Artificial Intelligence

Join Xbox and Microsoft at GDC 2024


As GDC, the world’s largest game developer conference, returns to San Francisco, Microsoft and Xbox will be there to engage and empower developers, publishers, and technology partners across the industry. We are committed to supporting game developers on any platform, anywhere in the world, at every stage of development. Our message is simple: Microsoft and Xbox are here to help power your games and empower your teams.

From March 18 – 22, the Xbox Lobby Lounge in the Moscone Center South can’t be missed – an easy meeting point, and a first step toward learning more about the ID@Xbox publishing program, the Developer Acceleration Program (DAP) for underrepresented creators, Azure cloud gaming services, and anything else developers might need.

GDC features dozens of speakers from across Xbox, Activision, Blizzard, King and Zenimax who will demonstrate groundbreaking in-game innovations and share community-building strategies. Microsoft technology teams, with support from partners, will also host talks that spotlight new tools, software and services that help increase developer velocity, grow player engagement and help creators grow. See below for the Conference programming details.

Xbox is also sponsoring the Independent Games Festival (IGF) and our Xbox Gaming for Everyone employee communities are coming together to host a networking event for underrepresented developers and their allies. We hope you can join us at the G4E event on Thursday March 21st from 11am to 4pm at Minna Gallery (111 Minna St. in San Francisco), located minutes from the Moscone center. To learn more and to register for the event, please read our full GDC 2024 Gaming for Everyone Community Networking Lounge & Scholarship Program announcement.

Monday, March 18

Skyscraper Zombies: Advancing ‘Call of Duty’s’ Systems for Giant AI

Speaker: Andrew Hoyt (Gameplay Engineer, Treyarch)

Date: Monday, March 18

Time: 3:50 pm – 4:20 pm

Tuesday, March 19

H2O in H3LL: The Various Forms of Water in Diablo IV

Speaker:
Aaron Aikman (Lead Technical Artist, Graphics, Blizzard Entertainment)

Date: Tuesday, March 19

Time:
10:50 am – 11:50 am

The Synergy of Architecture and Structural Engineering in Game Art and Design

Speaker:
Joshua Haun (Expert Environment Artist, Activision)

Date: Tuesday, March 19

Time:
10:50 am – 11:50 am

Harvesting 10 Years Of Success: How Farm Heroes Saga Has Super-Served It’s Players For A Decade

Speaker:
Sabrina Carmona (VP Head of Farm Heroes Saga, King)

Date:
Tuesday, March 19

Time:
2:40 pm – 3:40 pm

Audio Summit: How do you make casual games players turn their audio on?

Speaker:
Dominique Devoucoux (Head of Audio, King)

Date: Tuesday, March 19

Time:
4:40 pm – 5:10 pm

Wednesday, March 20

Developing Hi-Fi RUSH “Backwards” and Finding Our Positive Gameplay Loop

Speaker:
John Johanas (Game Director, Tango Gameworks)

Date:
Wednesday, March 20

Time:
9:00 am – 10:00 am

The First 30 Years of ‘Warcraft’: The Making of a Game Universe

Speaker:
John Hight (Franchise General Manager, Warcraft Franchise, Blizzard Entertainment)

Date:
Wednesday, March 20

Time:
9:00 am – 10:00 am

The Pillars of Hell: Achieving the Artistic Vision of Diablo IV

Speaker:
John Mueller (Art Director, Blizzard Entertainment)

Date:
Wednesday, March 20

Time:
9:00 am – 10:00 am

Sugary Statistics: What we have learned about Candy Crush content after 10 years and over 15,000 levels

Speakers:
Jan Wedekind (Head of Central Insights, King) and Xavier Guardiola (Data Science Director, King)

Date:
Wednesday, March 20

Time:
9:00 am – 10:00 am

Xbox’s Product Inclusion Framework & Inclusive Growth Doorways

Speaker:
Katy Jo Wright (Senior Director, Gaming for Everyone, Microsoft)

Date:
Wednesday, March 20

Time:
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Automated Testing of Shader Code

Speaker:
Keith Stockdale (Senior Software Engineer, Rare Ltd)

Date: Wednesday, March 20

Time:
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Diablo IV – Audio Systems Deep Dive “Living Audio”

Speakers:
Kris Giampa (Audio Director, Blizzard Entertainment) and Michael Bartnett  (Software Engineer, Blizzard Entertainment)

Date:
Wednesday, March 20

Time:
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Optimizing Game Development Workflows with Visual Studio and AI

Speakers:
David Li (Game Developer Product Manager, Microsoft) and Greg Denton (Principal Product Manager, Microsoft)

Date:
Wednesday, March 20

Time:
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

All things Azure & OpenAI for Game Development

Speakers:
Jon Kefaloukos (Strategic Account Director Gaming at Azure , Microsoft) and Uthappa Kattera Chengappa (Lead Cloud Solution Architect Gaming at Azure , Microsoft)

Date:
Wednesday, March 20

Time:
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

10 Years in Tamriel: Success of The Elder Scrolls

Speaker:
Matt Firor (Studio Director / President, ZeniMax Online Studios)

Date:
Wednesday, March 20

Time:
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

3D Toon Rendering in Hi-Fi RUSH

Speakers:
Kosuke Tanaka (Lead Graphics Programmer, Tango Gameworks) and Takashi Komada (Graphics/Physics Programmer, Tango Gameworks)

Date:
Wednesday, March 20

Time:
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The View From Above: Designing Compelling Quests for ‘Diablo IV’

Speaker:
Harrison Pink (Senior Quest Designer II, Blizzard Entertainment)

Date: Wednesday, March 20

Time:
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Thursday, March 21

‘Diablo IV’: The Art of Open World Sanctuary

Speakers:
Mahreen Fatima (Senior Environment Artist, Blizzard Entertainment), Sam Gao (Environment Artist, Blizzard Entertainment), and Justin Whitehead (Associate Material Artist, Environments, Blizzard Entertainment)

Date:
Thursday, March 21

Time:
10:00 am – 11:00 am

Levelling Up: How AI’s Transformative Role in Level Automation Production Adds Business Value in ‘Candy Crush Saga’

Speaker:
Anna Hernandelius (Product Director Content, King) and Sahar Asadi (Director of AI Labs, King)

Date:
Thursday, March 21

Time:
10:00 am – 11:00 am

Keeping Online Communities Healthy

Speakers:
Jennifer Mills-Perov (Principal Product Manager Gaming Trust and Safety, Microsoft) and Ivory Harvey (Senior Technical Program Manager Gaming Trust and Safety, Microsoft)

Date:
Thursday, March 21

Time:
11:30 am – 12:30 pm

DirectX State of the Union Featuring Work Graphs and Introducing DirectSR

Speakers:
Shawn Hargreaves (Dev Manager, Direct3D, Microsoft), Austin Kinross (PIX Developer Lead, Microsoft), Wessam Bahnassi (Principal Engineer, Developer Technology, Nvidia), and Rob Martin (Fellow Software Engineer, AMD)

Date:
Thursday, March 21

Time:
12:45 am – 1:45 pm

Minecraft Players at the Center of the Universe of Big Data

Speaker:
Francisco Rius (Head of Data at Mojang Studios)

Date:
Thursday, March 21

Time:
12:45 pm – 1:45 pm

MergeBot: Activision’s Merge and Resolve Infrastructure

Speaker:
Damianos Gkouzkouris (Senior Tools Engineer, Activision)

Date:
Thursday, March 21

Time:
3:00 pm – 3:30 pm

How PlayFab Helped Texas Chainsaw Massacre Succeed

Speakers:
CJ Williams (Director of Product Management Microsoft Game Creator Services, Microsoft) and Rob Fox (Designer and Producer Gun Interactive, Gun Interactive)

Date:
Thursday, March 21

Time:
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Operation Innovation: How Xbox Employs Military Talents in Gaming

Speakers:
Fiona Cherbak (Lead Talent Program Manager, Xbox Game Studios), iAsia Brown (Senior Producer, Xbox Game Studios Publishing), Lisa Elswick (Vice President, USO Transition Programs , USO), Jenn Panattoni (Head of Xbox Social Impact, Xbox/Microsoft), and Jason Coon (Director of Xbox Safety Operations, Xbox/Microsoft)

Date:
Thursday, March 21

Time:
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Friday, March 22

Game Career Seminar: Who Are You? Building Your Profile Outside the Job

Speaker:
Ashley Poprik (Writer, High Moon Studios)

Date:
Friday, March 22

Time:
10:10 am – 10:40 am

Shipping Diablo IV

Speakers:
Michael Bybee (Production Director, Blizzard Entertainment) and Tiffany Wat  (Production Director, Blizzard Entertainment)

Date:
Friday, March 22

Time:
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Building the ‘Minecraft’ Creator Platform Block-by-Block

Speaker:
Kayla Kinnunen (Executive Producer, Mojang Studios)

Date:
Friday, March 22

Time:
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Embracing Art Performance on ‘Diablo IV’

Speaker:
Evan Edwards (Senior Technical Artist I, Graphics, Blizzard Entertainment)

Date: Friday, March 22

Time:
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Visual Effects Roundtable Day 3

Speaker:
Gabriel Boileau (VFX Artist, Activision Blizzard)

Date:
Friday, March 22

Time:
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm