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The Game Career Seminar Call for Submissions closed September 30, 2019 at 11:59 pm PT.

VRDC and GDC Summits call for submissions also closed on September 30, 2019 at 11:59 pm PT.

The GDC Core Concepts call for submissions closed on August 15, 2019 at 11:59 pm PT.


The Game Career Seminar takes place on Friday, March 20, 2020. It is a one-day program designed for students and individuals interested in learning how to build a career in the video game industry. Attendees will experience interactive sessions, network with industry professionals, and most importantly, learn how to get their careers started in the video game industry.

Game Career Seminar advisors are welcoming submissions from game developers and industry experts who can share their perspective and insights on getting into and succeeding in the game industry.

Questions?

If your question isn’t answered in the FAQ below, email Ashley Corrigan for GDC Core Concepts and Game Career Seminar questions, and Molly Portillo for GDC Summit and VRDC questions.

Submission Guidelines

If you would like to submit, please take note of the following:

Diversity and Representation

GDC aims to achieve diversity of voice, experience, and perspective. Please take this goal into consideration when considering who would be best to speak on behalf of your company or department and/or when submitting panelists.

Vendor-Specific Proposals

GDC does not accept product or vendor-related submissions. If your talk is a thinly veiled advertisement for a new product, technology or service your company is offering, please do not submit. If you would like to publicize a product, please email the GDC sales team for information on exhibiting and vendor opportunities, including sponsored sessions. 

Original Authors

GDC only accepts submissions by original authors of the presentations. PR firms, speaking relation firms, and all other parties who are not direct authors of submitted presentations are discouraged from submitting a proposal on behalf of their clients/speakers. GDC requires direct contact with presenters to expedite questions during the submission review process. 

 

Selection Criteria

The Game Career Seminar Advisors will review and rate submissions based on the following criteria:

  • Concept: This is the basic idea of your submission. Is it interesting? Is it relevant? Will it be beneficial for game developers to hear? There is plenty of room for innovative ideas and also the tried and true.
  • Depth: Is the basic idea well considered and thought out? To what extent will the audience gain insight? The more in-depth, the better.
  • Organization: Are your ideas conducive to present in front of an audience? Will the Game Career Seminar Advisors understand what you are trying to say? Organization helps.
  • Credentials: How do your credentials qualify you to speak on the topic you have proposed?
  • Takeaway: Is the attendee going to leave this session knowing something they didn't know when they walked in? Are they learning or being inspired? This is the most important aspect of every Game Career Seminar session. The submissions will be rated on a one to five scale by each of the reviewers and the resulting scores are averaged. Submissions in each category with the highest scores are considered first. If there is too much topic overlap, a lesser scoring submission may be selected to keep variety in the program.

 

Speaker Expectations

GDC attendees are very intelligent. They are looking for material that is not obvious and expect excellence from GDC speakers. After your presentation, they will evaluate it based on delivery, knowledge of the topic and the visuals presented.

Preparation is one of the most important factors in delivering a successful talk at GDC. Please keep the following in mind when you propose to speak:

  • The proposed outline you submit now must match the talk you present at the Game Career Seminar. Consider the talk’s duration and submit content accordingly.
  • Plan to commit AT LEAST 25 HOURS to prepare for your session.
  • Rehearse the delivery of your session to be more effective; preferably in front of your peers and/or record yourself speaking then review it. Both are great ways to practice pacing and timing. Your presentation materials must be completed and submitted four weeks before GDC.
  • Please note the Game Career Seminar Advisors and content team are here to help. If you have ANY additional speaking questions you’d like GDC to cover, please email Ashley Corrigan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the submission deadline?

The Game Career Seminar call for submissions closed on Monday, September 30th at 11:59 pm PT.

What makes a good submission?

  • Review all of the submission guidelines on this page and follow the instructions.
  • Incomplete proposals or proposals that are commercial or marketing in nature will not be considered.
  • Write your proposal so that it is easily understood. Concise, precise language and a discernible thesis will also help your chances in the review process.The advisors will read many submissions. Get to your point as quickly as possible. Consider what the proposal is about. Why is it interesting? How is it important to game development? What will game developers get out of the session?

 

What do I need to provide in my submission?

The submission form will require these key items. You may be asked to submit additional materials before a decision is made on your proposal. 

Speaker Contact Information

We require the speaker's direct email address to be associated with the Speaker Profile in the submission form. Should the speaker have a PR or administrative representative assisting with the completion of the submission form, that person's contact info should be entered in the 'PR reps' section of the speaker profile to insure all parties receive conference communication.

Track

Select Game Career Seminar

Session Title

Provide a session title in fewer than 10 words. Please try to include keywords, topics, and game titles covered in your talk.

Session Description 

In 100-150-words, provide a concise description of your session as you would have it appear on the GDC website. Write in 3rd person, present tense.

Attendee Takeaway

In 50-words or less, tell us what attendees will gain from this presentation. Be specific by giving concrete examples and remember that GDC attendees are experts in their field. Do not use bullet points, write in 3rd person present tense.

Intended Audience

In 50-words or less, describe your target audience and who will benefit from your presentation. Is prerequisite knowledge necessary for understanding the content of the session? If so, what are the prerequisites? Do not use bullet points, write in 3rd person present tense.

Summary for Advisors

You have approximately 500 words to describe to the Game Career Seminar Advisors what your talk will be about, and why it will be interesting to Game Career Seminar attendees. This is not the abstract for your talk for the GDC website, it is not meant for attendees to read, it is not a teaser, and it is not a place for cute wordplay. It is for you to describe concretely and succinctly what is compelling about your talk to the advisors, a group of people who have probably read 250 of these descriptions by the time they get to yours. Do not tease with something like, "My lecture will reveal amazing findings about how people play puzzle platformers," instead say, "We have found 90% of people only play puzzle platformers while eating pepperoni pizza," or whatever your amazing finding actually is. If you need more than 500 words to describe your lecture in this way, you can upload supplemental materials (.doc, .pdf, .txt) to your submission.

Supporting Materials

It is optional to submit supplemental information that supports your session proposal. Additional materials may include white papers, code, demos, videos, images, proof of concept, etc.

Past Speaking Engagements & Web links

If applicable, list the conferences, the title of the lecture, scores, and references. If you can provide references for these lectures, include a name and contact information. Add links to your company's website(s), personal blog(s), projects you're working on, etc., to support your proposal. Please do not offer links to news articles.

 

What are the session formats?

The final length and format of accepted sessions will be determined by the advisors. Please select what you feel will be the most appropriate.

FormatDurationDescription
Lectures60 or 30 MinutesLectures are issue-oriented, provide concrete examples, and contain both practical and theoretical information. Generally, one speaker is preferred, but if you believe two speakers would improve the presentation, please explain why in the Summary for Advisors. Postmortems and case studies are included in this category.
Panels60 MinutesPanels take many different viewpoints on a topic or issue and combine them in one debate session with a moderator. Debate among panelists (with very different opinions) is welcome and time should be built in to accommodate audience Q&A. No more than 5 people, including a moderator may participate. To be considered, panels must include all confirmed panelists in the proposal. When building the submission, please consider diversity of voice and experience.
 
A very limited number of panels will be accepted.

How do I choose a session format?

60-minute lectures tend to be case studies or inspirational, high-level, detail-oriented talks. 30-minute lectures tend to cover a single, narrow topic in depth. Panels tend to examine a controversial or difficult topic with no easy answers and lots of interesting, diverse talking points; panels are always 60-minutes, which is enough time for about eight planned questions. In all cases, expect to leave a few minutes at the end for Q&A.

Also consider who is speaking. Most lectures are given by a single person, unless there is a compelling reason that requires multiple speakers. Panels generally have a moderator and three or four panelists with unique experience or viewpoints who are known experts on the topic.

How does the submission and selection process work?

  • We will email you a confirmation when we receive your proposal. If you do not receive this confirmation, contact Ashley Corrigan.
  • Save the link to your proposal, you can revise your submission details until the deadline.
  • The advisors will review all submissions in the coming months and determine the status.
  • GDC conference managers will notify you of the status of your submission by late November.

The following criteria are considered when reviewing your submission:

  • Concept: This is the basic idea of your submission. Is it interesting? Is it relevant? Will it be beneficial for game developers to hear? There is plenty of room for innovative ideas and also the tried and true.
  • Depth: Is the basic idea well considered and thought out? To what extent will the audience gain insight? The more in-depth, the better.
  • Organization: Are your ideas conducive to present in front of an audience? Will the Game Career Seminar Advisors understand what you are trying to say? Organization helps.
  • Credentials: How do your credentials qualify you to speak on the topic you've proposed?
  • Takeaway: Is the attendee going to leave this session knowing something they didn't know when they walked in? Are they learning or being inspired? This is the most important aspect of every Game Career Seminar session. Submissions will be rated on a one to five scale by each of the reviewers and the resulting scores are averaged. Submissions in each category with the highest scores are considered first. If there is too much topic overlap, a lesser scoring submission may be selected to keep variety in the program.
  • A Note On Writing Style: Unless we've seen you speak before (or you link to a video of you speaking at some other conference), we tend to assume that your writing style is at least somewhat correlated to your speaking style because that's all we have to go on. Write the way that you would speak at GDC.

Who will review my proposal?

Game Career Seminar is programmed by GDC staff and the Gamasutra editorial team.

If I submit to Game Career Seminar, can I submit to Core Concepts, Summits and/or VRDC too?

Yes. There is no penalty for submitting a proposal for the GDC Core Concepts, Summits and/or VRDC, however, should you submit the same topic more than once, keep your audience in mind and adjust similar content as you deem appropriate. Each program has its own advisors and will be reviewed separately.

What are the benefits of speaking?

The benefits of being a speaker include:

  • Complimentary registration
  • Access to all Core Concepts sessions, VRDC, GDC Summits, the Game Career Seminar, and the Expo floor
  • Speaker meal card for the Moscone Center
  • Invitation to our annual VIP networking event, the Level99 Speaker Party
  • Your name and presentation featured in our conference program and website
  • A year subscription to the GDC Vault (recordings of all GDC events, past, and present)

How do I propose a vendor-specific session?

We want our talks to be opportunities for professional game developers to share their ideas and experiences. Proposals that are commercial or marketing in nature will not be considered. In general, content specific to proprietary products and technologies are considered sponsored material. The Game Career Seminar Advisors and conference management reserve the right to exercise their editorial discretion. If you would like to publicize a product, please contact sales for information on exhibiting and sponsor opportunities, including sponsored sessions.

 

What does GDC expect from speakers?

When you agree to speak at GDC, you are making a commitment to deliver a well-prepared talk and to speak on the topic you have proposed. We ask that you do not drastically change the submitted topic or content. 

You will be evaluated by attendees on how well you delivered your presentation, aim to be among the top 50 presenters. 

We ask speakers to submit the final version of their presentation to be made available on the GDC Vault, so we can make it available online.
 

When will I be notified of the status of my submission?

You will receive an automated email response once your submission is received. We will notify you of the status of your submission by late-November. If you do not hear from us, please contact Ashley Corrigan.

How should a PR Rep or Executive Assistant submit on behalf of a potential speaker?

First, it is ideal for the speakers themselves to submit as they can provide the most detail about the content. However, if you are a PR representative or someone submitting on behalf of a potential speaker, fill in the speaker's contact info in the first section and also list the speaker's information in the speaker profile section, but be sure to add yourself as the 'PR contact' associated with the speaker profile(s). This will insure that you receive all email correspondence relating to GDC in the same email as the speaker(s). Without complete speaker details, the submission will be considered incomplete and will not be able to advance until speaker contact info is received.

Who should I contact with additional questions?

Please contact Ashley Corrigan with any additional questions.

 

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