GDC Next’s first talks: Disney, thatgamecompany, Google, Adam Orth

GDC Next organizers have announced the first talks for its inaugural ‘what’s next?’ game conference in Los Angeles this November, revealing a 30% event discount limited to the first 500 online registrants.
The first talks revealed for GDC Next, illuminating the future-leaning plans for the new event, are Google on the first six months of its Play service, thatgamecompany on its design philosophy & future, Disney on theme park design lessons for game developers, and Adam Orth on reforming toxic online behavior.
As evinced in these selections, GDC Next, the spiritual successor to GDC Online, aims to highlight the future of video games, and is taking place alongside the App Developers Conference on November 5th-7th, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Throughout the months leading to GDC Next, organizers will announce exciting talks selected for the conference’s six tracks: The Future of Gaming, Next Generation Game Platforms, Free-to-Play & New Business Models, Smartphone and & Tablet Games, Cloud Gaming, and Independent Games.
First up, Thatgamecompany (Journey) studio manager Sunni Pavlovic will discuss the award-winning team’s underlying design philosophy in ‘An Experimental Approach to Interactive Entertainment.’ Pavlovic will explore how to engage first-time and hardcore players and “everyone in between,” while being mindful of changes in input technology and social dynamics.

Just as in video games, Disney’s theme park-building imagineers deal with issues of artistic design, architectural storytelling, interactive narrative, massively multiplayer gameplay, adapting classic characters to the interactive world and community building. In the lecture ‘Location-Based Interactive Storytelling the Walt Disney Imagineering Way,’ imagineers Jonathan Ackley (himself a former Monkey Island designer at LucasArts) and Chris Purvis will discuss theme park designs and how these can inform game design in the virtual world.
Google developer advocate Todd Kerpelman will reflect on Google Play, the company’s mobile and web games service.
Finally, Adam Orth (former Microsoft creative director, now at his own Orthnation consultancy) will explore toxic online behavior in ‘Mob Rules: The Destructive Power of Opinion and Online Community.’ Orth was most recently in the news for joking over Twitter on the possibility of an always-online console.
Along with sharing his personal online experiences which led him to leave Microsoft, Orth will highlight how he hopes the industry can “inspire developers as a community to rebuild the foundation of online and community through positive academic, communal and mechanical revolution.”
More talks will be revealed throughout the months leading up to GDC Next in November, with a detailed schedule builder going live soon.
Already live are GDC Next and the co-located App Developers Conference registrations, with an approximate 30% savings given to the first 500 online registrants. Group admission discounts are also available.
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