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GDC 2014 Summit microtalks feature big ideas in bite-sized chunks

GDC 2014 Summit microtalks feature big ideas in bite-sized chunks

February 18, 2014 | By GDC Staff

Game Developers Conference 2014 organizers are highlighting a few of the perennially popular Summit microtalks today for the upcoming March conference.

These rapid-fire roundtable presentations are part of the GDC Summit programming that will take place Monday, March 17 and Tuesday, March 18 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA during the first two days of GDC 2014.

Five of the eight Summits are represented in today’s session highlights, including the Education Summit, the Localization Summit, the Free to Play Design & Business Summit, the AI Summit, and the Independent Games Summit.

One of the most popular sessions in the Independent Games Summit is often the Indie Soapbox, in which ten speakers take the stage one after another to present a six-minute microtalk about an issue they’re passionate about that affects indie development. The speaker lineup typically features a diverse array of industry professionals, and this year is no exception: the Indie Soapbox at GDC 2014 will feature microtalks from Robin Hunicke, Leigh Alexander, Zoe Quinn, Ryan Clark, Shawn Alexander Allen, and more. Attendees are encouraged to come to this presentation ready to hear some fresh ideas from disparate voices.

Also, don’t miss the GDC 2014 edition of Game Educators Rant, an Education Summit microtalk that affords its speakers the opportunity to speak frankly -- and quickly -- about their feelings on the state of game development education and the future of games academia. This year GDC organizers are proud to welcome veteran educators from the NYU Game Center, Georgia Tech, the UC Santa Cruz Center for Games and Playable Media, and more to take part in the annual rant session.

Returning for the third time at the Localization Summit, Localization Microtalks: Globetrotting in the Fast Lane will offer attendees a diverse look at a variety of topics pertaining to current issues in game localization in a quick, microtalk format. Session organizers suggest that anyone seeking to gain insights across a broad range of localization topics would be well-served by attending this session, as the microtalk topics will include things like basic localization tips for indie developers, a guide to using the open-source localization framework FireTongue in your game, and the story of how The Fullbright Company crowdsourced the localization of Gone Home from co-creator Johnnemann Nordhagen.

Not to be left out, the AI Summit will play host to Turing Tantrums: AI Devs Rant! It's a microtalk-style rant session with nine speakers culled from some of the most interesting AI teams in game development, including Blizzard's Brian Schwab, Maxis' Rez Graham, and Lockheed Martin's Kevin Dill. Attendees can expect to hear quick, to-the-point tirades about what's on the minds of cutting-edge AI developers working across multiple sectors of the industry.

Finally, those attending the Free to Play Design & Business Summit at GDC 2014 are encouraged to check out Microtalks: Retention Tips for Free-to-Play Genres. Session attendees can expect to hear useful, genre-specific retentions tips for free-to-play games from speakers like Raph Koster, Disney Interactive’s Tamir Nadav, Ubisoft Blue Byte’s Teut Weidemann, and more. Their brief microtalks will offer tips for building compelling free-to-play social casino games, builder games, hidden object games, card battle games, RPGs, word games, and even shooters.

For more information on these or others in the show's growing lineup, check out GDC 2014's official Schedule Builder, which continues to add new talks every week. GDC 2014 itself will take place March 17-21 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

For more information on GDC 2014, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

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