Taking place Monday through Wednesday, August 15-17, 2011 at the Cologne Congress-Centrum Ost, GDC Europe -- alongside the major gamescom trade show
-- will again provide the essential pan-European perspective of game development and business trends.
New to the conference this year is the Independent Games Summit, which will feature lectures and panels from the most influential figures from the indie games space on topics covering game design, business strategies, marketing, and more.
The notable sessions, panels, and lectures featured in the Independent Games Summit include the following:
- In "Beyond Fun: Perspectives on Video Games as Expressive Experiences," a panel of indie developers will argue that video games, just like literature or film, do not always have to provide enjoyable experiences. This talk will explore the various ways in which games can make players feel a broad range of complex, and occasionally unpleasant emotions.
Speakers at the panel will include Tale of Tales' Michael Samyn (The Path), Stout Games' Jeroen D. Stout (Dinner Date), Moboid's Heather Kelley (GAMMA), thechineseroom's Dan Pinchbeck (Dear Esther), and Frictional Games' Thomas Grip (Amnesia: The Dark Descent).
- In addition to speaking in the previous panel, Thomas Grip will also give a lecture dubbed "Evoking Emotions and Achieving Success by Breaking All the Rules," in which he will outline the unconventional design decisions his team made when creating the company's popular indie horror title Amnesia:
The Dark Descent.
The game abandons fail states and other horror game staples, and Grip will explain why these omissions made Amnesia more enjoyable to play.
Moving beyond the context of his own game, Grip will also discuss how these sorts of unusual design choices can benefit games of other genres.
- Co-founder of the Copenhagen Game Collective Douglas Wilson will give a talk titled "Intentionally Broken Game Design and the Art of 'Deputizing'
Players," which will focus on how multiplayer games can provide engaging experiences even without a strict set of rules and computational systems.
Drawing examples from traditional folk games, design research, and even his IGF-nominated party game B.U.T.T.O.N., Wilson will explain how games without rigid rules can encourage self-motivation and improvisation.
-Also within the Independent Games Summit is a panel titled, "Indie's Got PR Talent - A Press Panel," during which a panel of games journalists from IndieGames.com, RockPaperShotgun.com and Gamasutra.com will discuss PR and community for indies, and successful methods for getting recognized.
-In addition, the Summit will host the talk, "An Inside Look at Public Funding for Indie Games," which will examine how public funding can affect independent game development - with further talks from the full IGS program announced in the near future.
For those interested in the Independent Games Summit talks, GDC Europe organizers have introduced a special reduced-price Independent Games Summit Pass that grants access to all the sessions outlined above, as well as the GDC Europe Expo floor on Monday, August 15.
The pass is available for 200 Euros via the registration form on the official GDC Europe website -- quantities are limited and passes will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
In addition to the Independent Games Summit, GDC Europe has added Summits on Social Games, Smartphone&Tablet Games, and Community Management to the existing line-up this year.
GDC Europe 2011 also recently announced a number of Main Conference talks for the show, including lectures on DICE's Battlefield 3, Harmonix's Dance Central, and MMO storytelling. Other recent announcements include a Business&Marketing track keynote with Wooga founder Jens Begemann, as well as a host of other talks from Zynga, Epic Games, and more.
For more information on GDC Europe as the event takes shape, please visit the official GDC Europe website - http://www.gdceurope.com