August 28, 2008

Austin GDC 2008 Announces Speaker Lineup

San Francisco - The Austin Game Developers Conference (Austin GDC), the future-focused games industry event geared toward the online space, sound development, and game writing, has finalized its featured speakers lineup. Keynote presentations by Lane Merrifield of Club Penguin, Mel Guymon of Lively by Google, Sony audio manager Jason Page, and novelist and futurist Bruce Sterling headline this year's event. 
Some of the future trends under discussion at the Austin GDC 2008 include: the growing hybridization between MMOs, social networks, and virtual worlds, with developers looking to exchange ideas and share best practices to further the industry. 
Another featured topic is the trend of established publishers seeking new ground on the monetization of the MMO space, exploring models for micro-transactions versus traditional subscription models.
From Page's exploration of true "next-generation" audio, to Sterling's more far-flung talk on the state of gaming and interactive entertainment in the year 2043, the Austin GDC has become the premiere venue for veteran and indie developers to further refine their craft and glimpse into the future of game development, says a representative. 
The Austin GDC takes place at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, from September 15 to 17. Conference goers wanting to take advantage of special pass pricing should register online by Aug. 27. Austin GDC will offer a full slate of forward-looking lectures, panels, and roundtable discussions on game development across three tracks: online games, audio for games, and writing for games. 
Featured speakers and sessions include:
* Harvey Smith, Game Director of Arkane Studios
Game Career Seminar Keynote: Luckiest People Alive
* Gene Endrody, Founder of Maid Marian Entertainment
Making a Web-Based MMO in Your Attic with Shockwave
* Bob Moore, Game Designer of Multiverse
Designing for Players Sociability
* Rich Vogel, Co-Studio Director of Bioware and John Donham, Co-Founder & VP of Production at
How to Manage Your Online Business During Growth and Decline
* Blake Commagere, Independent Developer of  "Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves and Slayers"
Why Are Games That Suck So Popular on Social Networks?
* Michael Steele, Executive Consultant, and Corey Bridges, Co-founder of Multiverse
Social Networks and Virtual Worlds: A Shared Future?
* Elan Lee, Founder/Chief Designer of Fourth Wall Studios
ARGs: Fake Websites, Invented Stories, Automated Phone Calls and Other Methods to Earn the Trust of a Community
* Eric Zimmerman, Chief Design Officer of Gamelab
Easy is F&#@ing Hard: Game Design Fundamentals for Mass-Market Games
* Min Kim, Director of Games Operations Nexon America Inc.
From Development to Launch: the Keys to Building a Successful Free-to-Play MMO
This year's conference also introduces the Independent Games Festival Showcase (IGF Showcase), featuring nine of the top examples of "local flavor" from the Texas and Southern game scene. 
The IGF Showcase is in addition to an already strong lineup of programs, including The Game Career Seminar for students, graduates, and aspiring developers interested in careers in the game industry, and the Worlds in Motion Summit, which marks the intersection of games, business, and entertainment in online spaces and virtual worlds to establish the path towards the future. 
For more information about the event and to register, visit