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GDC Online Announces First Sessions, 'Live' Track Specifics

Organizers of GDC Online (formerly GDC Austin) have announced the first set of lectures for this October's pre-eminent conference related to online games, including a 'Live' track featuring Sony Online, Wizard101 and IMVU speakers.

The Austin, Texas-based GDC Online conference and expo is keenly focused on development of connected games including social network titles, free-to-play web games, kid-friendly online titles, large-scale MMOs, and more, with a leading advisory board guiding the evaluation and choice of lectures.

While there are already over 25 confirmed lectures across the entire event, organizers are focusing on the 'Live' track, which discusses the vital topic of successful strategies for online games post-launch.

The rise of swiftly iterated social games and microtransactions have led to a wide array of new techniques and technologies that can help increase fun, profitability and retention, and the 'Live' track will deal with many of these.

Some of the highlights of the GDC Online 'Live' track, as announced thus far, include:

- In 'From Shadowbane to Wizard101: Strategies for Expanding Player Communities and Sustaining Enthusiasm After Launch', J. Todd Coleman & Josef Hall of KingsIsle Entertainment will reference their 10 million registered-user online game and previous experience, identifying "sustaining community that transcend genre and generation, the importance of always having new content in queue, and strategies for communicating milestones and methods for remaining engaged in public conversation."

- 'Surviving Social Media: Advice From The SOE Playbook' sees Sony Online Entertainment's Linda Carlson discussing how the Free Realms and upcoming DC Universe Online creators "identify the best outlets for ROI, implement efficiencies in time and money, involve all departments for the common good, craft audience-specific messaging, proven strategies to engage and motivate fans, manage multiple games in social media, maintain brand strength" -- with "plenty of war stories and scars to prove points!"

- IMVU's Brett Durrett will present 'Building A Successful Business After Launch through Rapid Iteration', showing how, by "creating systems that utilize A/B testing, instant customer metrics and a sophisticated deployment process IMVU is able to shorten the iteration loop and deploy new software to production up to 50 times per day" - leading to an avatar-heavy online environment with over 100 million registered users.

In addition to the main conference content, GDC Online will present specialized Summit programs, with in-depth business and technical advice on major up-and-coming facets of the game industry, including 3D stereoscopic games and iPad development.

The event is also hosting the first ever Game Developers Choice Online Awards -- honoring the accomplishments of the sometimes overlooked creators and operators of persistent online video games -- from large-scale MMOs through free-to-play titles to social network games.

GDC Online will take place October 5-8, 2010 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. To learn more about the newly announced lectures across all tracks for GDC Online, for which registration is now open, please visit the official GDC Online website.

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