Last year, Austin's GDC Online floored its final show -- but its focus on cutting-edge sessions for developing Internet-connected games lives on in GDC Next, the 'spiritual successor' show which takes place in Los Angeles from November 5th-7th.
GDC Next will feature sessions from previous GDC Online favorite topics and speakers on F2P lessons from Neverwinter and Diner Dash, cloud gaming and crowdfunding with Star Citizen, microtransactions and subscriptions from Playdom, new user experience and retention from KIXEYE and Workshop Entertainment, and more.
GDC Next will take place alongside the App Developers Conference on November 5th-7th, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The new event aims to highlight the future of video game development, with session tracks organized around 'Next Generation Game Platforms', 'Free To Play & New Business Models', and 'Smartphone & Tablet Games', as well as cloud and indie game tracks.
Previous GDC Online attendees may be particularly interested in these highlighted talks:
D&D Neverwinter developer Cryptic Studios CEO Jack Emmert will discuss how their free-to-play MMO games balance business needs against game balance, and avoid turning off players with paywalls, in 'How to Avoid Pay-to-Win with F2P.'
PlayFirst senior creative director Tom Hall will review the creative process behind the reboot of Diner Dash and their data-driven results of combining game design and business in 'Designing Games for Fun and Profit: A Diner Dash Rush Retrospective.'
Cloud Imperium Games CCO Chris Roberts will explain how he grows Star Citizen's supporter community -- and how that enabled them to raise more money than any other crowdfunded game and build a large player base for its universe in 'Star Citizen: Going Beyond Crowdfunding.'
RPG.net owner Christopher Allen will highlight mechanics from popular tabletop games that can encourage, support, and even limit cooperation in 'Collaborative Gaming: Tabletop Lessons for Online Games.'
PS4 and Xbox One developer The Workshop Entertainment design director Laralyn McWilliams will aruge to move beyond the numbers to better understand how emotions drive player decisions, and the effect these emotions have on long- and short-term business goals in 'Metrics Aren't the Message: It's About Happy Players.'
Shufflebrain CEO Amy Jo Kim will look at disruptive trends and design rules from successful online co-op games such as Minecraft, Journey, Portal 2, Team Fortress 2 and Left4Dead 2 in the talk 'Co-op First: 10 Rules for Designing Successful Non-Zero-Sum Games.'
Playdom, Disney Interactive senior producer Arnab Basu will dig into feature design considerations and details behind the 'Inner Circle' subscription offered in its first hit hidden object game on Facebook in 'The Odd Couple: Marrying Microtransactions and Subscriptions in Gardens of Time.'
KIXEYE senior director of consumer insights Seran Chen will provide key analytics and best practices towards building an engaging new user experience that increases retention and monetization in 'The Sticky Science of New User Experiences.'
Finally, veteran designer Raph Koster (Ultima Online) will offer a titled talk 'Playing with "Game",' with a craft-centric approach to address: "What do we make, who do we make it for, and how can we best make what we want?" He will present a framework for thinking about varied types of interactive experiences, and the four types of problems that make for compelling play, along with practical design checklists and techniques for different kinds of game experiences.
Be sure to check out the GDC Next Session Scheduler to see the other announced talks and begin your planning. Previously announced talks include Raph Koster on the expanding definition and audience of games, Ouya's Julie Uhrman on 'Why Now Is the Best Time Ever to Be a Game Developer,' and Three Donkeys's Skaff Elias (a key figure in the creation of Magic: The Gathering) on tweaking luck and skill in game design.
Online registration is in full swing for GDC Next and the co-located ADC; register now and save up to $200 on ADC, GDC Next, or a combined VIP All Access Pass. For all the latest news on GDC Next, subscribe for updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS. Also, check out ADC's recently announced talks: Trulia's case study on developing a real estate app for Google Glass, and Mirada special projects head Andrew Merkin on dissecting transmedia business models.