2008’s GDC boasts a line-up of bolstered single-track summits looking at the various trends emerging in the games industry – and organiser CMP has started to reveal details of the speakers at each.
The Casual Games Summit, Independent Games Summit, Serious Games Summit, Game Outsourcing Summit, Worlds in Motion Summit, and IGDA Education Summit all run from Monday February 18th to Tuesday February 19th as part of the week-long conference in San Francisco, USA.
"The game industry is experiencing radical change and growth in several key sectors at once, so we at GDC are actively adapting our previously tutorial-oriented pre-conference schedule to feature pioneering developers in highly targeted summits," explained Jamil Moledina, Executive Director of the Game Developers Conference.
"By integrating each of these emerging microcommunities into the curriculum, the GDC is well-positioned to remain the central hub of information and business for the entire game industry."
The full details on each summit can be found at the official site – and we’ve edited down some of the highlights below.
The Casual Games Summit aims to present a global vision of the key forces driving the sector’s growth, with sessions including a discussion with Rebel Monkey’s Nick Fortugno and Joju Games’ Juan Gril about the key innovations of 2007.
The IGDA’s Education Summit is the only two-track summit, with one track aimed at novice educators just entering the game education arena, the second for more experienced educators looking for additional teaching tools.
The returning Independent Games Summit aims to help all independent developers think about the critical needs for launching and marketing a game from game design to distribution methods to guerilla marketing concepts. Sessions include a postmortem with Q Games’ Dylan Cuthbert on the PixelJunk series for the PlayStation 3.
The returning Serious Games Summit, meanwhile, looks at the rapidly-growing sector that uses games tech for non-entertainment purposes.
There are also two brand new summits for 2008:
The Worlds in Motion Summit looks at the crossover between gaming and networking tools like online worlds, player-generated content, social networking and general personalisation. Highlights include SOE veteran, Areae co- founder and noted industry figure Raph Koster discussing the ways "virtual worlds are increasingly relevant to the ways we play", and a discussion with Relic Labs Adrian Crook on "the free-to-play business model and how it is evolving the face of online play".
Also new is the Game Outsourcing Summit designed for those industry professionals looking to increase development resource awareness. Confirmed speakers include Xin Chung, founder, and Steve Gray, CTO and executive producer, of Shanghai-based Vykarian, as well a talk from Aaron Pulkka, senior director of outsourcing at Vivendi Games.