A Week of Learning and Inspiration at GDC 2020

This year’s Game Developers Conference 2020 (GDC) is better than ever with a jam-packed schedule and huge expo floor. Get your early-bird pass before January 29th here to learn, be inspired and network all throughout March 16th to 20th!

Session Tracks

Creatives will most definitely want to check out the Visual Arts  and Design session tracks. At these sessions, attendees can expect to learn from leading artists in the industry, discover new methods to create quality art and animations for all kinds of games, tips to push projects forward, and learn how to understand and tune the interactions of an ever-increasing number of tools, systems, and techniques required to design great games.

Scroll below to discover not-to-be missed sessions and see the complete list here to add to your calendar.

Concept Art Revolution: ‘Last of Us 2’ to Dreamworks Animation

Presented by Shaddy Safadi, this talk will be about guiding the super talented One Pixel Brush Concept Art Team in their effort to hit the high bar necessary for Naughty Dog, Dreamworks, Netflix Animation, Activision and many other AAA studios. There is a common misconception that concept-art is supposed to provide a “rough idea” of the visual direction of an IP but technology becomes less rough, so does concept art. Right now with a myriad of new tools and technology available concept processes for hyperreal IP’s like the Last of Us 2 AS WELL AS very cartoony IP’s like those for Dreamworks and Netflix Animation have more in common than one might think. Learn more >

Being Creative is a Skill, Not a Talent

As part of GDC’s Art Direction Summit, Art Director and Senior Concept Artist Anthony Jones, will talk about what techniques and strategies you’ll need to help you go from a starving artist to industry leader with confidence and consistency included. He will cover the mentality that will help you be resilient and the current/future tools you’ll need to master to be relevant years after. He will also be doing a live demonstration and Q&A. Learn more >

Lessons from 15 Years of ‘World of Warcraft’ World Building

Presented by Ely Cannon, Art Director at Blizzard Entertainment, this lecture will focus on world building as a primary tool for developing the relatable fantasy races and worlds for World of Warcraft. Attendees will gain a deeper look into the development of one of the most iconic games of all time with specific focus on world building philosophy. Attendees should walk away with new and expanded knowledge about the unique issues inherent to creating a fantasy world on the scale of World of Warcraft. Learn more >

‘Death Stranding’s’ Design Philosophy

You won’t want to miss hearing from the creator himself, Hideo Kojima, on how he created the game Death Stranding which won widespread acclaim. This will be a rare opportunity for attendees who will be able to hear firsthand, about the challenges and triumphs of Death Stranding‘s development. In a special hour-long Design track talk on “Death Stranding‘s Design Philosophy” Kojima will unravel this process through an analysis of the game’s concept, theme, storytelling, game mechanics, and development, utilizing the overarching keyword of “connection” as a framework. Learn more >


In-between sessions, head out to the expo floor and look out for the Visual Arts Community Space where you will be able to show off your art skills and connect with other artists. While you’re there, make your way to the ArtStation Booth #P1866 and say hello!

To get all that GDC has to offer, get an All Access pass for full access to all track sessions, summits and tutorials, plus access to review past talks on GDC Vault. Register by January 29th to save up to $700.


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About the author

Partner & Alliances Manager at ArtStation