GDC Europe 2011 organizers reveal new sessions for Cologne show

GDC Europe 2011 organizers have revealed new sessions for next month's show in Cologne, featuring talks from Braid creator Jonathan Blow on truth in game design, free-to-play game leader Gameforge on virtual goods success, Quantic Dream's co-CEO on flawed game rating systems, and more.

Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, alongside the major gamescom trade show, GDC Europe will again provide the essential pan-European perspective of game development and business trends.

Some of the new highlights from the Main Conference, which features tracks on Business&Marketing, Game Design, Production, Programming and Visual Arts, include the following:

- Renowned game designer and Braid/The Witness creator Jonathan Blow will host a talk in the show's Design track titled, "Truth in Game Design," which Blow says will "illustrate that games, being algorithmic systems implemented on computers, are biased toward revealing truth, so long as we do not quash the truth in order to force our own high-level wishes into the design."

Blow's cerebral talk will also seek to explain how "we use games as instruments, like telescopes or electron microscopes, to observe aspects of the universe that we would not normally have access to."

- Elsewhere in the Design track, "Big Bucks for Bits and Bytes - A Holistic Approach to Selling Virtual Goods" will feature designer Martin Nerurkar of German free-to-play web game pioneer Gameforge on the dos and don'ts of selling virtual items. Nerurkar will pick apart the various stages of game monetization, teaching attendees how to generate awareness for their product and boost the desirability of their virtual goods.

- Over in the conference's Business&Marketing track, Guillaume de Fondaumiere, Co-CEO of Heavy Rain studio Quantic Dream, will host an impassioned talk called "Game Content Rating Systems Must Change," a lecture that will illustrate his views on how the ESRB, PEGI, and other video game rating systems enforce more strict limitations than their television or film counterparts.

Using examples from a number of contemporary titles, de Fondaumiere will explain "how these restrictions are hurting our businesses and why game developers must now take a leading role in changing these to protect their creations."

In addition to these and other lectures found in the Main Conference, GDC Europe has added notable Summits on Social Games, Smartphone&Tablet Games, Independent Games and Community Management to the existing line-up this year.

Other recent GDC Europe announcements include Main Conference talks from Obsidian, Gamestop, and Sony, as well as highlights from the show's Community Management and Independent Games Summits. GDC Europe has also released several interviews with some of the show's notable speakers, such as Ernest Adams, Zynga's Lou Castle, and CCP's David Press.

GDC Europe organizers would also like to remind potential attendees that Early Registration pricing for the show will end on Wednesday, July 20th, with reduced-price registration for the event only available until that date.

For more information on GDC Europe as the event takes shape, please visit the official GDC Europe website (, or subscribe to updates from the new GDC Europe-specific news page in RSS form, official Twitter page (@GDC_Official, @GDC_Europe), or official Facebook page. GDC Europe is owned and operated by UBM TechWeb.  

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