The inaugural Austin Game Developers Conference (Austin GDC) is set to kick off today, and with it, an esteemed roster of veteran game developers, creators and designers will help chart the course for the future of online gaming, writing for games and audio for games. With a projected attendance of more than 1,800 people, and a roster of 90 sessions and over 140 exhibitors and sponsors, Austin GDC is brimming with content while still maintaining an intimate and relaxed atmosphere. Austin GDC will run from September 5-7 at the Austin Convention Center.
Austin GDC is set along four basic content tracks, each offering sessions with their own specialized insight. These four tracks are Game Audio, Writing for Games, Online Games, and the People’s Choice track.
Keeping true to the community-driven spirit of the event, Austin GDC this year introduced the People’s Choice track, which allows the attendees to participate in the editorial direction of the conference. This track includes such sessions as“From Austin to Washington: Politics and Videogames” by Steven Augustino, which explores the politics of gaming; from online predators, to in-game advertising, the session touches on all the intersections between politics and gameplay.
The Online Games track offers a detailed and comprehensive set of sessions that focus on the business and management, the community and marketing, design, and technology and services for online games. With an esteemed panel of advisory board members with decades of experience in online MMOs, this track has long served as a core focus for the past Austin conferences.
Strong narrative-driven games like BioShock, Mass Effect, and Metal Gear Solid 4 have set the bar for in-game writing. The Writing Track for Austin GDC serves as an important source for insight into the art of crafting compelling narratives for interactive entertainment. This track features sessions such as“Literate Gaming: How We Can and Must Do Better at Writing for Games” by multitalented writer Justin Grossman.
With video game graphics improving each year by leaps and bounds, it’s easy to be hypnotized by pixel-shaded, light-sourced, texture mapped polygons. But the emotional resonance in games is more often found in the beautiful melodies that accompany the glitz and gameplay. The Game Audio track of Austin GDC tackles the technical challenges in creating, recording and sampling every explosion, every angry grunt, every gunshot, every sword swing, and every bit of dialogue heard in games. This track includes such sessions as“When Audio IS the Experience: Games for the Visually Impaired”, which explores what games are played by those with visual disabilities, and how to increase the accessibility of games for visually impaired gamers.
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