The popular multi-track summit, taking place on February 28th and March 1st during Game Developers Conference 2011 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, presents a series of illuminating sessions about the technology, design, business, marketing, and future of social games.
The Summit description notes that "the features and tropes of connected gaming are catching on across the gaming landscape– encompassing Facebook gaming, web-based online games, downloadable persistent MMOs and beyond."
"New best practices are being discovered at a rapid pace, and we are seeing more high-quality entertainment experiences on social networks than ever before."
Advisors for this particular Summit include track co-chairs Raph Koster and Steve Meretzky from Playdom, as well as EA/Playfish's Sebastian De Halleux, Sulake's Sulka Haro, Making Fun's John Welch and more notables.
- In the 'Design' microtrack, notable talks include the always popular 'Social&Online Game Design 2010: A Year in Review' by Playmatics' Nick Fortugno and Joju Games' Juan Gril, as well as Raph Koster on 'social mechanics for social games'. Additional talks of interest in this area of the program include a postmortem of Kabam's popular Facebook title Kingdoms Of Camelot and a look back at the development of Riot Games' extremely popular 'DoTA'-style online game League Of Legends.
- The 'Vision' microtrack sees a lecture by Ian Ni-Lewis and Andres Ferrate of Google on "the lessons learned from developing Google's Smart TV platform, GoogleTV" with particular reference to game creators developing social titles for 'smart TVs', as well as a provocative debate, 'Are Social Games Legitimate?', as Nabeel Hyatt of Zynga and Curt Bererton of ZipZapPlay "go head to head" with Ian Bogost of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Daniel James of Three Rings.
- The 'Business' microtrack has some much-awaited lectures including 'Behavioral Economics and Social Games' from Playdom's Peter Fishman, as well as an 'IP and brands' postmortem with Sebastien de Halleux on Playfish/EA's strategy with the Monopoly license, Robert Ollett on Bigpoint's learnings from Battlestar Galactica, and more.
- In the 'Essentials' microtrack, vital lectures including Kontagent's Albert Lai on the 'Top 7 Social Metrics for 2011' mix in with Playfish's David Stern discussing 'Turning Data Into Better Social Games', as well as Metaverse Mod Squad's Richard Weil on 'Community Management: Efficiencies and Economies of Scale'
- Finally, the 'Tech' microtrack includes leading lectures such as 'Social Speed - Improving Flash Performance for Social Games' from Zynga's Amitt Mahajan , in addition to another notable talk called 'Scaling Social Games: What Game Development Can Learn from the Cloud' with Playfish's Dan Borthwick discussing "the lessons the company has learned as it moves increasingly closer to the world of web development" in architecting its social games.
The GDC 2011 Social&Online Games Summit joins six other notable standalone Summits, including AI, Indie, GDC Education, Serious Games, Localization and the GDC Smartphone Summit, as well as multiple high-profile tutorials, on the Monday and Tuesday of Game Developers Conference 2011. More information on this particular Summit, which can be attended via All-Access or Summit-specific GDC 2011 passes, is available on its official webpage.