Gamasutra is in Austin, Texas all this week covering GDC Online
, with a host of lectures on online games, iPhone/iPad and related product announcements already written up for the website - here's all the stories posted so far. [UPDATE
: session, product stories updated on Friday, October 8th.]
The Austin, Texas based conference -- formerly known as GDC Austin -- is sharply focused on the development of online games, and there are now more than 120 panels, lectures and tutorials
taking place during the October 5th-8th event, with almost 90 companies on the show floor.
The highlights of content at GDC Online thus far, written up by Gamasutra editors from session coverage and official releases, include:
- Player Retention Requires Real Motivation, Engagement
"Immersyve's Scott Rigby lays out techniques for creating real and natural engagement in online and social games -- developers don't need to "trap" players into using viral channels or spending money, he says."
- Strong Team Culture, Customer Focus Key To League of Legends Success
"In a postmortem for the online PC game League of Legends
, Riot Games president Marc Merrill revealed a quality-focused business culture that revolves around making a fun game and fostering a community."
- MMO Devs Need To Remind Customers What They're Paying For
"At GDC Online on Friday, MMO veterans from Turbine, BioWare, Nexon, SOE and Mythic shared advice on player retention and how developers should 'remind the customer why he is giving you money.'"
- Bartle On MUD's 'Soul', Design 'Must Want To Say Something'
"MUD co-creator Richard Bartle reveals for the first time the project's surprisingly subversive origins, presenting a critique of current context-less design in the clever guise of a history lesson on MUD's creation. "
- Bigpoint's Hubertz On Why Europe Matters
"In his GDC Online track keynote on Friday, Bigpoint's Heiko Hubertz discussed the complex European online game market, suggesting social game firms who "don't grow so fast any more" are rapidly internationalizing."
- Battle.net's Canessa - Building Gaming Networks Is Harder Than You Think
"In a GDC Online postmortem on the development of Blizzard's Battle.net, project director Greg Canessa warned developers not to underestimate the complexity of creating an integrated gaming network."
- Playfish's De Halleux On Why The Next Blockbuster Will Be Online
"Playfish's Sebastien de Halleux discusses the ongoing evolution in the way games are monetized, the "massive" opportunity for developers -- and his view that the next billion-dollar game will be microtransactions-driven."
- BioWare's Walton - Studio Culture Is An 'Immune System'
"Gordon Walton, co-studio director at Star Wars: The Old Republic
developer BioWare Austin, called culture an "immune system" that "recognizes you as something that belongs, or a foreign object that needs to be expelled."
- Brian Reynolds' Wild West In Social Design
"Zynga's Brian Reynolds talks his FrontierVille
, ways he's discovered to make social gaming more fun and more truly social, and key lessons from AAA design for successful innovation in the space."
- Koster Shares Lessons Learned In Social Game Design
"Raph Koster, VP of creative design at Disney-owned social game developer Playdom, said that "console games are niche" and argued that the social gaming space is not going away, despite some who say otherwise."
- Ian Bogost's Troubling Experiences With Cow Clicker
"Ian Bogost talks to GDC Online audiences about his Facebook title Cow Clicker
-- how an environment of fear birthed a satire, the surprises he received when the game took off, and how it's ultimately a 'tragic' story to him."
- Fallout: New Vegas' Gonzalez Talks Inspiration, Writing Process
"Obsidian's John Gonzalez talks at GDC Online's Game Narrative Summit on being the creative lead on Fallout: New Vegas
, the game's inspiration, and key steps his team took during the writing process."
- Bungie's Staten On Building Worlds, Not Words
"At GDC Online, Bungie's Joe Staten said that to create meaningful stories within a massive universe like Halo
's, it's important to build worlds first -- and not to be "that guy" fixated on large and uncompromising narrative."
- LoroRoco's Kuomo Talks Making Of PSHome Loco Island
"Talking at GDC Online on Wednesday, Sony Japan Studios creative director Tsutomu Kuono (LocoRoco
) discussed his history in the biz and the making of Loco Island
for the PlayStation Home online world service."
- Improving Game Stories With Concise Writing, More Writer Input
"In a GDC Online talk today, comics and games writer Antony Johnston argued that our medium would benefit from more concise stories and more input from writers throughout the development process."
- Game Makers Need To Adapt To New Markets Or Die
"As the industry moves rapidly towards online-based business models like cloud gaming, digital distribution and social gaming, game designers and executives need to adapt or die, a panel of industry executives said today."
- Making Puzzles And Writing Work Together
"Singapore MIT GAMBIT Game Lab's Clara Fernandez Vara says puzzles are a key component in integrating story and game design -- and at GDC Online, she illuminates the key "player contract", and important dos and don'ts."
- Surprising Lessons From Rock Band's Story
"At GDC Online's Narrative Summit, Harmonix's Helen McWilliams explained why the Rock Band
series requires story, even in subtle hints, after earlier Harmonix titles 'just didn't connect with the public.'"
- Research Finds Glasses, Misinformation Biggest Challenges For 3D
"At GDC Online, research firm Interpret presented 3D technology research -- and found that not only are audiences price-resistant and glasses-averse, but they're also plain wrong about a lot of 3D facts."
- Firaxis Talks Modding For Civilization V
"Talking at GDC Online on Tuesday, a Firaxis duo discussed the complex modding tools for the just-launched Civilization V
, explaining why "no amount of top-down marketing" can match community enthusiasm."
- ElectroTank Launches Cross-Platform Electroserver ES5
"Server maker Electrotank today announced the launch of their new Electroserver ES5, which supports development of muiltiplayer games played across Flash, Unity3D, iOS and Android platforms."
- Hitbox Team's DustForce Wins IndiePub Games Competition
"IndiePub Games announced last night that Hitbox Team's platformer DustForce!
has won the publisher's third annual Independent Game Developers Competition at GDC Online."
- Turbine Claims Double Revenues For F2P Lord Of The Rings Online
"Turbine revealed that after its switch to a free-to-play model for Lord of the Rings Online
in early September, revenues for the game doubled and users created more than a million new accounts."
- Bigpoint Announces Debut U.S.-Created Title Ruined Online
"Bigpoint's recently established U.S. studio revealed its first project, Ruined Online
, a browser-based, arena-style 3D combat game releasing with an open beta this winter."
- Mind Candy Chooses Vindicia Cashbox For Online Billing
"UK-based developer and publisher Mind Candy has selected Vindicia's Cashbox solution for online billing management in its free-to-play, browser-based massively multiplayer online game Moshi Monsters
- GDC Online: UE3 Adds TriOviz To Integrated Partners Program
"Darkworks announced that its TriOviz for Games SDK, which is used for implementing stereoscopic 3D in games, has been accepted into Epic's Unreal Engine 3 Integrated Partners Program."
- Trinigy On 'Very Saturated' Mobile, Casual Reaching 'Balance' With Core
"Trinigy tells us providing a modular, middleware helps it address a broad spectrum -- but says "there is always going to be a market" for core console development, even as social and mobile gaming grows."
- Offerpal Rebrands Itself As Tapjoy With Mobile Focus
"Offerpal Media, mostly known for its offer-based ads in social games, changed its name to Tapjoy, a rebranding meant to reflect its increased focus in mobile app distribution and ad monetization."
- Hi5 Debuts SocioPath Social Gaming Platform
"Social network Hi5 announced its beta launch for SocioPath, which it describes as "a next generation social gaming platform" designed with viral audience acquisition in mind."
- Spoon Launches New Cloud Gaming Service
"Seattle-based developer Spoon announced the launch of its free cloud gaming service, currently featuring titles from both independent studios and major publishers like Namco Networks America."