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[In her latest Bosslady Blog update, Game Developers Conference event director Meggan Scavio fills attendees in this year's new summits and some changes to the 2010 event.]
Now that my calendar reads 2010, I can officially start the â€œCountdown to GDC.â€ It goes a little something like this:
1. Find March 9th on my laminated wall calendar
2. Count the weeks back until I reach the current week.
3. Curse out loud
4. Start a list of all the things yet to do
5. Break into a light sweat.
One of the items on my to-do list is to talk a little bit about what weâ€™ve been up to here at GDC headquarters - besides being excited about the Independent Games Festival Nominees while also being inflamed about Spider-Man 4. Inflamed!
When not already missing Sam Raimi even though Spider-Man 3 was awful, weâ€™re surprisingly productive.
Some of you may have seen the announcement of the newly-formed iPhone Summit taking place March 9-10. Focusing on both the technical and business aspects of developing games for the platform, the iPhone Summit at GDC 2010 will run 1050m before hitting a wall and tumbling to a Canabalt postmortem.
To avoid tumbling to your death, there will also be a session on knowing what youâ€™re signing by understanding the iPhone contract along with how to capture the female iPhone gamer (hint: hot vampires.) The iPhone Summit program is coming together quite nicely, and I suspect there will be more good stuff to announce in that department soon.
The organizers of Game Developers Conference 2010 have added several new Audio Track lectures, including talks on prominent titles such as Final Fantasy XIII, Dante's Inferno and the Halo franchise.
Continuing the GDC 2010 track-specific announcements, following new Business Track details, the Audio Track "looks at the game development process from the standpoint of developing dynamic videogame sound and offers direction for developers who wish to understand complex sound composition strategies."
The notables at the Game Developers Conference 2010 Advisory Board tasked with programming the Audio Track include Media Molecule's Kenneth Young (LittleBigPlanet), veteran composer Chance Thomas (Lord Of The Rings Online, Avatar), Video Games Live co-creator Tommy Tallarico, and more.
Some of the new Audio Track lectures confirmed for the March 11th-13th Main Conference track devoted to game audio include:
- Final Fantasy XIII's Motion-Controlled Real-Time Automatic Sound Triggering System
This presentation from two Square Enix Japan notables working on Final Fantasy XIII, Yoshinori Tsuchida and Tomohiro Yajima, will explain how, in the big-budget RPG, "new techniques have been introduced for creating sound effects that automatically trigger in response to the angles and velocities of characters -- as well as collision detection algorithms assigned to every terrain in the game environment."
- Lost Planet 2: Bridging the Gap Between Developer and Contractor
Audio director Tomoya Kishi and supervising sound designer Peter Zinda will discuss the sound design work flow on Capcom's Lost Planet 2, which represented a major shift for the long time collaborators. The lecture will "concentrate on how Capcom involved sound designers in the audio implementation process, as well as technology used to enable long distance collaboration."
The organizers of Game Developers Conference 2010 have revealed major Business Track talks for the March 9th-13th event, including EA DICE's Ben Cousins on "what Wal-Mart tells us about gaming", and the Tripwire and Tiger Style founders on game biz success.
The announcements come as part of the first of a series of GDC 2010 track-specific announcements, this one focusing on the Business & Management Track, which "looks at the game development process from the standpoint of running the business, and offers proven strategies for the developer who needs to understand complex business issues."
The subset of the Game Developers Conference 2010 Advisory Board tasked with programming this track include notables such as Epic Games president Mike Capps, InstantAction CEO and Westwood Studios co-founder Lou Castle, and Warner Bros. Seattle studio GM Laura Fryer.
Some of the highlighted Business Track lectures already announced for the San Francisco Moscone Center-based event include the following:
- Crushing The Overhead: Case Study of A Microstudio Start-Up
In this lecture, Thief designer Randy Smith explains his indie studio Tiger Style released Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor on the iPhone, topping the App Store charts amidst praise from players and press and netting over a quarter of a million dollars. He will discuss "team building, infrastructure, sales, compensation, process, schedule, project direction, product design, marketing, and more."
GDC 2010 organizers have revealed the initial iPhone Games Summit line-up for the March 9th-10th event, including tech and biz talks from the creators of Canabalt, Touch Pets Dogs and more.
The notable new summit, taking place on the first two days of Game Developers Conference 2010 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco next March, will bring together top game developers from around the world to explore ideas, share best practices, and discuss the future of Apple's handheld platform.
The two-day program will highlight the best of iPhone development, with an entire day discussing the nuts and bolts of technical and design techniques. The second day will focus on the business and marketing strategies behind successful iPhone game companies.
Some of the heavyweight Summit advisors for the event from the world of iPhone games include Electronic Arts' mobile VP Travis Boatman, Snappy Touch founder Noel Llopis (Flower Garden), and Ngmoco VP Alan Yu.
With other major lectures to be announced soon, a number of significant talks have been revealed on the Summit homepage. These include:
The Independent Games Festival has announced the Main Competition finalists for the twelfth annual presentation of its prestigious awards, celebrating the most innovative creations to come out of the independent game development community this year.
Nearly $50,000 in prizes in various categories, including the $20,000 Seamus McNally Grand Prize will be awarded on stage at the Independent Games Festival Awards on March 11, 2010 during the 2010 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
The record-setting 306 Main Competition entries represent a 35% increase over last year's record 226 entries, many of them striking new titles from leading indie developers.
This year's finalists are led by multiple nominations for several notable games, including three nominations for innovative light-centric puzzle platformer Closure, and two nominations each -- including a Grand Prize nomination -- for Pocketwatch Games' stylish co-op heist game Monaco, Hello Games' polished stunt motorbike title Joe Danger, Ratloop Asia's cinematic avian action title Rocketbirds: Revolution!, Krystian Majewski's gestural photographic adventure game Trauma, and Team Meat's cartoon-gory 2D action title Super Meat Boy!.
To ensure the highest-quality judging for the IGF, more than 150 leading indie and mainstream game industry figures -- from 2D Boy's Ron Carmel through Spore's Soren Johnson to ThatGameCompany's Kellee Santiago and beyond -- were recruited to choose finalists via a carefully constructed empirical process.
The Festival is particularly keen to give constructive, written feedback to Main Competition entrants -- even if they did not place as a finalist. As a result, over 1500 written, anonymized judge comments will be passed along to entrants in the next few days, an important part of deriving value and takeaway from entering the IGF.
In addition, for the first year, the IGF's Nuovo Award, intended to "honor abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development which advances the medium and the way we think about games", was judged by a separate, smaller juried panel of notable game and art world figures. These spanned previous IGF Nuovo winner Jason Rohrer (Passage), Area/Code's Frank Lantz, N+ co-creator Mare Sheppard, EA division head and art-game creator Rod Humble, and more.
The jury for the $2,500 Nuovo Award, which allows more esoteric 'art games' to compete on their own terms alongside longer-form indie titles, has released a statement about the chosen Nuovo finalists, including several 'honorable mentions', on the official IGF website.
The finalists for the 2010 Independent Games Festival are:
Game Developers Conference 2010 organizers are reminding 2008 and 2009 GDC attendees that December 22nd is the last day to register with an alumni discount for the March 9th-13th, 2010 show in San Francisco.
Organizers have announced that the 2010 Game Developers Choice Awards, the most prestigious honors in the world of video game development, are now open for nominations through Jan. 4, 2010.
In its tenth year of honoring the best games and developers, the Game Developers Choice Awards -- the leading awards voted on by developers, and created for developers -- has adopted a new voting methodology.
Nominations - as always - are selected by any game professional worldwide, simply by submitting ballots via the Game Developers Choice Awards website. (Submitters are required to log in with a Gamasutra.com username and password so professional developer status can subsequently be verified.)
Category finalists and Special Award winners are selected by the 20 person-strong Game Developers Choice Awards Advisory Committee, including notable industry veterans from Harmonix, Valve, PopCap, Ubisoft, BioWare, and more.
Starting this year, winners are now being selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is a new invitation-only group comprised of 500 leading game creators from all parts of the video game industry.
Choice Awards organizers believe that, in tandem with their goal of having the most focused, impartial awards in the game industry, this additional voting transparency will further boost the awards' reputation.
The 2010 award categories are open for nominations to any member of the video game community until January 4th, combining both Regular and Special Award nominations, are:
Organizers of next March's Game Developers Conference 2010 in San Francisco have revealed keynotes and first sessions for Summits, with notables including Facebook's Gareth Davis (Social & Online Games Summit) and Spider's Randy Smith (Independent Games Summit).
Taking place March 9-10th, the GDC Summits highlight the leading edge of game development in emerging and notable areas including; iPhone Games, Social & Online Games, Game Localization, Mobile/Handheld Games, Independent Games, Artificial Intelligence and Serious Games.
Of the major Summits, Facebook's platform manager Gareth Davis will deliver a keynote at the newly formed Social & Online Games Summit titled 'How Friends Change Everything'. It will discuss Facebook's massive disruption in who plays games, as well as how games are best discovered, distributed, designed and monetized on the service.
In addition, Randy Smith, owner and game designer at Tiger Style will keynote the Independent Games Summit. Tiger Style is the developer of the critically and commercially successful iPhone game, Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, named by Apple as their top-rated game of 2009. Smith, who is also a veteran of Thief creator Looking Glass, will deliver a broad keynote address, 'Increasing Our Reach: Designing to Grab and Retain Players.'
Alongside these notable announcements, all of GDC's market-leading Summits have announced initial lectures, with a large number of new speakers and topics now confirmed for the event.
Other notable featured talks at the one and two-day Summit events include:
Game Developers Conference 2010 organizers have announced its first set of Main Conference lectures for the March 9th-13th event, with Uncharted 2, Braid and Brutal Legend-specific talks already confirmed.
As organizers of GDC 2010 start to announce the line-up, the new Social & Online Games Summit has revealed initial speakers for the March 9th-10th event, including Zynga, Playfish and IMVU execs talking Farmville, Spore Worlds and more.
Organizers have announced GDC Canada 2010's call for submissions, with the May 2010 Vancouver event looking for a wide array of lectures on game creation and business across AAA, digital, and social games.
The call to present content for lectures, roundtables and panel sessions for the 2010 Game Developers Conference Canada is open through midnight, Tuesday, January 5, 2010.
Montrealâ€™s Kokoromi collective has announced its theme for Gamma 4, with game makers challenged to make "innovative, experimental new games played with just one button" to be showcased at Game Developers Conference 2010 in San Francisco.
Game Developers Conference 2010 organizers have announced the first set of tutorials for the March 9th-13th, 2010 event, with an all-star level design tutorial day and a full-day session on 'building an independent dev studio in 2010' among the initial tutorials revealed.