GDC Online 2011 Debuts Cityville, Nexon, Old Republic Talks

biowareholo.jpgGDC Online has debuted a new batch of lectures for the October show, featuring talks from Zynga on its megahit CityVille, Nexon on handling online game disasters, and BioWare on iterating Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Taking place Monday through Thursday, October 10-13, 2011 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, GDC Online
continues as the leading worldwide event to solely discuss the
development and business trends surrounding connected games — including
casual titles, MMOs, virtual worlds, and social networking games.

This year’s Main Conference will include tracks on Business & Marketing, Customer Experience, Design, Production, and Programming, as well as a sponsored track on Monetization.

As the event’s Schedule Builder reveals the first set of lectures, the following are some fresh highlights from this year’s Main Conference:

– BioWare Austin principal designer Georg Zoeller will host “Rapid MMO Content Iteration and Validation with Spatial Analysis in Star Wars: The Old Republic,”
a talk that will look at “how spatial analysis can be used to support a
rapid content iteration process during the late stages of MMO
development.”

The session will also demonstrate how the studio’s own
“HoloProjector” spatial visualization toolkit helps contextualize user
behavior and metrics for the developers of the long awaited Star Wars-themed MMO from BioWare and EA.

– Elsewhere, in “Engineering CityVille,” Zynga’s Robert Zubek will outline the server-side engineering techniques that allowed the company’s hit Facebook title CityVille
to expand quickly after its successful launch, as well the gameplay
engineering strategies that enabled rapid content generation.

Principal software engineer Zubek will explain how CityVille’s
engineering is a departure from Zynga’s previous releases, and will
point out the “tried-and-true techniques” that Zynga decided to use
again for this social title.

– Nexon America’s Crystin Cox will examine some of the most daunting challenges in MMO development in “Live Game Disasters: How to Prepare for the Worst Before It Happens.”
In this session, Cox will provide attendees with “specific tactics for
preparing for and responding to critical live service issues faced by
online games.”

Drawing from her own experience managing online games, Cox will also
point out the aftermath developers can expect when things go awry with a
live MMO.

In addition to the Main Conference, GDC Online will also feature the ever popular Game Narrative Summit, as well as Summits on Smartphone & Tablet Games and Virtual Items, all of which will host specialized sessions on some of the most vital emerging areas in games.

Earlier this month, GDC Online opened nominations
for the annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards, and show
organizers will continue to accept nominations until June 30, 2011.

The longrunning Austin-based show, which continues to expand a robust
Expo and offer in-depth takeaway from sessions alongside networking
opportunities, also has a number of other announcements planned for the
upcoming weeks and months.

For more information on GDC Online as the event takes shape, please visit the official GDC Online website, or subscribe to updates from the new GDC Online-specific news page via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. GDC Online is owned and operated by UBM TechWeb, as is this website.