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Gamasutra's Austin GDC Coverage: The Highlights

Gamasutra has debuted a dedicated landing page for Austin GDC 2007, with full coverage of keynotes, sessions, roundtables, and more - here are the highlights from the full three-day show, which ended o
Gamasutra has debuted a dedicated landing page for Austin GDC 2007, with full coverage of keynotes, sessions, roundtables, and more - here are the highlights from the full three-day show. Here are the major original-reported stories from the AGDC 2007 conference, which is part of the CMP Game Group (as is Gamasutra.com): - AGDC: SOE Talks Cross-Platform MMO Possibilities Sony Online creative directors Chris Cao -- a PC MMO vet with Everquest II and Jens Andersen, representing the consoles with Battlezone and Clone Wars, talked creative considerations when creating multiplatform MMOs, building the framework for a PSP/PC Spy Vs. Spy game in the process. - AGDC: Nexon's Min Kim On The Power Of Microtransactions Nexon's gaming model achieved incredible success in Korea and the Asian markets with games like MapleStory and KartRider, gaining a considerable jump on the microtransactions trend. In Friday's keynote at the Austin Game Developers Conference, Nexon America’s director of game operations Min Kim discussed Nexon's continuing winning streak and the challenges -- and payoffs of adapting both games and business model to the West. - AGDC: Jacobs, Bethke Tussle For Online's Future GoPets' Eric Bethke, Areae's Raph Koster, EA Mythic's Marc Jacobs and Sony Online Entertainment Austin head John Blakely convened for a heated debate around the big opportunities on the horizon for online gaming, and when it came to microtransactions, user-generated content and Xbox Live Arcade, everyone didn't always agree. - AGDC: Koster, James, Ybarra Reveal Startup Lessons What do Three Rings' Daniel James, Cheyenne Mountain's (Stargate MMO) Joe Ybarra, Areae's Raph Koster, Heatwave's Anthony Castoro, and Conduit Labs' Nabeel Hyatt all have in common? They're all acquainted with the trials and tribulations of forging out on their own in the wild world of startups. More interesting, perhaps, are the differences in their experiences, as you can read from their stories, advice and suggestions in Gamasutra's full coverage of the panel. - AGDC: BioWare Charts Writing for Mass Effect A conclave of Neverwinter Nights vets -- Bioware's Mike Laidlaw and Mass Effect lead writer Drew Kapyshyn, along with managing director Mac Walters, share the secrets of their approach to story crafting -- and hint at next-gen products to come. - AGDC: Flagship, Nexon Talk Worldwide MMO Licensing Multiverse's Corey Bridges moderated a panel that brought together Nexon's Calvin Yoo, Jeff Anderson, CEO of Turbine Entertainment (which is currently starting to license out MMOs) Flagship Studios' Steve Goldstein and Joshua Hong, CEO and founder of K2 Network, which is licensing Korean titles to the West. The topic? The challenges and benefits involved in licensing MMOs worldwide, from localization to currency models -- and why Hong thinks Chinese publishers have been bad for the entire industry. - AGDC: Marketing Your Indie Game, Guerilla Style "The worst games are done strictly for the money," said Strategery's Jay Moore, formerly a founding father of Garage Games. Along with Mode 7's Paul Taylor, the two talked about getting guerilla with indie marketing, demystifying the topic and boiling it down to knowing the soul of your game and your company, and ways to communicate what sets you apart. - AGDC: Engaging and Empowering Community Influencers Out of an entire community of players, this roundtable of community managers - Flying Lab's Troy Hewitt, SOE Austin's EM Stock and SOE Global's Alan Crosby, Blizzard's Paul Della Bitta, CCP's Charles Dane, and Guild Cafe community director Sanya Weathers - know how to identify and employ those star-powered individual users with the power to turn the tide of the entire community in your favor, as well as what to do when those 'community influencers' turn on you. - AGDC: How Square Enix Hunts The Hunters The fact that Final Fantasy XI was originally supposed to be an Xbox 1 game is just one of the revelations from producer and Square Enix executive officer Hiromichi Tanaka on building the game, the necessity of excluding microtransactions -- and what was learned, and what's next for the ever-expanding MMO. - AGDC: Haro On Making Habbo A Success Sulake Labs' Habbo might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of heavy-hitting MMOs. And yet, it's got almost as many users as Warcraft. Sulake's Sulka Haro's got more than a few lessons on mass appeal and building a successful online empire from the ground up. - AGDC: The Warren Spector Interview Disney and Warren Spector's recently acquired Junction Point studio a match made in cartoon heaven? Probably more than you might think, and in this exclusive interview, Deus Ex creator Spector tells Gamasutra all about his extensive history in the cartoon world, and hints on plans for the newly formed partnership. - AGDC: Matt Costello on Developing Story and Gameplay Together How can integrating story with game design be as simple as standing up? Polar Productions' Matt Costello explains how, with certain key elements involved, the simplest of tasks can create a suspenseful, engaging story through the "illusion of interactivity." - AGDC: BioWare's Walton On Making MMOs Post-World of Warcraft Making an MMO in a post-World Of Warcraft world is tough, but BioWare Austin's Gordon Walton was inspired by the hugely successful game, presenting a twelve-point talk with lessons to learn in an engaging and popular GDC Austin speech. - AGDC: Denis Dyack - 'The Media Is The Massage' In his AGDC talk, Denis Dyack touched on Silicon Knights' methods for story, and warned that the media of games will often overpower the message you're trying to tell - he also dropped a few hints about Too Human along the way. - AGDC: Raph Koster On Designing For Everywhere Areae president Raph Koster, designer of Ultima Online and previous CCO of SOE, gave his talk at GDC Austin in front of a full-capacity crowd, all of whom were eager to catch a shred of what he’s been talking about for the last year or so: how the web is destroying games in terms of revenue and access. - AGDC: Blizzard's Morhaime On Overcoming 'Myth' With WoW Think every aspect of your game play has to be customized for regional players? Blizzard disagrees, citing the "myth of regional taste" and Gamasutra has president Mike Morhaime's full comments on the history of his company and his approach to World Of Warcraft from the Austin GDC keynote. In addition, the dedicated landing page for Austin GDC includes all the latest announcements and product news from the event, as well as information on Richard Garriott's pre-event fundraiser for the UT Videogame Archive.

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