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New GDC 2014 Summit talks are all about the power of community

GDC%202012%20group%20photo.jpgGame Developers Conference 2014 organizers are highlighting a few more noteworthy Summit sessions for the upcoming March conference that are aimed at helping you better understand your player's needs, cater to their interests and draw them in as collaborators on your development process.

These talks are part of the QA Summit, the Free To Play Design & Business Summit, and the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, just three of the 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.

Sony Online Entertainment's Linda Carlson is giving a talk at GDC 2014 about the art and business of running your own volunteer program. Carlson serves as the director of global community relations for SOE, and she'll be explaining why volunteer programs are valuable in the game industry in her talk, Volunteers: Collaborative Engagement at its Finest. During her talk Carlson hopes to explore both sides of the collaborative relationship across seven volunteer programs SOE has supported over the years. She also plans to delve into what volunteer coordinators can expect in terms of managing organizing, recruiting, training, managing, disciplining, supporting, retention, incentives and rewards across highly scalable volunteer programs.

Also, 5th Planet Games CTO David Lease is giving an interesting talk about how studios can benefit by bringing their fans deeper into the quality assurance process as part of the GDC 2014 QA Summit. In his session, titled QA via the Masses: Tapping into Player Enthusiasm to Improve QA, Lease plans to highlight the positive side of exposing the design, development and QA testing of your game to your greatest fans. The idea is that more transparency will make your community feel more involved with your project while lightening your workload, and Lease plans to use examples from 5th Planet Games' portfolio to show how you can pull it off.

Finally, check out Why Whales Sing: Heavy Spenders Drive Virality and Retention if you're interested in attending a GDC 2014 session that breaks down how mobile game players who tend to make big purchases discover, recommend and share the games they play with the community at large. The session is led by Applifier CEO Jussi Laakkonen, incorporates a recent survey of more than 3,000 mobile gamers, and should leave you better equipped to understand where the mobile market is heading in the near future. Laakkonen's talk will also cover actionable recommendations for mobile game design and tips for building software that retains player attention while encouraging them to share their appreciation for the game via existing social media channels, which might help developers more effectively build their community.

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. 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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