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2009 GDC China Event Officially Announced

Think Services Game Group, producers of the Game Developers Conferences, Game Developer Magazine, and Gamasutra.com, has announced it will present the second Game Developers Conference China (GDC China) in Shanghai from October 11th-13th, 2009.
Supported by an advisory board that includes representatives from Shanda, Epic Games China, 9you and DJL International and endorsed by key government agencies associated with the industry, GDC China will once again bring the GDC’s authoritative content and global reach to the region.
GDC China aims to advance the state of China’s game industry by featuring top-quality content and incorporating the GDC’s global development community perspective. The 2007 inaugural event was produced “by developers, for developers,” offering unique learning, sharing and networking opportunities for the Chinese market.

GDC 2009 Reveals Inaugural AI Summit Details

The organizers of the inaugural AI Summit at the 2009 Game Developers Conference have announced initial speakers and sessions for the landmark two-day artificial intelligence summit, including notables from EA Maxis, Ubisoft Montreal, Rockstar Leeds, Nintendo and more.
The event, which is taking place on March 23rd and 24th, 2009 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco as part of Game Developers Conference, promises to give attendees an inside look at key AI architectures and issues within successful commercial games.
Key speakers already announced for the Summit include EA Maxis' Soren Johnson, AI programmer/designer for Spore and AI professionals from EA Montreal and Ubisoft Montreal, as part of a panel "exploring ways to manage the gap between designers and AI programmers to help establish better practices for this important (and inevitable) collaboration."

GDC Europe To Take Place At 2009 GamesCom

Think Services has announced its flagship European event, Game Developers Conference (GDC) Europe for August 17th-19th 2009, alongside new German consumer games event GamesCom, with former GCDC head Frank Sliwka joining Think Services to run the event.
Think Services also runs game industry events including next March's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and September's Austin GDC, as well as the recently announced GDC Canada, while also operating Gamasutra.com and Game Developer magazine.
Frank Sliwka, who formerly worked at GC organizer Leipziger Messe, where he was conference director for the GC Developers Conference (GCDC) and national/international advisor, will join the Think Services Game Group as Vice President of European Business Development and Event Director, GDC Europe.

GDC Mobile Announces 2009 Focus, iPhone Lectures

Organizers for March 2009's GDC Mobile summit have revealed a focus on emerging platforms such as Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android, as well as initial speakers from EA and Indiagames, for the mobile-specific game event taking place on the first two days of GDC 2009.
The GDC Mobile conference (created by Think Services) gathers creators, publishers, technology providers, handset manufacturers, and distributors to discuss the future of the medium.
This year's program will cover six tracks encompassing the entirity of mobile gaming: New Platforms, Game Design, Programming, Deals & Distribution, Production, and Original Innovation.

2009 Independent Games Summit Announces First Speakers

The organizers of the 2009 Independent Games Summit have announced initial speakers for the March 2009 GDC-included conference, including notables from 2D Boy (World Of Goo), Stardock (Sins Of A Solar Empire), and more.
Initial confirmed speakers for the event, which is taking place on March 23rd and 24th, 2009 as part of the 2009 Game Developers Conference, include 2D Boy co-founder Ron Carmel, talking on 'Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Going Indie But Were Afraid to Ask'. As is explained in the lecture description:
"When Ron Carmel and his business partner Kyle Gabler formed 2D Boy and started making the IGF award-winning World Of Goo, they knew a bit about game design and programming, but hardly anything about the business aspect of making a game... Having published on Wii/WiiWare and PC both physically and digitally in multiple territories, Carmel explains how they managed it, with plenty of real-world numbers plugged in."

Bosslady Blog: Content is King

[Ever wondered how talks get selected for GDC? Game Developers Conference event director Meggan Scavio reveals this year's GDC advisory board and submission process.]
Every summer, the GDC advisory board gathers to discuss the direction of the next event. The board is made up of 17 of the most dedicated, brilliant people in the industry. And I’m not just saying that because they might read this.
You may have heard of some of them, for example Blizzard’s Rob Pardo, Electronic Arts' Lou Castle, veteran creator Mark Cerny, Bungie's Chris Butcher, MGS's Laura Fryer, and Maxis’ Chris Hecker. See, it’s true. Smarties.
Anyhow, during this meeting they talk about everything from networking opportunities (“wouldn’t it be cool to have a roundtable follow a thought-provoking lecture so the attendees can discuss what they just heard?”) to session formats (“what if we gave speakers 3 minutes each to present their cool idea or technology”).

2009 IGF Announces Record Entries For Main, Student Competitions

The organizers of the 2009 Independent Games Festival have announced a record turnout for this year's IGF competition, with a total of 226 entries in the Main Competition (an increase of 30% on last year's 173 entries), and a total of 145 Student Showcase entries (up over 15% on last year's 125 entries).
Information on the 226 separate IGF Main Competition entries, including screenshots, descriptions, and links to official game websites, are now available to view on the official IGF website.
Examples of the entries span already announced indie titles, including Jason Rohrer's Between, alternate reality RPG Barkley Shut Up and Jam Gaiden, visually lush point and click adventure Machinarium, and art-game I Wish I Were The Moon, through previously little-discussed titles such as Pieces Interactive's "first walk'em up" Walkie Tonky, new Nifflas-designed title Night Game, and Lexaloffle's "ecological action game" Conflux.

2009 GDC Canada Announces Dates, Calls For Submissions

Think Services, co-organizer of the Game Developers Conference Canada has announced that next year's inaugural expo will run from May 12 - 13, 2009 at the Vancouver Convention and Exposition Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The organizers have also opened the call for proposals on lectures, roundtables, and panel sessions, and will accept submissions through midnight, Friday, November 28, 2008.
GDC Canada, which has an extensive local advisory board including representation from BioWare, EA Black Box, Threewave, Radical, Next Level Games and more, will emphasize the challenges and opportunities of creating games with long production cycles, large development teams, and multi-platform releases.

Bosslady Blog: Welcome to GDC 2009

[In her first post for the GDC weblog, Game Developers Conference event director Meggan Scavio welcomes you to this year's event.]
A new GDC season is upon us, the 23rd to be exact and my 10th. What milestones have we crossed over the last 23 years? Quite a few actually.
Let me take you back to 1987, when we were called the Computer Game Developers Conference and we were in a living room with a few names you might recognize: Don Daglow, Tim Brengle, Chris Crawford and Gordon Walton, to name a few. Fast forward through Milpitas, Santa Clara, Long Beach, and San Jose to our current landing spot: San Francisco.

GDC 2009 Opens Registration, Debuts New Summits

Game Developers Conference organizer Think Services has opened registration for next year's GDC event, to be held in San Francisco's Moscone Center from March 23 to 27, 2009.
Also announced was the addition of new summits falling under the GDC umbrella. These summits, which take place on the Monday and Tuesday of GDC week, are aimed at providing specialized coverage for various crucial development categories and practices.
In addition, the traditional Wednesday to Friday main conference, including major keynotes and existing Audio, Business, Game Design, Production, Programming, and Visual Arts tracks will continue for 2009.
Newly established Monday-Tuesday summits include the AI Summit and Localization Summit, bringing the total summit count to nine, as follows:

LittleBigPlanet Creators Mark Healey & Alex Evans Set to Deliver Opening Keynote at Paris GDC 08

Mark Healey and Alex Evans, co-founders of Media Molecule, will deliver a keynote speech titled, “Media Molecule, Little Team, Big Ideas,” at this year’s Paris Game Developers Conference (Paris GDC). Healey and Evans will address the breadth of ways in which game developers can incorporate creativity into their designs. From god-games and sim-games to full-on modding, they will discuss the past, present, and future of user-generated content as illustrated through the story of Media Molecule’s conception and its first title, LittleBigPlanet for the PlayStation 3.

EA's Executive Producer of Battlefield Franchise, Ben Cousins, To Keynote Paris GDC 2008

Ben Cousins, Executive Producer of EA DICE’s Battlefield franchise, will deliver a keynote titled, “Scenes from the Battlefield: The Present and Future of Core and Casual,” at this year’s Paris Game Developers Conference (Paris GDC). Cousins will address the business and consumer trends that have led to the creation of the new Battlefield Heroes service and will share his thoughts on the future crossover of core and casual gamers and the supposed death of the PC as a gaming platform. Paris GDC, the second French edition of the Game Developers Conference, the premier event for developers and publishers in the videogame industry, is scheduled for June 23-24 at the Coeur Défense Convention Centre in Paris.
As Executive Producer for Battlefield titles at DICE in Stockholm, Sweden, Cousins most recently led the development of Battlefield Heroes, EA’s first “Play 4 Free” game. Cousins recent history involves work exclusively on digitally delivered entertainment – serving as Creative Director on PlayStation Home, Design Manager for the EyeToy group and Lead Designer for Beats at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
“The game industry is in a state of rapid and exciting change today, as developers grapple with adapting to free to play models and bringing gameplay to universal audiences,” said Jamil Moledina, Executive Director, GDC Events. “Ben has a successful history of coaxing our industry into the 21st Century, and we expect that his experiences fomenting evolution with Battlefield Heroes will prove highly illuminating to our audience.”

Paris GDC Reveals Content for 08 Session Lineup

Paris Game Developers Conference 08 (Paris GDC) has published its roster of featured speakers and sessions. The second French edition of the Game Developers Conference, the premier event for developers and publishers in the videogame industry, is scheduled for June 23-24 at the Coeur Défense Convention Centre in Paris. More than 50 sessions designed for developers looking to expand their expertise, network, and learn from their peers will be presented by industry experts and thought leaders at Paris GDC 08.
Highlighted sessions from the call for papers include:

  • The Right Tools for the Write Job, by Mac Walters, Bioware
  • Your Music Is the Game: Designing PHASE, the Other Project at Harmonix, by Chris Foster, Harmonix Music Systems
  • The Free to Play Revolution, by Howard Marks, Acclaim
  • Tackling High Level, Scalable Physics for Next Generation Game Engines, by Adam Moravanszky, NVIDIA

“It’s a very exciting time right now in the game industry, as developers are creating blockbuster hits for both the core market and for those who don’t call themselves gamers,” said Jamil Moledina, Executive Director, Game Developers Conference Events. “This cross-section of the sessions we intend to field in Paris should provide a taste of the range of global breakthroughs that are driving European development today.”
Sessions were selected by the Paris GDC advisory board, composed of international experts of the game industry, as well as the event organizers Think Services and Connection Events.

Director's Cut: GDC Fast Forward

Good morning everyone! I haven't updated my column here recently, it's been a bit crunchy for us around here with the final load-in on GDC. However, it's all locked down, and there's only a few remaining things to mention, all of which revolve around bringing the GDC firmly into the 21st Century.

Maximizing your GDC Session Experience

This year the GDC is setting up ALL the tutorial, lecture, and panel classrooms with super fancy HD projectors. These projectors will provide more detailed and brighter images. We want the visual presentations that speakers deliver at the GDC to be as good as the verbal content they provide.
And, as usual, the classrooms in the Audio Track with have Dolby 5.1 surround sound.

 

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