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GDC Online 2011 Debuts First Sessions For Game Narrative Summit

GDC Online organizers have revealed the initial lineup for the show's Game Narrative Summit, which features speakers from Eidos on Deus Ex: Human Revolution's branching narrative, Microsoft on creating transmedia giants, MIT on crafting education-based ARGs, and more.

Taking place Monday through Thursday, October 10-13, 2011 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, GDC Online continues as the leading worldwide event to solely discuss the development and business trends surrounding connected games -- including casual titles, MMOs, virtual worlds, and social networking games.

Now in its sixth year, the Game Narrative Summit - formerly the Game Writers Conference - once again returns to GDC Online to showcase leading speakers on the many facets of interactive storytelling, with sessions ranging from roundtable discussions to postmortems and more.

The initial sessions and lectures featured in the two-day Game Narrative Summit currently include the following:

- In "Building the Story-driven Experience of Deus Ex: Human Revolution," Eidos Montreal's lead writer and narrative game designer Mary De Marle will present an in-depth look at the story-building process behind the upcoming Deus Ex title. De Marle will outline how the creative team crafted the game's numerous story branches and player choices, while still maintaining a coherent and satisfying experience.

- Elsewhere, Geoffrey Long, producer of narrative design at Microsoft, will note what it takes to build an IP into a powerhouse franchise in "From Story to Universe: 10 Best Practices for Transmedia Franchise Design." Long will look at franchises outside of games, including Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Star Wars, to explain why these IPs became some of the most popular in the world, and how game developers can build their IP to do the same.

- Also confirmed, Scot Osterweil and Caitlin Feeley -- who work at MIT and the MIT Education Arcade, respectively -- will explain how ARGs can be used to create an exciting learning environment for students. The talk, "Capturing Children's Attention and Imagination with Investigative Play," will outline the ARG Vanished, which was designed to help middle-school students learn about science while they solve a large-scale mystery.

- Independent producer and writer Aaron Linde will offer examples of successful transmedia properties in "The New World: Case Studies in Transmedia Narrative Design." Linde, former Gears Of War community manager at Microsoft, will look at projects surrounding titles such as Portal 2 and Halo: Reach to "explore the potential of engaging players across multiple channels of communication, and why we, as storytellers, must embrace transmedia as an essential component of narrative development."

Augmenting the Narrative Game Summit, GDC Online will also feature a one-day Game Writing Tutorial for beginning writers following the two-day Summit, as well as Summits on Smartphone & Tablet Games and Virtual Items.

For more information on GDC Online as the event takes shape, please visit the official GDC Online website, or subscribe to updates from the new GDC Online-specific news page via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. GDC Online is owned and operated by UBM TechWeb, as is this website.

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