GDC Austin 2009: Speakers Focus on Evolution of Online Gaming

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The Game Developers Conference Austin (GDC Austin) will focus on the online gaming space with a suite of speakers from BioWare Austin, Sony Online Entertainment, Cartoon Network and many other influential players in the world of connected games.  GDC Austin will host three days of content centered around the evolution of online gaming, the growing importance of social networking platforms for building and promoting successful titles, and the burgeoning business opportunities on the horizon.  Presented by Think Services, GDC Austin also includes four two-day summits—the Game Writers, Game Audio, iPhone Games and Independent Games Summits.  The event takes place at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas September 15-18, 2009.  Conference goers wanting to take advantage of early registration discounts should register online by August 13.

Among the many notable sessions taking place at GDC Austin are BioWare technical director Bill Dalton’s talk on the complexities and struggles of developing massively multiplayer online (MMO) titles and Cartoon Network’s Richard Weil’s session on the financial complications of online games for younger children.  Other topics include viral growth tactics, best practices for creating sticky game designs, harnessing community feedback to improve game design, micro-transaction security, and developing recognizable IP that appeals to all generations of gamers.
                                               
Featured speakers include:
 

  • Craig Alexander , VP, Product Development, Turbine MMOs to Consoles – Challenges, Opportunities and Emerging Trends
  • Brandon Barber, VP Marketing, Zynga - What Are The Stickiest Design Models and How Are They Monetized?
  • Bill Dalton, Technical Director, BioWare Austin - Come and See the Elephant - Challenges Encountered Growing an MMO
  • Raph Koster, President, Metaplace - Games are Math: 10 Core Mechanics That Drive Compelling Gameplay
  • Jeffrey Kesselman, Chief Technology Officer, Rebel Monkey - The Monkey Wrench: Design and Architecture of an Online Environment
  • Jesse Schell, Faculty, ETC Carnegie Mellon, CEO, Schell Games
  • Laralyn McWilliams, Creative Director, Sony Online Entertainment
  • Matthew Schwartz, Senior Designer, Cartoon Network - Reaching A New Demographic: Kids AND Their Parents
  • Craig Sherman, CEO, Gaia Online - Next Phase of Casual Games: How to Make the Free-To-Play Model Work for You
  • Richard Weil, Director of Community Relations, Cartoon Network
  • Rebecca Newton, Head of Safety, CrispThinking.com - Kids and Gaming--One Year Later. Still Keeping up with your ABCs?
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