Game Developer Conference 2009 Preview

If youâ??re heading to San Francisco then make sure you read Developâ??s comprehensive guide to GDC09, which includes all the highlights and essentialsâ?¦
Publish date:

When: March 23th to 27th
Where: Moscone Centre, San Francisco, California, USA


GDC Expo - March 25th to 27th
Career Pavilion - March 25th to 27th
Game Connection - March 24th to 27th
AI Summit - March 23rd to 24th
Casual Games Summit - March 23rd to 24th
GDC Mobile - March 23rd to 24th
Game Outsourcing Summit - March 24th
IGDA Education Summit - March 23rd to 24th
Independent Games Summit - March 23rd to 24th
Localization Summit
- March 23rd
Serious Games Summit - March 23rd to 24th
Worlds in Motion Summit - March 23rd to 24th


Discovering New Development Opportunities
Speaker: Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo
Wednesday, March 25th, 9:00AM – 10:00AM

Solid Game Design: Making the ‘Impossible’ Possible
Speaker: Hideo Kojima
Thursday, March 26th, 10:30AM-12:00PM

Why the iPhone Just Changed Everything
Speaker: Neil Young (founder, ng:moco:)
Monday, March 23rd, 9:30AM – 10:20AM


Evolving Game Design: Today and Tomorrow, Eastern and Western Game Design
Speakers: Mark MacDonald (executive director, 8-4), Goichi Suda a.k.a. SUDA51 (CEO/game designer, Grasshopper Manufacture) Fumito Ueda (senior game designer, International Production Dept, Sony Computer Entertainment, Japan Studio), Emil Pagliarulo (lead designer – Fallout 3, Bethesda Game Studio)
Date/time: Wednesday, March 25th, 2:30PM – 3:30PM
Location (room): Room 132, North Hall
Track: Game design
Format: 60-minute panel
Experience level: All

The Inspiration Behind Nintendo DSi Development

Speaker: Masato Kuwahara (project leader, Nintendo DSi Hardware Group)
Date/time: Wednesday, March 25th, 12:00PM – 1:00PM
Location (room): Room 132, North Hall
Track: Game Design
Format: 60-minute lecture
Experience level: All

Lionhead Experiments Revealed
Peter Molyneux (head of studio, Lionhead Studios)
Date/time: Friday, March 27th, 2:30PM – 3:30PM
Location (room): Room 135, North Hall
Track: Game Design
Format: 60-minute lecture
Experience Level: All

10 Things Great Designers Exhibit
Speaker: Gordon Walton (co-studio director, BioWare)
Date/time: Thursday, March 26th, 1:30PM - 2:30PM
Location (room): Room 2020, West Hall
Track: Production
Secondary Track: Game Design
Format: 60-minute lecture
Experience Level:

Aarf! Arf Arf Arf: Talking to the Player with Barks
Speaker: Patrick Redding (Game/narrative designer, Ubisoft Montreal)
Date/time: Friday, March 27th, 11:10AM - 11:30AM
Location (room): Room 2002, West Hall
Track: Game Design
Format: 20-minute lecture
Experience Level: Intermediate

Behind the Scenes: The Gears of War 2 Cinematics Pipeline
Tanya Jessen (senior associate producer, Epic Games), Greg Mitchell (digital cinematographer, Epic Games)
Date/time: Thursday, March 26th, 9:00AM - 10:00AM
Location (room): Room 131, North Hall
Track: Visual Arts
Format: 60-minute lecture
Experience level: Intermediate

Building Your Airplane While Flying: Production at Bungie
Allen Murray (producer, Bungie)
Date/time: Wednesday, March 25th, 12:00PM - 1:00PM
Location (room): Room 3007, West Hall
Track: Production
Format: 60-minute lecture
Experience level: All

Media Molecule: 'Winging It' - Ups, Downs, Mistakes, Successes in the Making of LittleBigPlanet
Speaker: Alex Evans (technical director, Media Molecule), Mark Healey (creative director, Media Molecule)
Date/time: Wednesday, March 25th, 12:00PM - 1:00PM
Location (room): Room 135, North Hall
Track: Game Design
Format: 60-minute lecture
Experience level: All

Star Ocean 4: Flexible Shader Management and Post-Processing
Speaker: Yoshiharu Gotanda (CEO and CTO, tri-Ace)
Date/time: Friday, March 27th, 4:00PM – 5:00PM
Location (room): Room 132, North Hall
Track: Programming
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience level: All

Experiences and Rare Insights into the Video Game Music Industry
Hitoshi Sakimoto (Basiscape International)
Date/time: Thursday, March 26th, 9:00AM – 10:00AM
Location (room): Room 132, North Hall
Track: Audio
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience level: All


AI Summit – The two day event promises to provide an inside look at key architectures and issues within successful commercial games. Targeted at intermediate and advanced programmers, the summit offers a deeper insight into the world of game AI

Casual Games Summit
– Catering for the continually expanding casual market, this summit will tackle issues including publishers’ funding criteria, optimising portals, monetisation, common design pitfalls, connecting people through casual games, and emerging platforms and business models.

GDC Mobile – Made for the creators, publishers and distributors of mobile games, this year GDC Mobile will give special attention to new platforms like iPhone and Google Android.

Game Outsourcing Summit
– Covering an integral part of the game development process, the summit promises to provide solid, useful advice from industry professionals looking to learn more about outsourcing

IGDA Education summit
– Offering a unique opportunity for professional game educators, the IGDA event creates an opportunity to see experimental and inventive educational approaches first hand.

Independent Games Summit
– With services like WiiWare and PSN continuing to expand the opportunities for smaller developers, there’s never been a better time to visit the Independent Games Summit, which features discussions ranging from game design philosophy to marketing.

Localisation Summit
– As the games industry continues to spread its wings and markets expand across the globe, the Localisation Summit offers an opportunity to learn more about taking internationalisation beyond traditional translation.

Serious Games Summit – Providing a forum for those wishing to harness the potential of the serious gaming industry, the summit explores developing for education, government, health, military, science, corporate training, first responders, and social change.

Worlds in Motion Summit – For those looking to create interactive online spaces for either entertainment or commercial reasons, Worlds in Motion will cover key issues including player created activity and building socialisation directly into games.


One day tutorials

Monday, March 23rd
• Advanced Visual Effects with Direct3D
• Learn Better Game Writing in a Day
• Creativity Boot Camp '09
• XNA Game Studio Developer Day

Tuesday, March 24th
• Insomniac Games' Secrets of Console and Playstation 3 Programming
• Intense Screenwriting Techniques and Mind-Boggling Conversation Systems
• Fundamentals of Game Design Workshop
• The Big Picture 2009: Managing Your Game Dev Deal and Operating Your Game Dev Studio
• Intel Game Threading Tutorial
• Khronos Tutorial
• Microsoft Game Developer Day

Two day tutorials

Monday to Tuesday, March 23rd to 24th
• Math for Programmers/Physics for Programmers
• Game Design Workshop
• Audio Boot Camp



Event Preview: Paris GDC

Later this month, the French GDC ups sticks from Lyon to try its hand at an event in the countryâ??s capital. Big names are signed to host sessions throughout the two-day event; Develop runs through the 12 sessions you should make sure you attendâ?¦


The 2009 UK Games Development Salary Survey

Earlier this year, games industry professionals that read and were invited to take part in an extensive salary and career survey. 528 people, from all sectors of interactive entertainment, took part. Here, Michael French analyses the answers given by developersâ?¦


Going Down to California?

If you're heading to the US for GDC08, then this is the page for you â?? a comprehensive summary of whatâ??s planned for this yearâ??s eventâ?¦