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Game Developers Choice Online Awards Remind On Call For Nominations

Organizers of this year's GDC Online would like to remind that nominations for the show's Game Developers Choice Online Awards will remain open only until Thursday, June 30th.

The second annual awards ceremony, held during GDC Online, will honor the achievements of the creators and operators of online video games that launched within the last 12 months in North America, covering large-scale MMOs, free-to-play titles, growing social network games and more.

The awards recognize achievement in online games across 12 categories, including excellence in visual arts, online game design, live games, technology, audio and community.

The inaugural Awards, held in Austin at GDC Online 2010, honored Riot's standout online combat title League of Legends with five awards, including Best New Online Game.

Other recipients included CCP's EVE Online for Best Live Game, MUD co-creator Richard Bartle for the Online Game Legend award, and Origin and Electronic Arts' classic MMO title Ultima Online as the first Hall of Fame inductee. Full video of the ceremony is now available via GDC Vault.

Nominations for the Choice Online Awards are now open, and all game professionals with a free Gamasutra user account are welcome to submit their picks for the awards. Additional information, as well as the nomination submission page, is available at the official Choice Online Awards website.

GDC Online 2011 Reveals First Talks, Including League Of Legends, Playdom

Organizers of Game Developers Conference Online 2011 have debuted the first sessions from the October show in Austin, TX, including League Of Legends's design director and major talks from Loot Drop and Playdom on social gaming's evolution.

Taking place Monday through Thursday, October 10-13, 2011 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, GDC Online continues as the leading worldwide event to solely discuss the development and business trends surrounding connected games -- including casual titles, MMOs, virtual worlds, and social networking games.

This year's Main Conference will include tracks on Business & Marketing, Customer Experience, Design, Production, and Programming, as well as a sponsored track on Monetization.

As the event's Schedule Builder reveals the first set of lectures, the following are some highlights from this year's Main Conference:

- In "Designers are Human Too - Causes of Poor Design Decisions," Riot Games' Tom Cadwell, design director of major hit League of Legends, will discuss poor decision-making in game design, outlining why talented teams don't always act in their own best interest.

Cadwell, a former Blizzard designer and architect of the multiplayer online game smash, will examine the root causes of a number of common design mistakes, and will offer advice on how to avoid them.

- In another signature lecture, Playdom's Steve Meretzky and Dave Rohrl will look back at the recent developments in the growing social space in "The Year in Social Games 2010-2011." In this talk, the veteran pair will examine the emerging trends, standout games, and business innovations that have emerged in the social game market over the last 12 months, and will point out the developments to look for in the coming year.

GDC Online Awards Opens Nominations For Top Social, Free-To-Play, MMO Titles

The Game Developers Conference Online (GDC Online, formerly GDC Austin) in Austin, Texas has opened nominations for the second annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards through June 30, 2011.

The Game Developers Choice Online Awards are produced by the UBM TechWeb Game Network and recognize the rich history, technical excellence, and continued innovation in the accomplished arena of online games. The awards ceremony takes place the evening of October 12, during the four-day conference in Austin, Texas.

The awards ceremony honors the achievements of the creators and operators of online video games -- from large-scale MMOs and free-to-play titles to growing social network games -- that launched between June 1st, 2010 and May 31st, 2011 in North America.

The awards recognize achievement in online games across 12 categories, including excellence in visual arts, online game design, live games, technology, audio and community.

The inaugural Awards, held in Austin at GDC Online 2010, saw Riot's standout "multiplayer online battle arena" title League of Legends lead the winners with five awards, including Best New Online Game -- full video of the ceremony is available via GDC Vault.

Other recipients from last year included CCP, which received the Best Live Game award for EVE Online, MUD co-creator Richard Bartle as the Online Game Legend recipient, and Origin and Electronic Arts' seminal MMO title Ultima Online as the first Hall of Fame inductee.

GDC Online Adds Riot, PopCap, Playdom, Blizzard Veterans To Advisory Board

UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizers of the Game Developers Conference Online are revealing the latest game industry leaders from the worlds of social and connected gaming, serving on both the Main Conference and Summit-specific advisory boards for this October's Austin-based event.

These industry luminaries, each of whom have rated, commented on and discussed the more than 340 lecture submissions for GDC Online 2011, represent companies including Zynga, ngmoco, PopCap, Playdom, CCP, Blizzard and Riot Games.

GDC Online - the leading worldwide event for social and online game developers - focuses on social network titles, free-to-play web games, kid-friendly online titles, large-scale MMOs, and all types of connected and cloud-centric games.

New members of the GDC Online 2011 Main Conference advisory board, who met in person in Austin, TX to choose lectures last week, include:

- John Blakely, a former vice president at Sony Online Entertainment, and now acting general manager at the Austin operations of Zynga, the company behind major games such as Farmville, Frontierville and Cityville.

- J. Allen Brack, an industry veteran in the online gaming space, and current production director at Blizzard Entertainment, where he is responsible for the incredibly popular World of Warcraft MMO franchise.

- Brandon Beck, co-founder and CEO of Riot Games, creators of flagship online game League of Legends (pictured). The popular multiplayer title won five 2010 Game Developers Choice Online Awards, including Best Online Game Design, Best Online Visual Arts, Best Online Technology, and Best New Online Game, as well as the Audience Award.

GDC Online 2011 Reminds On May 5th Talk Submission Deadline

The organizers of Game Developers Conference Online 2011 are reminding that the event is accepting submissions through midnight PT on Thursday, May 5th to present lectures, roundtables, and panel sessions at GDC Online 2011.

The Austin, Texas-based conference and expo to be held this October - the leading worldwide event for social and online game developers - focuses on social network titles, free-to-play web games, kid-friendly online titles, large-scale MMOs, and all types of connected and cloud-centric games.

Main Conference submissions should address the most pressing development challenges for online and connected games, targeting the following tracks: Business and Marketing, Design, Production, Programming, and the new Customer Experience track.

Evolving from last year's Live track, GDC Online's notable new Customer Experience track will feature successful strategies to attract, retain and effectively monetize players.

Industry experts are encouraged to submit a proposal in areas such as increasing player satisfaction and engagement through metrics-driven post-launch development, design patterns for expansion content, building and managing communities and more.

GDC Online 2011 show management is also requesting submissions for its standalone summits, which this year include the Game Narrative Summit, the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit and the GDC Virtual Items Summit.

GDC Online 2011 Announces Call For Papers, Summit Line-Up

UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizer of Game Developers Conference Online 2011, has announced its Main Conference track line-up and new Summits for the October show, the leading worldwide event discussing the business and art of online games.

Following a successful call for August's GDC Europe, with more than 200 submissions, organizers are now accepting submissions through midnight PT on Thursday, May 5th to present lectures, roundtables, and panel sessions at GDC Online 2011.

The Austin, Texas-based show to be held this Fall focuses on social network titles, free-to-play web games, kid-friendly online titles, large-scale MMOs, and all types of connected games.

Main Conference submissions should address the most pressing development challenges for online and connected games, targeting the following tracks: Business and Marketing, Design, Production, Programming, and the new Customer Experience track.

Evolving from last year's Live track, GDC Online's notable new Customer Experience track will feature successful strategies to attract, retain and effectively monetize players.

Industry experts are encouraged to submit a proposal in areas such as increasing player satisfaction and engagement through metrics-driven post-launch development, design patterns for expansion content, building and managing communities and more.

GDC Online 2011 show management is also requesting submissions for its standalone summits, which this year include the Game Narrative Summit, the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit and the GDC Virtual Items Summit.

GDC Vault Adds Free Game Narrative, 3D Stereoscopic-Themed GDC Online Videos

The GDC Vault service has debuted new Summit-related video talks from October's GDC Online event in Austin, Texas, including a Game Narrative Summit talk from comic and video game writer Antony Johnston, as well as a 3D Stereoscopic Game Summit talk on the history and future of 3D in games.

Following the successful developer and business event that ran in Texas early last month, organizers of the Game Developers Conference series of events are making specially recorded versions of the talks available for free -- while also archiving all of the GDC Online content in video form for future use.

This process started in October with the debut of almost 90 recordings for GDC All-Access Pass holders and other subscribers, plus Brian Reynolds' keynote on lessons from Zynga's Frontierville, and Richard Bartle's acclaimed talk on the history of the Multi-User Dungeon (MUD).

Alongside other free content from GDC Online presenters, the two freshly added free GDC Online video lectures are:

- Experienced comics writer Antony Johnston (Daredevil, Wolverine, Wasteland), who also has experience writing games for EA and Sega, discussed how games can learn from comics in terms of writing and narrative in 'From Comics To Consoles'.

Along the way, British native Johnston, who was well-rated by Summit attendees for his wit and insight, focused on "the similarities and differences between comics and games, the effect of transmedia on both media, and what games writers can learn from studying -- and writing -- comics."

- In addition, Neil Schneider, executive director of The S-3D Gaming Alliance, presented 'The Past, Present And Future Of 3D Gaming' at the 3D Stereoscopic Game Summit, explaining how modern stereoscopic 3D gaming -- perhaps about to flourish, thanks to console and Nintendo 3DS advancements -- came to be.

GDC Vault Adds Free FrontierVille, Bartle Videos, Nearly 90 Subscriber Talks

The GDC Vault service has debuted both free and subscriber-only videos from October's GDC Online event in Austin, Texas. Free-to-watch talks debuting include Brian Reynolds' keynote on lessons from Zynga's Frontierville, and Richard Bartle's acclaimed talk on the history of the Multi-User Dungeon (MUD).

Following the successful developer and business event that ran in Texas earlier this month, organizers of the Game Developers Conference series of events are making specially recorded versions of the talks available -- while also archiving all of the GDC Online content in video form for future use.

These new free talks debut alongside an update making available nearly 90 lecture videos from GDC Online for subscribers at the GDC Vault website. The site features video technology that allows users to simultaneously view a presenter's slides alongside video and audio of their presentation.

Alongside free slides from GDC Online presenters, the two new free GDC Online video lectures are:

- In 'Bears and Snakes! The Wild Frontier of Social Game Design', Zynga's chief game designer Brian Reynolds -- formerly at Firaxis and Big Huge Games and notable for his work on titles like Civilization II -- discussed the launch of Zynga's game FrontierVille and work around melding social and traditional game design that went into it.

Reynolds' introduction notes of the lecture: "We'll look at key
features such as missions, 'doobers', and varmints and explore how they
take traditional social game models and make them more entertaining.
Well also look at the ways we took traditional social game interactions
and made them more social" for the title, which currently has over 30
million monthly unique users.

- Also featured in video form is the acclaimed lecture 'MUD: Messrs Bartle and Trubshaw's Astonishing Contrivance'
from Multi-User Dungeon co-creator Richard Bartle, who was voted the
first Online Game Legend during the debut Game Developers Choice Online
Awards at the Austin show -- a show that is also available for viewing at GDC Vault.

2010 GDC Online Debuts Choice Awards Video Footage

GDC Online organizers have debuted a fully streaming version of the Game Developers Choice Online Awards on the GDC Vault website, including an Ultima Online tribute and full awards footage.

The presentation of the inaugural event last Thursday, was hosted by Mindspark Interactive Network's Mike Goslin at GDC Online in Austin, Texas. Following the live show, a free, chapter-ready version of the 50-minute long award ceremony, including acceptance speeches, game showcases and special awards was posted to the GDC Vault website.

Leading the night with wins in five categories was Riot's standout "multiplayer online battle arena" title League of Legends, which earned awards for Best Online Technology, Visual Arts, Game Design, and New Online Game.

Other Choice Online Award recipients include CCP, which received the Best Live Game award for EVE Online, World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment receiving the award for Best Community Relations, Social City by Playdom for Best Social Network Game, and more.

Particularly worth watching is the section on Origin and Electronic Arts' seminal MMO title, Ultima Online, recognized as the first Hall of Fame game by the GDC Online Awards.

The award for the honor was accepted on stage by key members of Ultima Online's original development team: Rich Vogel, launch producer, Starr Long, associate producer & director, and Raph Koster, lead designer, and many of the game's other producers (pictured above) were also introduced onstage by EA's Eugene Evans.

Riot's League of Legends Leads Game Developers Choice Online Award Winners

Riot Games' acclaimed online strategy title, League of Legends, received five awards at the first annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards, presented at a ceremony this evening at GDC Online in Austin, Texas.

The inaugural event, which was hosted by Mindspark Interactive Network's Mike Goslin, is a 'for developers, by developers' awards show.

It brought together developers of persistent online games -- including social network games, free-to-play titles and large-scale MMOs - to celebrate the rich history, technical excellence and continued innovation in the arena of online games.

Leading the night with wins in five categories was Riot's standout 'multiplayer online battle arena' title League of Legends, which earned awards for Best Online Technology, Visual Arts, Game Design and New Online Game.

The title also took home the coveted Audience Award, which honors the favorite game of the worldwide game community, after over 120,000 total votes were cast - nearly 70,000 of them verified, with an honorable mention going to KingsIsle Entertainment's Wizard101, which was a runner-up with tens of thousands of votes.

Other Choice Online Award recipients include CCP, who received the Best Live Game award - honoring exceptional new content and player-facing interactivity through expansion packs, patches, or other updates - for its futuristic and engaging sci-fi MMO, EVE Online.

In addition, World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment received the award for Best Community Relations, honoring the highest quality community feedback and experience, including customer support, forum moderation and leadership, weblog and information updates, and real-life events.

Other award winners include the hugely popular Social City by Playdom, which boasts almost 5.5 million active monthly users, and which won the award for Best Social Network Game. In addition, the audio visually lush and immersive Aion by NCsoft earned the award for Best Audio for an Online Game.

The Choice Online Awards acknowledged more than just games, honoring Richard Bartle as the recipient of the first ever Online Game Legend Award, in recognition of his indelible impact on the craft of online game development. Dr. Bartle will also present a lecture at GDC Online on Friday at 9:30 a.m. titled, "MUD: Messrs Bartle and Trubshaw's Astonishing Contrivance" covering the development history of the original MUD, which he co-developed.

Finally, seminal MMO title, Ultima Online, was recognized as the first Hall of Fame game, the award for the honor was accepted on stage by key members of Ultima Online's original development team: Rich Vogel, Launch Producer, Starr Long, Associate Producer & Director, and Raph Koster, Lead Designer, as well as a video message from 'Lord British' himself, Richard Garriott. The honor reflects the huge influence that the title has had as the longest continually running massively multiplayer online game in history.

The recipients of the First Annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards are:

GDC Online 2010: Announcements, Coverage: Pt.2

Game Developers Conference sister website Gamasutra.com is in Austin, Texas all this week covering GDC Online, with a host of lectures on online games, iPhone/iPad and related product announcements already written up for the lead video game art and business website - and here's all the stories posted so far.

The Austin, Texas based conference -- formerly known as GDC Austin -- is sharply focused on the development of online games, and there are now more than 120 panels, lectures and tutorials taking place during the October 5th-8th event, with almost 90 companies on the show floor.

The second set of highlights of content at GDC Online thus far, written up by Gamasutra editors from session coverage and official releases, include:

Session Coverage

- Playfish's De Halleux On Why The Next Blockbuster Will Be Online
"Playfish's Sebastien de Halleux discusses the ongoing evolution in the way games are monetized, the "massive" opportunity for developers -- and his view that the next billion-dollar game will be microtransactions-driven."

- BioWare's Walton - Studio Culture Is An 'Immune System'
"Gordon Walton, co-studio director at Star Wars: The Old Republic developer BioWare Austin, called culture an "immune system" that "recognizes you as something that belongs, or a foreign object that needs to be expelled."

- Brian Reynolds' Wild West In Social Design
"Zynga's Brian Reynolds talks his FrontierVille, ways he's discovered to make social gaming more fun and more truly social, and key lessons from AAA design for successful innovation in the space."

- Koster Shares Lessons Learned In Social Game Design
"Raph Koster, VP of creative design at Disney-owned social game developer Playdom, said that "console games are niche" and argued that the social gaming space is not going away, despite some who say otherwise."

- Ian Bogost's Troubling Experiences With Cow Clicker
"Ian Bogost talks to GDC Online audiences about his Facebook title Cow Clicker -- how an environment of fear birthed a satire, the surprises he received when the game took off, and how it's ultimately a 'tragic' story to him."

- Fallout: New Vegas' Gonzalez Talks Inspiration, Writing Process
"Obsidian's John Gonzalez talks at GDC Online's Game Narrative Summit on being the creative lead on Fallout: New Vegas, the game's inspiration, and key steps his team took during the writing process."

GDC Online 2010: Announcements, Coverage: Pt.1

Game Developer Conference's sister website Gamasutra.com is in Austin, Texas all this week covering GDC Online, with a host of lectures on online games, iPhone/iPad and related product announcements already written up for the lead video game art and business website - and here's all the stories posted so far.

The Austin, Texas based conference -- formerly known as GDC Austin -- is sharply focused on the development of online games, and there are now more than 120 panels, lectures and tutorials taking place during the October 5th-8th event, with almost 90 companies on the show floor.

The highlights of content at GDC Online thus far, written up by Gamasutra editors from session coverage and official releases, include:

Session Coverage

- Bungie's Staten On Building Worlds, Not Words
"At GDC Online, Bungie's Joe Staten said that to create meaningful stories within a massive universe like Halo's, it's important to build worlds first -- and not to be "that guy" fixated on large and uncompromising narrative."

- LoroRoco's Kuomo Talks Making Of PSHome Loco Island
"Talking at GDC Online on Wednesday, Sony Japan Studios creative director Tsutomu Kuono (LocoRoco) discussed his history in the biz and the making of Loco Island for the PlayStation Home online world service."

- Improving Game Stories With Concise Writing, More Writer Input
"In a GDC Online talk today, comics and games writer Antony Johnston argued that our medium would benefit from more concise stories and more input from writers throughout the development process."

GDC Online Reminds On Pass Deadline, Adds Parties, Summit Talks, Civ V Lecture

GDC Online organizers are reminding that this Friday is the final pre-show discount deadline for next week's Austin show, revealing a new Playboy/Bigpoint party and lectures from Civilization V creators along the way.

The Austin, Texas based conference -- formerly known as GDC Austin -- is sharply focused on the development of online games, including free-to-play titles, social network games, and traditional MMOs, with a veteran online game industry advisory board evaluating and selecting the lectures.

There are now more than 120 panels, lectures and tutorials currently scheduled for the October 5th-8th event. Highlights include the confirmation of a keynote from Zynga chief game designer Brian Reynolds (FrontierVille), and track keynotes from Blizzard's Greg Canessa (on Battle.net), Playdom's Raph Koster (on social mechanics), and Bigpoint's Heiko Hubertz (on the rise of Europe in online gaming).

Organizers are reminding that final registration discounts for the show, which kicks off next Tuesday, will run out this Friday, October 1st, with discounts of up to $200 still available for prospective attendees who register now, as opposed to doing so onsite.

At this late stage, several new announcements have debuted. Famed media brand Playboy, which recently announced a foray into digital gaming with partner Bigpoint, is co-hosting an official GDC party open to all GDC passholders at The Phoenix on Thursday, October 7th.

GDC Online Adds LocoRoco Talk, Turbine Free-To-Play Lecture, Networking Specifics

GDC Online has debuted partner content for next month's Austin show, including LocoRoco creator Tsutomu Kouno on PlayStation Home, plus Turbine's Kate Paiz on moving to free-to-play and subject-specific mixers from the Writers Guild, Epic, Crytek, hi5 and more.
The Austin, Texas based conference -- formerly known as GDC Austin -- is sharply focused on the development of online games, and there are now more than 120 panels, lectures and tutorials currently scheduled for the October 5th-8th event.
Following the confirmation of a keynote from Zynga chief game designer Brian Reynolds (FrontierVille), and track keynotes from Blizzard's Greg Canessa (on Battle.net), Playdom's Raph Koster (on social mechanics), and Bigpoint's Heiko Hubertz (on the rise of Europe in online gaming), organizers are revealing vendor-supported talks and receptions of relevance to attendees.
Some of the key new vendor-specific sessions and supported mixers, receptions and parties of relevance to all GDC Online attendees are as follows:
- As part of the recently confirmed GDC Online tutorials, Sony's full PlayStation Home day will include a keynote from LocoRoco creator Tsutomu Kouno on bringing the LocoIsland and Mui Mui Ship add-ons into Sony's PS3 online world.

 

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