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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Avoid an Identity Crisis as a Technical Designer

John Diaz  (Senior Technical Game Designer, Electronic Arts)

Rusty Sempsrott  (Lead Technical Designer, Arkane Austin)

Jerome Parent  (Advanced Technical Level Designer, WB Games Montreal)

Anne Chilldon  (Senior Technical Designer, Volition)

Alan Blaine  (Staff Technical Designer, Bungie)

Alisha Thayer  (Lead Technical Designer, Crystal Dynamics)

Date: Thursday, July 22

Time: 8:30am - 9:30am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Design, Production & Team Management

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: N/A: I would like to deliver a virtual presentation only

At the heart of any design implementation problem typically lies a technical designer paving the way to a solution or identifying the route not to take. Technical Design is still a young discipline that all games' teams can benefit from if not already. Join this panel of veteran AAA technical designers who have helped build many of the games you've studied and played over the past 2 console generations, as they discuss what it is like bridging the gap between game design and engineering and how it differs from what you may expect. Gain rare insight on how one role can have many different permutations depending on the need, and let our experiences inspire you to consider this role next time you have an open headcount.


Attendees to this panel will gain first-hand insight into what it's like to be a technical designer at various studios on differing technologies, and leave the session with a more thorough understanding of what being a technical designer entails, and what skills are essential for doing the job in this generation and the next.

Intended Audience

This panel is open to current or aspiring technical designers of all experience levels who want more insight on how the role varies across different studios and technologies. As well as team leads who want to understand how this role can fit in their teams.