GDC 2014

GDC 2014 Session Scheduler

View, browse, and sort the ever-growing list of GDC sessions by pass type, track, summit, format, and day. With GDC Session Scheduler you can build your schedule in advance, and access it during the show via export or with the GDC mobile app, Please note that adding sessions to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat in that session. Sessions do fill up, so please arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

Start building your GDC agenda — create your linked account for the GDC Session Scheduler and the GDC Mobile App now!

Register now for GDC 2014!

Please note: Registration accounts are separate from Session Scheduler. Even if you've registered, please create a Session Scheduler account below.

Export Schedule:

Designers Are from Saturn, Programmers Are from Uranus

Brian Schwab  |  Senior AI/Gameplay Programmer II, Formerly of Blizzard Entertainment

Location: Room 2001, West Hall

Format: Session
Track: Design
Vault Recording: Video

All projects, especially large ones, have separation of staff due to career tracks. While it is true that everyone working on a game must be in harmony to make the best game possible, never is this more the case than with design and engineering. They specifically must have a close relationship because of the iterative nature of gameplay creation both in design and implementation. However, the people involved in these two disciplines are intractably and largely different. This session will discuss a number of difficulties in crossing this border, and solutions for doing so. It will address ways in which the designer can gain a better understanding of engineering motivations, and as such have clearer communication and more productive work. It will also address the new hybrid appearing in the field, the technical designer, and how it is a necessary bridge for game work, but how it is also very rife with pitfalls if not handled well (green programmer issues, "programmer" not reporting to the engineering department, rogue check-ins in the name of fun, hacks, etc.). The talk will address the overall goal of unity with these two groups and how this can be achieved by thinking ahead of time, prioritizing the iterative work that needs to happen and creating workable pipelines for this work to happen in, and by trusting each other now that the boundaries separating them are gone through better understanding.


Greater clarity into the differences between design and programmers, and tools for building bridges between these camps to facilitate close iterative work.

Intended Audience

Designers who have to work very closely with software engineers.