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GDC Online 2011 Debuts Cityville, Nexon, Old Republic Talks

GDC Online has debuted a new batch of lectures for the October show, featuring talks from Zynga on its megahit CityVille, Nexon on handling online game disasters, and BioWare on iterating Star Wars: The Old
GDC Online has debuted a new batch of lectures for the October show, featuring talks from Zynga on its megahit CityVille, Nexon on handling online game disasters, and BioWare on iterating Star Wars: The Old Republic. Taking place Monday through Thursday, October 10-13, 2011 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, GDC Online continues as the leading worldwide event to solely discuss the development and business trends surrounding connected games -- including casual titles, MMOs, virtual worlds, and social networking games. This year's Main Conference will include tracks on Business & Marketing, Customer Experience, Design, Production, and Programming, as well as a sponsored track on Monetization. As seen in the event's Schedule Builder, the first set of lectures includes the following fresh highlights from this year's Main Conference: - BioWare Austin principal designer Georg Zoeller will host "Rapid MMO Content Iteration and Validation with Spatial Analysis in Star Wars: The Old Republic," a talk that will look at "how spatial analysis can be used to support a rapid content iteration process during the late stages of MMO development." The session will also demonstrate how the studio's own "HoloProjector" spatial visualization toolkit helps contextualize user behavior and metrics for the developers of the long awaited Star Wars-themed MMO from BioWare and EA. - Elsewhere, in "Engineering CityVille," Zynga's Robert Zubek will outline the server-side engineering techniques that allowed the company's hit Facebook title CityVille to expand quickly after its successful launch, as well the gameplay engineering strategies that enabled rapid content generation. Principal software engineer Zubek will explain how CityVille's engineering is a departure from Zynga's previous releases, and will point out the "tried-and-true techniques" that Zynga decided to use again for this social title. - Nexon America's Crystin Cox will examine some of the most daunting challenges in MMO development in "Live Game Disasters: How to Prepare for the Worst Before It Happens." In this session, Cox will provide attendees with "specific tactics for preparing for and responding to critical live service issues faced by online games." Drawing from her own experience managing online games, Cox will also point out the aftermath developers can expect when things go awry with a live MMO. In addition to the Main Conference, GDC Online will also feature the ever popular Game Narrative Summit, as well as Summits on Smartphone & Tablet Games and Virtual Items, all of which will host specialized sessions on some of the most vital emerging areas in games. Earlier this month, GDC Online opened nominations for the annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards, and show organizers will continue to accept nominations through June 30, 2011. The longrunning Austin-based show, which continues to expand a robust Expo floor and offer in-depth takeaway from sessions alongside networking opportunities, also has a number of other announcements planned for the upcoming weeks and months. For more information on GDC Online as the event takes shape, please visit the official GDC Online website, or subscribe to updates from the new GDC Online-specific news page via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. GDC Online is owned and operated by UBM TechWeb, as is this website.

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