2012 Game Developers Conference Opens Today at San Francisco's Moscone Center

26th Edition of the World's Largest Professionals-Only Game Industry Event Features New Flash Forward Session, Return of Classic Games Postmortems and Introduces GDC PLAY

Mar 5, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, March 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2012 Game Developers Conference® (GDC 2012), the world's largest and longest running event serving professionals dedicated to the art and science of making games begins today and will run through Friday, March 9 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. The premiere conference for game development professionals worldwide, GDC offers attendees a consummate forum to network, share information and uncover new insights and learning opportunities as they look towards the future of interactive entertainment.  

GDC 2012 consists of five days of sessions and activities comprised of a variety of lectures, panels, tutorials, roundtable discussions, workshops, the Independent Games Festival (IGF) and Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCAs) ceremonies and the most comprehensive expo floor of its kind. A full lineup of educational summits that focus on the changing industry landscape and emerging trends will run the first two days of the conference, Monday, March 5 and Tuesday, March 6; these include the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Summit, the Game IT Summit, the Localization Summit, the GDC Educational Summit, Independent Games Summit, the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, the Social & Online Games Summit and the new for 2012 Games for Change @ GDC Summit, which supports the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts.

This year, GDC will introduce Flash Forward, which kicks off the Main Conference portion of the event at 9am on Wednesday, March 7. Promising to be a unique, exciting, can't miss kick-off, Flash Forward will give each main conference speaker the opportunity to grab attendees' attention by taking the stage for just sixty seconds to give a brief overview of their session. Flash Forward attendees will have the opportunity to hear first-hand what will be discussed in sessions taking place Wednesday through Friday and decide which talks best suit their interests. GDC 2012 will also introduce a new format for its keynote sessions for 2012: instead of one central, main conference keynote, the conference will feature six Track Keynotes headlined by industry notables like Zynga COO John Schappert, Plants Vs. Zombies creator George Fan, Bungie lead engineer and favorite GDC speaker Brian Sharp and more. 

Returning for 2012 is the popular Classic Games Postmortem series, which aims to examine the benchmark games that have long served as inspiration to the development community. The original editions of seminal games Alone in the Dark with designer Frederick Raynal, Fallout with producer, lead programmer and designer Tim Cain, Gauntlet with creator Ed Logg and Harvest Moon with producer and co-designer Yasuhiro Wada will all be deconstructed during this year's series.

In keeping with the spirit of discovery at the conference, GDC Play will debut this year as a unique opportunity for emerging developers to showcase their games to fellow GDC attendees. Inspired by the success of the IGF Pavilion at GDC, this new business initiative features special Pavilions themed around emerging game markets. GDC Play connects game creators and their games with key distributors, publishers, press and investors visiting the conference.

"The GDC has long served as a platform for innovation and exploration within our community and we are proud to say that as we head into our 26th edition of the event, we continue to uphold those principles," says Meggan Scavio, general manager of the Game Developers Conference. "With the addition of Flash Forward, GDC Play and our new Track Keynotes format, and the efforts we've put into enhancing our returning content, we continue to emphasize how important it is to evolve and introduce fresh ideas. We are on the cusp of a brand new era in digital entertainment and it has never been more crucial for the industry to come together and exchange ideas at a forum like the one GDC has provided for more than two decades."

All of this, in addition to the 14th annual Independent Games Festival Awards and the 12th annual Game Developers Choice Awards taking place on Wednesday, March 7, serves to round out what is sure to be a dynamic 2012 event. Featuring more than 400 lectures, panels, tutorials and roundtable discussions on a comprehensive selection of game development topics taught by leading industry experts. In addition, the event also features an Expo and Career Pavilion, Business Center, the Game Career Seminar and more.

For more information about GDC 2012, as well as the comprehensive GDC schedule builder, please visit www.gdconf.com.

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