GDC Vault Debuts Free Playdom, AI Rant, Humble Bundle Sessions

The GDC Vault service
has debuted several free videos from the Game Developers Conference
2011, featuring Playdom’s Raph Koster on whether social games are truly
social, a rant on game AI, and a retrospective look at the forces behind
the successful Humble Indie Bundle.

These talks join recently-debuted free videos from GDC founder Chris Crawford, Bungie’s David Aldridge, and Maxis veteran Stone Librande, as well as the much-watched classic postmortem series as part of GDC 2011’s ‘free recordings’ section on GDC Vault.

The following free lectures include highlights from the conference’s
notable Summits, which covered topics such as social and online games,
AI, independent games, and more.

The first talk offered for free is a lecture from Playdom’s Raph Koster dubbed, “Social Mechanics for Social Games.” In this session, Koster picks apart the interpersonal interactions that take place within online social titles.

As he notes in his talk, “Many have accused social games of not
really being social. But they are underpinned by many classic social
mechanics that drive interaction and community-building. Some of these
have been proven to work in other genres such as MMOs and are beginning
to filter into the social games market; others are easily visible and
quite familiar in real life, but have yet to be seen in the design of
social games.”

The session, “Turing Tantrums: AI Developers Rant!
features a handful of AI developers from various companies speaking
their minds on what they feel are the most important issues currently
facing the implementation of game AI.
The session includes AI specialist Richard Evans on the benefits of
“rolling your own scripting languages,” Blizzard’s Brian Schwab on the
driving forces behind successful AI, as well as rants from developers
Kevin Dill (Lockheed Martin), Mike Lewis (EGOSOFT), and Dave Mark
(Intrinsic Algorithm).

Finally, in “The Humble Indie Bundle
Jeffrey Rosen and John Graham provide a inside look at the processes
and planning that led to the surprisingly successful indie game
promotion, which generated more than $1.3 million for charities and
developers.

The speakers note, “[The Humble Indie Bundle] was the first promotion
to combine five indie games in a pay-what-you-want, cross-platform
(Mac, Linux, Windows), DRM-free extravaganza. Also notable, was the fact
that this promotion was not orchestrated on a large existing gaming
portal but was a spontaneous event put on by the indie developers
themselves.”

As the group behind the leading worldwide gaming conference, GDC
organizers remain committed to making the event’s best current and
historical lectures available for free to the global game community, and
will continue to release new free content throughout 2011.

Full GDC Vault access is available to GDC 2011 All-Access Pass
holders, speakers, and All-Access Pass buyers to other GDC events for
the rest of 2011. (Subscribers having issues accessing content should contact GDC Vault admins.)

Individual Vault subscriptions not tied to All-Access passes are now available
in a limited-edition Beta invite process — those interested in signing
up to be invited in on a first come, first served basis should sign up on the GDC Vault website.

In addition, game-related schools and development studios who sign up
for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire
office or company. More information on this option is available via
viewing an online demonstration.

GDC organizers are also committed to making more archival content free for all during 2011, following a successful ‘GDC 25 Chronicles’ digitization project.
GDC historian Jason Scott has been retained for the rest of 2011 to
continue digitizing the extensive Game Developers Conference archives,
with his ‘Tales From The GDC Vault’ series.