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GDC Main Stage: The Developer's Impact

Osama Dorias (Lead Game Designer, Warner Brothers Games Montreal)

Ziba Scott (Optimist, Popcannibal)

Lyndsay Pearson (Lead Producer & GM, 'The Sims', Maxis)

Location: GDC Main Stage, West Hall, Street Level

Date: Wednesday, March 18

Time: 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Plus Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Special Event

Format: Special Event

Vault Recording: TBD

In the second annual installment of the GDC Main Stage and follow up to last year’s ‘The Developer’s Journey’, ‘The Developer’s Impact’ is a multi-part presentation delivered by three esteemed game creators: Osama Dorias, lead game designer at Warner Brothers Games Montreal, Ziba Scott, the “Optimist” at Popcannibal, and Lyndsay Pearson, lead producer and GM for The Sims at Maxis, a studio of Electronic Arts.

Part 1: ‘Heart, the Secret Ingredient to Great Games’ (Osama Dorias)
This presentation will draw from the experiences of Osama Dorias, Lead Game Designer at WB Games Montreal, as he discusses how his struggles with xenophobia growing up as a Muslim Arab in the west inspired the narratives of the games he has worked on. Osama will also share the stories and experiences of other notable video game professionals, both AAA and Indie, who have similarly sourced their own lives and personal stories when crafting their games.

Part 2: Kind Words: Why Be Nice? (Ziba Scott)
Being nice isn't the sexiest game mechanic -- nothing explodes and there's no reason to wear cool body armor. So how did Popcannibal convince players to send each other a million uplifting messages? Ziba Scott will share the leap of faith in humanity that birthed Kind Words, and the limits required because humans are messy.

Part 3: ‘Valuing Inclusive Game Design’ (Lyndsay Pearson)
Video gamers of today are more diverse than ever before. To begin tapping into the future of the market, it’s becoming increasingly important to design games that appeal to a broad audience of players from all backgrounds and cultures. In this talk Lyndsay Pearson will cover how inclusiveness impacts our games, why it’s important to grow inclusive culture in our workplaces, and how The Sims has evolved the franchise to reflect this trend.


Each of these three game makers has deep and varied development experience, and will share with the GDC community their struggles and triumphs implementing socially conscious design decisions within each of their distinct projects.

Intended Audience

This talk is meant to benefit anyone looking to be inspired, or who wants to learn how to make a lasting, positive impact with their work.