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GDC 2014 unveils new Summit talks on mobile game design

skisafari1.jpgGame Developers Conference 2014 organizers have revealed a few new Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit talks for its March conference, including sessions explaining how to find success in China with a foreign game, a guide to making a great companion app for AAA titles, and more.

These talks are part of the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, one of eight that will take place Monday, March 17 and Tuesday, March 18 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA during the first two days of GDC 2014.

As part of the Summit, Yodo1 CEO Henry Fong is giving a talk outlining how Australian indie studio Defiant Development managed to successfully bring its casual mobile title Ski Safari to Chinese iOS and Android markets. Fong plans to explain how game was modified to appeal to Chinese players -- including the transition from paid to free-to-play -- and how those changes, coupled with a culturally-appropriate marketing plan, helped the game gain more than 50 million players in just over a year to become one of the most popular mobile games in China. The talk, as you might expect, will be titled simply How Ski Safari Became a Chinese Hit.

The Summit isn't all about mobile games, though -- Ubisoft is sending a producer and designer from the Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag team to offer advice on how a AAA development team can best develop a companion mobile app to complement a big-budget title. During the talk, titled Meaningful Companion Apps for AAA Console Titles, Andree-Anne Boisvert (associate producer) and Marie Eve Vignola (lead game designer) will share their experience working on the Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag companion mobile app at GDC 2014. The speakers will offer tips on what sort of companion app or game is best-suited for your next game, how to apply mobile game development best practices to the companion app creation process, and more.

Finally, Pixowl co-founder Sebastien Borget is coming to GDC this year to address the challenges his team faced building a world-crafting mobile game in a postmortem of The Sandbox titled, appropriately enough, The Sandbox Postmortem: Crafting Your Success in World Building Games. Borget expects to cover not only how his team actually built the game and maintained the game, but how they built all the things around the game that made it successful, including an active and engaged community that kept the user-generated content flowing and the game's monetization engine running smoothly.

For more information on these or others in the show's growing lineup, check out GDC 2014's official Schedule Builder, which continues to add new talks every week. The deadline for discounted Early Bird passes, including a lower-priced Summits, Tutorials & Bootcamps Pass, is January 31. GDC 2014 itself will take place March 17-21 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

For more information on GDC 2014, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

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