GDC 2011 Highlights O'Donnell, Shanda, Moriarty Talks, Expands Capacity

With the overall session list for the February/March event now finalized, Game Developers Conference 2011 organizers have responded to conference pass demand and increased capacity for the Summits and Main Conference lecture space this year.

As a result, GDC 2011 has expanded to the third floor of San Francisco's Moscone West in addition to both Moscone North and Moscone South -- with thousands of extra seats now available to help stem potential space issues.

The complete GDC conference schedule is now available on both GDC Schedule Builder and the newly launched, smartphone-centric GDC Mobile site, and organizers are highlighting the following lectures:

- In an Audio Track keynote talk called 'From Myth to Halo: Marty O'Donnell's Adventures with Adaptive Audio, Creative Collaboration and Geese!', Bungie's veteran audio director takes a wide-ranging look at his career to date, including his attitude on composing and implementing music in the seminal Halo franchise.

O'Donnell amusingly explains: "What are my thoughts about the future of the music business in relation to game publishing? What are geese doing in the title of this talk? I'll attempt to answer all these questions but no one should expect complete clarity."

- In a major Business Track keynote, Shanda Games CEO Alan Tan will present 'The Future of the MMO in China'. Tan co-founded the Chinese MMO giant Shanda, owner of U.S. firm MochiMedia, in 1999, and has overseen Shanda's rise to hundreds of millions of dollars a year in online game revenues.

As Tan explains in his synopsis: "Every year there are hundreds of MMORPGs coming out with a similar look and a similar gameplay. It is the time for a change, but besides enhancing graphics and adding more content, what other options do MMO developers have?" He'll present Chinese market shifts and lessons for the future.

- In his first appearance at GDC since 2002, when he gave the highly-regarded talk 'The Secret Of Psalm 46', Infocom and LucasArts veteran (Beyond Zork, Loom) and firebrand speaker Brian Moriarty is returning for the show's twenty-fifth iteration, presenting a talk called 'An Apology for Roger Ebert'.

In this anniversary lecture, game designer and academic Moriarty is promising to "offer a passionate defense of the beleaguered film critic at the game industry's most prestigious event", and along the way, "will reveal his own eye-opening definition of art, explain why current game designs don't aspire to it, and argue that its both practically and spiritually essential to pursue it anyway."

Other notable lectures being highlighted by organizers include LucasArts' Kent Hudson on 'Player-Driven Stories: How Do We Get There?', as well as Electronic Arts' Sammi Kim on 'The Sims 3 Create-a-Sim User Experience' and industry veteran Don Daglow on '10 Lessons from 20 Years as an Entrepreneur: A Post-Mortem'.

Game Developers Conference 2011 -- the 25th iteration of the industry-leading show -- will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from February 28th to March 4th, and pre-show registration is open until February 27th. For more information on all aspects of the show, visit the official GDC 2011 website - http://www.gdconf.com 


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