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GDC Next 2013 adds Xbox One Kinect talk, Riot eSports, ex-Bungie indie panels

Newly confirmed GDC Next 2013 talks for L.A. this November include Microsoft on the Xbox One's enhanced Kinect, plus panels on eSports and going from AAA to indie.
Game Developers Conference Next 2013 organizers have added new sessions to the November "future of games" event in LA, including an exclusive demo-heavy Xbox One Kinect talk, an "evolution of eSports" panel featuring speakers from Riot, Twitch, and Team Dignitas, and another key panel on veteran triple-A developers (from Bungie, EA, and Zynga) going indie. GDC Next is the spiritual successor to GDC Online. The new event aims to highlight the future of video game development, with tracks including 'Next Generation Game Platforms,' 'Free To Play & New Business Models,' and 'Smartphone & Tablet Games,' as well as cloud and indie game tracks. It will take place alongside the App Developers Conference on November 5th-7th, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Organizers are announcing three new talks today, as follows: In 'The Next Generation of Kinect,' Microsoft senior software engineer Claude Marais will cover the technical details of the hardware and software for the Xbox One's newest motion controller iteration. The exclusive session will include demonstrations of what developers can do with the new Kinect's high-fidelity natural user input. In the panel discussion 'The Evolution of eSports as a Sport, Entertainment and International Pasttime,' League of Legends developer Riot Games' VP of eSports Dustin Beck, Twitch COO Kevin Lin, eSports competitors Team Dignitas managing director Michael O'Dell, eSports host Marcus 'djWheat' Graham, and Garena Premiere League lead manager Jason Ng will discuss the growing presence of professional games. Attendees will gain a clear understanding of the state of eSports, the path to developer success in the industry, and some data-driven indicators of its evolution as a global pastime. Lastly, in the panel 'Going from AAA to Indie: New Studio Founders Share Their Experiences,' several new studio founders will discuss the business and product side of independent game development, starting with several key decisions new studios face (business models, seeking funding, targeting platforms) and then examining emerging trends in the industry and how they'll affect new indies. The panel of triple-A-veterans-turned-indies will include Robert Zubek (from Zynga to SomaSim), Paul Tozour (from Retro Studios and Microsoft Game Studios to Intelligence Engine Design Systems), Borut Pfeifer (from Sony Online and EA to Plush Apocalypse Productions), Thor Alexander (from Zynga and EA to Lucky Puppy), and Damian Isla (from Bungie to Moonshot Games). These talks join a growing number of others added to the interactive Session Scheduler, now live for attendees to begin their planning. Previously announced talks include Ubisoft's Jill Murray on new narrative and gameplay options for female characters in games and Gamesbrief director Nicholas Lovell on a model to welcome more players into free-to-play games. Also revealed last week was the first inductee for our Next 10 showcase, which will feature ten innovative, yet-to-debut games at GDC Next. Attendees will get to play Doki-Doki Universe [trailer] by HumaNature Studios, and studio founder Greg Johnson (also the veteran creator of Starflight & cult classic Toe Jam & Earl) will present a session that describes how his team dealt with the challenges of developing an emotional, interactive story game. Registration is now open for GDC Next and the co-located ADC. The first 500 attendees who sign up can save over 30% on ADC, GDC Next, or a combined VIP Pass. For all the latest news on GDC Next, subscribe for updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS. Lastly, check out the newest talks for ADC: a rapid iOS prototyping session on Ad Hoc Labs' Burner app and an executive roundtable featuring Netflix, Glu, and more on acquisition, retention, and monetization (ARM) strategies.

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