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Why Now Is the Best Time Ever to Be a Game Developer

Ingress: Design Principles Behind Google's Massively Multiplayer Geo Game

Playing with 'Game'

Gathering Your Party with Project Eternity (GDC Next 10)

D4: Dawn of the Dreaming Director's Drama (GDC Next 10)

Using Plot Devices to Create Gameplay in Storyteller (GDC Next 10)

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Making CounterSpy (GDC Next 10)

Luck and Skill in Games

Minimalist Game Design for Mobile Devices

Broken Age: Rethinking a Classic Genre for the Modern Era (GDC Next 10)


Austin GDC 2008 Category

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Is That It? Next Gen Audio
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SKU#: GDCA08-7882
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Is That It? Next Gen Audio
Speaker: Jason Page (Audio Manager, SCEE R&D)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 11:00am — 12:00pm
Location (room): Ballroom A
Experience Level: All

Session Description
Now that Next Gen is Current Gen, Jason discusses what it has given both us and the end user. He looks at how much potential is still left untapped and how - or if - it is possible to truely push the boundaries of audio with the current methods of game development.

- What is it that developers expected from next gen audio capabilities, has it been delivered and if so, where do we go next?
- How do the tools and methods used within the games industry compare to the pro audio market, and what could we learn from each other?

Coming from a unique perspective of having helped many developers integrate audio into games, Jason knows how many of the titles use audio to enhance the gaming experience and discusses the differences between developers attitudes towards the importance of audio.



What Great MMO Designers are Bringing to Social Games
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SKU#: GDCA08-34658
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What Great MMO Designers are Bringing to Social Games
Speaker: Susan Wu (CEO/Venture Advisor, Ohai/Charles River Ventures), Raph Koster (President, Areae Inc.), Scott Hartsman (Co-Founder & VP Production, Ohai), Dan Ogles (Co-founder and Creative Director, Conduit Labs)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 1:30pm — 2:30pm
Location (room): Room 8C
Track: Online Games - Social Networking & Community
Format: 60-minute Panel
Experience Level: All

Session Description
Social Games. Flash. Virtual Goods. Social Graphs…

Why are designers of some of the most renowned MMOs leaving their traditional gaming roots to build web games? Moreover, why are they building games that live across social networks? Do they know something we don’t? Or are they misguided, following the latest sparkly trend?

Come hear from designers of games such as Rock Band, Star Wars Galaxies, Lord of the Rings Online, Everquest & Everquest II, and Ultima Online talk about why they’re now full time on Web based games. They’ll talk about what design influences they are bringing to bear on their new social games and why they think this is the future of MMOs.



ARGs: Fake Websites, Invented Stories, Automated Phone Calls and Other Methods to Earn the Trust of a Community
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SKU#: GDCA08-8083
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ARGs: Fake Websites, Invented Stories, Automated Phone Calls and Other Methods to Earn the Trust of a Community
Speaker: Elan Lee (Founder/Chief Designer, Fourth Wall Studios)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 4:30pm — 5:30pm
Location (room): Room 9
Track: Online Games - Social Networking & Community
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: Intermediate

Session Description
An Alternate Reality Game is an interactive story that massive communities explore with the tools of their lives. One of the key success factors to this new form of entertainment is its ability to inspire and maintain large communities. Why do these communities trust the game designers enough to visit strange websites, brave hurricanes to answer ringing payphones, and tattoo game logos on their bodies? This talk will explore the communities that form around Alternate Reality Games, why they form, why they grow, and ultimately, why they trust this new form of storytelling to entertain them.



The Server Technology of EVE Online: How to Cope With 300,000 Players on One Server
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SKU#: GDCA08-7922
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The Server Technology of EVE Online: How to Cope With 300,000 Players on One Server
Speaker: Halldor Fannar Guðjónsson (CTO, CCP)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 4:30pm — 5:30pm
Location (room): Room 4
Track: Online Games - Technology and Services
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: Intermediate

Session Description
Most MMOGs separate their players onto multiple servers in order to scale; these servers are often called shards. The shards are essentially instances of the game world and the player base is thus broken into segments, based on which shard (server) they are playing on. EVE Online takes a different approach: the technology and the game is developed around the goal of one unified world. All the players log onto the same server and play in the same world. This session will explore the technology developed by CCP to achieve this goal and discuss the technology choices made by CCP, both on the hardware and software side.

Idea Takeaway
Learn about the problems that game developers typically face when scaling an MMOG server. A number of solutions presented – all in the context of a successful MMOG.

Intended Audience
Programmers and game designers who need to network a large world of players. People curious to see how you can face a daunting problem and find a successful solution.



The Future of the Metaverse
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SKU#: GDCA08-7921
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The Future of the Metaverse
Speaker: Sibley Verbeck (Chief Executive Officer, Electric Sheep), Victoria Coleman (Vice President, Samsung Electronics), Jeffrey Pope (Executive Vice President, ngi US), Mic Bowman (Principal Engineer, Intel Corporation), Leigh Alexander (News Director, Gamasutra, Think Services)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 4:30pm — 5:30pm
Location (room): Ballroom C
Track: Worlds in Motion
Format: 60-minute Panel
Experience Level: All

Session Description
Where do we go from here? What online/virtual world applications will be built and highly successful in the next few years? This standout final session will include visionaries from the online world space presenting a roadmap timeline on efforts with virtual worlds. Each panelist will provide their ideas for lowering barriers to innovation, and a base analysis for their predictions on the uncertain but enticing future of the metaverse.



Special Ops: The Writer of the Future
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SKU#: GDCA08-7405
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Special Ops: The Writer of the Future
Speaker: Flint Dille (Writer/Game Designer, Ground Zero Productions)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 4:30pm — 5:30pm
Location (room): Ballroom B
Track: Writing for Games
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: Intermediate

Session Description
SPEC OPS – THE WRITER YOU WILL NEED TO BE: The future writer will need to be fast and versatile to survive in a constantly changing and adapting mediasphere. They will have to be adept at boldly assault mediums that don't use writers and work with clients don't know they need writers –ex: social networks, virtual worlds and casual games will find unexpected need for writers. They will have to survive both on the assigned project and the spec project and must know how to budget time, effort and resources to balance their attack. This talk will also cover the skills, tools and attitudes the future writer will need. Flint Dille is an Austin Speaker Vet and writer/designer of over 50 games. Currently, he’s also designing for virtual worlds and social networks. His new book, The Ultimate Guide to Videogame Writing and Design, co-written with John Zuur Platten, was released last month.

Idea Takeaway
They will have a chance to think about the future and will be provided with both abstract theory and practical advice for how to survive and thrive in the future.

Intended Audience
This lecture has no real prerequisites other than that the audience member be a writer who plans to work in the future. This is for pros to sharpen their survival skills and novices to prepare for the future.



What Your Mother and Your Ten-Year Old Can Teach You About MMOs
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SKU#: GDCA08-7397
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What Your Mother and Your Ten-Year Old Can Teach You About MMOs
Speaker: Nick Fortugno (President/Co-Founder, Rebel Monkey)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 4:30pm — 5:30pm
Location (room): Room 5
Track: Online Games - Design
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: Intermediate

Session Description
While interest in MMOs has been growing enormously the last couple of years, the focus has still largely been on the tradition gamer demographics: hardcore players (WOW, Eve) and DIY enthusiasts (Second Life). But the latest areas of commercial success and game innovation have come from a totally different direction: web-based multiplayer games for casual gamers. Games and portals from Club Penguin to Pogo.com to Webkins are expanding the idea of what a massive-multiplayer experience can be, and reaping the commercial benefits. This session will look at some of the ways casual games are reshaping the MMO landscape, and what lessons casual games have to teach us about reaching a broader audience for multiplayer experiences.

Idea Takeaway
Attendees will learn design lessons about what has made some casual MMOs successful. The discussion will focus on both on what components are necessary to make a casual MMO and how designs strategies of these MMOs can apply to all kinds of online games.

Intended Audience
The talk is intended for people working in online games looking to expand their reach to less hardcore, less game savvy players and make their games more accessible.



We the Willing
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SKU#: GDCA08-7450
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We the Willing
Speaker: James Portnow (Game Designer/Design Correspondent, Divide by Zero)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 3:30pm — 4:30pm
Location (room): Room 9C
Track: Game Career Seminar
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: All

Session Description
The answer to the question, “Why do I want to be a game developer?” may well determine most of the rest of your life. It’s time to take a few minutes and reflect on it. You have an opportunity to do something unique, something great. You, the upcoming generation of game developers, have the unique privilege of bringing a new art into existence. In all of human history, this is a rare thing. How do you achieve this dream? How do you play your part? Come find out.

Idea Takeaway
This session will stimulate fledgling game developers to take an introspective look at why they are here. Attendees in this session will leave feeling motivated and inspired by their career choices; they will take away answers to the question, “How will I play a part in shaping the next generation of games?”

Intended Audience
Students, newcomers to the game industry, and anyone still learning the ropes. Professional game developers in need of a little motivational pick-me-up are welcomed, too.



If You Build It, Will They Come?
Price:$7.95

SKU#: GDCA08-8073
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If You Build It, Will They Come?
Speaker: Margaret Wallace (Co-Founder & CEO, Rebel Monkey, Inc.)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 3:00pm — 4:00pm
Location (room): Ballroom C
Track: Worlds in Motion
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: All

Session Description
Virtual Worlds are an ever-growing presence in our lives. At best, they hold great promise for discovering new audiences, new genres and new ways to monetize a community around content. At worst, they are dull, lonely spaces lacking any signs of life. Building a successful virtual world is challenging in this competitive landscape, but only half the challenge creators face. Once you've built it, how can you ensure people will come? What considerations do you need to make to elevate your virtual world business on a world-class scale? What's your game plan for world domination?



Everything I Need To Know About Virtual Worlds, I Learned at Theme Parks
Price:$7.95

SKU#: GDCA08-7870
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Everything I Need To Know About Virtual Worlds, I Learned at Theme Parks
Speaker: Patricia Pizer (Adjunct Faculty, USC School of Cinematic Arts)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 3:00pm — 4:00pm
Location (room): Room 5
Track: Online Games - Design
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: Intermediate

Session Description
Game developers often compare development of games and film; Virtual Worlds (VW) invite a parallel to real-world “play spaces,” particularly Theme Parks. For more than 50 years, theme parks have been creating worlds for thousands of simultaneous “players” intended for play and entertainment. We can draw on these best practices for creating compelling spaces: issues such as quality of experience; narrative flow; party-dynamics; crowd control and user retention. As each new VW comes online, it struggles with these perennial issues; this careful analysis of Best of Breed provides designers with a different, but well-developed, perspective in this creation process.



Writing for Socially Networked Games: Blending User-Generated Content with Storytelling
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SKU#: GDCA08-7457
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Writing for Socially Networked Games: Blending User-Generated Content with Storytelling
Speaker: Gabe Zichermann (CEO, rmbr), Christopher Cunningham (Chief Creative Officer & Co-Founder, rmbr)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 3:00pm — 4:00pm
Location (room): Room 3
Track: Writing for Games
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: Advanced

Session Description
Social network games (games in social networks that use the network’s components as assets) have thus far focused almost exclusively on user-generated storytelling. Some have concluded that this trend imperils traditional game writing in a socially networked context. In mid-2008 rmbr will release “Prized Collection” on Facebook, as the first major SN game that combines traditional storytelling, character development and plot with user-generated content. Players assume the role of art collectors that buy, sell and collect their friends’ photos while contending with a series of external events such as market fluctuations, auctions and thefts. Players are both subjected to an external plot line and encouraged to write their own story as a collector of art in the game’s context. This session will provide an in-depth look at the risks and unique process of writing for user-centric games in social networks where expectations are quite different. Prized Collection will be demonstrated, and user feedback and behaviors gleaned from the first few months of the game’s operations will be shared.

Idea Takeaway
Attendees will leave with a detailed understanding of how Prized Collection was written to leverage the user-generated nature of socially networked gameplay while still advancing a structured story. Attendees will also get a better understanding of the particular challenges of writing in a context where storytelling is generally not used.

Intended Audience
This session is intended for game writers of all experience levels that are interested in writing games for social networks. Previous experience writing games is essential; experience with socially networked games is a major plus.



We Tell Stories - A New Form of Storytelling
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SKU#: GDCA08-7424
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We Tell Stories - A New Form of Storytelling
Speaker: Adrian Hon (Chief Creative Officer, Six to Start)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 3:00pm — 4:00pm
Location (room): Ballroom B
Track: Writing for Games
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: Intermediate

Session Description
In We Tell Stories, we worked with six bestselling novelists from Penguin to create original stories tailored for an interactive audience. From a thriller told inside Google Maps to a hybrid text adventure/choose your own adventure, we designed genuinely new forms of storytelling that aren’t quite games and aren’t quite linear ­- but are extremely popular. This talk will involve a demo of the six stories and a walkthrough of the development process. Unlike most games, the writers for We Tell Stories were highly involved in the game design, and vice versa, to the point where some of the writers essentially became game designers. This was even more unusual due to the fact that none of the writers had ever written for games before, being professional novelists first and foremost.

Idea Takeaway
-(Surprising) findings on what readers want, and don’t want,­ from interactive fiction. -The importance of interface design when it comes to introducing new forms of storytelling to a general audience. -The process of working with professional non-gaming novelists on a story-led game -How the development process of a story-led game could be used in more traditional game production

Intended Audience
Writers interested in novel ways to tell stories to gamers, and in ways to create games that are story-led.



Efficient Robust Networking
Price:$7.95

SKU#: GDCA08-7400
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Efficient Robust Networking
Speaker: Ben Garney (Founder, PushButton Labs)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 3:00pm — 4:00pm
Location (room): Room 4
Track: Online Games - Technology and Services
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: Advanced

Session Description
Good networked games are hard to develop, be they FPS, RTS, or MMO. Bandwidth costs money, and networks are never entirely reliable, introducing delays and losing packets. Cheaters and hackers are ready to take advantage of any flaw in your protocols. Learn battle-tested techniques for maximizing your game's networking code. Both architecture and implementation details are discussed, drawing from experience with the Torque Networking Library (www.opentnl.org), based on the award winning networking in Tribes and Tribes 2.

Idea Takeaway
Attendees leave understanding TNL's architecture and why it can deal well with adverse network situations. Anyone writing networked gameplay will leave with specific techniques, battle tested in shipping games, that they can use to minimize bandwidth, simplify debugging, increase scalability, and resist hackers and cheaters.

Intended Audience
Network programmers and engine designers who want to develop games that thrive in network play. MMO developers who want to maximize the number of players they can support on each server.



New MIDI-Based Game Audio Techniques
Price:$7.95

SKU#: GDCA08-7388
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New MIDI-Based Game Audio Techniques
Speaker: Chris Grigg (Head of Standards, MMA / Beatnik), Tom Savell (Audio VLSI Architect, Creative Labs Advanced Technology Center)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 3:00pm — 4:00pm
Location (room): Room 10
Track: Audio
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: Intermediate

Session Description
The MIDI Manufacturers Assoc. (MMA) presents an overview of three brand new, non-proprietary public standards for interactive audio technology: 3D MIDI Controllers, the High Definition (HD) Protocol for MIDI, and Interactive XMF (iXMF). The MMA are the people who brought you MIDI, the DLS instrument formats, and the I3DL2 interactive 3D audio spec. These standards can mean more freedom to focus your limited audio resources on the quality of the content, not waste them on the drudgery of converting to different platforms. They take things that used to be purely proprietary and allow any company to implement them without licensing fees or similar restrictions, and they're broadly interoperable which promotes the goal of efficient, cross-platform interactive audio content development.

Idea Takeaway
Attendees will be introduced to the 3D MIDI Controllers standard for positioning & moving sound sources in the 3D field, the HD Protocol for MIDI Devices which is a major international re-engineering project to modernize and future-proof MIDI itself, and the Interactive XMF content format standard for portable interactive audio & MIDI. A view of how to judge the plusses & minuses of using public standards vs. proprietary technologies will be presented. Time permitting, a brief overview of the standards process will be incorporated, touching on how attendees can participate in the creation and evolution of these and future standards.

Intended Audience
This session is intended for anybody involved in game audio - from music and sound content creators, to audio engine programmers, to game designers looking for new creative uses for audio. Those with practical experience in game audio development techniques will benefit most.



Managing Copyright Issues in Videogames and Virtual Worlds
Price:$7.95

SKU#: GDCA08-7383
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Managing Copyright Issues in Videogames and Virtual Worlds
Speaker: Sean Kane (Attorney, Drakeford & Kane LLC)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 3:00pm — 4:00pm
Location (room): Room 6
Track: Online Games - Business & Marketing
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: Intermediate

Session Description
This lecture will generally examine the current state of applicable copyright laws in the US and internationally. It will discuss the various forms of works that may be subject to copyright protection including, but not limited to, literary, musical, artistic and dramatic works, sound recordings and films, as they relate to the relevant videogame and virtual world environments. The presentation will also answer questions about the potential liability for the use of real world buildings, automobiles and other physical products within the digital realms and the rights and responsibilities of platform owners and operators and players. Finally, the presentation will cover the differing treatment of the interplay of player and developer rights as have been decided by the US & Asian courts.

Idea Takeaway
Attendees will learn that the US and International Copyright laws are fully applicable to the Videogame and Virtual World space and companies that ignore this do so at their own peril. Therefore, upon conclusion of the program attendees will understand that the potential pitfalls and that gaming companies must balance their desire to quickly develop products and gain market share with their potential exposure for violations of the rights of another's IP assets.

Intended Audience
The intended audience for this session are individuals involved in the management, legal and development portion of the industry. It would be the decision makers and idea generators who dictate company strategy and focus of game development.



The Game Job Interview RPG
Price:$7.95

SKU#: GDCA08-7452
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The Game Job Interview RPG
Speaker: Eduardo Baraf (Director, Product Management, Tabula Digita), Brandon Van Slyke (Game Designer, Vicarious Visions), Jill Duffy (Editor, GameCareerGuide.com), Karen Wheeler (Career Services Coordinator, DigiPen Institute of Technology)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 2:30pm — 3:30pm
Location (room): Room 9C
Track: Game Career Seminar
Format: 60-minute Panel
Experience Level: All

Session Description
An interview can be a snarling, intimidating monster. Hone your skills and prepare for your next encounter with the beast in this interactive session. Being in the heat of battle is the best way to gain experience, so audience members can volunteer to take part in a 5-minute mock interview, then learn tips on how to improve. Bring your resume (and a little bit of thick skin) to participate. Or just observe, ask questions from the pros on the panel, and learn how interviewing at a game company is different from other industries.

Idea Takeaway
To truly understand how to nail a job interview, candidates have to practice actually interviewing. In this interactive session, volunteers from the audience who bring a resume will learn by role-playing through a game job interview. Through panel and audience critiques, attendees will learn how to handle typical game job interview scenarios – even the tough stuff, like how to answer programming questions when you don’t know the answer and how to master a game design whiteboard test. Attendees will also learn what makes an interview at a game company different from any other interview.

Intended Audience
Students, newcomers to the game industry, anyone ready or nearly ready to apply for a job in the video game industry, and anyone still learning the ropes. Please bring an updated resume if you would like to participate in the interactive portion of this session.



Raising Financing for Your Startup: Recently Funded CEOs Share the Tips, Tricks and Hacks of Raising Money for Startups
Price:$7.95

SKU#: GDCA08-34659
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Raising Financing for Your Startup: Recently Funded CEOs Share the Tips, Tricks and Hacks of Raising Money for Startups
Speaker: Saar Gur (Founder, Investor & Advisor, Charles River Ventures), Susan Wu (CEO/Venture Advisor, Ohai/Charles River Ventures), David King (CEO, Li'l Green Patch), Daniel James (Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Three Rings)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 4:30pm — 5:30pm
Location (room): Room 6
Track: Online Games - Business & Marketing
Format: 60-minute Panel
Experience Level: All

Session Description
You have a killer idea and want to launch a new business. You're interested in raising some capital to get started. Raising angel investments or venture capital can be time consuming, challenging, and opaque. This invaluable session will give you unique insight into how the startup fundraising process works. Do you wonder how valuations are derived? Why some startups raise capital far more easily than others? What terms are important to consider when negotiating a term sheet? Come hear it from the source: VC Saar Gur moderates a panel of recently funded startup CEOs.



The State of Kids Virtual Worlds
Price:$7.95

SKU#: GDCA08-7920
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The State of Kids Virtual Worlds
Speaker: James M. Bower (CEO & Chief Visionary Officer, Numedeon/Whyville), Chris Waldron (Executive Producer, New Media, Cartoon Network), Leigh Alexander (News Director, Gamasutra, Think Services), Jeremy Monroe (Director of Business Development, Sulake)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 1:30pm — 2:30pm
Location (room): Ballroom C
Track: Worlds in Motion
Format: 60-minute Panel
Experience Level: All

Session Description
One of the biggest success stories in the online world space are the ones created for kids and tweens, in terms of both funding and user numbers. But what issues are unique with this special audience? What makes them successful? How do you go about designing the virtual space with the young in mind? What is the extent of parental involvement and how are educational elements successfully integrated? Expert panelists will unlock their successful strategies and answers to these unique questions.



Creating Foley for Games
Price:$7.95

SKU#: GDCA08-7879
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Creating Foley for Games
Speaker: Mark Petty (Sound Design, Gearbox Software)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 1:30pm — 2:30pm
Location (room): Room 10
Track: Audio
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: Intermediate

Session Description
Foley techniques in today’s games can often be the catalyst to creating real world environments for the player, immersing them in a moving sound experience that feels realistic, massive and true to real life. This session discusses Foley recording, asset creation and implementation during the development of Gearbox Software’s most recent title, “Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway.” Utilizing numerous examples from the highly anticipated game, I will focus on everything from how the BiA sound team worked through the iterative process of asset creation and implementation to the pros and cons of outsourcing vs. in house content creation. Intended for sound designers and audio directors of all experience levels, this session aims to show that you needn’t be saddled by Hollywood budgets to get Hollywood-level Foley effects in your next game.

Idea Takeaway
This lecture would take a look at building foley from the ground up. Starting at portable foley pit construction, requirements for finding a foley artist, Mic technique and the challenges faced, Plugin processing tips, naming convention and editing, and implementation in the 5.1 field. Mainly using all these processes to capture player and NPC movement sounds.

Intended Audience
Intended for sound designers and audio directors of all experience levels.



Making a Web-Based MMO in Your Attic With Shockwave
Price:$7.95

SKU#: GDCA08-7849
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Making a Web-Based MMO in Your Attic With Shockwave
Speaker: Gene Endrody (Founder, Maid Marian Entertainment)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 1:30pm — 2:30pm
Location (room): Room 4
Track: Online Games - Technology and Services
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: Intermediate

Session Description
Come see how a slightly insane husband and wife team made an MMO in their attic that attracts over a million unique players every month. Sherwood Dungeon is a popular web-based 3D fantasy MMO created with Adobe Director. This talk includes a technical overview of using Shockwave for web-based MMO delivery and covers the approaches we choose for Sherwood - some of which actually worked! Topics include procedural content creation, strategies for optimizing content and a short demonstration of Sherwood's island generator. Overcoming some the barriers associated with being small and independent will be covered along with the many mistakes made along the way.

Idea Takeaway
Attendees will get an overview of using Adobe Shockwave for web-based MMOs and learn about some of the challenges associated with making an MMO in your basement.

Intended Audience
This talk is intended for those interested in using Shockwave 3D as a platform for web-based MMOs and anyone who likes fiercely independent and cottage industry MMO developers.



You’re Hired! How to Get HR to Notice You
Price:$7.95

SKU#: GDCA08-7555
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You’re Hired! How to Get HR to Notice You
Speaker: Jennifer Bullard (Senior Producer, AspyrMedia), Paula Fellbaum (Vice President of Human Resources, Nexon Publishing NA), Ed Roman (CEO, Ghostfire Games), Jill Duffy (Editor, GameCareerGuide.com)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 1:30pm — 2:30pm
Location (room): Room 9C
Track: Game Career Seminar
Format: 60-minute Panel
Experience Level: All

Session Description
Human resources representatives – the gatekeepers of job interviews – from local game companies divulge what makes them say, “You’re hired!” In this panel, they will talk about what skills they’re looking for in job candidates and answer questions such as, “What job title do your hire for the most?” and “What makes a resume stand out in the game industry?”

Idea Takeaway
Human resources professionals will tell attendees what they are looking for in job candidates in the game industry. Attendees will take away knowledge about what they can do to better stand out among the thousands of game industry job candidates. The panel will also discuss which jobs are most in demand.

Intended Audience
Students, newcomers to the game industry, and anyone still learning the ropes.



Engaging Customer Service – an MMO Perspective
Price:$7.95

SKU#: GDCA08-7414
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Engaging Customer Service – an MMO Perspective
Speaker: Grant Wei (Director of Publishing, Cryptic Studios)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 1:30pm — 2:30pm
Location (room): Room 6
Track: Online Games - Business & Marketing
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: All

Session Description
MMOGs require many points of interaction between customers and the publisher. MMOG customers interact directly with the publisher from the very beginning, as they register their accounts and enter their subscription information, but these actions only scratch the surface of the customer experience. The failure of any of these interactions will negatively impact the customer’s perception of the game product and the company’s image. Instead of viewing these as requirements that the provider must fulfill, we can view them as opportunities to provide a flawless and enjoyable customer experience. This session explores these opportunities drawing specifically from a customer service viewpoint from previous MMOGs.

Idea Takeaway
The session will evaluate the customer’s relationship with publishers through many channels and will also explore opportunities to maximize the value of customer service. An improved customer experience enhances loyalty to both the game and the company.

Intended Audience
Any online games developers, service operators, and publishers with an interest to improve customer experience; specifically those in the executive and department leadership roles.



Sustaining Player Engagement by Designing for Intrinsic Need Satisfaction
Price:$7.95

SKU#: GDCA08-7394
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Sustaining Player Engagement by Designing for Intrinsic Need Satisfaction
Speaker: Scott Rigby (President, Immersyve, Inc.)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 1:30pm — 2:30pm
Location (room): Room 5
Track: Online Games - Design
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: Intermediate

Session Description
This session presents specific motivational needs that, when satisfied in the MMO player, are proven predictors of enjoyment, value, and sustained subscriptions. Going deeper, these intrinsic needs form a paradigm for understanding the fundamental appeal of the RPG structure, suggesting ways to innovate new designs while still supporting player needs. New data from thousands of players worldwide highlights not only how core game features and content support these needs, but how a game’s design influences critical dynamics in groups & guilds that can enhance or cut short a player’s satisfaction and engagement. Numerous game examples will be reviewed (including aspects of solo/group play and story/NPC interaction), and practical (and scalable) measurement strategies will be given.

Idea Takeaway
Attendees will learn three specific motivational needs that are highly predictive of value, enjoyment, and sustained subscriptions, along with concrete examples from existing MMO’s that enhance or thwart the satisfaction of these needs. In addition, attendees will take away specific strategies for measurement of need satisfaction in their player population that can be implemented immediately. Data from multiple research studies with international player samples will be presented in support of the global value of the model.

Intended Audience
Game designers, Producers, Usability /Playtesting experts, and Writers of an intermediate level and up. No pre-requisite knowledge is necessary.



Organic Fans: Free-Range Community Leadership for the Novice
Price:$7.95

SKU#: GDCA08-7390
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Organic Fans: Free-Range Community Leadership for the Novice
Speaker: Rebecca Newton (Director, Community, Content and Customer Service, MindCandy.com), Andie Grace (Communications Manager, BurningMan.com)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 1:30pm — 2:30pm
Location (room): Room 9
Track: Online Games - Social Networking & Community
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: Intermediate

Session Description
Developing a volunteer Community Leader program requires thorough planning, perseverance and patience. Balancing legalities and personalities can be a high maintenance and costly task, with little chance of proving the value of the program to your stakeholders. Measuring the ROI of the program is daunting at best. However, the benefit of engaging and rewarding your active users with a sense of product ownership is crucial to your success. This discussion will examine successful and problematic online Community Leader programs (historical and current) while addressing the legal, financial and social implications unique to developing, implementing and managing an online volunteer program.

Idea Takeaway
Sharing the nuts and bolts information needed to design and manage an online volunteer Community Leader program and Fansite packages, including legal and technical requirements. In addition, best practices as well as unsuccessful methods will be examined and discussed. Finally, tools to measure a program’s success or problems will be reviewed.

Intended Audience
Community and/or Customer Service Managers, HR Managers, and Online Community professionals who are relatively new at online community or who intend to create a volunteer Community Leader program will benefit from this session.



Business Use of Virtual Worlds: Case Studies for Conducting Business from Major Technology Companies
Price:$7.95

SKU#: GDCA08-7919
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Business Use of Virtual Worlds: Case Studies for Conducting Business from Major Technology Companies
Speaker: Michael Rowe (Manager - 3D Internet & v-Business Business Management, IBM), Victoria Coleman (Vice President, Samsung Electronics)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 11:00am — 12:00pm
Location (room): Ballroom C
Track: Worlds in Motion
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: All


Session Description
Online experiences are becoming increasingly important from an entertainment point of view. But how will enterprise companies utilize this new medium to reach their objectives? In a case study, IBM’s Michael Rowe and Samsung's Victoria Coleman will discuss the pluses and minuses companies currently face in collaborating, training, and evolving business practices via the virtual world space – delving into the business and productivity opportunities for all firms considering using virtual worlds to work smarter and faster.




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