SAN FRANCISCO, March 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2016 Game Developers Conference® (GDC), the world's largest and longest-running event serving professionals dedicated to the art and science of making games, opens its 30th edition today at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. This year's event introduces the inaugural Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC), which brings together experts from the video game, entertainment and tech fields to discuss the state of the art of making immersive virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences. VRDC is held alongside GDC at the Moscone Center, with VRDC running through Tuesday, March 15 and GDC 2016 running through Friday, March 18.
GDC 2016 offers five days of lectures, panels, tutorials, roundtable discussions and networking events, serving as a top destination for learning, inspiration and networking in the games industry. GDC 2016 begins with two days featuring eight specialized summits on the topics of eSports, Independent Games, Game Narrative, Smartphone & Tablet Games, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Free To Play Games, Community Management and Education. Beginning Wednesday, GDC will offer sessions across seven tracks (Advocacy, Audio, Business Marketing and Management, Design, Production, Programming, and Visual Arts) plus the Independent Games Festival (IGF) and Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCAs) ceremonies, an Expo Floors, the GDC Play showcase of emerging developers that allows attendees to play their games, and much more.
The new Virtual Reality Developers Conference will provide professionals working in the fields of virtual reality and augmented reality two days of content showcasing some of the most groundbreaking and respected developers and development teams in the fields of VR and AR, both in the gaming and entertainment fields. Speakers at VRDC come from celebrated studios, including Lucasfilm's Industrial Light and Magic LAB, OculusVR, Epic Games, Sony London Studio and more.
Following VRDC and the GDC summits, the main GDC conference will kick-off on Wednesday, March 16, with the first-ever "Flash Backward" session, a celebration of some of the greatest contributions to the video game industry over the past 30 years, hosted by the people behind those contributions, including GDC co-founder Chris Crawford, Oculus VR's Palmer Luckey, Double Fine Productions' Tim Schafer, Electronic Arts' Chelsea Howe and several more.
Additional highlights of the main conference include the Classic Game Postmortem sessions, which feature the creators of seminal video games Ms. Pac-Man, Rez and Diablo describing the development of these classics, as well as sessions given by Activision, Amazon, Bethesda Game Studios, BioWare, Blizzard Entertainment, Bungie, DICE, Disney, Epic Games, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Nintendo, Riot Games, Sony, Square Enix Montreal, Supercell HQ, and Ubisoft, among others.
The IGF Awards, which honor the most promising developers and titles within the world of independent video games, and the GDCAs, which celebrate the year's leading games across different categories, will both take place back-to-back on Wednesday, March 16, starting at 6:30pm. The awards will honor the year's best video games and feature 26 IGF finalists and 22 GDCA nominees, including special honors for important industry leaders like Lifetime Achievement recipient Todd Howard, Tracy Fullerton for the Ambassador Award and Markus "Notch" Persson for the Pioneer Award.
In addition to the Expo Floors and speaker sessions, GDC will host a variety of Interactive Spaces that are open to all attendees throughout the week. The latest and greatest Independent games will be available at the returning Mild Rumpus, GDC TrainJam area, a special edition of Double Fine's "Day of the Devs" and the Indie MEGABOOTH Showcase. A first-ever GDC VR Lounge will house with a variety of VR and AR demos from leading developers in the VR space. For the second time, Shut Up and Sit Down will host a curated selection of the best board games of the year to offer attendees a calm oasis to relax and have fun. iam8bit will return with goofy charm to host a photo shoot in which attendees can pay homage to the very first Game Developers Conference, which was held in a living room in the 1980's.
"With the opening of the 30th GDC, we can reflect on how the conference has evolved each year to address the rapidly changing trends of the gaming industry," says Meggan Scavio, general manager of the Game Developers Conference.
In total, the GDC consists of more than 650 lectures, panels, tutorials and roundtable discussions. The GDC Expo Floors has more than 550 exhibitors across the GDC Career Center, Business Center, the Game Career Seminar, a variety of Interactive Spaces, and more.
For additional information about GDC 2016 and VRDC, visit www.gdconf.com.
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