Please note: this information refers to GDC 2016, check back for updates.

GDC Developer Days provide immersive learning experiences lead by thought leaders from the industry's top companies. Attendees partake in a full day of sessions on topics most relevant to them, coming away with invaluable lessons.

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Amazon Game Development (presented by Amazon Lumberyard)

Track: Programming


  • Eric Schenk
  • Chris Dury
  • Hao Chen
  • Chris Byskal
  • Geoff Pare
  • Brooke Van Dusen
  • Bill Merrill
  • Rosen Baklov
  • James Clarendon
  • Mike Deem


Date: Tuesday, March 15 10:00am - 5:00pm

Amazon Lumberyard is for developers who want to create games that inspire and engage with large communities. Lumberyard helps developers create the highest quality games, engage massive communities of fans, and connect their games to the vast compute and storage of the cloud. These sessions dive into Lumberyard with the veteran team of technologists who helped build it. We will provide practical deep dives into the engine,including discussions on rendering, Cloud Canvas, Amazon GameLift, AWS integration, Twitch integration, as well as a look ahead to the future of game technology.


10:00am - 11:00am
Amazon Lumberyard and Amazon GameLift Building Blocks to Create Great Games and Build Communities
This session introduces the tools and services that will help you build on the shoulders of Amazon commerce, AWS, and Twitch, and make and deliver experiences that garner vibrant communities of passionate fans. We will provide an insider view into game technologies we're building at Amazon, show examples of game innovations with Twitch and AWS, and introduce the features of Lumberyard and Amazon GameLift.

11:20am - 12:20pm
HDR Rendering in Lumberyard
Take an in-depth look at the HDR rendering pipeline of Amazon Lumberyard. This session will provide an overview about Amazon Lumberyard's rendering pipeline and emerging HDR standards. It will also deep dive into an HDR demo, highlighting content production, lighting, material and post processing techniques that work together to deliver spectacular visuals on the next generation HDR TVs.

12:20pm - 1:20pm
Scale Session-based Multiplayer Games with Amazon GameLift
In this session, Amazon engineers will introduce Amazon GameLift core concepts, complete a step-by-step walkthrough of deploying a multiplayer game to the cloud, and demonstrate rapidly scaling a game based on player demand.

1:20pm - 2:20pm
Built for Broadcasting: The Coming Era of Game Design for Interactive Live Video Communities
While it's tough to argue the influence game broadcasters have had on the success of many of today's new releases, how does one create a game that's worth broadcasting? More generally, what does it actually mean to build a game for a live video and chat community? This session will look at the live video ecosystem, exploring the different ways broadcasters have integrated game systems as a part of their everyday communities and how developers are taking cues from these implementations to design new and unique games for video platforms.

2:40pm - 3:40pm
Game Architecture and Components Systems in Lumberyard
As the complexity of building games increases, game developers look to their technology to simplify complex problems and maximize productivity. To provide a solid foundation for the future, we have evolved our approach to engine modules, game systems, and game object components and entities. This talk provides an overview of how we have combined hierarchical data management, modern workflows, advanced asset management, messaging and reflection to enable developers to easily extend and customize Lumberyard.

4:00pm - 5:00pm
Building Cloud-Connected Games Using Lumberyard's Cloud Canvas
It's no longer enough to build a game that has cutting-edge graphics or Hollywood production values. Customers are looking for games that allow them to connect with friends and community, but game developers are often at a loss as to how to get started building features to fulfill that need. Amazon Lumberyard's Cloud Canvas empowers developers to leverage services such as databases, data storage, and methods to execute game logic within Amazon Web Services (AWS) without needing to configure or maintain servers. It makes these resources accessible to non-engineers and incorporates these cloud-connected features directly into their game via the Lumberyard visual scripting system. We will provide an overview of the features of Cloud Canvas including cloud resource management, the designer interface, and a deep dive on how to build your own cloud-connected features.

Google Developer Day (Presented by Google)

Track: Advocacy Business, Marketing & Management


  • Bob Meese
  • Morgan Dollard
  • Ben Frenkel
  • Kellee Santiago
  • John McGuire
  • Shannon Woods
  • Nathan Martz
  • Andy Tzou
  • Jason Sanmiya
  • Maria Essig
  • Robert Anderberg
  • Duncan Curtis
  • Andreas Preuer
  • Sanjeev Verma
  • Eitan Marder-Eppstein
  • Rachid El Guerrab
  • John Burge
  • Jamil Moledina


Date: Monday, March 14 10:00am - 4:00pm

Immerse yourself in a full day of insight, announcements and discussion at the Google Developer Day! In the morning, you'll hear about how to develop great games, grow your user base and earn more money. Then download a ton of tips from our Lightning Talks. Spend the afternoon with Google experts and mobile developers in interactive discussion to get your questions answered, provide your feedback directly to product leads and exchange ideas with peers. Don't miss this opportunity to find tools and tips that will help you grow your games business.


10:00am - 10:30am
Mobile Momentum and New Tools of the Trade
The mobile games business continues to skyrocket and Google is committed to helping game developers get their share. Be the first to see what's new and hear about the investments Google is making to help mobile developers maximize their game business.

10:30am - 11:00am
Secret Sauce for Game Success
You've got a great game, now what? Next, you'll need to build a loyal fan base and keep them engaged. In this talk, you'll learn the recipes that the most successful mobile game developers use to acquire users, bring them back and keep them playing longer.

11:15am - 12:30pm
Lightning talks
Our lightning talks in detail:
Variety is the spice of life, so enjoy this zesty offering of 5-minute talks including innovative technologies to tantalize players, software to speed and simplify game development, and new ways to predict and prevent user churn. These diverse talks will appeal to the tastes of any GDC attendee.

2:00pm - 4:00pm
Interactive Round Table Discussions
Join our round tables to interact with Google experts and peers on how to build better and more successful games. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to ask questions, tell Google product teams what you need, and learn from fellow game developers.

What you can expect to learn during our lightning talks:
How Play Games Predictive Analytics Work
  • Predictive analytics give developers a powerful way to improve engagement, retention, and monetization. However, not all predictive analytics solutions are created equal. In this presentation you'll find out why the Play Games approach to predictive analytics leads to superior results. We'll cover the types of data we incorporate into our models, the different predictive analytics approaches we are using, and how we train and verify the accuracy of our models.

Designing Your Voice
  • The best way an indie developer can stand out in the crowd is by creating a game that no one else but they can make. There is still so much uncharted territory in games, but how do you go about making a game that hasn't been made before?

Capture Your Favorite Moments with GPGS Video Recording
  • Play Game Services now supports video recording. Learn how you can take advantage of the new game play recording capabilities to drive engagement, retention, and monetization. Make your most engaged users rock stars through game play recording.

Graphics Optimization for Android: Mobile-Friendly Features in Vulkan
  • Vulkan, the new low-overhead 3D graphics API, provides developers with a set of tools for increasing performance and decreasing power consumption. We'll take a deeper look at one feature of the API which is especially relevant for Android developers, provide tips on how to get the most out of it, and show off some of its benefits.

Delivering VR for Everyone on Everyday Phones
  • Google Cardboard allows anyone in the world to have a great first VR experience, using nothing more than an inexpensive viewer and the phone in their pocket. Of course "everyone" includes many people who own older, less powerful phones. This talk describes the techniques we've developed to realize the vision of VR for everyone across a wide range of hardware.

Scaling to the next billion players
  • Today's top games launch into a global audience, reaching a greater number of connected players than ever before thanks to mobile and cloud. Let Google handle the backend infrastructure while you you focus on the parts that differentiate your game: great gameplay, AAA content, and immersive community. Come learn how Google Cloud Platform's spectrum of solutions let you sync game data automatically across devices, scale up seamlessly to players around the world, and power your game's backend on Google's world-class networking infrastructure.

The Devil Wears Java
  • Coding is key to our industry. Fashion, not so much. Even still, an aesthetically competent coder is just as valuable as a technically competent artist. This talk will draw parallels between fashion and beautiful game visuals, to show you how dressing well can help you make better games.

"Indie Corner": fine-tune your game and find new players
  • With the maturation of the mobile market, it's getting harder for indie developers to engage and retain their players. Google provides several free tools to help smaller developers achieve these goals. "Indie Corner" enables indie developers to easily fine-tune their f2p games and enjoy a dedicated place on the store.

Using game engines to build for Android: tips, tricks and best practices
  • We will give tips tricks and best practices you should consider when using Unity, Cocos2d-x and Unreal Engine 4 to build for Android.

What the Google Play Games app can do for you and your players
  • The Google Play Games app is having a significant effect on business like yours and for players of all types of games. Find out how to make the most of this great acquisition, engagement and re-engagement channel and about some of the upcoming changes.

Optimizing your games for more users
  • Google Play developed powerful tools to help developers analyze and grow their user base. The talk describes how to use Google Play's tools and features to optimize your games for more users.

YouTube for game developers
  • Leveraging YouTube's new live chat API you can build games that let the viewing audience directly interact with the game the streamer is playing, for example allowing them to vote on decisions or even participate in unique multiplayer experiences. The new Sponsorships API lets the developer offer streamers the option of reserving player slots or otherwise calling out viewers who are financially supporting their streams.

Teaching Phones to See with Project Tango
  • We're working to make every smartphone a Magic Window into the world. See how a sofa looks in your living room. Know which exit to take when you get off the subway. Play with a virtual cat that jumps on your lap. With a few extra sensors and some software magic, your device understands the world the same way you do. Learn about the technology behind these applications and how to take advantage of it.

Expanding your audience to the living room
  • Concepts and techniques for sequencing nonlinear immersive stories, as well as understanding and responding to the audience engagement with what they're viewing. While, unlike in traditional films, the viewer controls the camera and the pacing of the story, there are ways we can give some control back to the storyteller, and many more interaction challenges yet to overcome.

Finding high-value users
  • Finding new users for your game can be a challenge, and it's not just about finding any user, you want to find the right users that contribute to your earnings. Google Ads help you find those users so you can grow your game and business, without wasting valuable marketing dollars.

Earn more with AdMob Mediation
  • Flexible game design requires different ad formats. Partnering with multiple ad networks offers you more variety in the ads that you show but makes it harder to manage them all and earn the most revenue. Enter AdMob Mediation - a way for you to manage all your ad networks from one console and maximize revenue.

Imagination Developer Day (Presented by Imagination Technologies)

Track: Programming


  • Kristof Beets
  • Luke Peterson
  • James Rumble
  • Jens Fursand
  • Justin DeCell
  • Tobias Hector
  • Ash Smith
  • Paul Sobek
  • Joe Davis
  • Dan Galpin
  • Neil Henning
  • Joe Davis
  • Niklas Smedberg
  • Bill Bilodeau


Date: Tuesday, March 15 10:00am - 5:00pm

The Imagination Developers Connection (idc) is an exciting full-day event that includes presentations and interactive sessions with our PowerVR graphics and ray tracing experts. Join us at idc16 for an unique opportunity to learn more about: our PowerVR GPU roadmap and recent announcements; advanced ray tracing techniques for mobile and desktop development; creating efficient Vulkan applications on the PowerVR Architecture; and migrating from OpenGL ES to Vulkan using the new PowerVR SDK framework.


10:00am - 11:00am
PowerVR Graphics Keynote - Latest Developments and Future Plans
In this keynote, we will give an overview of Imagination's hardware and software roadmaps for the PowerVR XE and XT graphics families and the PowerVR Wizard ray tracing technology. Additionally details will be provided on the latest APIs, SDKs and Development Tools for PowerVR GPUs with a specific focus on the Khronos™ Vulkan™ API.

11:20am - 12:20pm
Introduction to ray tracing on the PowerVR GR6500
This session will introduce you to ray tracing on the PowerVR GR6500 "Wizard" architecture. The presentation will include a discussion of the Gandalf architecture, including the constructs in software and hardware that allow us to achieve power efficient ray tracing in dedicated silicon. Attendees will leave with an understanding of how we are enabling real-time ray tracing techniques for developers, and how they might make use of them.

Real-time ray tracing techniques for developers
This session follows on from our introduction of the PowerVR GR6500 Wizard architecture. It will delve into exactly how developers can utilise the power of real-time ray tracing to tackle problems such as variable penumbra soft shadows, glossy reflections and refractions, as well as physics based applications. Attendees will leave with an overview of how ray tracing can be used to provide elegant solutions to traditionally difficult to render or achieve effects, creating enhanced realism and more immersive worlds at a fraction of the cost.

12:20pm - 1:20pm
So you want to build a lightmapper?
This session dives into the gritty details of how to build a lightmapper using raytracing. Tackling problems such as how to build the basic pipeline from triangle to rendered lightmap pixel, while attaining high quality. Building lightmappers with interactivity in mind is also considered in this session. Attendees will leave with an overview of how a raytracing based lightmapper could be built for real-time applications, making it possible to get high quality lighting while maintaining fluid frame-rates.

1:20pm - 2:20pm
Efficient rendering with Vulkan on PowerVR
This talk covers how to create efficient graphics applications using the new Vulkan API. Discussion will focus on pipeline objects; render passes, and synchronization mechanisms. Attendees will gain an understanding of how to write highly efficient rendering applications, and how they will execute on PowerVR's Tile-Based, Deferred Rendering (TBDR) hardware.

Migrating to Vulkan with the new PowerVR graphics framework
Explicit APIs, such as Vulkan, are becoming widespread; whilst powerful, they are verbose and difficult to get to grips with. This session introduces the brand new PowerVR Framework - a cross-API framework simplifying the efficient use of new explicit APIs whilst still supporting traditional APIs. Come along to find out more!

2:40pm - 3:40pm
Working with Vulkan on Android
Description coming soon!

An Introduction to SPIR-V
SPIR-V is the new open standard intermediate language for Vulkan. This talk will explain what SPIR-V is, why Vulkan uses SPIR-V, worked examples of SPIR-V to explain how it's used, and a foray into the tools available when working with SPIR-V.'

4:00pm - 5:00pm
Panel Discussion: Is Vulkan a game changer?
In this industry expert panel session, we will discuss the arrival of the Vulkan API and how it will affect game development. This will include the challenge of integrating explicit APIs in existing engines, how decreased CPU overhead and fine-grained memory allocation control will affect the performance characteristics of Vulkan-capable hardware and the engineering cost of taking on responsibility traditionally left to the graphics driver.

Turn Your Game Into a Business with Amazon Appstore and AWS (Presented by Amazon)

Track: Programming Business, Marketing & Management


  • Peter Heinrich
  • Mike Hines
  • John Burry
  • Dhruv Thukral
  • Greg McConnel
  • Garnett Lee
  • Brooke Van Dusen
  • Ernest Le
  • Jesse Freeman
  • Nate Trost
  • Bryan Mashinter
  • Garnett Lee
  • Ernest Le
  • Marcus 'djWHEAT' Graham
  • Andreas Jirenius
  • Greg Murphy
  • Steve Johnson


Date: Tuesday, March 15 10:00am - 5:00pm

Building games as an indie or AAA studio is serious business and unless you treat it as such you'll have trouble finding success. Join the Amazon Appstore and AWS as we teach you everything from game ideation, creation, scaling, monetization, marketing, polishing and publishing. Let us teach you how to succeed!


10:00am - 11:00am
From a One Person Shop to Indie Dev to AAA: What It Really Takes to Grow
We've entered a golden age of creativity and experimentation. Today, anyone with an idea can build a game and publish it to a global audience. How does the gifted amateur become a pro game developer, and from there, a games industry success story? Hint: it requires more than just programming or artistic talent. In this session, we'll show you how to approach game development as a business - even if business isn't your "thing." We'll look at the single most-important skill you can develop, and show by example what happens if you neglect it. We'll also offer practical insights on choosing a game genre, development environment, and target hardware as well as how to monetize your game.

11:20am - 12:20pm
Building Higher Level Functionality for your Games using AWS
AWS provides many services to help game developers. The functionality provided ranges from identity, synchronization, push messaging and many more. You can think of many of these services as the building blocks of higher functionality. You can use these services to build complex functionality for your game that massively scales without the need for servers. In this talk we will dive into an example of this higher level functionality using an example of a friends system. In addition the team from GameSparks will be discussing how to provide Back-End Services for your Games with Amazon Web Services.

12:20pm - 1:20pm
The Power of a Fanbase: Growing Your Audience with Twitch
In the future, the top games will have fully realized fan bases that will drive their user acquisition and engagement engines. Without it, high customer acquisition costs and low customer life-time value can sink any game. How can you turn your players into fans? Broadcasters need interesting content to show on their channels, and game developers need to get their games in front of players. Leveraging Twitch in your game development process helps build an audience and keep them interested. Come hear experienced broadcasters and developers discuss new content opportunities you can use to expand your broadcast and better engage viewers with Twitch.

1:20pm - 2:20pm
From Idea to Appstore: Building Successful Cross Platform Games With Yacht Club Games
Gone are the days where you can make a game and publish it to a single platform expecting a sure fire success. Yacht Club Games will talk about their experience porting their game Shovel Knight to Fire TV, and we'll walk through how to take a raw idea and turn it into a shippable product. In this session youll learn how to build games that scale correctly across multiple platforms, including how to design your game to work across multiple resolutions, different input devices and on different types of hardware.

2:40pm - 3:40pm
Immediate Game Analytics with AWS: Building a Dashboard from your Game's Streaming data using Kinesis, Lambda, and DynamoDB.
Long term success and viral marketing for your game requires knowing what your players love most. The better you predict and the faster you can respond to players' behavior, the deeper you can engage them with core game and meta game features. Learn how a real-time analytics pipeline for games using Amazon Kinesis, and Amazon DynamoDB can make the difference for your game. Walk through an analytics architecture, and discover tips and tricks other studios have used to great success with millions of players world-wide.

4:00pm - 4:30pm
Three New Ways to Monetize and How Backflip Studios Uses Them
The average game developer only monetizes 2-3% of their customers. What if you could monetize 100% of them? We'll talk with Bryan Mashinter from Backflip Studios about three new ways to do this. In this session you'll learn about: Amazon Underground, where customers get premium apps and in-app items for free and developers get paid for all of the minutes used; Merch by Amazon, a self-service on-demand T-Shirt printing service with no out of pocket cost to you; and Amazon Coins, to help deepen engagement and improve your ARPU (average revenue per user).

4:30pm - 5:00pm
Challenging the Way We Do Things: Lessons from the Latest King Hit Game
King has built some of the worlds most popular casual social games, including hits like Candy Crush Saga which is available in over 200 countries around the world and enjoyed daily by millions. King builds games with a broad appeal, synchronized across platforms, allowing players to switch seamlessly between devices and platforms and continue their game wherever they left off. Come learn how one of Kings latest hit game, Blossom Blast Saga, was created. Hear about their development journey and what decisions were made to create this game in record time with half the normal team size. You'll also get a first look at King's new, free, light-weight game engine, Defold, running on Fire OS and learn how easy it is to publish your game to the Amazon Appstore

Unity Developer Day (Presented by Unity Technologies)

Track: Programming

  • Amir Ebrahimi
  • Pete Moss
  • Dominic LaFlamme
  • Adam Myhill
  • Pierre Paul Giroux
  • John Cheng
  • Patrick Curry
  • Suhail Dutta
  • Andre Gauthier
  • Mark Poeppelmeier
  • Tuomas Rinta
  • Aurore Dimopoulous
  • Hollie Figueroa
  • Sara Lempiainen
  • Kristyna Paskova
  • Jonas Echterhoff


Date: Tuesday, March 15th 10:00am - 5:00pm / Room 2014, West Hall

Join Unity's Developer Day which will feature talks across a range of topics, from building in virtual reality to storytelling, and will highlight best practices and lessons learned from Unity engineers and game developers. Spend the morning with our VR and animation experts and in the afternoon learn how to optimize your work pipelines and boost player engagement with Unity Services. Don't miss this opportunity to meet and chat with Unity Experts!


10:00am - 11:00am
VR: Eyes Wide Open
Let Amir and Pete guide you through what it means to make a VR game or interactive experience in Unity today. They will systematically go through all the practical things you will need to think about before you start your VR project.

Lights, Camera, Interaction!
Join us in exploring a new editor tool and the extensible architecture it's built on. Easily create reusable sequences, full-fledged cutscenes, procedural audio clips, complex particle systems and rich animated scenes. We'll take you through exactly how to integrate this powerful new tool in your production pipeline.

Animation and Audio Unleashed
This talk provides an introduction to the data flow graph technology that powers Unity's animation and audio system. Through an API, you can get programmatic access to the system, allowing you to use the system in fun and exciting new ways. Learn how to control everything from very simple animation clip playback and control to the blending of state machines, and master how to set up custom animation nodes that allow you to create procedural animations and constraints.

Enabling Your Success with Unity Services
Discover how Unity Services fuels your game by optimizing work pipelines and boosting player engagement. Services like Cloud Build and Asset Store helps you iterate quickly, so you can ship your game sooner, while Ads and Analytics helps you monetize and retain players.

Q&A Panel: Managing Your Game's Social Media & Communities
Join Unity's Social Media and Community Management team for a panel style Q and A. We'll be answering basic questions such as "When do I start engaging with my community?" and "How often should I be posting to social media?", as well as taking questions from the audience. Take notes, but don't stress, each attendee will receive a FAQ guide to take home for future reference.

Publishing your Unity Content to the Web with WebGL
Unity engineer Jonas Echterhoff discusses the current state of WebGL tools in Unity, provides tips for game developers and shares the roadmap of the WebGL deployment target.