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APB Lessons, Habbo, Cow Clicker Talks Added To GDC Online

Organizers of this October's GDC Online (formerly GDC Austin) are rolling out more major new talks, including ex-Realtime Worlds exec Joshua Howard on 'self-inflicted wounds' in game creation, Sulka Haro on the $500 million Habbo Hotel economy, and Ian Bogost on his satirical Facebook title Cow Clicker.

The Austin, Texas based GDC Online conference is focused on the development of online games, including free-to-play titles, social network games, and traditional MMOs, with a veteran online game industry advisory board evaluating and selecting the lectures.

There are already more than 80 panels, lectures and tutorials currently scheduled for the October 5th-8th event -- and following the announcement of a keynote from Civilization II designer and now Zynga chief game designer Brian Reynolds (FrontierVille), a number of other notable talks are debuting:

Some of the newly announced highlights from notable sessions across the GDC Online Main Conference, which takes place from Wednesday October 6th to Friday October 8th, and for which 'early registration' passes are only available until Wednesday, are:

- In 'Self-Inflicted Wounds: When We Are Our Own Worst Enemy', U.S.-based ex-Realtime Worlds executive producer Joshua Howard (APB) will discuss "common management and organizational failures that leaders talk themselves into accepting, which almost always end up impacting a game's success." Along the way, the former Carbonated Games exec "will provide techniques that anyone can use if they find themselves on a project that has already made one of these mistakes."

- The lecture 'From $0 To $500 Million A Year - The Evolution Of Habbo's Virtual Economy' sees Sulake's lead designer Sulka Haro discuss ten years of microtransactions in the company's online world Habbo Hotel. The online world for teenagers has more than 15 million monthly users, and collected more than $60 million in revenue in 2009, primarily from micropayments, as the amount of value traded in the economy is now over $500 million a year. The talk "examines how Habbo's economic system has evolved, including learnings from the recent addition of taxation into the economic structure of the game."

- Satirical Facebook game Cow Clicker has created a stir in recent months, and its creator, game designer writer and academic Ian Bogost is giving a lecture called 'Making A Mockery: Ruminations On Cow Clicker'. In it, he explains that the title "has enjoyed surprising success among players, developers, and the general public." As a result, the session covers the creation and reception of Cow Clicker, "as well as the lessons it invites us to chew on."

These lectures join recently announced talks from Relic, Sony Online, Carbine, KingsIsle, IMVU, Disney, Playdom, BioWare Austin, Hangout Industries, Broken Bulb Studios, CCP, Gaia Online, Playfish, InstantAction, Ubisoft and a host of other notable companies at the leading worldwide online game-specific conference.

GDC Online is operated by the UBM TechWeb Game Network, as is this website, and will take place October 5-8, 2010 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. To learn more about lectures across all tracks and summits for the event, for which reduced-rated registration is open until September 1st, please visit the GDC Online's official website.

GDC Online

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