part I

Welcom to the first part of Meant to be Seen's coverage of GDC 2012!  Special thanks to MTBS' Field Writer Kris Roberts.  Not only is Kris formerly a Senior Game Designer at Rockstar Games, he is an avid stereoscopic 3D gamer in his own right.

The general theme from the folks I have spoken to is that there is a shift away from seeing 3D as a technical feature and really trying to engage the artists and designers to use it creatively.  Its encouraging because Sony is presenting Ian's talk tomorrow in the art track - a first, since all the previous 3D sessions at GDC have been focused on the programming side.  Even Nintendo's talk about Mario 3D Land really focused more on the design and creative aspects of the project, and not on the 3DS itself or the technology.  So let's begin!

Nintendo

Nintendo GDC 2012 Session
Thinking In 3D: The Development of Super Mario 3D Land
http://schedule.gdconf.com/session/13473429
Koichi Hayashida

The Nintendo talk was entertaining, and it was interesting to see how Super Mario 3D Land was a vehicle for the team to experiment and learn how to really take advantage of 3D in a platform game.  There were lots of insights into the Nintendo design philosophy and people involved.  He did do a good overview of the standard 3D concept introductions, but used concrete examples from the project which made it very clear (parallax, depth buffer, window violations, that sort of thing).  It never felt like a technical talk, and did a good job of focusing on the game, what was fun for them while working on it, and how they tried to make sure it would be fun for the players.