GDC 2013: What you need to know onsite

With just three days before GDC 2013 begins, organizers are offering suggestions to maximize attendees' experience, including a full attraction line-up, the schedule builder and mobile app.
Mere days before GDC 2013 begins, organizers offer an extensive overview of the event and remind of conference-navigating tools to maximize attendees' experiences, such as the schedule builder and mobile app, and the availability of onsite pass purchases. GDC 2013 will run Monday, March 25th through Friday, March 29th at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. The event is set to provide a wealth of knowledge, networking and inspiration for game development professionals worldwide, and is centered around more than 500 lectures, panels, tutorials, and roundtable discussions from more than 900 speakers. Also key to the event are the Independent Games Festival (IGF) and Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCAs) ceremonies, and the most comprehensive Expo floor of its kind, open from Wednesday to Friday and featuring a Career Pavilion, Business Center, and more than 350 exhibitors in total. The best way to maximize the week of events is to plan ahead for them with online schedule builder, which can be exported or added to the GDC mobile app. Attendees can also plan their expo routes with the detailed expo floor plan. The conference begins with a full lineup of summits on Monday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 26 focusing on the emerging trends in a constantly evolving games industry. These include the Independent Games Summit, Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, Localization Summit, Artificial Intelligence (AI) Summit, GDC Education Summit, and two summits debuting at San Francisco’s GDC for the first time, the Free-to-Play Design and Business Summit and the Game Narrative Summit. The GDC Flash Forward event returns for a second year to kick off the Main Conference on Wednesday, March 27. Over 75 Main Conference speakers will take the stage and have a mere 30 seconds to capture attendees’ attention with a brief overview of their session and offer a first-look at the range of sessions taking place Wednesday through Friday. Also starting on Wednesday, the Classic Game Postmortem series returns, with the original creators taking a close look at the making of their own groundbreaking titles, including Crystal Castles, Myst, Pinball Construction Set and X-COM: UFO Defense. The IGF and Game Developers Choice Awards will honor the year’s best in gaming at the award ceremony taking place on Wednesday, March 27 at 6:30pm on-site at Moscone West. The GDCAs will recognize 2012’s leading video games across key categories, from Narrative through Innovation and beyond, and over 30 finalists are nominated for the IGF awards, the most prestigious independent video game awards. Celebrating its 10th anniversary and final year at the GDC is the Game Design Challenge. This year’s edition, “Humanity’s Last Game – The Game Design Challenge Final Championship,” brings together winners from the past on Thursday, March 28 at 11:30am to design the last game humanity ever plays. As is tradition at the Game Design Challenge, the audience will be polled to decide which developer’s concept is the winner. A host of other on-site happenings will fill the common areas of the Moscone Center from Monday to Friday, including game history exhibits, a ‘board games from video game designers’ playable area, a special retro photo booth for attendees, and an indie game ‘world championships’. Finally, GDC Play returns after a successful debut last year, with an open exhibition space in Moscone South from Tuesday to Thursday featuring more than 85 emerging game developers. GDC Play provides an opportunity for creators to spotlight their games and connect with leading distributors, publishers, press and investors attending the conference Those interested in purchasing passes to GDC 2013 may still do so onsite starting Sunday, March 24. For more information on GDC 2013, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS. In addition, GDC sister website Gamasutra is covering dozens of sessions and interviews over the entire week as the official news partner of the conference, compiled into a special Gamasutra GDC coverage page, which will be updated regularly starting on Monday morning. Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.

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