GDC 2018 | VRDC@GDC Call for Submissions



|   [email protected] CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

All of the GDC 2018 Call for Submissions have closed. [email protected], GDC Summits and Game Career Seminar closed on Friday, September 29, while GDC Main Conference closed on Friday, August 18.

[email protected] solicits proposals from speakers with deep industry expertise and innovative ideas in the virtual, augmented, and mixed reality industry. Submission criteria and guidelines are available below.

The following Tracks are seeking speaking proposals:

  • Game VR/AR
  • Entertainment VR/AR

Submission Guidelines

If you want to submit, please take note of the following:

Vendor-Specific Proposals
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.

GDC Main Conference Tracks

The call for submissions to the GDC Main Conference Tracks, the call for submissions closed on August 18th at 11:59 PT. Proposals submitted to the main conference of GDC are considered by the GDC Advisory Board. There is no penalty for submitting a proposal to both the main conference and summits and /or [email protected], however should you submit the same topic more than once, keep your audience in mind and adjust similar content as you deem appropriate. Each program has its own advisors and submissions will be reviewed separately. You may contact Victoria Petersen about the Main Conference Tracks call for submissions. Click here for more information about the Main Conference Tracks.

Speaker Expectations

Conference attendees expect excellence from GDC speakers. They will evaluate your talk based on delivery, knowledge on the topic addressed, and the visuals presented. Please consider the following when proposing to speak:

  • The proposed outline must match the talk you present at the Summit.
  • We suggest that you commit AT LEAST 30 HOURS to prepare for your session.
  • You may be required to submit your presentation slides for review prior to acceptance.
  • We require all speakers to sign and return a speaker agreement. This agreement confirms your intent to speak at the event, and gives the Game Developers Conference® the right to post your contributions to the online conference proceedings GDC Vault (if applicable) while you maintain your right to use your work elsewhere. When you sign the agreement, you will also consent to having your presentation audiotaped and/or videotaped.
  • Your presentation should not be delivered at any other conference or seminar PRIOR to the Conference, unless by express permission of the Conference.
  • We strongly encourage that you rehearse the delivery of your session for it to be effective; preferably in front of your peers.
  • Have adequate visual accompaniment to your speech.
  • The submitter also agrees to be available to present his/her session during conference hours on either day of [email protected]: March 19 or 20, 2018.

[email protected] Tracks & Topics of Interest

The [email protected] advisors are seeking proposals on the following topics. These topics are the foundation of the programs this year. However, feel free to submit your own original ideas for consideration as well. At GDC and [email protected], we aim to achieve diversity of voice, experience and perspective. When considering who would be best to speak on behalf of your company or department, we strongly encourage taking this goal into consideration.

Game VR/AR Track
Advisors are soliciting submissions exploring virtual, augmented and mixed reality in game development, pertaining to topics across multiple disciplines including Design, Production, Programming, and Visual Art. Submissions should be representative of interesting and current work happening in VR/AR/MR game development and have valuable, actionable and/or inspiring takeaways for the [email protected] audience.
Entertainment VR/AR Track
Virtual, augmented and mixed reality is about so much more than just games. For the Entertainment VR/AR Track, advisors are soliciting submissions spanning VR/AR/MR application, design, implementation and development across multiple industries including Entertainment, Travel, Retail, Fitness, Product Design, Journalism, Sports Entertainment. If you're developing an immersive VR, AR, or MR experience or application that goes beyond games, we want to hear about it!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the submission deadline?
[email protected] Call for Submissions have closed.
What makes a good submission?
  • Incomplete proposals or proposals that are commercial or marketing in nature will not be considered.
  • Review all of the submission guidelines on this page and follow the instructions.
  • Write your proposal so that it is easily understood. Concise, precise language and a discernible thesis will also help your chances in the review process.
  • The advisors will read many submissions. Get to your point as quickly as possible. Consider what the proposal is about. Why is it interesting? How is it important to game development? What will game developers get out of the session?
What do I need to provide in my submission?
The submission form will require these key items. You may be asked to submit additional materials before a decision is made on your proposal.
  1. Contact information
    Full contact information and a short biography (100 word max) are required.
  2. Session Title
    A concise, descriptive title of no more than 8 words.
  3. Presentation description
    A description of your presentation as you would have it appear on the GDC website in 100 words or less. Write in 3rd person, present tense.
  4. Attendee takeaway
    In 50-words or less, summarize what new knowledge attendees will gain from this presentation. Write as you would have it appear on the website. Do not use bullet points, write in 3rd person present tense.
  5. Summary for Advisors
    Describe to the advisors what your talk will be about, and why it will be interesting to [email protected] attendees. This is not the description of your talk for the website, 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 advisors.
  6. Supporting Materials
    Upload any helpful elements you will use to illustrate your talk, e.g., code samples, demos, video clips, etc. The advisors would like to see demos, images, or any documentation that supports your submission.
  7. Past Speaking Engagements & Web links
    If applicable, list the conferences, the title of the lecture, scores, and references. If you can provide references for these lectures, include a name and contact information. Add links to your company's website(s), personal blog(s), projects you're working on, etc., to support your proposal. Please do not offer links to news articles.
What are the session formats?
The final length and format of accepted sessions will be determined by the advisors. Please select what you feel will be the most appropriate.
Format Duration Description
Lectures 60 or 30 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 60 Minutes 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.
How do I choose a session format?
It is very common for us to receive a proposal on a wonderful topic that we want to accept, but that requires a format change. This is not a problem, but if you choose properly, it means we're more likely to trust you to know what you're doing and less likely to micromanage you at every step. This makes it easier for all of us.

60-minute lectures tend to be inspirational, high-level, or wide-ranging talks that cover a subject of broad importance. 30-minute lectures tend to cover a single, narrow topic in depth. Panels tend to examine a controversial or difficult topic with no easy answers and lots of interesting talking points; panels are 60 minutes, which is enough time for about eight planned questions. In all cases, expect to leave a few minutes at the end for Q&A.

Also consider who is speaking. Most lectures are given by a single person, unless there is a compelling reason that requires multiple speakers (especially for a 30-minute talk, where there is hardly time to switch speakers). Panels generally have a moderator and three or four panelists who are established and known experts on the topic; everyone in the room is likely to have an opinion, after all, so the only reason to make it a panel and not just a list of questions for audience discussion is if the panelists have opinions that are worth listening to.

Common mistakes:
  • Taking a narrow topic and pitching it as a 60-minute lecture. If you can squeeze the important stuff into 30 minutes, do so.
  • Taking a 60-minute lecture and having five listed speakers, and/or taking what should be a perfectly good lecture and pitching it as a panel. Just because you've got a great topic does not mean you get to bring all of your friends to GDC and [email protected] for free by sneaking them in as guest speakers for your talk. If you try, it's pretty obvious who the unnecessary dead weight is, and just raises our suspicion that you're thinking more about the speaker perks than the audience takeaways. (If your Dean is insisting on being a guest speaker when they have nothing to contribute, push back. If you don't, we will anyway, so please save us the effort.)
How does the selection process work?
  • We will email you a confirmation when we receive your proposal. If you do not receive this confirmation, contact Megan Bundy.
  • Save the link to your proposal, you can revise your submission details until the deadline.
  • The advisors will review all submissions in the coming months and score them on the criteria below.
  • This composite rating along with past GDC/[email protected] session evaluation scores (when applicable) and advisor feedback will determine the status of every submission.
  • You will receive notification in mid-November 2017 about the status of your proposal.

These four criteria are considered when reviewing your proposal:

Concept: This is the basic idea of your proposal. Is it interesting? Is it relevant? Will it be beneficial for game development professionals to hear? The best proposals provide concrete takeaways that help attendees in their jobs. There's room for innovative ideas and the tried and true.

Depth: Has the idea in your proposal been well considered and fleshed out? To what extent will the audience gain insight? The more in-depth, the better. It should not be "obvious," i.e. easily gleaned by simply playing a few popular games. If you plan on showing data, specify exactly what data you will be sharing in your proposal.

Organization: Are your ideas organized in a fashion conducive to presentation in front of an audience? Will the Advisory Board "follow" what you are trying to say? Organization is a must!

Credentials: How do your credentials qualify you to speak on the topic you've proposed? From experience, proposals written by someone other than the speaker tend to have a lower rate of acceptance.

A Note On Writing Style: Unless we've seen you speak before (or you link to a video of you speaking at some other conference), we tend to assume that your writing style is at least somewhat correlated to your speaking style because that's all we have to go on. Write the way that you would speak at GDC.
Who will review my proposal?
Advisors to the specific [email protected] track you select will review your proposal. They are distinguished industry professionals who volunteer their time to help develop the numerous sessions at [email protected] They work to ensure that the quality of the content provided to attendees is high-level, relevant, and timely.

Select a track below to learn about the Advisors:

Game VR/AR
Entertainment VR/AR

What are the benefits of speaking?
The benefits of being a speaker include:

  • Complimentary registration
  • Access to all conference Sessions, GDC Summits, [email protected] and the Expo floor
  • Speaker lunch cards
  • Invitation to our annual VIP networking event, the Level99 Speaker Party
  • Your name and presentation featured in our conference program and website
  • A year subscription to the GDC Vault (recordings of all GDC and VRDC events past and current)
How do I propose a vendor-specific session?
We want our talks to be opportunities for professional game developers to share their ideas and experiences. Proposals that are commercial or marketing in nature will not be considered. In general, content specific to proprietary products and technologies are considered sponsored material. The Advisory Board and conference management reserve the right to exercise their editorial discretion. If you would like to publicize a product, please contact our sales team for information on exhibiting and other vendor opportunities, including sponsored sessions.
What does the GDC expect from speakers?
When you agree to speak at GDC or [email protected], you are making a commitment to deliver a well prepared talk and to speak on the topic you have proposed. We ask that you do not drastically change the submitted topic or content. 

You will be evaluated by attendees on how well you delivered your presentation, aim to be among the top 50 presenters. 

We expect our speakers to submit the final version of their presentation to be made available on GDC Vault.
When will I be notified of the status of my submission?
You will receive an automated email response once your submission is received. We will notify you of the status of your submission in mid-November 2017. If you do not hear from us by then, please contact Megan Bundy.
How should a PR Rep or Executive Assistant submit on behalf of a potential speaker?
First, it is ideal if the speaker themselves submit as they can provide the most detail about the content. However, If you are a PR representative or someone submitting on behalf of a potential speaker, fill in the speaker's contact info in the first section and also list the speaker's information in the speaker profile section, but be sure to add yourself as the 'PR contact' associated with the speaker profile(s). This will insure that you receive all email correspondence relating to GDC in the same email as the speaker(s). Without complete speaker details, the submission will be considered incomplete and will not be able to advance until speaker contact info is received.
Who should I contact with additional questions?
Please contact Megan Bundy with any additional questions.

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