Sonic The Hedgehog F2P, Tom Hall, future of AR talks added to GDC Next

While early-rate pricing is rapidly running out, ‘future of games’ conference GDC Next organizers have added more exciting talks, including Sega’s move to free-to-play with Sonic and veteran Tom Hall (DOOM, Rise Of The Triad) on Diner Dash‘s mobile efforts, as first-500 registration is almost filled.
GDC Next is the spiritual successor to GDC Online, and will take place alongside the App Developers Conference on November 5th-7th, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
This new event aims to highlight the future of video game development, with tracks including ‘Next Generation Game Platforms’, ‘Free To Play & New Business Models’, and ‘Smartphone & Tablet Games’, as well as cloud and indie game tracks.
Newly announced sessions for GDC Next include ‘The Evolution of Sonic: Dashing into a Freemium World,’ where Sega director of online services Ethan Einhorn will explore the company’s transition into mobile and new monetization models with titles such as Sonic Dash and Sonic Jump, discussing changes made to the gameplay and design at different stages in the products’ lifecycles.

In ‘Designing Games for Fun and Profit: A Diner Dash Rush Retrospective,’ PlayFirst senior creative director Tom Hall will review the creative process behind the game (pictured), the goals of providing exciting mechanics and effective monetization, and the results of this successful collaboration between game design and business, with data-driven examples from the reboot of Diner Dash.
Lastly, in ‘Beyond the Box: Opportunities in Augmented Reality,’ Advanced Interactions owner Brian Cody will cover how AR began, the current tools/costs/options for building AR apps, building AR apps with Vuforia/Unity 3D, the future of AR, and its impact on the future of gaming.
Be sure to check out the GDC Next Session Scheduler to see these and other announced talks and begin your planning. Previously announced talks include an exclusive demo-heavy Xbox One Kinect talk, an “evolution of eSports” panel featuring speakers from Riot, Twitch, and Team Dignitas, and another key panel on veteran triple-A developers (from Bungie, EA, and Zynga) going indie.
Registration is in full swing for GDC Next and the co-located ADC. The first 500 attendees who sign up (with over half of these seats already taken up, and the rest going fast!) can save over 30% on ADC, GDC Next, or a combined VIP All-Access Pass. For all the latest news on GDC Next, subscribe for updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS. Also, check out ADC’s recently announced design talks: analytics platform Mixpanel on how to collect and use analytics data to give your devs a competitive edge, and Tumblr on bad habits for mobile software developers.