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GDC 2014

Animal Crossing: New Leaf director Aya Kyogoku and producer Katsuya Eguchi just wrapped up a postmortem for the game at GDC 2014 a short while ago. You can find photos from the event above, and some information shared during the session below.

– Ms Ayogoku was the first female game designer at Nintendo EAD when she started just a few years ago
– She emphasizes that we need more female developers in the industry
– Nearly 50% of the Animal Crossing: New Leaf team was female – co-director Aya Kyogoku
– Big success on New Leaf – it saw shortages in Japan
– Suggests development was “smooth sailing” but it wasn’t without challenges
– After the Wii version, New Leaf had to address series fatigue
– Therefore the team remembered its core: “Animal Crossing is a communication tool”
– Like the Zelda team, Animal Crossing: New Leaf rethought the series’ conventions
– Communication was the common thread. It’s its core
– New Leaf didn’t have 11th hour stress at the end of development due to subdued pace
– In-game events helped team mood
– Aya Kyogoku recommends New Leaf to other developers if working on their games becomes too stressful
– The team communicated and celebrated with each other during development using themes from the game
– No matter your role, #ACNL team members were free to contribute new ideas for characters, furniture, etc
– 7.38 million units sold worldwide to date

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4

Note: this is a demo Nintendo is featuring at its GDC booth to showcase the abilities of the Nintendo Web Framework. It’s not confirmed to be a full game.

Image & Form will be bringing its next SteamWorld game to GDC 2014 in some form, the studio has confirmed.

On Twitter, Image & Form said that the company is at the event “to secretly discuss the new game.” SteamWorld’s new entry is “coming along”, and is reconfirmed for release this year.

Image & Form’s full tweets:


Nintendo will be at GDC 2014 next week, and plans to show its support for indies in full force.

First, Nintendo will be demonstrate to attendees how its Nintendo Web Framework (NWF) tool was used to create a new game demo featuring characters and other elements from the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series . “The game demo shows how developers can create great experiences using NWF, and that the user-friendly, full-featured tool expands access to developing Wii U games to as many people as possible,” the company says.

Dan Adelman, manager of Business Development at Nintendo of America, will also hold a session at the Unity booth on March 20 to explain the step-by-step process of how developers can go about bringing games to the eShop.

In its announcement today, Nintendo mentioned its relationship with Unity, which allows authorized Wii U developers to obtain a license to develop with Unity Pro on the console for free.

Steve Singer, vice president of Licensing at Nintendo of America, said:

“We want to demonstrate to developers how easy it is for them to bring their creative ideas to Nintendo systems. Nintendo offers wide-ranging support for indie developers, whether they want to use NWF, Unity or their own proprietary code.”

Those who visit Nintendo’s booth at GDC will be able to try out the following Unity-made titles:

We haven’t heard much from Koji Igarashi in recent years, but the well-known Castlevania producer will hold a session at GDC next month.

The talk is titled “There and Back Again: Koji Igarashi’s Metroidvania Tale”. During his session, attendees will be able to join Igarashi “for an exploration of his experiences and methodology in creating some of the most popular and influential games in the genre over the last 15 years.”

Below is the official overview of Igarashi’s session:

Comcept CEO Keiji Inafune will be joined by 8-4 executive director Mark MacDonald for a panel at this year’s Game Developers Conference.

The event, titled “Meanwhile, In Japan”, will cover lessons learned from crowdfunding Mighty No. 9 and other trends in the Japanese game industry. Inafune and MacDonald will also discuss the advantages/disadvantages of creating modern Japanese games aimed at a western audience, the response to new business models from a developer and player perspective, and the progress of the Japanese indie scene.

Here’s the full overview posted on Gamasutra:

Aya Kyogoku and Katsuya Eguchi will host a postmortem for Animal Crossing: New Leaf at GDC 2014, conference organizers announced today.

The session will highlight “the challenges of trying to provide both old and new players with an Animal Crossing game that was fresh and interesting, while at the same time striving to keep the franchise true to its unique legacy.” Kyogoku and Eguchi will speak for about an hour.

More details about the event will be shared leading up to GDC in March.


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