AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Game Developers Conference® Online (GDC Online) concluded on Friday, Oct. 8, with a strong attendance of more than 3,000 people at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. The event brought together industry professionals and aspiring game developers for four days of insightful sessions, inspiring discussions, and lively networking opportunities in the areas of online and connected gaming. Highlights from this week at GDC Online (formerly GDC Austin) included a keynote from noted industry figure Brian Reynolds, Chief Game Designer for Zynga, the company behind the massively popular FarmVille and FrontierVille. This year's event also marked the debut of the Game Developers Choice Online Awards. GDC Online will be returning to Austin, Texas on October 11-14, 2011.
GDC Online featured more than 140 lectures, panels, keynotes and roundtable discussions presented by 190 industry-leading speakers and a bustling expo floor with more than 85 exhibitors and 30 sponsors.
This year's conference opened with specialized summit sessions focused on emerging areas of game development, including summits for iPhone Games, Game Narrative and brand new summits for 3D Stereoscopic Games and iPad Gaming. The summits featured a roster of distinguished speakers, including Chris Foster and Helen McWiliams from Harmonix, who explained how storytelling elements in the Rock Band series had provided player motivation and rewards for extended gameplay sessions. Bungie's creative director, Joseph Staten, provided the Game Narrative Summit Keynote, entitled, "Writing the Whirlwind: 10 Years on the Frontlines of HALO Storytelling and Beyond," offering advice culled from creating the hit series' involving and in-depth mythology.
The conference once again brought together some of the most influential figures in online and connected games, including keynote speaker Brian Reynolds, chief game designer for Zynga. In Reynolds' keynote address, "Bears and Snakes! The Wild Frontier of Social Game Design," he described the process of creating the wildly popular Facebook game, FrontierVille, and how that game serves as an experiment in evolving and expanding social games by adopting and appropriating ideas from traditional game design.
The inaugural Game Developers Choice Online Awards honored the rich history, technical excellence, and continued innovation in the arena of online games. The inaugural ceremony, which took place on Thursday, Oct. 7, honored multiple titles including League of Legends (Riot Games), World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment), Aion (NCsoft), EVE Online (CCP) and Social City (Playfish). The event also honored influential figures and titles in the history of online and connected games, including the Online Game Legend Award Recipient, Dr. Richard Bartle, the co-writer of the first virtual world, MUD. The event inducted Ultima Online in the Choice Online Awards Hall of Fame for its incredible legacy as the longest continually running massively multiplayer online game (MMO) in history. Key members of Ultima Online's original development team were onstage to accept the Hall of Fame award, including Rich Vogel, the launch producer, Starr Long, the associate producer and Raph Koster, the lead designer.
"The success of GDC Online is not just in the number of attendees or the number of sessions, but it's also in the impact that the event has had on future titles and technologies," says Izora de Lillard, Event Director for GDC Online. "With content for forward-looking areas like 3D stereoscopic gaming, mobile gaming and online social games, we're sure to see echoes of the event in the games we'll be addicted to in the coming years. We hope to see everyone back in Austin next year for another great conference."
For more information on GDC Online, please visit the official website: www.GDCOnline.com.
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