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View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view session and speaker details for Game Developers Conference 2024.

You will be able to build your schedule with the GDC Mobile App. The GDC 2024 app will be available for download in Apple Apps and Google Play late February 2024.

Sessions do fill up and seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend. Adding a session to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat.

Art Direction Summit: The Synergy of Architecture and Structural Engineering in Game Art and Design

Joshua Haun  (Expert Environment Artist, Activision)

Location: Room 3016, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 19

Time: 10:50 am - 11:50 am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Visual Arts

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Intermediate

Synergy, or effectively "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts," is applied to how knowledge of architecture can lead to emergent environments in the virtual world of video games. Design methodologies employed by notable architects paired with structural design principles, are taught as patterns that can be utilized by artist and designers to create virtual worlds where the user feels completely catered to. Realism of space is often seen as the only benefit when following real world architectural design principles, and this talk expands this into patterns that help guide an artist or designer into arranging spaces that subconsciously speak to the end user. It is the combined effect of many conditions that influence the user, and that synergy can be tapped into with games just as well as the real world.


Covered materials include core principles used by architects and structural engineers such as the physics of tension and compression, layouts of support systems like beams, columns, and braces, and how different materials resist force. These concepts are then paired and played with via design concepts like principles of order, vernacular design, and case studies of modern buildings.

Intended Audience

All admirers of architecture are encouraged to stop by and listen, though there is a trove of practical learnings here for concept artists, environment artists, level designers, and art-directors. No specific set of skills is required to understand the material, though some of the topics covered are from design theory and real-world physics.

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