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GDC 2012 Announces Call For Papers, Advisory Board Additions

GDC 2012 organizers have announced that the call for papers for the upcoming show is open from now until September 6, and prospective speakers are encouraged to submit their ideas for lectures, roundtables, and panels for the event's Main Conference.

The industry's flagship Game Developers Conference will take place at San Francisco's Moscone Center on March 5-9, 2012, and will once again serve as the premier industry event for developers to make connections, share ideas, and find inspiration.

This year, the GDC advisory board is seeking sessions in game-related tracks covering Business, Marketing & Management, Audio, Programming, Design, Production, and Visual Arts -- talks within these categories will all be showcased at the prestigious Main Conference of the Game Developers Conference 2012. (Submissions for the GDC Summits will be open September 29 through October 31, 2011.)

This year, GDC organizers have introduced a cleaner, faster submission system, further streamlining the process for potential speakers. To submit a proposal, speakers simply need to submit a brief session description along with any necessary supplemental materials and contact info. For more information on the submission process, please see the official FAQ.

Alongside the call for papers, event organizers have announced several new additions to the GDC 2012 advisory board, all of whom will actively assist in managing the content for the upcoming show, reviewing and rating all the submissions.

In particular, these new board members include Chris Charla, the portfolio director for XBLA at Microsoft Game Studios, Rod Fergusson, executive producer at Epic Games, Lee Petty, senior art director and project lead at Double Fine, Justin Thavirat, senior art director at Blizzard, and Ru Weerasuriya, co-founder and art and creative director at God of War: Ghost of Sparta developer Ready at Dawn.

GDC 2011 Confirms Record Attendance, Highlights, GDC 2012 Dates

Organizers of the Game Developers Conference, the world's largest and longest running event serving professionals dedicated to the art and science of making games, hosted a record 19,000 game industry professionals attending San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center for the 25th edition of the conference.

The weeklong anniversary event offered more than 450 lectures, panels, summits, tutorials and roundtable discussions across a full five days of content, with GDC references 'trending' on Twitter in San Francisco.

It also saw unprecedented media coverage from outlets like the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, USA Today and beyond, with GDC sister site Gamasutra including full coverage on its site.

Lecture highlights from Monday and Tuesday's GDC more than 15 tutorials and summits included Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka discussing the Angry Birds phenomenon (GDC Smartphone Summit), Zynga's Mark Skaggs on going from FarmVille to CityVille (Social & Online Games Summit) game designer and author Jane McGonigal on 'gamefulness' (Serious Games Summit), and Super Meat Boy's creators on their rough route to success (Independent Games Summit).

GDC 2011 also played host to the 13th Annual Independent Games Festival and the 11th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards. Swedish independent developer Mojang's acclaimed 3D world-building sandbox title, Minecraft, won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize and Audience Award during the IGF, as well as three awards at the GDCAs, becoming the first title ever to win awards in both ceremonies in the same year.

GDC 2011 Reminds On Pre-Registration, Highlights Final Lectures

GDC 2011 organizers are reminding that reduced-price online registration for next week's San Francisco show is only available until Sunday, also highlighting a number of late-breaking and previously unfocused-on talks.
Although on-site registration is also available for Game Developers Conference 2011 - the historic 25th iteration of the show - interested parties can continue to register on the official website at a discount until Sunday, February 27th.
The complete conference schedule for next week's GDC, including over 650 speakers, is currently available on both GDC Schedule Builder and the newly launched, smartphone-centric GDC Mobile site.
With the Moscone Center, San Francisco-based show commencing its February 28th through March 4th run on Monday, organizers are highlighting the following lectures that have been added to the program later in the process:
- In a high-profile talk, Ben Cousins of EA's Easy free-to-play game division presents 'Paying to Win? Battlefield Heroes, Virtual Goods and Selling Gameplay Advantages', "takes us through the story of this controversy" behind sweeping changes to the game's in-game economy and virtual item catalog -- including key lessons learned.
- A Main Conference video game funding panel, 'Funding Development: How to Raise Money if You're Not a Social Games Darling', includes notables like London Venture Partner's Phil Harrison, Seahorn Capital Group's Marc Jackson, Indie Fund's Aaron Isaksen and Tenshi Ventures' Jonathan Newth, talking "the world of financing beyond Silicon Valley venture capitalists."
- Zynga's Brian Reynolds (Civilization II, FrontierVille) is presenting 'Launching Great Features on the Frontier of Social Games', discussing the latter hit Facebook game game "as a lens to discuss the production challenges in launching great social game features" - including "marrying good game design with good business practices and the constant need for new content in a live service."
- Bungie's Jamie Griesemer presents the epicly-titled 'Design in Detail: Tuning the Muzzle Velocity of the Plasma Rifle Bolt on Legendary Difficulty Across the Halo Franchise', following up GDC 2010's much-lauded lecture about gameplay tuning for the franchise's sniper rifle, and targeted at "senior designers working on gameplay balance for a game with a sophisticated world simulation."

GDC 2011 Details Poster Sessions, EGS Speakers, 'Social Devs Rant Back'

GDC 2011 organizers are detailing specifics for next week's San Francisco-based show, including the return of 'Poster Sessions', the speaker line-up for Experimental Gameplay Sessions and the 'Social Devs Rant Back' talk.

The complete GDC conference schedule, including over 650 speakers, is currently available on both GDC Schedule Builder and the newly launched, smartphone-centric GDC Mobile site.

With the Moscone Center, San Francisco-based show just a few days away from its February 28th through March 4th run, organizers are highlighting the following lectures:

- A set of 'poster sessions' have been announced on Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 2 p.m., returning a popular format to Game Developers Conference in a higher profile setting.

As the description explains, poster sessions are "similar to a traditional lecture; however, these sessions are presented in front of an actual physical poster explaining his/her thesis, to a smaller group of attendees [including] one-on-one interactions."

The poster sessions, which occur on either Wednesday or Thursday, include Telltale's Bruce Wilcox on 'Beyond Facade: Pattern Matching for Natural Language Applications', as well as Volition's Jordan Lynn on 'How to Start a Usability Lab for $2500 or Less', plus High Moon's Daniel Holbert on 'Saying "Goodbye" to Shadow Acne'.

- The organizers of the lauded Experimental Gameplay Sessions event at GDC 2011 have revealed the speakers -- although not the specific games and prototypes -- for the return of the event that previously showcased early versions of Katamari Damacy, Portal, Rag Doll Kung Fu and Flower

The much-awaited two-hour lecture, compiled from submitted prototypes and games that "explore new frontiers in game design", includes Jon Blow (The Witness), Jason Rohrer (Inside A Star-Filled Sky), Richard Lemarchand (Uncharted franchise), Andy Schatz (Monaco), Robin Hunicke (Journey), Daniel Benmergui (Today I Die) and Frank Lantz (Area/Code/Zynga).

GDC 2011 Details Serious Games Summit Health Day Talks

GDC 2011 organizers are focusing on health and healthcare in games for a one-day Serious Games Summit segment at the end of this month, including talks on WoW's 'blood plague' and nightmare protection through games.

Day one of the Serious Games Summit, taking place on February 28 during the Game Developers Conference 2011 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, will specifically address how games can change player behavior to improve physical and mental well-being.

In the Summit description, the advisors note that the day "will focus on health and healthcare, covering research and the many commercialized games in the health and wellness space that have launched the past few years."

Among the day's sessions is a talk on 'Video Game Play as Nightmare Protection,' in which Jayne Gackenbach from Grant MacEwan University will discuss studies that examine whether games can help ward off frightening dreams.

Gackenbach and colleagues "...have been studying the hypothesis that video game play might act as a protective mechanism against nightmares [using] a waking rehearsal [to respond] to threatening situations in games."

Also featured is a talk entitled 'Hakkar's Corrupted Blood Plague: How an Outbreak in WoW is Helping Epidemiologists Create Better Disease Models,' in which Rutgers University's Nina H. Fefferman examines how an accidental in-game plague in World of Warcraft could improve our understanding and our ability to react to such events in the future.

IGF 2011 Audience Award Closes This Week, D2D Vision Award Finalists Revealed

Voting for the Independent Games Festival's 2011 Audience Award closes this week, so members of the public and the indie game community need to head over to the official IGF Audience Award website and cast votes before Friday, February 18 at midnight PST.

To be part of this year's vote, simply visit the IGF Audience Award page and download any of the games that are currently publicly available (each game has been marked to show whether there's a version for you to purchase or otherwise download). When you've made up your mind, return to vote for your favorite.

Organizers of the IGF are allowing voters to cast their ballot for any game chosen as a finalist in the festival, as opposed to just those with public PC demos, as in previous years.

After voting and inputting your email address, you'll need to verify your vote by clicking on a link sent to that email. Go check out the website now and start making your way through the games!

Alongside this reminder, IGN's Direct2Drive digital game store -- the Official Download Partner for this year's Independent Games Festival -- announced the Direct2Drive Vision Award finalists from among IGF entrants.

Nominees for this year's Direct2Drive Vision award include:

GDC 2011 Debuts Sony NGP Lecture, Microtalks, Fergusson On Gears Of War

GDC 2011 organizers have revealed a first-ever Sony lecture on its NGP handheld, also debuting a GDC Microtalks line-up including David Jaffe and Epic's Rod Fergusson on producing the Gears Of War trilogy.
The complete GDC conference schedule is now available on both GDC Schedule Builder and the newly launched, smartphone-centric GDC Mobile site.
With the February 28th-March 4th Moscone Center, San Francisco-based show less than two weeks away, organizers are highlighting the following lectures:
- In a newly confirmed Sony-sponsored session, SCEA's David Coombes will present a lecture called 'Next Generation Portable Platform', presenting the first public discussion of its new portable gaming platform at GDC 2011.
The talk description simply notes: "In this presentation we will introduce a new handheld console. We will talk about the devices broad range of input and connectivity options and how these create exciting new opportunities for game designers."
- The full speaker line-up for the always popular 'GDC Microtalks 2011: One Hour, Ten Speakers, Hundreds of Fun New Ideas' has now been confirmed, in a swift format whereby "each speaker gets 20 slides, each of which will be displayed for exactly 16 seconds before automatically advancing."
The GDC Microtalk speakers this year, MC-ed by Naughty Dog's Richard Lemarchand (Uncharted franchise) are David Jaffe (Eat Sleep Play), Michael John (Electronic Arts), Brenda Brathwaite (Lolapps), Asi Burak (Games for Change), Jamin Brophy-Warren (Kill Screen Magazine), Jason Rohrer (Between creator), Colleen Macklin (Parsons the New School for Design), Naomi Clark (Fresh Planet) and Brandon Boyer (Independent Games Festival).

GDC 2011 Highlights O'Donnell, Shanda, Moriarty Talks, Expands Capacity

GDC 2011 organizers are highlighting key talks from Bungie's Marty O'Donnell, Shanda CEO Alan Tan, and Loom creator Brian Moriarty, also revealing an expansion into Moscone West for this year's show.

With the overall session list for the February/March event now finalized, Game Developers Conference 2011 organizers have responded to conference pass demand and increased capacity for the Summits and Main Conference lecture space this year.

As a result, GDC 2011 has expanded to the third floor of San Francisco's Moscone West in addition to both Moscone North and Moscone South -- with thousands of extra seats now available to help stem potential space issues.

The complete GDC conference schedule is now available on both GDC Schedule Builder and the newly launched, smartphone-centric GDC Mobile site, and organizers are highlighting the following lectures:

- In an Audio Track keynote talk called 'From Myth to Halo: Marty O'Donnell's Adventures with Adaptive Audio, Creative Collaboration and Geese!', Bungie's veteran audio director takes a wide-ranging look at his career to date, including his attitude on composing and implementing music in the seminal Halo franchise.

O'Donnell amusingly explains: "What are my thoughts about the future of the music business in relation to game publishing? What are geese doing in the title of this talk? I'll attempt to answer all these questions but no one should expect complete clarity."

- In a major Business Track keynote, Shanda Games CEO Alan Tan will present 'The Future of the MMO in China'. Tan co-founded the Chinese MMO giant Shanda, owner of U.S. firm MochiMedia, in 1999, and has overseen Shanda's rise to hundreds of millions of dollars a year in online game revenues.

GDC 2011's Summits Add Super Meat Boy, Angry Birds, FarmVille/CityVille Talks

GDC 2011 organizers have debuted the final set of GDC Summit talks, including a Super Meat Boy postmortem, Zynga on its journey from Farmville to Cityville, and Rovio talking Angry Birds.

The GDC 2011 Summits, taking place on February 28th and March 1st at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, present a series of illuminating, focused sessions about the technology, design, business, marketing, and future of key game industry markets.

There are a total of seven notable standalone Summits, including Social & Online Games, AI, Indie, GDC Education, Serious Games, Localization and the GDC Smartphone Summit, joining multiple high-profile tutorials on the Monday and Tuesday of Game Developers Conference 2011.

As the final sessions get locked into place as part of the overall GDC 2011 schedule, the following major lectures are now confirmed:

- In an Indie Games Summit lecture catchily entitled 'Team Meat Presents: Super Meat Boy - A Team Meat Meatmortem', Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes will examine "sales numbers, contract details... and revel as myths [are debunked]."

The talk will "touch on everything from development of features, mistakes made during the final stages of development, the launch of a game that Microsoft didn't believe in, why Steam is amazing, and the inevitable success of the best indie game of 2010."

- The newly added Social & Online Games Summit lecture 'Click Zen: Zynga's Evolution from FarmVille to CityVille' sees Zynga exec and veteran game maker Mark Skaggs discussing "how [100 million unique user Facebook hit] CityVille represents a fundamental shift in how Zynga makes games, highlighted by the similarities and differences between CityVille and FarmVille."

GDC 2011 Reveals Full Game Career Seminar Lineup

GDC 2011 organizers have revealed the complete Game Career Seminar lineup, spanning Schell Games' Jesse Schell, Epic's Cliff Bleszinski and notable Xbox Live Indie Games creators at the one-day student event this March.

This special one-day program -- taking place on Friday, March 4 during Game Developers Conference 2011 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco -- offers a series of talks and presentations to help students and prospective developers make their way into the industry.

Attendees, who are eligible for special reduced-price passes if they are students, will get the opportunity to view lectures, network with industry professionals, meet with HR representatives from a number of leading game companies and gain insight from industry experts.

A number of talks are featured on the Seminar's homepage and the Game Career Seminar section of GDC's Schedule Builder. Highlights include the following:

- In 'From Student to Start Up: Case Studies,' Schell Games' Jesse Schell provides an in-depth look at student projects that successfully made a name for themselves in the industry.

From Portal to Fl0w, Schell will provide examples of how to best make the transition from school to professional development, as well as note some examples of how the process can go awry.

- In the a panel on Xbox Live Indie Games, industry professionals and independent develops will discuss pricing, visibility, and other methods to help ensure success on the console-based indie platform. With Game Developer magazine's Brandon Sheffield moderating, panelists include representatives from Mommy's Best Games (Weapon Of Choice), MagicalTimeBean (Soulcaster), Ska Studios (I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1NIT!!!1), and Zeboyd Games (Breath Of Death VII).

GDC 2011 Adds Cave Story Creator, Limbo, Crawford Talks

Organizers of GDC 2011 are highlighting a first-ever public lecture from Cave Story creator Pixel, plus talks on Playdead's acclaimed Limbo and Chris Crawford on gaming's 'days of yore'.

As the overall session list for the February/March event expands further, following the announcement of the classic postmortems series and a keynote from Nintendo's Satoru Iwata, new lectures continue to be showcased.

These new talks are part of GDC 2011's Main Conference, which takes place at the Moscone Center from Wednesday March 2nd to Friday March 4th, 2011 during the pre-eminent, San Francisco-based event.

The GDC 2011 Main Conference features discipline-specific Tracks dedicated to programming, design, art, audio, business and management, and production.

These additions to the GDC 2011 roster, highlighted for the first time here, include the following lectures:

- In his first-ever public speech and Western appearance regarding much-beloved 2D indie title Cave Story, Japanese 'dojin' game developer Daisuke 'Pixel' Amaya will discuss his creative process in making the PC freeware title that debuted in 2004.

The evocative retro-themed game -- a 2D platform adventure with genuine emotion, depth, and an intriguing story -- which took 5 years to complete, is an IGF finalist this year in its enhanced WiiWare version, and Amaya will talk about what went both right and wrong in creating a game that turned out completely unlike what he initially had in mind.

- Presenting a lecture called 'Designing Limbo's Puzzles', Playdead's lead gameplay designer Jeppe Carlsen discusses design takeaways from the most-nominated game in this year's prestigious Game Developers Choice Awards.

GDC 2011 Adds Google, Kinect, Unity Developer Tutorial Days

Organizers of the 2011 Game Developers Conference are highlighting full-day sponsored tutorials on Android, Microsoft's Kinect, Unity, and Google's full product suite, for the 25th edition of the industry's leading event for game creators.

With the overall session list for the event now almost full, organizers are taking the opportunity to highlight the sponsored full-day tutorials from major firms available to attendees.

These sessions, part of a full roster of one and two-day tutorials will once again be held alongside the GDC Summits on the first two days of the San Francisco-based event, Monday, February 28th and Tuesday, March 1st.

They will be open to those with a Summits & Tutorials or All-Access Pass, and interested parties can select their preference during the process of online registration and onsite check-in to help GDC staff with room capacity.

(Organizers note that some tutorials may become full and no longer be selectable during registration - attendees who select a particular tutorial and have it printed on their badge will be allowed into busy tutorials first.)

Sponsored GDC 2011 tutorials of particular note to the wider audience include the following:

- A Google Developer Day taking place on Monday includes Google game development-centric luminaries such as Bill Budge and Gregg Tavares, promising to allow development and business-centric attendees to "get a peek at the brand-new technologies Google is developing for games."

Two-Day Scrum Development Course To Run Alongside GDC 2011

Organizers of GDC 2011 have announced an affiliated two-day crash course for Scrum development on Feb 28th and March 1st, led by Clinton Keith, author of "Agile Game Development With Scrum."

Clinton Keith has over 15 years of experience in the industry, five of which have been spent applying Scrum to video game development. He has worked on titles including Midnight Club, Darkwatch, and Bourne Conspiracy.

 

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