GDC Online's robust session lineup continues to grow this week, as show organizers have debuted new sessions including a 'classic postmortem' on the groundbreaking MMO Ultima Online, as well as in-depth sessions on Zynga and the ethics of modern game development.
These new talks all fall within GDC Online's Main Conference, which offers some 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:
- Over in the Design track, attendees will get a behind the scenes look at the creation of Ultima Online, which was not only one of the first graphical MMOs, it also helped set the standard for player versus player combat and sandbox gameplay for years after its launch. Even today, it's remembered as one of the greatest online games of all time.
And at this October's GDC Online, three of the game's creators -- Raph Koster (Playdom), Rich Vogel (ex-BioWare), and Starr Long (Disney) -- will reflect on the ambition, struggles, and "idealistic cluelessness" that fueled the development of this influential title.
- Also in the Design track, Zynga's SVP of product development, Mark Skaggs, will host "The Lessons I Learned from Making FarmVille and CityVille," shedding some light on the latest trends in the social game space.
Looking at Zynga's titles in particular, Skaggs will explain how social games have changed over the past few years, how developers can overcome the challenges of making data-driven decisions, and what studios should be planning for as the market continues to evolve.
- Finally, GDC Online attendees will have the opportunity to check out what promises to be a lively panel on the ethical challenges developers face in the modern game industry.
The session, dubbed "Ahead of the Game - Ethics of Modern Game Development," will feature speakers including Amazon.com senior game producer Nikolaus Davidson, Bobber Interactive COO Scott Dodson, and moderator, Immersyve president, and game motivation and psychology expert Scott Rigby, all of whom have plenty to say about the most pressing issues facing today's developers.