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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: Nature's Language: Symbolism-Based Secrets of Dynamic Creatures

Michael V. Eppinette  (Sr. Concept Artist, NetEase Games)

Location: Room 3016, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 19

Time: 2:40 pm - 3:40 pm

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

Topic: Visual Arts

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Creatures are central to Game Design – they are our companions and our bosses, our friends and our enemies. They populate fantasy worlds with wonder, danger, and intrigue. In a market saturated with monsters of every shape and species, how can an artist design competitively original creatures that delight, terrify, and intrigue their audience? How do animals use illusion and motifs to impress, deceive, and surprise each other, and how can a designer implement these strategies to powerful narrative effect? Join former zookeeper and NetEase Sr. Creature Designer Michael V. Eppinette as he explores his journey to understanding these questions over the course of his time designing the Feral Predator for Prey (2022), and as he demonstrates techniques, strategies, and a practical philosophy for symbolism-driven design, inspired by the dramatic weirdness of the animal kingdom.


Attendees will gain new perspectives and principles for creature design ideation, including insight into not only how to appropriate reference from the animal kingdom, but methods to incorporate symbolism into design, to communicate with an audience similarly to how animals communicate with each other, be it predator or prey.

Intended Audience

This talk is aimed towards 2D and 3D concept artists looking to elevate their creature designs, and art directors developing creature or monster-centric IP's. Intermediate knowledge of ZBrush is helpful to understand a small percentage of the talk.

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