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GDC Europe 2011 Debuts Playfish, Mortal Kombat, Playdom Talks

GDC Europe organizers have announced new lectures for the August show, including Social Games Summit talks by Playdom and Playfish, and NetherRealm on creating Mortal Kombat's cinematics.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, GDC Europe 2011 -- alongside the major gamescom trade show -- will again provide the essential pan-European perspective of game development and business trends.

New to the conference this year is the Social Games Summit, which will feature panels and lectures from some of the most influential figures in the social space, on topics including Facebook games, persistent MMOs, web-based online titles, and much more.

As part of the Social Games Summit, Playdom's VP of global distribution Paul LaFontaine will host a talk dubbed "Social Gaming is no Long Just Facebook," during which he will help developers prioritize which platforms to develop for among the ever-growing sea of regional and specialized social networks like Odnaklassniki.ru and QQ.com.

The Summit will also feature Playfish UK's general manager John Earner in a talk on how social game development should adapt to the ever-increasing demand for high production values on Facebook and other social platforms.

The lecture from the Electronic Arts-owned firm's executive, titled "Evolution of the Development Process in Social Gaming," will help put the evolution of social games in context by comparing the budding industry with previous gaming platforms.

Elsewhere, in the main conference's Visual Arts track, NetherRealm Studios' cinematic director Dominic Cianciolo will discuss the studio's approach to the development and execution of the cinematics in the recently released Mortal Kombat title.

GDC Europe 2011 Debuts Mass Effect 3, Slant Six, IMVU Talks

GDC Europe organizers have announced new lectures for the August show, including BioWare on Mass Effect 3's creatures, IMVU on "continuous deployment", and Slant Six (Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City) on production pipelines.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, GDC Europe 2011 -- alongside the major gamescom trade show -- will again provide the essential pan-European perspective of game development and business trends.

Following the first set of announced Main Conference sessions, including Brink, Blue Fang and Crysis 2 talks, a major new lecture compares the radically different creature creation pipelines used on Mass Effect 2 and the upcoming Mass Effect 3.

Why, if you've just released a game that got a 96 score on Metacritic, would you completely change the process used to develop all of the creatures of the game?

Answering this question, Scylla Costa and Brenon Holmes of BioWare will present a Production track talk "From Boxes to Life! How to Prototype and Develop Creatures: Mass Effect 2 and 3 Case Study".

Elsewhere, GDC Europe attendees will learn how releasing updates to customers 20+ times per day is possible in the Programming track talk "Using Continuous Deployment to Move Fast and Release without Pain".

GDC Europe 2011 Reveals Brink, Blue Fang, Crysis 2 Talks

GDC Europe organizers have announced first lectures for the show, including Splash Damage on Brink's design, Blue Fang (Oregon Trail) on its move to social, and Crytek on Crysis 2's multiplayer.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, GDC Europe 2011 -- taking place alongside the major gamescom trade show -- will again provide the essential pan-European perspective of game development and business trends.

As part of the first announced Main Conference sessions, attendees can learn how to preserve ambitious design goals through managing practical implementation solutions in the game design track session "You Say You Want a Shooter R(evolution)".

In the talk, British studio Splash Damage's Neil Alphonso will discuss how his team tackled these design challenges during the development of much-awaited shooter Brink (pictured).

With Blue Fang Games (Zoo Tycoon, The Oregon Trail) as the case study, discover what it takes to transition from the traditional games space into the social realm in Hank Howie's business track talk "From Console to Facebook: Blue Fang Games and the Big Pivot".

Finally, two studios and over 100 programmers contributed to the development of the multiplayer component of Crysis 2. Crytek's Peter Hall will speak in depth about the development process, and how to manage challenges that arise with working with large programming teams in his programming track session "Crysis 2 Multiplayer: A Programmer's Postmortem."

GDC Europe 2011 Reveals Summit Advisory Boards, Main Board Additions

The organizers of this August's Game Developers Conference Europe 2011 have revealed the notable line-up for the brand-new Summit advisory boards, as well as an addition to the main GDC Europe board.

The industry luminaries joining the advisory boards represent companies including Playfish, Sony Online Entertainment, THQ, Copenhagen Game Collective, DDM and more, and will be responsible for helping craft the content of the event, which now includes four major Summits and five Main Conference Tracks.

For the first year, the 2011 GDC Europe advisory boards are split into Summit-specific boards and a Main Conference board, with the following announcements made:

- Johan Sjoberg, the Swedish-based lead agent at game representation agency DDM, is joining GDC Europe's main advisory board. Sjoberg works closely with the agency's game developer clients -- including firms like Ninja Theory and Vatra Games -- on business development and corporate strategy, and his connections within the European game industry should prove invaluable to the event.

- The inaugural Social Games Summit has announced board members from the forefront of the European social games scene. These include UK-based Playfish/Electronic Arts VP and co-founder Kristian Segerstrale, as well as the Finnish founder of Rocket Pack, Jiri Kupiainen - whose social game company was recently acquired by Disney.

- The first-ever Smartphone & Tablet Summit at GDC Europe has
added as a board member Germany-based Fishlabs CEO and co-founder
Michael Schade, whose Galaxy On Fire series has found success on
multiple mobile platforms. Other confirmed advisors include Secret
Exit's Jetro Lauha - the Finnish firm's Zen Bound 2 and Stair Dismount have seen multiple millions of downloads.

- The Independent Games Summit at GDC now includes advisors such as
Copenhagen Game Collective co-founder Lau Korsgaard, whose Danish
collective is behind innovative indie party game B.U.T.T.O.N.,
recently showcased at this year's Independent Games Festival at GDC
2011. Also added is Remote Control Productions' Hendrik Lesser, whose
firm works with notable European independent creators such as Brightside
Games (Zeit2).

- Finally, the Community Management Summit has added to its core
co-organizer, German-based Two Pi Team CEO Thomas Lagemann, with the
appointment of Linda Carlson, director of global community relations for
Sony Online Entertainment, as well as THQ's director of community
management Chris Mancil, a veteran of studios including Trion Worlds and
Vivendi Games.

GDC Europe 2011 Debuts New Summits, Call For Submissions

Organizers of GDC Europe 2011 have revealed a host of focused Summits for this year's show, also announcing the call for submissions for this August's conference in Cologne, Germany.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, GDC Europe 2011 will again provide the essential pan-European perspective of game development and business trends happening throughout the continent today.

Now it in its third iteration and taking place alongside the European-leading Gamescom trade fair, GDC Europe will continue to serve the European game industry by gathering the world's leading speakers in areas specific to current game development across platforms and development disciplines.

The call for submissions for lectures will include main conference tracks in Business & Marketing, Game Design, Production, Programming, and Visual Arts.

Organizers are looking for leading practitioners to propose lectures and panels with major practical takeaways for today's video game market.

In addition, GDC Europe 2011 plans to expand the breadth of its conference by offering four Summits to be held concurrently with the main conference.

Reflective of the growing development and activity within the continent, GDC Europe will introduce the Social Games Summit, Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, Independent Games Summit, and Community Management Summit to its roster this year.

GDC Europe 2010 Ends With Record Attendance, Confirms 2011 Return

The Game Developers Conference Europe 2010 has concluded a second successful year, confirming record overall attendance across paid attendees, media, speakers and exhibitors to the August 16th-18th show.

At the same time, organizers have revealed a return to Cologne, Germany for a third GDC Europe show -- again opposite GamesCom -- on August 15-17, 2011.

Produced by UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizers of the leading worldwide Game Developers Conference series, GDC Europe is the largest professionals-only game event in Europe, presenting the latest trends and technology in all aspects of the online gaming space for developers, consumers, publishers and trade professionals.

Highlights of day two and three major talks at the show, reported by sister website Gamasutra.com, include the following notable talks:

Day Two

-In the day's first keynote, Heiko Hubertz, CEO and founder of Bigpoint, advised attendees that to conduct business in America as a European company, the time to do it is "right now." Throughout the talk, Hubertz elaborated on the differences between the U.S. and European markets and educated the audience about how to be successful in America as a European, based on Bigpoint's experience there. Hubert advised "There are only two existing markets in America, the console market and the Facebook market."

-In his keynote, Killzone developer Guerrilla Games' managing director Hermen Hulst discussed his studio's genesis, and its successes and failures in evolving into a Sony-owned AAA console powerhouse. Hulst began with the mantra: "to survive and to grow... you need to consistently improve yourself. He took attendees through examples of how Guerrilla's experiences have informed their history and the key decisions made from the time Sony signed the title that would become Killzone through to today. Plus, he revealed the studio is expanding to work on a "game with a scope and a level of ambition that once again makes us nervous" -- specifically a "brand new IP."

GDC Europe Completes First Day With Spector, Tencent Keynotes

The organizers of Game Developers Conference Europe 2010 have opened the event's doors at the Cologne Congress Center East in Cologne, Germany, and are recapping highlights and coverage of the first day's proceedings.

Produced by UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizers of the leading Game Developers Conference series, GDC Europe is the largest professionals-only game event in Europe, and has increased in scope compared to its inaugural debut event in 2009, with record attendance ahead of this week's Gamescom consumer and trade event in the same location.

Highlights of today's major speeches at the show include (with links to full write-ups on sister site Gamasutra.com where available):

- At his track keynote on Monday, Tencent Games VP Bo Wang discussed how the billion-dollar revenue Chinese tech/game company has risen to the top of the pack, citing massive growth rates and key routes to success in Asia. Wang noted than in the six months to the end of June 2010, the gigantic Chinese-headquartered firm, which deals with instant messaging, virtual currency, and video games as its major parts, had revenues of $1.3 billion U.S. dollars.

Wang noted that Chinese gamers have a much lower disposable income, so there are unique ways Tencent attracts these gamers. Tencent tries to have 1,000 hours available at launch in its typical MMORPGs, and also encourages gamers to have fun by playing against each other in games. As Tencent also has the top instant messaging service in China, plus a top free email service, a massive web portal at QQ.com, and even a search engine, cross-marketing from all of Tencent's properties seems to have catapulted the firm to the top of the pile in the Chinese market.

GDC Europe Adds Google, OnLive Lectures, Set For Record Attendance

The Game Developers Conference Europe, the leading conference for computer and video game developers in Europe after its successful debut last year, is on track to exceed its registration and exhibitor numbers from 2009.
The conference is now expected to receive up to 2,000 attendees, speakers and media representatives from 45 different countries, already surpassing the attendance numbers from the 2009 debut. The event is expected to garner a strong presence from European and North American industry professionals.
In particular, GDC Europe, which takes place August 16-18, 2010 at the Cologne Congress East Center in Cologne, Germany, will this year focus on media convergence and online gaming, and also features a concentration on the booming Chinese and Russian markets.
Several leaders of the international development scene and the games industry will be participating in GDC Europe addressing major topics facing the industry. In total, the event will feature more than 90 workshops, and presentations by more than 130 speakers from all over the world.
Late additions include 'Games on the Chrome Web Store', featuring Google's Mark DeLoura and Michael Mahemoff; a talk called 'Next-Gen Consoles: Cloud-Based Gaming', with Tom DuBois of streaming service OnLive, and EEDAR's Greg Short presenting 'State of The Games Market.'
They join a list of notable speakers including Warren Spector (Disney), Eric Chahi (Ubisoft), Heiko Hubertz (Bigpoint), Bo Wang (Tencent), Hermen Hulst (Guerrilla Games), Ray Muzyka & Greg Zeschuk (BioWare), Louis Castle (InstantAction), Martin Walfisz (Planeto), David Cage (Quantic Dream), Steven Gaffney (Splash Damage), Chris Charla (Foundation 9), Jorg Tittel (Break Thru Films), Avni Yerli (Crytek), Harald Riegler (Sproing), Matias Myllyrinne (Remedy Entertainment), Don Daglow (Don Daglow Interactive Entertainment), Steve Meretzky & Dave Rohrl (Playdom), Aki Jarvinen (Digital Chocolate), and Seb Canniff (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe).

Warren Spector To Keynote GDC Europe 2010

Organizers of the leading Game Developers Conference series have announced that renowned game designer Warren Spector, creative director for Disney Interactive Studios' Junction Point, will open the 2010 Game Developers Conference Europe on Monday, August 16.

Spector's keynote address, titled, "What Video Games Can Learn from Other Media ... What We Can't ... And What We Shouldn't" will kick off GDC Europe, which returns to Cologne Germany August 16-18, 2010 for three days of learning, networking and inspiration.

During his keynote, Spector will share with the audience his thoughts on video games as they compare to other media such as movies, television, theater, radio and comic books and explore the ways in which video games use techniques borrowed from those mediums.

The Deus Ex co-creator will question the assumption that video games should be more like other media, and will discuss how valid these comparisons are while suggesting some new comparisons that may be more relevant for moving our industry forward.

GDC Europe Reveals Key Business, Social Gaming Talks For August Event

GDC Europe organizers are highlighting a number of key new talks at the GamesCom-colocated Cologne, Germany developer event this month, including business & production advice from LucasArts, Double Fine and Foundation 9, plus online/social game analysis from leading studios in the space.
In the past few days, a number of notable business, production, and social game panels have been confirmed for the 2010 Game Developers Conference Europe event, which will take place August 16th-18th, and is an easy additional stop for GamesCom visitors, being located in Cologne, Germany alongside the leading European trade and consumer show.
Looking more broadly at the business and production of games, a notable new panel called 'Multiple Paths of Success for the Independent Developer' features veterans like Foundation 9 VP Chris Charla, Double Fine's Zack Karlsson and Bigpoint's Nils-Holger Henning discussing new methodologies and routes to success in the increasingly competitive independently-run game studio market.
A similarly expansive production panel, called 'Extreme Producing: Order & Chaos in The Game Development Process', features figures like LucasArts' Marianne Monaghan, 2K's Lulu LaMer and ThatGameCompany's Robin Hunicke discussing "specific examples of some the extreme highs and lows they have experienced in controlling the often chaotic process of making games", with plenty of practical takeaway.
With a plethora of major social/online game lectures -- from leading companies in the space like Playdom, RockYou, Bigpoint, Digital Chocolate, Tencent and Playfish -- already part of the overall GDC Europe schedule, several other lecture and panel additions around non-social network online games have fleshed out the program. These include a panel on browser-based vs. client-downloaded online games with Gamigo, GamersFirst and IGG representation, plus a case study on localizing Asian online game Runes Of Magic for the West.

GDC Europe Adds Limbo, Guild Wars 2, Kane & Lynch 2 Talks Ahead Of Deadline

With just a day until the July 21st early reg deadline, GDC Europe organizers have announced major talks on Limbo, Guild Wars 2 and Kane & Lynch 2 at next month's Cologne, Germany-based game conference.
Coming shortly after the Guerrilla Games/Killzone 3 keynote, these new talks are confirmed for the 2010 Game Developers Conference Europe event, which will take place August 16th-18th, and is located in Cologne, Germany alongside GamesCom, the leading European trade and consumer show.
The newly announced GDC Europe lectures arriving just before the early registration deadline include the following notables:
- In 'Limbo: Balancing Fun and Frustration in Puzzle Design', Playdead's Jeppe Carlsen focuses on the acclaimed Xbox Live Arcade title Limbo, discussing "creating an immersive game experience that is challenging to players without being discouraging." Along the way, he'll explore "relevant design principles using concrete examples from the game, focusing on considerations in the areas of accessibility, difficulty, learning by dying, and fun."
- IO Interactive art director Rasmus Poulsen is speaking on 'Art Direction in the YouTube Era', discussing how he and his colleagues approached the distinctive look to the Square Enix-published console title Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days. The game takes an alternative, documentary film-inspired look to visuals, and the description notes that "as the gaming industry continues to follow the trend of hi-fidelity graphics to convey realism, an exploration to find what 'real' is sparked a fresh artistic vision" for the title.
- 'Designing Guild Wars 2 Dynamic Events' features the much-awaited ArenaNet MMO's lead designer Eric Flannum and lead content designer Colin Johanson outlining how the core content of games in the MMORPG genre has evolved over time. They "will discuss the inspiration for and the implementation challenges of their Dynamic Events system, with the goal of creating an exciting, living, breathing online world that encourages social interaction between players."

GDC Europe Adds Guerrilla Games Killzone 3 Keynote

GDC Europe has revealed a keynote from Guerrilla Games' head Hermen Hulst, discussing the upcoming Killzone 3 and managing the Sony-owned studio to success, as the July 21st early registration deadline approaches for the pre-eminent European game business/design conference.
This keynote -- to be held on August 17th -- is the latest to be announced for the 2010 Game Developers Conference Europe event, which will take place August 16th-18th, and is located in Cologne, Germany alongside GamesCom, the leading European trade and consumer show.
Hulst's talk at GDC Europe will examine how the Amsterdam-headquartered studio -- one of the leading European game developers, and employing 140 developers from 20 countries -- has matured, and which obstacles had to be overcome along the way.
He'll also focus on the company's technical focus on best utilizing console hardware, and what some of the ingredients behind the success of the Killzone series are, illuminating some of Guerrilla's emerging work on the PlayStation 3-exclusive title Killzone 3, due out in early 2011.
The announcements come with just five days to go before the July 21st early registration deadline for the show, which is created by the UBM TechWeb Game Network, as is this website, and is now in its second year as the pre-eminent European game development event.
"We are excited to welcome to the GDC Europe stage such a prominent European developer and industry figure such as Hulst," said Frank Sliwka, GDC Europe Event Director. "The Killzone series and work produced from Guerrilla Games is exemplar of the ingenuity of European developers."

GDC Europe Adds Kinect, BioWare, iPhone Talks As Early Deadline Approaches

2010 Game Developers Conference Europe organizers have announced a Rare-helmed lecture on Microsoft's Kinect, the BioWare co-founders on the Baldur's Gate franchise, plus an iPhone marketing lecture from Words With Friends' creator, with the early registration deadline looming.

These in-depth talks are the latest to be announced for the 2010 Game Developers Conference Europe event, which will take place August 16th-18th, and is located in Cologne, Germany alongside GamesCom, the leading regional trade and consumer show.

The announcements come with less than two weeks to go before the July 21st early registration deadline for the show, which is now in its second year as the pre-eminent European game development event. The notable new speakers for this must-attend show for game developers throughout Europe consist of the following:

- In a lecture entitled 'Kinecting With A New Audience', Rare's Nick Burton and Blitz's Andrew Oliver -- respectively first and third-party developers for the Xbox 360's newly announced Kinect motion control system -- will talk about their recent experiences building Kinect launch titles and how this affected development in their respective studios.

Subjects will include "how Kinect fitted into their game engines.... how design was affected... how they built on top of changing technology", as well as many other notable areas that might be of interest to game creators considering how motion-controlled gameplay might work within their own titles.

- A special lecture called 'Baldur's Gate - A 10 Year-Retrospective' see BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk team up with Obsidian CEO and former Black Isle head Feargus Urquhart to present a retrospective lecture on the seminal PC role-playing game Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn - one of the highest-rated RPGs of all time. The Dungeons & Dragons-based title launched in 2000, and paved the way for successful BioWare RPGs like Dragon Age and the Mass Effect franchise - and three of the principals will discuss the game's creation in depth.

GDC Europe Reveals Chahi Lecture, ESA, Quantic Dream Talks

GDC Europe organizers have announced a rare lecture from Another World creator Eric Chahi on his new title Project Dust, also debuting an ESA/G.A.M.E. panel and a Heavy Rain production talk.

These lectures are the latest to be announced for the 2010 Game Developers Conference Europe event, which will take place August 16th-18th, and is located in Cologne, Germany alongside GamesCom, the leading regional trade and consumer show.

The notable new speakers for this must-attend show for European game developers are led by Ubisoft's Eric Chahi, the creator of seminal adventure game Another World (also known as Out Of This World) in the early '90s.

Chahi has recently returned to the game industry, and is presenting a lecture with Ronan Bel of Ubisoft called 'Creating a High-Performance Simulation: A Dynamic Natural World to Play With'. In it, the duo will introduce Galileo, "a real-time simulator of flowing water, lava, erosion, sedimentation and vegetation", and its use as foundation for a fully dynamic world-based game, the just-announced Project Dust.

In addition, a panel called 'Building Grassroots Video Game Activist Networks' sees Richard Taylor of the Entertainment Software Association and Stephan Reichart of G.A.M.E. (the German Games Developers Association) team with Crytek's Avni Yerli and additional, yet to be announced panelists to discuss how the industry can guard against censorship by using its biggest advocates - its fans.

Finally, one of Europe's key, critically acclaimed games of 2009 is examined in detail by Quantic Dream's Charles Coutier in his lecture, 'A Challenging Production: Heavy Rain'. The talk will focus on the French developer's iterative processes and adaptive management approach in making the atypical title, with plenty of specifics on asset management and outsourcing practices discussed.

 

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