GDC is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

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.

GDC Main Stage: The Developer's Impact

Lyndsay Pearson  (Executive Producer & GM, 'The Sims', Electronic Arts)

Ziba Scott  (Optimist, Popcannibal)

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

Date: Monday, July 19

Time: 11:50am - 12:50pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass, Career Development Pass

Topic: Special Event

Format: Main Stage

Vault Recording: Video

In this installment of the GDC Main Stage and follow up to GDC 2019's ‘The Developer’s Journey’, ‘The Developer’s Impact’ is a multi-part presentation delivered by three esteemed game creators: Ziba Scott, the “Optimist” at Popcannibal, Osama Dorias, lead game designer at Warner Brothers Games Montreal, and Lyndsay Pearson, executive producer and GM for The Sims at Maxis, a studio of Electronic Arts.

Part 1: 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 four 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 2: ‘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 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.