GDC Austin 2009 to Feature Speaker Roster Made Up of Veterans and Pioneers of Connected Games

    Attendees to Have Access to Key Learnings and Wisdom from Respected
    Leaders of the Virtual World, Online Social Network and MMO Communities

    Early Registration Discounts End August 13th


    SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 11 /CNW/ -- The Game Developers Conference Austin
(GDC Austin) will focus on the online gaming space with a suite of speakers
from BioWare Austin, Sony Online Entertainment, Cartoon Network and many other
influential players in the world of connected games.  GDC Austin will host
three days of content centered around the evolution of online gaming, the
growing importance of social networking platforms for building and promoting
successful titles, and the burgeoning business opportunities on the horizon. 
Presented by Think Services, GDC Austin also includes four two-day summits -
the Game Writers, Game Audio, iPhone Games and Independent Games Summits.  The
event takes place at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas September
15-18, 2009.  Conference goers wanting to take advantage of early registration
discounts should register online by August 13.

    Among the many notable sessions taking place at GDC Austin are BioWare
technical director Bill Dalton's talk on the complexities and struggles of
developing massively multiplayer online (MMO) titles and Cartoon Network's
Richard Weil's session on the financial complications of online games for
younger children.  Other topics include viral growth tactics, best practices
for creating sticky game designs, harnessing community feedback to improve
game design, micro-transaction security, and developing recognizable IP that
appeals to all generations of gamers.


    Featured speakers include:


    -- Craig Alexander , VP, Product Development, Turbine
       MMOs to Consoles - Challenges, Opportunities and Emerging Trends

    -- Brandon Barber, VP Marketing, Zynga
       What Are The Stickiest Design Models and How Are They Monetized?

    -- Bill Dalton, Technical Director, BioWare Austin
       Come and See the Elephant - Challenges Encountered Growing an MMO

    -- Raph Koster, President, Metaplace
       Games are Math: 10 Core Mechanics That Drive Compelling Gameplay

    -- Jeffrey Kesselman, Chief Technology Officer, Rebel Monkey
       The Monkey Wrench: Design and Architecture of an Online Environment

    -- Jesse Schell, Faculty, ETC Carnegie Mellon, CEO, Schell Games
       Laralyn McWilliams, Creative Director, Sony Online Entertainment
       Matthew Schwartz, Senior Designer, Cartoon Network
       Reaching A New Demographic: Kids AND Their Parents

    -- Craig Sherman, CEO, Gaia Online
       Next Phase of Casual Games: How to Make the Free-To-Play Model Work
       for You

    -- Richard Weil, Director of Community Relations, Cartoon Network
       Rebecca Newton, Head of Safety,
       Kids and Gaming -- One Year Later. Still Keeping up with your ABCs?

    "One of the unique challenges of GDC Austin is staying ahead of the next
trend in the ever changing online gaming space. We have seen the industry
expand and morph from MMOs to virtual worlds to online social networked
free-to-play casual MMOs," says Izora De Lillard, event director at Think
Services Game Group. "This September, we are proud to present a program
focused on the lessons you need to harness current opportunities and the
inspiration to develop the next breakthrough."

    Learn more about the complete listing of speakers and sessions for GDC
Austin 2009 at

    About the Think Services Game Group
    A core provider of essential information to the professional game
industry, the Think Services Game Group offers market-defining content, and
drives community through its award winning lineup of print, online, event and
research products and services. These include Game Developer Magazine, Game
Developer Research, the Webby Award-winning,, and other Gamasutra Network websites,
the Game Developers Conference , the Game Developers Conference  Austin, the
Game Developers Conference  Europe, the Game Developers Conference  China, the
Game Developers Conference  Canada, GDC Mobile, the Game Career Seminars, the
Independent Games Festival and Summit, and the Game Developers Choice Awards. 
To learn more, visit

    About Think Services, a division of United Business Media
    Think Services connects specialized communities worldwide using
educational events, consulting, training, certification, membership, and
innovative media. Providing comprehensive opportunities for people to learn
from, network with, and inspire each other, Think Services builds strong
brands and works within communities to foster a unique affinity with its
products and services. The division's flagship products include the Game
Developers Conference, the Webby Award-winning, Game Developer
magazine, the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), and HDI. 
Think Services is a subsidiary of United Business Media, a global media and
marketing services company with a market capitalization of more than $1.6
billion.   To learn more, visit


    Contact: Brian Rubin / Teresa Tyndorf
             fortyseven communications
             212.391.4707 / 323.658.1200

             Ahmad White
             Think Services Game Group


For further information:

For further information: Brian Rubin, +1-212-391-4707,, or Teresa Tyndorf, +1-323-658-1200,, both of fortyseven communications for Think Services
Game Group; or Ahmad White of Think Services Game Group, +1-415-947-6207,, Web Site:,

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