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GDC 2011 Debuts Initial, Wide-Ranging Summit Line-Up

Organizers of the 2011 Game Developers Conference have announced initial line-ups for major Summits at the 25th edition of the industry's leading digital entertainment event next February.

Held alongside the GDC tutorials on Monday, February 28th and Tuesday, March 1st in San Francisco, a large range of key one- and two-day Summits will kick off GDC week with innovative and informative programs led by industry experts -- including notables from Zynga, Area/Code, Google, Klei Entertainment, MIT, and more.

As the overall session list for GDC 2011 continues to grow, organizers are highlighting the top initial talks for the seven Summits, including the expanded Social & Online Games Summit, the new Smartphone Summit, and the long-running Independent Games Summit -- all open to GDC 2011 pass-holders with a Summits & Tutorials or All Access Pass.

Newly announced GDC 2011 summit sessions of particular note include ones from the following Summits:

- The Social and Online Games Summit is expanding even further for 2011 after a blockbuster 2010 Summit, with initial technical-specific highlights including 'Social Speed: Improving Flash Performance for Social Games' from Zynga director of engineering Amitt Mahajan, centering on the different approaches studios can take to making their social games both "load and run fast."

The full lecture list to date for the Summit includes 'Business', 'Essentials', 'Tech' and 'Vision' themed mini-tracks, and spans everything from Playdom's Peter Fishman on 'Behavioral Economics and Social Games' through Spry Fox's provocative Daniel Cook on 'How to Survive the Inevitable Enslavement of Developers by Facebook'.

- The freshly formed GDC Smartphone Summit has a host of sessions for the fast-emerging smartphone game platforms, including Chris Pruett of Google Japan presenting 'Replica Island: Building a Successful Android Game,' discussing "concrete lessons about Android software design and phone-oriented game design" through his self-created, popular title.

The rest of the schedule thus far announced for the Summit includes leading mobile developers, spanning Smule's Ge Wang on 'Tapping Into Innovation Strategies for Developing Successful Apps' through NewToy/Zynga With Friends' Vijay Thakkar on 'Changing the Way We Make Games: Lessons Learned in the Transition from AAA to Mobile Development'.

- The always popular Independent Games Summit includes newly announced lectures such as 'The Journey to Creating Shank,' in which Klei Entertainment CEO Jamie Cheng (formerly of Relic Entertainment) will share in detail his path of trials and tribulations in making the original, self-funded PSN/XBLA game.

Also newly revealed in the IGS 2011 talk schedule are 'Living with Drop7: A Long Tail Postmortem', revealing "how Area/Code teamed with minimalist game designer Andy Nealen of Osmos to bring Drop7's sequel to life", as well as Wolfire's John Graham on the Humble Indie Bundle, discussing the promotion that raised $1.3 million for indie developers and charity in just 11 days.

- The Serious Games Summit focuses on health & healthcare in the first day, and the rising trend of "gamification" on the second day, with the line-up including first-day talks such as 'Video Game Play as Nightmare Protection' and second-day talks including 'Hyperlocal Game Design: Connecting Social Currency to Real World Currency'.

Other notable Summits include the Localization Summit, which debuts 'Game Markets in the Middle East: Opportunities and Challenges" with Mahmoud Ali Khasawneh of Quirkat and Oded Sharon of Corbomite Games, plus the GDC Education Summit, which features 'Building and Growing a Game Lab', including speakers from the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab and the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

As it enters its historical 25th edition, Game Developers Conference continues to deliver key insight and inspiration into market innovations, new technologies, and practices to game creators - and over the next several weeks, organizers will be releasing a host of additional GDC 2011 Summit, Tutorial, and Main Conference content announcements.

Game Developers Conference 2011 will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from February 28th to March 4th, and registration is now open. For more information on all aspects of the show, visit the official GDC 2011 website.


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