Sworcery, PopCap, Zynga/ArenaNet talks added to GDC 2012 Summits

sworcery.jpgWith the 2012 Game Developers Conference quickly gaining momentum, the show’s organizers have chosen to showcase the show’s newest and most notable Summit talks, including a behind the scenes look at Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, a PopCap lecture on fostering online communities, and Zynga and ArenaNet on online game AI.

These talks join an already robust lineup for the show’s eight specialized Summits, which cover emerging or otherwise influential aspects of the game industry, ranging from AI, Social & Online Games, to Independent Games and beyond.

The Summits will take place during the first two days of GDC 2012 — from Monday, March 5 through Tuesday, March 6 a the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Those interested in checking out all of their content can do so by registering for an All-Access or Summits and Tutorials Pass on the official GDC website (a specialized Independent Games Summit Pass is also available).

The following is a selection of the latest notable sessions to be added to the GDC 2012 Summits:

– In the Independent Games Summit, Capy co-founder and president Nathan Vella will take a moment to look back at one of 2011’s most unusual, yet captivating mobile games: Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. His talk, “Perhaps a Time of Miracles Was at Hand: The Business & Development of #Sworcery,” will dive into creative and business-focused risks that helped the game find both critical and financial success.

– Over in the Social & Online Games Summit, PopCap’s customer engagement lead, Stephanie Bayer, will host a talk dubbed “Community Commodity.” This session will explain that while it’s relatively easy to attract players to a new online game, developers need to be very careful with how they treat the players they have. Bayer will outline how PopCap creates a thriving social ecosystem for its games on all platforms, encouraging even casual players to stick with these titles long-term.

– Today’s final talk comes from the AI Summit, in which Zynga principal software engineer Robert Zubek and ArenaNet senior server programmer Mike Lewis will discuss how rich AI plays a crucial role in both social games and traditional MMOs. Their session, “Managing the Masses: Crafting AI for Online Games,” will look at both CityVille and the upcoming Guild Wars 2 to demonstrate how online game developers can manage AI elements that interact efficiently with tens of thousands of players simultaneously.

Last week, GDC organizers detailed three more AI Summit talks, spanning games from Thief 4 through Double Fine’s Happy Action Theater to Hitman: Absolution and more. Show organizers have also revealed Summit talks featuring Playdom on the problems with social game characters, SingStar‘s creator on behavior-changing apps, and a look at the viral success of Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure.

For more information on these or any other sessions at GDC 2012, please check out the event’s official Schedule Builder, which shows the current (and constantly-growing) lineup for the show so far.

Also be sure to keep an eye on this official GDC news blog, which will showcase exciting new announcements for the show, in addition to this continuing series of posts pointing a spotlight at the show’s most exciting, informative, and usual content.

To keep abreast of all the latest news about GDC 2012, please subscribe to updates from the GDC news page via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. GDC 2012 will take place March 5 through March 9 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and is owned and operated by Gamasutra parent company UBM TechWeb.