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GDC Europe 2012 details the top sessions for next week's show

It's been many months in the making, but GDC Europe 2012 is starting this coming Monday in Cologne, Germany, and will feature a slew of exciting, must-see sessions for the European game development community.

Over the past several months, GDC organizers have announced major keynotes, panels, and presentations from the best and brightest in the game industry, and with so many talks lined up, this year's GDC Europe promises to be the most robust and varied yet.

And even though we're just days away from the event, GDC organizers are highlighting two recent additions to the show's lineup:

- The first talk comes from independent developers Martin Jonasson (Jesus vs. Dinosaurs) and Petri Purho (Crayon Physics), who will demonstrate some tricks that can help make your games more interesting to play. During the Independent Games Summit session closing out the show on Wednesday, the pair will spruce up a game live on stage, showing attendees exactly how these tips can benefit or enhance game design.

- In addition, Harald Riegler, CEO of the Australian studio Sproing (Silent Hunter Online, Panzer Tactics DS) will discuss the importance of company culture in his Business Track talk, offering tips on handling leadership, managing team dynamics, and creating a studio that works effectively as a single unit.

Of course, these new sessions are just two of the more recent additions to GDC Europe's extensive lineup. Here are some of the other notable talks to be held at next week's show:

Business, Marketing and Management Track

- Track Keynote: World of Free-to-Play - AAA by (Victor Kislyi,
- Leveling Up Your AAA Game - BioWare's Post Release Content Insights (Fernando Melo, Bioware)
- Financing Options for Smaller Games (Nicholas Lovell, GAMESbrief; Patrick O'Luanaiagh, nDreams; Ciaran O'Leary, Earlybird; Jonathan Newth, Tenshi Ventures)

Production Track

- Passion for Entertainment: 10 years of Battlefield/20 Years of DICE (Karl Magnus Troedsson, DICE)
- Mafia II Postmortem (Jarek Kolar, 2K Czech)
- The Long Journey (Robin Hunicke, formerly of thatgamecompany)

Game Design Track

- Track Keynote: Assassin's Creed: Maintaining Momentum on a Blockbuster Franchise (Alex Hutchinson, Ubisoft Montreal)
- Ambiguity and Abstraction in Game Writing: Lessons from Dear Esther (Dan Pinchbeck, thechineseroom)
- Classic Postmortem: GoldenEye 007 (Martin Hollis, Zoomani)

Programming Track

- Track Keynote: Bringing AAA Graphics to Mobile Platforms (Niklas Smedberg, Epic Games)
- Love Engine Postmortem: Lean and Mean C Engine Design (Eskil Steenberg, Independent)
- Crowds in Hitman: Absolution (Kasper Fauerby, IO Interactive)
- Cheaters, Hackers, Script Kiddies -- The Dark Side of Online Games (Stephan Payer, CipSoft GmbH)

Visual Arts Track

- You Want How Many Animations When? Getting Large Amounts of High Quality Animation Quickly (Floyd Bishop, Sony Online Entertainment)
- Concept Art Learnings From Game Of Thrones To... Games! (Tobias Mannewitz, Karakter)

For more information of these or any other sessions, be sure to check out the show's official Schedule Builder.

In addition to these sessions, GDC Europe 2012 provides opportunities for networking, creative exchange and business development, with venues including the GDC Europe Expo Floor, and VIP Lounge, plus a host of industry parties and events.

For instance, major tech and game company Crytek is sponsoring the "GDC Night," open to all GDC Europe 2012 attendees, where game creators can relax, chat, and meet up with developers from all around the world. It'll be a great chance to network with some of the biggest players in the European game development community.

While online registration for GDC Europe is now closed, those interested in attending can still purchase their passes on-site starting August 12. The show itself will take place Monday through Wednesday, August 13-15, 2012 at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany, immediately preceding the major Gamescom trade show, which starts on August 15th.

For more information on GDC Europe, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

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