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GDC Online 2012 adds Zynga, Aion free to play, happiness talks

In the latest update for GDC Online 2012, show organizers have revealed a trio of new talks covering Zynga's Draw Something backend infrastructure, lessons on making Aion free to play, and tips for making your team happier and your games more fun.

These talks all fall within GDC Online's Main Conference, which offers come of the world's leading content on persistent and online games. The event will be held Tuesday, October 9 to Thursday, October 11 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

The full details on these newly-announced sessions are as follows:

- First, Zynga Chief Technology officers Allan Leinwand and Jason Pearlman will share their stories and advice on how game developers can handle the growth of games that become overnight sensations.

During their Programming track talk, "Bootstrapping the Infrastructure of Draw Something and Other Hit Games," the pair will reflect on Zynga's Omgpop-developed sensation along with a number of other titles to give attendees a blueprint for developing a scalable backend infrastructure that keeps things running smoothly even during times of crisis and exponential growth.

- Over in the Business & Marketing track, Gameforge 4D CEO Carsten van Husenwill discuss how to turn a subscription MMO into a free to play game in "7 Learnings from Making Aion Europe Free-to-Play."

Looking back on how the European version of the fantasy MMO Aion made the free to play transition, van Husenwill will offer some essential insight to other online game developers regarding how to create an effective monetization system, how to prepare for a number of inevitable technical hiccups, and how to re-establish an existing brand under a new business model.

- Finally, highly rated GDC speaker Scott Crabtree of Happy Brain Science will explain how developers can use neuroscience and psychology to effectively build happy teams that work well together and create more quality work.

His Production track talk, "Fun Makes Fun: The Brain Science of Happy Game Teams," will teach attendees about the science of great teamwork, helping them establish a stronger bond between co-workers, limit everyday stress, and ultimately make better games.

These talks join a handful of other sessions already announced for GDC Online, including sessions in the ever-popular Game Narrative Summit, a look at EA's multiplatform strategy, and a talk examining the growth of League of legends developer Riot Games. For more information on any of the sessions announced thus far, check out the main conference track pages on the show's official website.

Keep an eye out for even more exciting keynotes and sessions, as GDC Online organizers have plenty more in store before the event opens its doors this October. Those interested in attending GDC Online can secure their pass now, as online registration is now open.

For more information of GDC Online, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

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