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2009 GDC Austin Reveals Writers Summit Line-Up
2009 GDC Austin Reveals Writers Summit Line-Up
August 4, 2009 | By Staff

August 4, 2009 | By Staff
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Organizers of this September's Game Writers Summit at GDC Austin have revealed the full session line-up, including Valve's writers teaming up to discuss Portal and Half-Life 2, and the notable writers behind Overlord, Deus Ex 3 and more.

Full information about the September 15th-16th Summit, a separate part of the wider, 'connected game'-focused Austin-based event, is available on the GDC Austin website.

The two-day Writers Summit is dedicated to the art and craft of game writing, game narrative and interactive storytelling, and, as the developer-led advisory board explains: "This is the premier event in the world for discourse on, and learning about, the subject of video game writing."

Details on the Game Writers Summit at GDC Austin (run by Think Services, as is Gamasutra) include specifics on the first lectures and panels for the long-running GDC Austin standout event, and the highlights include:

- A special panel called 'Having Your Cake and Eating It Too: A Conversation with the Writers of Valve' brings together for the first time three of the Half-Life, Left 4 Dead and Portal creator's writers – Marc Laidlaw, Erik Wolpaw and Chet Faliszek. They "will take the stage together to discuss the process that has made Valve games a gold standard of writing in games."

- In 'What’s a Writer to Do? Redefining Our Role in Crafting Player Driven Narratives', Mary Le Merle, who is lead writer on Eidos Montreal's upcoming Deus Ex 3, discusses whether we will ever "succeed in engrossing players in rich, story-driven narratives, while simultaneously allowing them to define their own paths -- and their own stories" -- a particularly relevant issue for the update of Warren Spector's cyberpunk title.

- Presenting a pertinent lecture to GDC Austin's main online-centric content, ZeniMax Online's Tracy Seamster and 38 Studios' Steve Danuser discuss 'Writing for MMOs: You're Doing It Wrong', explaining of the genre: "Rather than thinking of our job as 'writing for MMOs,' we should consider ourselves MMO storytellers."

- In the panel 'Clash Of The Titans: Debating Gameplay vs. Story', major game writing notables including Chris Avellone (Fallout 2, Alpha Protocol), Rhianna Pratchett (Overlord series, Heavenly Sword), Christian Allen (Ghost Recon), and Andrew Walsh (Prince of Persia, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) discuss conflicts between gameplay and storytelling, and how to resolve them.

- In 'Thinking Inside the Box: Finding Creative Space in Your Franchise', Red Storm's Jay Posey discusses why "finding ways to bring fresh and innovative ideas to [existing major franchises] can be a challenge for developers of all stripes, but writers in particular may be especially daunted by the sometimes rigorous constraints imposed by legacy titles."

Other Summits taking place at GDC Austin this year -- also available to access for those with an Austin GDC Summits Pass or All-Access Pass -- include brand-new Independent Games and iPhone Game Summits and the noted, long-running Audio Summit.

Further information on 2009's Game Writers Summit at GDC Austin, including registration details and other specifics, is available at the official Summit website. Early Bird registration for the event, which brings significant savings with it, ends on August 13th.


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