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GDC Online debuts Age of Empires Online, community management talks

With GDC Online's final event in Austin less than a month away, show organizers have revealed a handful of new talks in the show's Customer Experience track, spanning a presentation on Microsoft's Age of Empires Online, a panel on modern community management, and more.

These talks all fall within GDC Online's Customer Experience track, which will feature numerous sessions to help developers better attract, retain, and monetize their players. Like the rest of GDC Online, these sessions will take place Tuesday, October 9 to Thursday, October 11 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

The full details on these new Customer Experience track sessions are as follows:

- First, Microsoft executive producer Kevin Perry will discuss the importance of transparent community management in "Age of Empires Online: Radical Transparency Clearly Works." Age of Empires Online had an extremely rough launch when it debuted in 2011, and as developers worked to fix its issues, the community team made sure to keep fans in the loop by giving them frequent updates about the game's process. During this talk, Perry will discuss how this open approach benefitted the game, and drastically changed the mood and behavior of the game's once-irate community.

- Elsewhere, former BioWare developer Jason Livingston will outline how he created a strong user support system in "Building a Successful Online Customer Support Program From Scratch." While working at BioWare, Livingston helped craft the customer support solution behind Star Wars: The Old Republic, and in this talk he'll discuss the best practices for building or improving a customer support organization on any budget.

- Finally, GDC Online's Customer Experience track will feature a robust panel titled "Community Relations Management Across the Board," in which speakers from all over the industry will discuss their approach to community management. Featuring speakers such as Meghan Jenks (Rebel Entertainment), Richard Weil (Metaverse Mod Squad), Linda Carlson (Sony Online Entertainment) and Alex Von Minden (Spacetime Studios), this panel will give attendees the change to learn more about how developers are approaching community management across a wide variety of platforms.

These sessions join numerous other previously announced talks for GDC Online, including a classic game postmortem on Meridian 59, a look at how Obsidian crafted the DLC for Fallout: New Vegas, Game Narrative Summit sessions on Halo 4 and Guild Wars 2, and much more. For more information on these or any of the other 100+ talks in the show's lineup, check out GDC Online's official Schedule Builder.

(This is the final GDC Online show in Austin - organizers have announced a successor, Game Developers Conference Next, debuting in Los Angeles in November 2013 alongside the new App Developers Conference.)

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

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