2009 Independent Games Summit Completes Line-Up With Humble, Fitterer, Santiago

The organizers of the 2009 Independent Games Summit have revealed the completed line-up for the March 23-24 GDC 2009 event, with Electronic Arts exec and art-game creator Rod Humble, Audiosurf's Dylan Fitterer and Flower's Kellee Santiago among the newly confirmed speakers.
The third annual Independent Games Summit, which takes place on the Monday and Tuesday of this year's GDC at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, features lectures, postmortems and roundtables from some of the most notable independent game creators, including many former and current Independent Games Festival finalists and winners.
The 2009 IGS seeks to highlight the brightest and the best of indie development, with discussions ranging from game design philosophy, distribution, business, marketing, and much more. A synopsis of the full summit line-up is as follows:

Previewing GDC 2009: Inside The Production Track

[In the fifth of a series picking out the most notable Game Developers Conference 2009 lectures, sister site Gamasutra examines the Production Track, featuring talks from the Spore, Crysis Warhead and Fable II creators, as well as production analyses from BioWare Austin, Microsoft Game Studios, and Bungie.]
Game Developers Conference 2009 (organized by Gamasutra parent company Think Services) is set to take place in San Francisco's Moscone Center from March 23 to 27, 2009 - with the important early registration deadline now imminent, and set for February 12.
With nearly 390 sessions now confirmed for GDC 2009, we'll be taking a track by track look at the conference's line-up over the next few weeks.
Fifth on the list is GDC's Production Track, which will look at "the game development process from the standpoint of running project nuances" and will offer "proven strategies for effective game production."
Notable highlights thus far announced for this track are as follows:

Bosslady Blog: The Latest GDC 2009 Additions!

[In her latest Bosslady Blog update, Game Developers Conference event director Meggan Scavio discusses the newly announced Nintendo keynote, as well as the GDC Vault and new Dead Space, LittleBigPlanet and Flagship Studios lectures.]
Hopefully by now, the news of GDC 2009's first announced keynote has made the rounds as far as... you. But if you happen to live on the planet formerly known as Pluto, let me bring you up to date.
Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo Co., Ltd, will deliver the opening keynote at this year’s GDC, titled “Discovering New Development Opportunities.” Mr. Iwata has spoken at GDC twice already and always manages to surprise and inspire. Can’t wait to see what he’s got to say this year!
For anyone who happens not to be a morning person, please take note: Iwata’s opening keynote on Wednesday, March 25th will begin at 9:00 am. GDC keynotes have historically started at 10:30 am, but we thought it would be nice to open the main conference with everybody gathered in one room. Expect bonding - hand holding not required.
Another neat new thing we’re doing this year is the GDC Vault. This new site will host video/slide/audio sync-ed recordings of all GDC Summits, Lectures and Panels, and will be available for online streaming one week after GDC this year. Not only is this quite a task (we’re recording 250 sessions), but it's free to GDC 2009 All Access pass holders. You need never miss another GDC session again - like I said, neat.
Browsing the website, I found a lot of intriguing new sessions that have popped up since my last update. Sister website Gamasutra has kindly been posting their top picks by track, but here are some new announcements even they haven't picked up on:

2009 Choice Awards Names Ambassador, Pioneers, Schafer As Host

The 2009 Game Developers Choice Awards, the highest honors in game development acknowledging excellence in game creation, have named the recipients of two of its special awards, while also revealing that popular host of the 2007 Awards and Double Fine founder Tim Schafer is returning to present this year's Choice Awards.
Harmonix co-founders Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, co-developers of a groundbreaking decade-plus long line of music games culminating in the Rock Band franchise, will receive the Pioneer Award for their work.
In addition, Tommy Tallarico, co-founder of the Video Games Live concert series and founder of the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.), will receive the Ambassador Award for helping to advance the game audio community.

GDC Canada Reveals Advisory Board, Track Format

Think Services Game Group and Reboot Communications have revealed new details on this May's GDC Canada, including an advisory board including EA, Next Level Games, Radical, and BioWare execs, as well as a track line-up based around the production schedule of video games.
According to NPD Canada, the Canadian game industry grew by 23 percent in 2008, reaching C$2.09 billion in revenues. GDC Canada plans to serve this fast-growing region by providing a forum for Canadian developers to share best practices for fostering ingenuity and quality within their globally distributed games.
GDC Canada’s content lineup emphasizes the production cycle of game development, with lecture and panel tracks focused on the following stages of game creation: Concept/Preproduction, Production, Finalling and Post Launch/Analysis:

Previewing GDC 2009: Inside The Programming Track

[In the fourth of a series picking out the most notable Game Developers Conference 2009 lectures, presented by sister site Gamasutra, they examine the Programming Track, with newly added talks from the Killzone 2, Halo Wars, and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves creators.]
Game Developers Conference 2009 (organized by Think Services) is set to take place in San Francisco's Moscone Center from March 23 to 27, 2009.
With nearly 280 sessions now confirmed for GDC 2009, we'll be taking a track by track look at the conference's line-up over the next few weeks.
Fourth on the list is GDC's Programming Track, which will focus on the "ever increasing challenge to produce games that capture the attention of the public and the media," as well as the opportunities presented by "mature consoles, new handhelds, a highly competitive sales environment, and increased demand for very high production values in games."
Notable highlights thus far announced for this track are as follows:

Nintendo President Iwata To Keynote GDC 2009

Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo Co., Ltd. will deliver a keynote address at the 2009 Game Developers Conference, kicking off the main conference’s schedule of lectures, panel discussions and roundtables.
The address, “Discovering New Development Opportunities,” marks Iwata’s first return to the GDC keynote stage since 2006. The Game Developers Conference takes place March 23-27 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.
Being a developer himself, Iwata’s keynote lectures at the Game Developers Conference are known for inspiring other developers to think about creating games in new and different ways:

GDC 2009 Announces Casual Games Summit Sessions

The organizers of the Casual Games Summit at the 2009 Game Developers Conference have revealed speakers and sessions for the two-day March summit, with notables from PopCap, EA/Pogo, Oberon Media, Playfirst and more discussing the state and future of casual games.
The GDC Casual Games Summit will take place on Monday and Tuesday, March 23rd and 24th, 2009 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco as part of Game Developers Conference.
This always popular Summit returns to GDC with a broad range of topics that reflect the increasingly diversified casual games industry. CGS' theme for this year is based on the dueling business strategies from the book 'Blue Ocean Strategy', by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.
The makers of Bejeweled, Women’s Murder Club, Build-A-Lot, Fairy Godmother Tycoon, Diner Dash and more will evaluate opportunities and challenges of the Red Ocean (established markets, audiences, and players) and the Blue Ocean (newly recognized or created markets addressing new segments) approaches in casual games:

2009 IGF Mobile Reveals Competition Finalists

The Independent Games Festival Mobile (IGF Mobile), an event that celebrates innovation in games for handheld devices, including mobile phones, DS, PSP, iPhone and iPod touch, has named the finalists for the second annual competition.
The number of entries more than doubled – to over 100 – compared to last year’s inaugural competition, bolstered by a strong showing from the emergent iPhone and iPod touch platform – so much so that a special ‘Best iPhone Game’ category has been designated for the titles which best use the unique possibilities of the device.
Winners of the 2009 IGF Mobile competition, who will get a share of $30,000 in prize money, will be announced at a special ceremony during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) Mobile conference on March 24, and additionally honored during the main Independent Games Festival Awards on March 25, 2009.
Some of the leading finalists for this year’s competition include stylish iPhone cube movement puzzler Edge (3 nominations), the technologically cunning Wardive on Nintendo DS, which uses local WiFi hotspots to generate enemies (3 nominations), and elegant iPhone ‘tower defense’-style title Fieldrunners (3 nominations).
Games also nominated multiple times include Secret Exit's touch-controlled iPhone rope wrapping game Zen Bound and iconic tilt-controlled iPhone puzzler Dizzy Bee, with a number of Flash Lite and Java cellphone games, including the innovative Cubic Republic, also finalists. Read on for the full list:

GDC Mobile Announces Keynote From Ngmoco CEO Young

The organizers of the Game Developers Conference 2009 announced that ngmoco founder and CEO -- and former Electronic Arts executive -- Neil Young will provide this year's GDC Mobile keynote.
In his speech, titled "Why the iPhone just changed everything," Young will discuss Apple's platform and its effects on the mobile games industry.
Young's session summary describes the iPhone as "the most exciting innovation of the last year," and likens its launch to the introduction of industry-defining consoles like the Atari 2600, the Nintendo Entertainment System, and the Game Boy.

Previewing GDC 2009: Inside The Design Track

[In the third of a series picking out the most notable Game Developers Conference 2009 lectures, sister site Gamasutra examines the Game Design Track, with newly added talks from the World of Warcraft: Wrath Of The Lich King, Mass Effect 2, and Warhammer Online creators.]
Game Developers Conference 2009 (organized by Gamasutra parent company Think Services) is set to take place in San Francisco's Moscone Center from March 23 to 27, 2009.
With nearly 280 sessions now confirmed for GDC 2009, we'll be taking a track by track look at the conference's line-up over the next few weeks.
Third on the list is GDC's Game Design Track, which will help attendees "understand and exploit the possibilities of new technologies," and also explore the "challenges and ramifications of the interaction between new technologies and established techniques."
Notable highlights thus far announced for this track are as follows:

2009 IGF Student Showcase Winners Announced

The 2009 Independent Games Festival (IGF) has announced the ten winners in the Student Showcase for its 11th annual awards, with games from three continents spanning ecological, paint-splattering and fantasy exercise games to be shown at GDC this year.
Chosen from a new record of 145 Student Showcase entries (up over 15% on last year's 125 entries), these games will go on to compete for an overall Best Student Game prize, to be awarded at the IGF Awards Ceremony on the evening of March 25th, 2009.
Some of this year's Student Showcase winners include CMU's 'active play' exercise-centered game Winds Of Orbis, quirky Danish first-person dish cleaning game Dish Washington (pictured), and ecological management puzzle game City Rain from Brazilian students.
Also honored are titles including USC's abstract painting game The Unfinished Swan and reality-manipulating German side scrolling shooter Zeit Squared:

Previewing GDC 2009: Inside The Visual Arts Track

[In the second of a series picking out the most notable Game Developers Conference 2009 lectures, sister site Gamasutra examines the Visual Arts Track, which includes talks from the Gears Of War 2, God Of War and Braid creators on cinematics, animation, and art in their games.]
Game Developers Conference 2009 (organized by Gamasutra parent company Think Services) is set to take place in San Francisco's Moscone Center from March 23 to 27, 2009.
With nearly 280 sessions now confirmed for GDC 2009, we'll be taking a track by track look at the conference's line-up over the next few weeks.
Second on the list is GDC's Visual Arts Track, which "delves into the nitty-gritty of the artistic side of games, and [also] offers longer format classes to allow speakers the time to walk attendees step-by-step through the latest tools and techniques."
Notable highlights thus far announced for this track, which takes place on the main Wednesday to Friday of GDC (March 25-27), are as follows:

Bosslady Blog: Welcome To 2009!

[In her latest Bosslady Blog update, Game Developers Conference event director Meggan Scavio discusses some of the newly-confirmed lectures, revealing the art and science of games like Killzone 2, Brutal Legend, and the newest Fable and Far Cry titles.]
Happy 2009, everyone! While the holidays tend to disrupt the workflow of a good portion of the world, the Game Developers Conference team never takes a break. It’s like a coal mine over here. In a good way! A good coal mine.
So what have we been working on? More sessions, of course, and here are some of the newly-confirmed highlights coming to our March 23rd-27th event:

2009 Independent Games Festival Announces Finalists

The 2009 Independent Games Festival (IGF) has revealed the finalists for this year's ninth installment of the pre-eminent indie game competition, with finalists showcased at the 2009 Game Developers Conference. From a record field of 226 entries, 30% over last year’s totals, a number of notable games scored multiple nominations this year.
These include orbital osmosis sim Osmos (3 nominations), abstract PSN action-er PixelJunk Eden (3 nominations), time-reversing guitar-compatible antishooter Retro/Grade (2 nominations), and atmospheric ball-ambulator Night Game (2 nominations).
Other examples of the finalists, which are viewable on the official IGF website, include charming exploration-game Blueberry Garden and music-based block puzzler Musaic Box, both double nominees, and several of the finalists for the new Innovation award, including Ratloop’s Mightier, Jason Rohrer’s Between and Tale Of Tales’ The Graveyard.
Finalists were decided by a panel made up of over 40 industry-leading game creators and journalists, including the makers of previous IGF honorees World Of Goo, Braid, Aquaria and N+; industry veterans from studios including Maxis, Big Huge Games, and SuperVillain Studios; and noted writers from Wired, Newsweek, and MTV.

 

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