| CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
The 2013 Game Developers Conference Call for Submissions closed on August 28, 2012 and the Summits Call for Submissions closed on October 23, 2012
Questions? Read our FAQ or email Colleen Mickey for Main Conference questions, and Victoria Petersen for Summit questions.
The GDC Advisory Board has made improving the quality of presented talks its number one goal. Historically, any problems with quality have been caused by the gap between an original talk abstract and the presented lecture; this is an issue we are working to fix.
If you look at the show program from any given year, it is pretty awesome. Individuals may pick different set of talks to attend, but the chosen talks are always representative of interesting and current work happening in game development each year; however, there lies a hidden problem that we've all experienced—a session has a great title and abstract, but the talk itself is a letdown. This gap is very hard to close, but we're taking it very seriously.
We rely on grading history for speakers, but we are also increasingly requesting more comprehensive submissions to help narrow the gap as well, because it allows us to get past the abstract and see the talk itself. This is a major pain for submitters, because it means they have to prepare their content well ahead of the GDC.
However, many of the most respected technical and academic conferences require absolutely complete submissions by a hard inflexible deadline very far ahead of the conference so the jury can know exactly what will be presented. We are not at that point with the GDC, but it would guarantee the Advisory Board could pick only the best possible talks.
We are trying to strike a balance between improving the submission process for the submitter—in an industry where publishing and sharing information is important but is not the main part of one's job (as opposed to academia)—with this goal to substantially increase the quality of the presented lectures.
The GDC Advisory Board
If you want to submit, please take note of the following:
The Game Developers Conference does not accept product or vendor-related submissions. If your talk is a thinly-veiled advertisement for a new product, technology or service your company is offering, please do not apply. If you would like to publicize a product, please contact our sales team for information on exhibiting and other vendor opportunities, including sponsored sessions.
All presentations must be submitted by the original authors
We currently only accept submissions by original authors of the presentations. PR firms, speaking relation firms, and all other parties who are not direct authors of submitted presentations are discouraged from submitting a proposal on behalf of their clients/speakers. We require direct contact with presenters to expedite questions during the submission review process.
If you are interested in submitting for any of the GDC Summits, the call for submission will open September 26 - October 23, 2012. Proposals submitted to the main conference of GDC will not be considered or reviewed by summit advisors. There is no penalty for submitting a proposal to both the main conference and summits. Each program has its own advisors and submissions will be graded separately. You may contact Victoria Petersen about the Summit call for submissions. Please click here for submission details and topics of interest.
(July 18 - August 28, 2012)
Prepare & Submit Session Proposal
- Speaker Contact Information
- Session Title: Provide a session title in fewer than 16 words
- Track, Format, and Audience Level
- Session Description: You have 500-words to describe to the GDC Advisory Board what your talk will be about, and why it will be interesting to GDC attendees. This is not the abstract for your talk for the printed program, it is not meant for attendees to read, it is not a teaser, and it is not a place for cute wordplay. It is for you to describe concretely and succinctly what is compelling about your talk to the Advisory Board, a group of people who have probably read 250 of these descriptions by the time they get to yours. Do not tease with something like, "My lecture will reveal amazing findings about how people play puzzle platformers", instead say, "We have found 90% of people only play puzzle platformers while eating pepperoni pizza," or whatever your amazing finding actually is. If you need more than 500-words to describe your lecture in this way, you can upload supplemental materials (.doc, .pdf, .txt) to your submission.
- Speaker Biography, Game Credits, Speaker History, and Twitter username
- Supporting material: Submit supplemental information that supports your session proposal. Additional materials may include white papers, code, demos, videos, images, proof of concept, etc.
- See a sample production submission here.
- See a sample programming submission here.
(Late September - Mid November 2012)
Session Proposal Review, Selection & Notification
- Advisory Board review submissions
- Submitters are notified of their status: Declined or Phase 2 Conditionally Accepted
- Phase 2 submitters will be required to prepare the complete presentation for review by the advisory board*
- Phase 2 submissions are due early November
: You are not a confirmed speaker until your presentation is reviewed and approved by the advisory board.
Final Review & Confirmations
- Advisory Board reviews Phase 2 presentations in mid-November
- Phase 2 submitters are notified of their status in early December: Declined or Accepted
- Submitters who miss the deadline to submit their presentation plans for review will be automatically declined; exceptions will not be made
- Submitters who sent in their presentation by the deadline but were not accepted to speak will receive a discount on a conference pass
The Advisory Board will review and rate submissions based on the following criteria:
- Concept: This is the basic idea of your submission. Is it interesting? Is it relevant? Will it be beneficial for game developers to hear? There is plenty of room for innovative ideas and also the tried and true.
- Depth: Is the basic idea well considered and thought out? To what extent will the audience gain insight? The more in-depth, the better.
- Organization: Are your ideas conducive to present in front of an audience? Will the Advisory Board understand what you are trying to say? Organization helps.
- Credentials: How do your credentials qualify you to speak on the topic you have proposed?
- Takeaway: Is the attendee going to leave this session knowing something they didn't know when they walked in? Are they learning or being inspired? This is the most important aspect of every GDC session.
The submissions will be rated on a one to five scale by each of the reviewers and the resulting scores are averaged. Those submissions in each category with the highest scores are considered first. In the case of topic overlap a lesser scoring submission may be selected to keep variety in the program.
Conference attendees are generally very intelligent. They are looking for material that is not obvious and expect excellence from our speakers. After your presentation, they will evaluate it based on delivery, knowledge of the topic and the visuals presented.
Preparation is one of the most important factors in delivering a successful talk at GDC. Please keep the following in mind when you propose to speak:
- The proposed outline you submit now must match the talk you actually present at GDC
- We suggest that you commit AT LEAST 25 hours to prepare for your session
- We strongly encourage that you rehearse the delivery of your session for it to be effective; preferably in front of your peers (one tip is to video tape yourself speaking then review it. This is also a great way to practice pacing and timing)
- Your presentation materials must be completed and submitted to us four weeks before the conference
Please note we are here to help you. If you have ANY questions you think we need to cover on this area of our website, please email Colleen Mickey
Below is the list of tracks for GDC 2013. Click on a track for descriptions of the topics solicited by the Advisory Board.
The Audio track is particularly interested in receiving submissions on the following topics:
The advisory board is also soliciting submissions on the following evergreen topics:
- Bleeding edge and best of breed audio – from AAA to Indie
- Audio for web/mobile
- Audio as a feedback mechanism for new user interfaces – touch/gesture, cameras/sensors, gyroscopes, peripherals etc.
- Sound as an input mechanism – speech recognition, emotional analysis, singing, musical instruments, and more
- Games as a service – adjusting to iterative or incremental development
- Post-production – real-time mixing, DSP, their aesthetics and impact on the player experience
- Real-time synthesis – music, sound and speech
- User-personalized/user-generated content
- Scoping audio production, development and implementation, from indie to franchise
- Academic Research
- Your finest analysis, postmortems, techniques, innovations and technology
- Business - contracts, copyright and licensing
- Audio localization
- Audio QA
- Voice in games - aesthetics, asset acquisition and integration
Start the submission process here
Business, Marketing & Management
The Business, Marketing, and Management track is soliciting submissions that cover the following topics:
- Business model and marketing innovation
- The intersection of game design and business
- Monetizing games in today's market
Examples which we'd particularly like to see submissions include:
- Expanding To Near-Infinite Audiences
How do you adapt your business to gaming on all devices and all audiences at any time?
- Key Software Platforms Of Today & Tomorrow
Third-party analyses, including real data, of what game platforms you could/should publish on.
- Smart/IPTV Gaming Opportunities
Internet connected TV capabilities & game opportunities as TV apps – trends & practical developer stories.
The future of Kickstarter and crowdfunding – how do you make your pitch successful?
- The Entrepreneur
Tips / Strategies / Challenges / War Stories
- Marketing Digital Video Games
Identifying Target Markets / Social Marketing / Guerrilla Marketing / Developer-Consumer Interaction / Community
- Virtual Goods
Virtual Economies / In-Game Currencies / Micro-transactions
- Managing Relationships with your Digital Customers
Building across multiple games, what goes right/wrong
- Company Values
Culture / Goals / Feedback / Managing Talent
- Diversifying Your Distribution Channels
Games / Foreign Rights / SKUs, etc.
- Pitching & Presenting
Innovative ways to pitch and present your business idea
Getting a smart, optimum deal for your company – practical terms and details.
- Digital Customer Acquisition
Funnel Analysis / Methods / Pricing / Segmentation/ App Discovery/ Expectations, etc.
- Other Funding Options
Beyond Publisher to VC / Angel / Project Based, etc.
- Practical Game Law Specifics
In-depth talks on Patent issues in gaming / Trademarks / IP protection.
- Essential Game Metrics for Business
Counter-Intuitive Numbers and Insights! KPI Tracking / Useful Analytics / Optimizing Monetization / Removing Friction / Improving Conversion / Length of Game Experience
- Running a Live Service 24/7
Problems, opportunities, staffing, tools, challenges, etc.
Start the submission process here
The Design track is soliciting game design lectures focused on:
- Detailed walkthroughs of design iterations on a specific game system or subsystem. No design problem is too small if it contains interesting decisions that reached a quality result (For example, a solution to a hard matchmaking problem, a particularly good UI design, Jaime Griesemer's Halo sniper rifle lecture from 2010, video available here).
- Counterintuitive design – the art of solving hard design problems in unexpected ways.
- Designing for depth - the relationship between depth and difficulty, depth and breadth, depth and replayability, and player-skill vs. avatar-skill depth, in both single- and multi-player games.
- F2P game talk - game design focused talk about how to use F2P to make more fun and engaging games.
- Managing player expectations-maintaining the balance between surprises and familiarity.
- Interactive Storytelling - New ways of applying videogames medium to craft and present interactive stories.
- Cooperative games – designing good cooperative game play into good games: refining the classic ideas (Borderlands/Diablo 3) and exploring the new frontiers (Dark Souls/Dragon's Dogma)
- Managing intellectual properties – providing creative direction to an intellectual property, from the early design stages, through development, to large franchise management.
- Postmortems - Sure, we always loves us some postmortems of high quality games, large or small, new or old. A successful example is Dustin Browder's The Game Design of STARCRAFT II: Designing an E-Sport
Start the submission process here
The Production track is soliciting submissions that cover the following topics:
Production Case Studies
We are looking for a series of case studies covering the following subjects:
- Grabbing the opportunity of change
- Managing and dealing with change
- Project Management 2.0 – what is beyond excel & project?
- Transition from AAA to mobile or Free to Play
- Understanding monetization as a AAA developer
- Experience with emerging markets
- Building a service (console to F2P)
- Producing through a hardware transition (producing a game on a non-existent platform)
- Production Roles
- External vs. internal
- Facilitator vs. controller
- Transitioning into a producer role from another discipline
- Studios and teams
- Diversity of team size & culture
- Start up, new teams, mature team (building a new team)
- Producing on a small budget/garage teams
- Habits of successful teams
- Managing cultural change
- Diversity of platforms (service based games/community management/MTX)
- Sequels vs. new IP
- Producing new IP
The Producer's Toolbox
- Day in the life of Production
- Identifying risk early and developing and implementing problem solving solutions
- Strategies for dealing with tight deadlines.
- Managing play testing throughout development.
- Everything you need to know about QA.
- Localization: tricks, tips and gotchas
- The importance of pipelines
- Managing licenses.
- Diversity of teams
- Outsourcing best practices
- How do you create effective work environments?
- Learning to let go (are you a producer or a project manager?)
- Best practices for shipping on different platforms
- Platforms for producers: what do you need to know?
- Producing producers; Running a team of producers: how to partition up work while maintaining pipeline and communications
Start the submission process here.
- Upward Management: how to present information clearly but without setting off alarm bells – communicating upward
- Reporting (status reports) Panel or Posters
- Communicating with the team (how and what to communicate)
- Media training
The Programming track is soliciting lectures focused on new techniques in programming, in particular:
- Preparing for New platforms.
What new techniques and approaches are required for creation of cross-generation or next-generation games?
- Interaction between AI and Animation
Surely programmers are working on this problem, and someone, somewhere has made some progress? It is one of the most complicated and subtle interfaces in a game engine, especially if high quality characters are a goal, and we would really love a great talk on this topic. Come on people, somebody must have moved the ball forward in this area?!
- Core Engine Techniques
Case studies of difficult problems in core engine development. Possible topics include: advanced multithreading approaches, streaming and open world games, working with massive data sets, techniques for rapid iteration, and other challenging core engine problems.
- Advances in materials and lighting.
What techniques are coming into use? Possible topics include physically based materials and lighting, real time global illumination, and new approaches to deferred rendering.
- DX11+ and OpenGL 4.0
Postmortems of projects using the most advanced graphics APIs. Possible topics include content amplification and procedural content generation, advanced procedural effects (fluids, smoke, hair, cloth, etc), or compute shaders and GPGPU techniques.
- Animation techniques.
What new approaches offer next-gen fidelity in character motion? Possible topics include advances in data representation (e.g. point clouds, motion graphs, compression), facial animation, interactive and synthesized animation, and runtime retargeting.
- Programming for Network-centric Games, in PC, console and mobile
Possible topics include game/web interactions, social and community features, connecting online features and gameplay, new developments in persistent universes, multi-authority networking models, and security.
- AI Behavior Design
How has AI and NPC behavior advanced over the last year? What new techniques are driving this advance? Has scripting reached its limits? How should the AI deal with rendering techniques that are quickly descending the slope of the uncanny valley?
- Gameplay Subsystems
We'd love nitty gritty detailed talks on various gameplay-oriented subsystems, things that are not rendering, networking, physics, and AI. Examples include object systems, inventory and encumbrance, dynamic reactions to damage, conversation systems, etc. A great example from last year was Elan Ruskin's talk, AI-driven Dynamic Dialog through Fuzzy Pattern Matching. Empower Your Writers!.
- Companion Apps
Smart 'second screen' experiences, advanced ways of designing synchronous and asynchronous interactions between platforms, interesting problems you had to solve in that space.
- Automated Testing in Games and Game Engines
What automated tools have you used to catch bugs in your game or engine? Or any other automated processes that improve robustness and quality of complex games.
- And anything new, fresh or experimental!
If you are doing something in a different way that advances the state of the art, we would love to hear about it
Start the submission process here
Last year was the most popular ever for the GDC Visual Arts track, and we want you to help us build on that momentum. We want disruptive, inspirational, and amazing artists, art directors, and art managers to speak at GDC 2013. We're looking for people who are willing to share their skills and techniques with us. We want to hear from directors and managers who can teach us how to build great art teams, and create outstanding visuals on tight budgets and schedules. And we're seeking out top notch technical artists to show us new insights in look development and tool creation.
- Inspirational Art Direction Talks
Continuing with our 'coffee table book' art direction sessions from last year we're looking for art directors who are willing to not only talk about the evolution of their game's style but to show us that evolution. Pull back the curtain and reveal the sketches, concepts, prototypes, and in-development shots/videos that led you to the final look of your product.
- TECHNIQUES and DEMOS!
Visual artists are just that, visual. We want to see what you know, not just hear about it. We want artists to teach us new techniques, new tools, and new styles. Can't talk and draw at the same time? No problem, we'll even let you have two presenters - one to talk and one to demonstrate. Show off your 3D modeling techniques, concept art drawing, and animation work to the best audience in the world - your peers.
- Art Management and Production Talks
Did you develop an interesting strategy that saved you art development time and/or money? Did an in-house or 3rd party tool help alleviate your production pipeline woes? How do you manage to keep your artists from seeing the trees instead of the forest? We'd love to hear about your solutions to these problems and more!
- Art Culture
What core values are you looking for when you hire artists? How do you manage critiques within your organization? Managing creative people with disparate personalities can be daunting. How does your team manage that? Share your successes (and failures) in this with us so we can create better collaborative environments at our studios.
What set's your game's animation apart from everyone else in the industry? What went right in your latest game's motion capture sessions? What went wrong? What have you learned from studying animation techniques used in other entertainment industries? Share your lessons with other animators as we want to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly regarding animation trials and tribulations.
- Next Gen Art Techniques
A console transition is looming, and its time to start planning for all the new graphics goodies it will bring.. What will we be able to do with lighting, with procedural art generation, with materials, or with new pipelines? Help set the agenda for the next generation of graphics by sharing your cutting-edge techniques and plans.
- Show us your tech, TAs
You're the glue that holds art production together, TAs. What new ideas in tools and pipelines have you developed this past year? What new shader techniques are you investigating for next-gen? Is there look development work you've done that would enlighten us? Come show us and inspire us!
Start the submission process here
As you can see below, there are multiple time period choices. It's up to you to select the appropriate duration for your session.
NOTE: We do NOT supply any hardware (i.e., laptops) for the attendees. If you need the attendees to bring anything with them, this must be CLEARLY stated in your proposal.
||60 or 25 minutes
||Lectures are issue-oriented, provide concrete examples, and contain both practical and theoretical information. We generally prefer only one speaker but we may accept two if you can demonstrate the second person is necessary. Postmortems and case studies are included in this category.
||Panels take many different viewpoints on a topic or issue and combine them in one debate session with a moderator. Debate among panelists (with very different opinions) is welcome and audience participation time should be accounted for. We prefer 60 minute time for this format and no more than 5 people. Include all of the panelists you have confirmed in the proposal. A very limited number of panels will be accepted.
||Roundtables are small peer discussion groups led by one or two moderators and limited to a maximum of 50 attendees. Moderators should facilitate conversation and keep the flow of discussion inspired and moving. They do not lecture or dictate. Constructive controversy and debate are very welcome in roundtables. Topics that are open-ended in nature and promote an exchange of ideas from people likely to have different viewpoints generally work best in this format. Roundtables run up to three times, once a day during the GDC
|Full-Day or Two-Day
||Tutorials (simply) must teach attendees new skills. Think of this as (informal) classroom training. It can be interactive; you can have them work in teams; you can give them challenges; you can include competitions. The result of the time period MUST be that they'll feel they've learned something truly useful in the world of game development. It can be a skill, an ability, a method or even the mastery of a tool.
||A poster session is similar to a traditional lecture; however, it is presented in front of the poster (a slide presentation is not needed) to a smaller group of attendees. This type of format gives presenters one-on-one interactions with attendees.