Know your GDC 2014 Code of Conduct

[Meggan Scavio, GM of GDC events and all-around Boss Lady, takes a moment to detail the official code of conduct for GDC and all of its related events in today’s blog post.]
With Game Developers Conference 2014 just around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone of a certain set of rules we have established for the event. Last year, we formalized the GDC Code of Conduct, and I’d like you to take a moment to familiarize yourself with the details.
Our intention is for GDC to be a friendly, safe, and welcoming environment for all regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, or religion.
We will not tolerate behavior that suggests otherwise.

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GDC 2012 Bosslady Blog: The State Of (Lecture) Submissions

advboard.jpg[In her Bosslady Blog update for the 2012 cycle, Game Developers Conference events GM Meggan Scavio details the extent of the Advisory Board’s work honing next March’s Main Conference lectures.]

Although you may think there’s a few months to go before GDC 2012, we’re already well underway in working to hone lectures for the show. Here’s what happened so far…

Three weeks ago, the Game Developers Conference 2012 Main Conference call for submissions came to a close. By midnight, September 6, a grand total of 722 session proposals were in the system.

During the following two weeks, multiple members of the main GDC advisory board, including almost 20 notables like Clint Hocking (Far Cry 2), Soren Johnson (Civilization IV), Mark Cerny (Marble Madness), and a host of other discipline-specific experts reviewed, commented on and rated each of these submissions.

Along the way, the board members read the abstract, and looked at the attendee evaluation history of each speaker (The GDC keeps all speaker ratings and attendee comments dating back to GDC 2000, and uses them to vet speakers). They also reviewed the supporting material that was uploaded with the submission (slides, videos, PDFs, audio files, all stored thanks to the new GDC submission and rating tool we’ve created this year). And they followed the URLs provided and used their extensive industry knowledge and online information to evaluate each submission.

Then last week, the 20+ board members all flew into the San Francisco Bay Area and gathered at a hotel for three days to select the submissions that would move forward. During two full day meetings, each track (Audio; Business, Marketing & Management; Game Design; Production; Programming; Visual Arts) met independently to discuss the submissions within their track.

The submissions were sorted by average board member rating in descending order, and discussed one by one starting from top rated. It’s here that the track members determined which submissions would move on to what we call ‘Phase Two’.

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Bosslady Blog: GDC25’s Anniversary Highlights, Attendee Gifts, Expansion

[In her Bosslady Blog update, Game Developers Conference event director Meggan Scavio reveals a partnership with I Am 8-Bit for conference attendee posters and ‘Paint By Pixels’, an expansion into Moscone West, and other major highlights of the February 28th-March 4th show in San Francisco.]

Hopefully by now you realize what a milestone year it is for Game Developers Conference. This will be the 25th time that GDC — or rather, an iteration of GDC — has occured.

Notice that I didn’t say 25th year or anniversary? The launch of our show was in 1988, and two events were held that year. The first took place in the living room of our founder, Chris Crawford, near San Jose, CA, and was called the Computer Game Developers Conference. It was such a hit that a second event was scheduled later that year in a proper convention center.

There are a number of ways in which we’re celebrating GDC 25:

– First and foremost, we’re bringing back GDC founder and Balance Of Power designer Chris Crawford to present a special anniversary lecture titled ‘In Days of Yore’. Chris is a famously energetic speaker, as you can see by the infamous finale of his 1992 ‘dragon’ speech at CGDC. I suggest doing what you can to see this talk.

– Of course, we wanted to give conference attendees a special gift for our 25th edition. We were contacted by someone who wanted to create commemorative GDC plates (I’m not making this up!), but we went with a special two-part gift we’re revealing for the first time here. We’re partnering with the fine folks at I Am 8-Bit and each GDC 2011 conference attendee will get a random selection of two posters – out of a complete set of four – that creatively reflect the last 25+ years of game development.

Another project that I Am 8-Bit has created for us is Paint by Pixels. At registration, conference attendees will be given one ‘pixel’, and they can participate by attaching it to an initially blank canvas, to construct a 20-by-8-foot pixel portrait by designer Jude Buffum.. Make sure to make your own contribution to the 5,760 pixels needed to complete the image!

– The Classic Game Postmortem series was also borne out of a GDC 25 brainstorm. Putting this lecture series together might have been one of the most fun things I’ve done for GDC yet. Every person I asked was so excited to participate and revisit their early, sometimes defining titles, from Pac-Man through DOOM to Populous and beyond.

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GDC Bosslady Blog: The Countdown Begins!

[In her latest Bosslady Blog update, Game Developers Conference event director Meggan Scavio fills attendees in this year’s new summits and some changes to the 2010 event.]
Now that my calendar reads 2010, I can officially start the “Countdown to GDC.” It goes a little something like this:
1. Find March 9th on my laminated wall calendar
2. Count the weeks back until I reach the current week.
3. Curse out loud
4. Start a list of all the things yet to do
5. Break into a light sweat.
One of the items on my to-do list is to talk a little bit about what we’ve been up to here at GDC headquarters – besides being excited about the Independent Games Festival Nominees while also being inflamed about Spider-Man 4. Inflamed!
When not already missing Sam Raimi even though Spider-Man 3 was awful, we’re surprisingly productive.
Some of you may have seen the announcement of the newly-formed iPhone Summit taking place March 9-10. Focusing on both the technical and business aspects of developing games for the platform, the iPhone Summit at GDC 2010 will run 1050m before hitting a wall and tumbling to a Canabalt postmortem.
To avoid tumbling to your death, there will also be a session on knowing what you’re signing by understanding the iPhone contract along with how to capture the female iPhone gamer (hint: hot vampires.) The iPhone Summit program is coming together quite nicely, and I suspect there will be more good stuff to announce in that department soon.

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October’s GDC China is the Only Game Development Conference Approved by MOC

[In her latest Bosslady Blog update, Game Developers Conference China event director Meggan Scavio discusses some of the recent news pertaining to GDC China 2009.]
Yesterday, the Ministry of Culture (MOC) formally issued a notification to regulate animation, comics and game tradeshows/conferences. As of today, the Game Developers Conference China (GDC China), to be held October 11-13 2009 in Shanghai, is the only game development conference approved by the Ministry of Culture.
We’ve been working closely with the MOC over the last 9 months towards what we both see as a long-term partnership. The GDC China team, along with UBM CEO, David Levin, met in person with the Minister just last week. The MOC minister expressed excitement over a mutually beneficial future between China and the Game Developers Conference (GDC). In addition, the launch of the first ever Independent Games Festival (IGF) in China mirrors a mission of the MOC–to showcase the talent and craft of the Chinese game development community. The MOC recognize our commitment to the local developers and share our desire to create an environment in which studios participate in a voluntary and meaningful manner.
Read the Official Press Release on the Minisistry of Culture’s new Policy as well as GDC China’s Official Endorsement
GDC China has a few more unannounced surprises so keep a lookout here for updates!

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Bosslady Blog: The Latest GDC 2009 Additions!

[In her latest Bosslady Blog update, Game Developers Conference event director Meggan Scavio discusses the newly announced Nintendo keynote, as well as the GDC Vault and new Dead Space, LittleBigPlanet and Flagship Studios lectures.]
Hopefully by now, the news of GDC 2009’s first announced keynote has made the rounds as far as… you. But if you happen to live on the planet formerly known as Pluto, let me bring you up to date.
Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo Co., Ltd, will deliver the opening keynote at this year’s GDC, titled “Discovering New Development Opportunities.” Mr. Iwata has spoken at GDC twice already and always manages to surprise and inspire. Can’t wait to see what he’s got to say this year!
For anyone who happens not to be a morning person, please take note: Iwata’s opening keynote on Wednesday, March 25th will begin at 9:00 am. GDC keynotes have historically started at 10:30 am, but we thought it would be nice to open the main conference with everybody gathered in one room. Expect bonding – hand holding not required.
Another neat new thing we’re doing this year is the GDC Vault. This new site will host video/slide/audio sync-ed recordings of all GDC Summits, Lectures and Panels, and will be available for online streaming one week after GDC this year. Not only is this quite a task (we’re recording 250 sessions), but it’s free to GDC 2009 All Access pass holders. You need never miss another GDC session again – like I said, neat.
Browsing the website, I found a lot of intriguing new sessions that have popped up since my last update. Sister website Gamasutra has kindly been posting their top picks by track, but here are some new announcements even they haven’t picked up on:

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Bosslady Blog: Welcome To 2009!

[In her latest Bosslady Blog update, Game Developers Conference event director Meggan Scavio discusses some of the newly-confirmed lectures, revealing the art and science of games like Killzone 2, Brutal Legend, and the newest Fable and Far Cry titles.]
Happy 2009, everyone! While the holidays tend to disrupt the workflow of a good portion of the world, the Game Developers Conference team never takes a break. It’s like a coal mine over here. In a good way! A good coal mine.
So what have we been working on? More sessions, of course, and here are some of the newly-confirmed highlights coming to our March 23rd-27th event:

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Bosslady Blog: China, Europe, Canada, GDC Lecture Debuts

[In her latest Bosslady Blog update, Game Developers Conference event director Meggan Scavio discusses the announcements of GDC China and GDC Europe, and reveals the first lectures from GDC, including Braid‘s David Hellman, MGS’ David Wu and FF Tactics composer Hitoshi Sakimoto.]
There is so much going on around here these days, I don’t even know where to start. I know…reverse chronology!
Let me take you on a journey to the future. Picture it: October 11, 2009, Shanghai. Do you see it? Are you there? You’ll know because you’re at GDC China. That’s right — we launched GDC China back in 2007, ran into, let’s call them ‘hurdles’ in 2008, and are forging our way back in 2009. Keep your ears and eyes open for more information. The first GDC China exceeded all expectations — and without sounding too cheerleadery, I predict the second one will be even better.
OK, now stay in the future, just in the not-as-distant one. Picture it: August 17, 2009, Cologne. That’s right, GDC Europe. Now this gets a little complicated, see if you can stay with me. GCDC, run by Frank Sliwka, was the developer event that was co-located with Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany. Frank is now going to run GDC Europe, which is being presented in conjunction with gamescom in Cologne and is supported by BIU, the largest European publisher trade body. GDC Europe will be a truly pan-European developer conference and will follow the model of the GDC in San Francisco.
Last but by no means least is GDC Canada. Vancouver. May 2009. Be there!
New Sessions Announced!
Now we arrive at GDC in San Francisco. March, 2009. Today, we announced our first round of conference sessions, and there are some real gems:

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Bosslady Blog: Content is King

[Ever wondered how talks get selected for GDC? Game Developers Conference event director Meggan Scavio reveals this year’s GDC advisory board and submission process.]
Every summer, the GDC advisory board gathers to discuss the direction of the next event. The board is made up of 17 of the most dedicated, brilliant people in the industry. And I’m not just saying that because they might read this.
You may have heard of some of them, for example Blizzard’s Rob Pardo, Electronic Arts’ Lou Castle, veteran creator Mark Cerny, Bungie’s Chris Butcher, MGS’s Laura Fryer, and Maxis’ Chris Hecker. See, it’s true. Smarties.
Anyhow, during this meeting they talk about everything from networking opportunities (“wouldn’t it be cool to have a roundtable follow a thought-provoking lecture so the attendees can discuss what they just heard?”) to session formats (“what if we gave speakers 3 minutes each to present their cool idea or technology”).

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Director’s Cut: GDC Fast Forward

Good morning everyone! I haven’t updated my column here recently, it’s been a bit crunchy for us around here with the final load-in on GDC. However, it’s all locked down, and there’s only a few remaining things to mention, all of which revolve around bringing the GDC firmly into the 21st Century.

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