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Reminder: Last Day To Early Register For GDC Online

GDC Online organizers are reminding potential attendees that today is the last day to save up to 40% on passes to the October 5th-8th event in Austin, TX, fully detailing the comprehensive exhibit floor, Summits, keynotes, a PlayStation Home developer day and more.

The Austin, Texas based GDC Online conference -- formerly known as GDC Austin -- is mainly focused on the development of online games, including free-to-play titles, social network games, and traditional MMOs, with a veteran online game industry advisory board evaluating and selecting the lectures.

There are now more than 120 panels, lectures and tutorials currently scheduled for the event -- including the recently announced keynote from Civilization II designer and now Zynga chief game designer Brian Reynolds (FrontierVille), and just-debuted track keynotes from Blizzard on Battle.net, Raph Koster on social design trends, and European browser game giant BigPoint on its rise to success.

These lectures join a full set of highlighted lectures including Main Conference talks on October 6th-8th from Relic, Sony Online, Carbine, KingsIsle, IMVU, Disney, Playdom, BioWare Austin, Hangout Industries, Broken Bulb Studios, CCP, Gaia Online, Playfish, InstantAction, Ubisoft and a host of other notable companies at the leading worldwide online game-specific conference.

One of the other major advantages of attending GDC Online is the comprehensive list of nearly 90 exhibitors with whom attendees are able to get product demonstrations, meet, and interact on the vibrant GDC Online Expo Floor. These include major firms like Epic, Rackspace, Gaikai, Offerpal, Vindicia, Trinigy, ARIN, Versant, Rixty, Softlayer, and many other notable companies in the space.

GDC Online Debuts Blizzard, Koster, Bigpoint Track Keynotes, Pre-Deadline

A day before the GDC Online early deadline, the major October 5th-8th Austin-based event has added track keynotes from Blizzard's Greg Canessa (on Battle.net), Playdom's Raph Koster (on social mechanics), and Bigpoint's Heiko Hubertz (on the rise of Europe in online gaming).

The Austin, Texas based GDC Online conference -- formerly known as GDC Austin -- is sharply focused on the development of online games, including free-to-play titles, social network games, and traditional MMOs, with a veteran online game industry advisory board evaluating and selecting the lectures.

There are now more than 120 panels, lectures and tutorials currently scheduled for the October 5th-8th event -- and following the announcement of a keynote from Civilization II designer and now Zynga chief game designer Brian Reynolds (FrontierVille), three track keynotes are debuting.

The brand-new track keynotes across the GDC Online Main Conference, which takes place from Wednesday October 6th to Friday October 8th, and for which majorly discounted passes are only available until Wednesday, are:

- In a production track keynote called 'Battle.net: A Postmortem', Blizzard's Battle.net project director Greg Canessa and technical director Matt Versluys will present an extremely rare lecture from the World Of Warcraft and Starcraft II creators, "sharing lessons learned from building and launching the new iteration of an online game service that connects and powers all Blizzard titles."

- Playdom's VP of creative design Raph Koster -- a stalwart of online game design from Ultima Online through Star Wars Galaxies to his current work in social games -- presents a design track keynote, 'Classic Social Mechanics: The Engines Behind Everything Multiplayer'.

APB Lessons, Habbo, Cow Clicker Talks Added To GDC Online

Organizers of this October's GDC Online (formerly GDC Austin) are rolling out more major new talks, including ex-Realtime Worlds exec Joshua Howard on 'self-inflicted wounds' in game creation, Sulka Haro on the $500 million Habbo Hotel economy, and Ian Bogost on his satirical Facebook title Cow Clicker.

The Austin, Texas based GDC Online conference is focused on the development of online games, including free-to-play titles, social network games, and traditional MMOs, with a veteran online game industry advisory board evaluating and selecting the lectures.

There are already more than 80 panels, lectures and tutorials currently scheduled for the October 5th-8th event -- and following the announcement of a keynote from Civilization II designer and now Zynga chief game designer Brian Reynolds (FrontierVille), a number of other notable talks are debuting:

Some of the newly announced highlights from notable sessions across the GDC Online Main Conference, which takes place from Wednesday October 6th to Friday October 8th, and for which 'early registration' passes are only available until Wednesday, are:

- In 'Self-Inflicted Wounds: When We Are Our Own Worst Enemy', U.S.-based ex-Realtime Worlds executive producer Joshua Howard (APB) will discuss "common management and organizational failures that leaders talk themselves into accepting, which almost always end up impacting a game's success." Along the way, the former Carbonated Games exec "will provide techniques that anyone can use if they find themselves on a project that has already made one of these mistakes."

GDC Online Announces Keynote From FrontierVille's Reynolds

GDC Online organizers have confirmed industry veteran and Zynga chief game designer Brian Reynolds to discuss smash hit title FrontierVille and the future of social game design in a keynote at October's show in Austin.

In his keynote address, 'Bears and Snakes! The Wild Frontier of Social Game Design,' Reynolds will explain how his Facebook title FrontierVille "treads new territory" by combining the classic techniques of traditional game design with the social gaming expertise that Zynga has gained from their FarmVille and Mafia Wars titles.

Reynolds, whose career has spanned more than 20 years with companies such as Firaxis and Big Huge Games, and who has co-created titles including Civilization II, Alpha Centauri and Rise of Nations, will also confront the challenges of taking familiar social game models and making them more entertaining for gamers and non-gamers.

With the massive gains and rapid progress of the social game space, Reynolds will offer his take on why games like FrontierVille -- which currently has 30 million monthly unique users on Facebook alone, according to Appdata.com -- are only the first step towards other exciting opportunities for the video game medium.

League of Legends Leads Finalists For The First Annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards

UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizers of the Game Developers Conference Online (formerly GDC Austin), have announced the nominees for this October's first annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards, revealing that Riot Games' League of Legends is leading the pack, having been nominated for a total of five awards.

Other titles being honored with multiple nominations include We Rule (ngmoco), Champions Online (Cryptic), Dungeon Fighter Online (Nexon) and Nightclub City (Booyah) with three award nominations apiece.

The all-star list of nominees also includes nominations in new game and in-operation game categories for top companies like Blizzard (for World of Warcraft), Playfish (for FIFA Superstars) and Zynga (for Farmville and Treasure Isle).

The Game Developers Choice Online Awards will be held on the evening of October 7, 2010 as part of the 2010 Game Developers Conference Online (GDC Online), which is taking place at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas October 5-8.

The Game Developers Choice Online Awards - a sister event to the Game Developers Choice Awards which take place at GDC in San Francisco every year - is the first award ceremony honoring the accomplishments of the creators and operators of online games.

This includes categories around community support and continued innovation in the field with awards in audio, design, visual arts, among other categories. These categories are nominated and voted on by the game development community, with the distinguished GDC Online Advisory Board helping to pick the special awards.

The nominees of the Game Developer Choice Online Awards run the gamut of online titles, from expansive and hugely popular MMOs such as Blizzard's World of Warcraft, through addictive social network-based titles like Farmville by Zynga. The most honored nominee is Riot Games' critically acclaimed League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle-arena game that combines role-playing, strategy, and action elements to create a captivating online experience.

The complete list of nominees for the 2010 Game Developers Choice Online Awards are as follows:

Host Of iPhone, iPad Summit Lectures Confirmed For GDC Online

Organizers of this October's GDC Online (formerly GDC Austin) have announced key speakers for its iPhone and iPad Gaming Summits, including Words With Friends/We Rule's David Bettner, Pocket Legends' Cinco Barnes and more.

The two new Summits, focusing on Apple's portable gaming devices, take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 5th-6th in Austin, Texas alongside the larger GDC Online event, to provide a lexicon of key facts and advice for all those working in the iPhone and iPad game areas.

From key business learnings through top technical takeaways, some of the developers who are even now surging to major success on the iPhone, iPad and other mobile platforms are shaping this inaugural GDC Summit on the subject.

Some of the newly announced highlights of this year's iPhone and iPad Gaming Summit talks, chosen by a distinguished Summit advisory board including Gamevil's Kyu C. Lee, Canabalt's Adam Saltsman, GeoDefense's David Whatley and Backflip's Julian Farrior, include the following:

- The lecture 'Turn Based: The Power and Potential of Asynchronous Gaming in Mobile' sees Newtoy co-founder David Bettner, one of the minds behind smash iPhone hits Words With Friends and We Rule, explaining why "turn based gaming, previously confined to the living room, has been liberated. At its core, it's gaming meets text-messaging and it allows you to play with your friends anytime, anywhere, in a way never before possible."

- Successful indie Arash Keshmirian of Limbic Software (Tower Madness) is presenting 'App Store Survival - Launching and Sustaining a Successful Franchise', outlining "strategies for developing a game that not only thrives at launch but holds players attention and can become an enduring franchise." Attendees will learn how to analyze and hone initial concepts (including revenue models) for the best chance of success, managing a launch and an ongoing marketing calendar, and a host of other notable tips.

GDC Europe 2010 Ends With Record Attendance, Confirms 2011 Return

The Game Developers Conference Europe 2010 has concluded a second successful year, confirming record overall attendance across paid attendees, media, speakers and exhibitors to the August 16th-18th show.

At the same time, organizers have revealed a return to Cologne, Germany for a third GDC Europe show -- again opposite GamesCom -- on August 15-17, 2011.

Produced by UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizers of the leading worldwide Game Developers Conference series, GDC Europe is the largest professionals-only game event in Europe, presenting the latest trends and technology in all aspects of the online gaming space for developers, consumers, publishers and trade professionals.

Highlights of day two and three major talks at the show, reported by sister website Gamasutra.com, include the following notable talks:

Day Two

-In the day's first keynote, Heiko Hubertz, CEO and founder of Bigpoint, advised attendees that to conduct business in America as a European company, the time to do it is "right now." Throughout the talk, Hubertz elaborated on the differences between the U.S. and European markets and educated the audience about how to be successful in America as a European, based on Bigpoint's experience there. Hubert advised "There are only two existing markets in America, the console market and the Facebook market."

-In his keynote, Killzone developer Guerrilla Games' managing director Hermen Hulst discussed his studio's genesis, and its successes and failures in evolving into a Sony-owned AAA console powerhouse. Hulst began with the mantra: "to survive and to grow... you need to consistently improve yourself. He took attendees through examples of how Guerrilla's experiences have informed their history and the key decisions made from the time Sony signed the title that would become Killzone through to today. Plus, he revealed the studio is expanding to work on a "game with a scope and a level of ambition that once again makes us nervous" -- specifically a "brand new IP."

GDC Europe Completes First Day With Spector, Tencent Keynotes

The organizers of Game Developers Conference Europe 2010 have opened the event's doors at the Cologne Congress Center East in Cologne, Germany, and are recapping highlights and coverage of the first day's proceedings.

Produced by UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizers of the leading Game Developers Conference series, GDC Europe is the largest professionals-only game event in Europe, and has increased in scope compared to its inaugural debut event in 2009, with record attendance ahead of this week's Gamescom consumer and trade event in the same location.

Highlights of today's major speeches at the show include (with links to full write-ups on sister site Gamasutra.com where available):

- At his track keynote on Monday, Tencent Games VP Bo Wang discussed how the billion-dollar revenue Chinese tech/game company has risen to the top of the pack, citing massive growth rates and key routes to success in Asia. Wang noted than in the six months to the end of June 2010, the gigantic Chinese-headquartered firm, which deals with instant messaging, virtual currency, and video games as its major parts, had revenues of $1.3 billion U.S. dollars.

Wang noted that Chinese gamers have a much lower disposable income, so there are unique ways Tencent attracts these gamers. Tencent tries to have 1,000 hours available at launch in its typical MMORPGs, and also encourages gamers to have fun by playing against each other in games. As Tencent also has the top instant messaging service in China, plus a top free email service, a massive web portal at QQ.com, and even a search engine, cross-marketing from all of Tencent's properties seems to have catapulted the firm to the top of the pile in the Chinese market.

GDC Online Adds Major Design Talks From Carbine, Sony Online, Relic

Organizers of this October's GDC Online (formerly GDC Austin) have announced several major sessions for the conference, featuring speakers from Sony Online Entertainment, Carbine, and Relic.
The Austin, Texas based GDC Online conference is focused on the development of online games, including free-to-play titles, social network games, and traditional MMOs, with a veteran online game industry advisory board evaluating and selecting the lectures.
There are already more than 70 panels, lectures and tutorials currently scheduled for the October 5th-8th event -- and organizers have newly announced a number of important talks in the 'Design' track, which discusses trends, strategies, and techniques to help developers create more successful online games.
As its official description explains, the design track -- unique to online game conferences worldwide -- focuses on "improving player retention, satisfaction, and lifetime value, applying principles of MMOs to new genres and platforms, and designing games for a wide range of audiences."
Some of the newly announced highlights from notable sessions in the GDC Online design track and elsewhere include:
- 'I'm a Special Snowflake: The Art of Participatory Story Telling in MMOs' sees Tim Cain, the design director of MMO developer Carbine Studios, drawing from his experience in the industry "to discuss the art of taking storytelling from single-player RPGs to the world of massively multiplayer online games."
Using his work writing for games like Fallout -- the seminal Interplay title that Cain also produced and lead programmed -- and Arcanum, Cain will showcase an "exclusive first look at Carbine Studios' work" regarding storytelling in the NCSoft-formed studio's unannounced MMO.

Game Developers Choice Online Awards To Honor Ultima Online, Richard Bartle

Game Developers Conference Online organizers have announced Richard Bartle as the recipient of the first ever Online Game Legend Award and Ultima Online as the first Hall of Fame game, as part of the Game Developers Choice Online Awards taking place October 7, 2010 at GDC Online in Austin -- recognizing landmark titles and deeply influential figures in the vibrant online gaming world.

These special awards were picked after open nominations from the online game community, by the distinguished GDC Online Advisory Board - including game industry veterans Playfish's Sebastien De Halleux, Schell Games' Sheri Graner Ray, and Nexon's Min Kim.

Organizers will be awarding the Online Game Legend award to Dr. Richard Bartle, co-creator of the original MUD (Multi-User Dungeon), the seminal virtual world credited with pioneering online games over 30 years ago.

Bartle, who worked with fellow MUD programmer Roy Trubshaw at the UK's Essex University starting in 1978, was responsible for greatly extending, fleshing out and popularizing the text-based multiplayer game, in which players logged onto a mainframe, socialized with one another, fought enemies and formed lasting friendships and relationships.

After commercializing MUD in the 1980s, Bartle continues to consult in the game industry and teach at Essex University as a Visiting Professor. His research on player personalities types in online games - 'achievers, explorers, socializers and killers', has led to the popular online 'Bartle Test', and the influence of both his actions and theories in the online game industry have been profound and long-lasting.

GDC Europe Adds Google, OnLive Lectures, Set For Record Attendance

The Game Developers Conference Europe, the leading conference for computer and video game developers in Europe after its successful debut last year, is on track to exceed its registration and exhibitor numbers from 2009.
The conference is now expected to receive up to 2,000 attendees, speakers and media representatives from 45 different countries, already surpassing the attendance numbers from the 2009 debut. The event is expected to garner a strong presence from European and North American industry professionals.
In particular, GDC Europe, which takes place August 16-18, 2010 at the Cologne Congress East Center in Cologne, Germany, will this year focus on media convergence and online gaming, and also features a concentration on the booming Chinese and Russian markets.
Several leaders of the international development scene and the games industry will be participating in GDC Europe addressing major topics facing the industry. In total, the event will feature more than 90 workshops, and presentations by more than 130 speakers from all over the world.
Late additions include 'Games on the Chrome Web Store', featuring Google's Mark DeLoura and Michael Mahemoff; a talk called 'Next-Gen Consoles: Cloud-Based Gaming', with Tom DuBois of streaming service OnLive, and EEDAR's Greg Short presenting 'State of The Games Market.'
They join a list of notable speakers including Warren Spector (Disney), Eric Chahi (Ubisoft), Heiko Hubertz (Bigpoint), Bo Wang (Tencent), Hermen Hulst (Guerrilla Games), Ray Muzyka & Greg Zeschuk (BioWare), Louis Castle (InstantAction), Martin Walfisz (Planeto), David Cage (Quantic Dream), Steven Gaffney (Splash Damage), Chris Charla (Foundation 9), Jorg Tittel (Break Thru Films), Avni Yerli (Crytek), Harald Riegler (Sproing), Matias Myllyrinne (Remedy Entertainment), Don Daglow (Don Daglow Interactive Entertainment), Steve Meretzky & Dave Rohrl (Playdom), Aki Jarvinen (Digital Chocolate), and Seb Canniff (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe).

GDC Online Reveals Bungie, Harmonix, 2K Lectures For Game Narrative Summit

Organizers of this October's GDC Online (formerly GDC Austin) have announced details of the Game Narrative Summit, including a keynote from Bungie's Joseph Staten on '10 Years Of Halo Storytelling... And Beyond', plus major Harmonix and 2K Games lectures.

The Summit, known as the Game Writers Summit in previous years, aims to cover all facets of the game narrative development process, from writing scripts for major console titles to integrating stories into ARGs and Facebook games, and takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 5th-6th in Austin, Texas.

Some of the newly announced highlights of this year's Game Narrative Summit, chosen by distinguished Summit advisory board including Ubisoft's Richard Dansky, Microsoft Game Studios' Tom Abernathy and Blindlight's Lev Chapelsky, include the following:

- Bungie writer and design director Joseph Staten will keynote the Summit with a talk titled, "Writing The Whirlwind: 10 Years On The Frontlines Of Halo Storytelling...And Beyond." Staten will discuss his lessons learned working on Bungie's flagship franchise, and how those lessons "are fundamentally changing the writing and story design for Bungie's next universe of games."

- In an intriguing lecture called "Get in the Van: Storytelling in the Rock Band Series," Harmonix design director Chris Foster and senior writer Helen McWilliams will discuss how the company's rhythm games - from The Beatles: Rock Band through Rock Band 3 -- tell stories in unconventional and unexpected ways.

Topics discussed will include "structural and implicit narrative,
storytelling within the context of a party game, using real history as
story and gameplay elements, tonal accuracy within writing, and using
the word rock as few times as humanly possible."

Warren Spector To Keynote GDC Europe 2010

Organizers of the leading Game Developers Conference series have announced that renowned game designer Warren Spector, creative director for Disney Interactive Studios' Junction Point, will open the 2010 Game Developers Conference Europe on Monday, August 16.

Spector's keynote address, titled, "What Video Games Can Learn from Other Media ... What We Can't ... And What We Shouldn't" will kick off GDC Europe, which returns to Cologne Germany August 16-18, 2010 for three days of learning, networking and inspiration.

During his keynote, Spector will share with the audience his thoughts on video games as they compare to other media such as movies, television, theater, radio and comic books and explore the ways in which video games use techniques borrowed from those mediums.

The Deus Ex co-creator will question the assumption that video games should be more like other media, and will discuss how valid these comparisons are while suggesting some new comparisons that may be more relevant for moving our industry forward.

GDC Europe Reveals Key Business, Social Gaming Talks For August Event

GDC Europe organizers are highlighting a number of key new talks at the GamesCom-colocated Cologne, Germany developer event this month, including business & production advice from LucasArts, Double Fine and Foundation 9, plus online/social game analysis from leading studios in the space.
In the past few days, a number of notable business, production, and social game panels have been confirmed for the 2010 Game Developers Conference Europe event, which will take place August 16th-18th, and is an easy additional stop for GamesCom visitors, being located in Cologne, Germany alongside the leading European trade and consumer show.
Looking more broadly at the business and production of games, a notable new panel called 'Multiple Paths of Success for the Independent Developer' features veterans like Foundation 9 VP Chris Charla, Double Fine's Zack Karlsson and Bigpoint's Nils-Holger Henning discussing new methodologies and routes to success in the increasingly competitive independently-run game studio market.
A similarly expansive production panel, called 'Extreme Producing: Order & Chaos in The Game Development Process', features figures like LucasArts' Marianne Monaghan, 2K's Lulu LaMer and ThatGameCompany's Robin Hunicke discussing "specific examples of some the extreme highs and lows they have experienced in controlling the often chaotic process of making games", with plenty of practical takeaway.
With a plethora of major social/online game lectures -- from leading companies in the space like Playdom, RockYou, Bigpoint, Digital Chocolate, Tencent and Playfish -- already part of the overall GDC Europe schedule, several other lecture and panel additions around non-social network online games have fleshed out the program. These include a panel on browser-based vs. client-downloaded online games with Gamigo, GamersFirst and IGG representation, plus a case study on localizing Asian online game Runes Of Magic for the West.

 

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