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GDC 2013 sets attendance record, dates for GDC 2014 announced

by: Nathaniel -
More On: GDC 2013
In many cases, I can't imagine anything more boring than an industry-specific convention or conference.  No doubt at some point this year, there will be actual humans at the Urinal Cake Makers convention along with every other job in the world. 

I'm not 100% videogame conferences would be any better.  Yes, you're surrounded by the cutting edge of your chosen field, but you also have to sign up to listen to dry presentations about AI scripting, and the new paradigm encompassed by contextual action inputs. 

Whether that's true or not, it didn't matter to those attending this year's Game Developer's Conference because a record 23,000 industry professionals attended the get-together held in San Francisco's Moscone Center.  It was such a success that They're going back to the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco for GDC 2014, which will run from March 17 until March 21, 2014.

To learn more, follow the jump. 

Industry Professionals from Every Segment of the Community Convened
for more than 500 Sessions, an Expansive Expo Floor,
 the Game Developers Choice and Independent Games Festival Awards and More


SAN FRANCISCO – April 01, 2013 – UBM Tech Game Network's 2013 Game Developers Conference® (GDC), the world's largest and longest-running event serving professionals dedicated to the art and science of making games, welcomed a record 23,000 industry professionals at last week’s conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Organizers have announced that GDC 2014 will return to the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco from Monday, March 17 to Friday, March 21, 2014, with the call for submissions to open this summer.

The 2013 conference kicked off with two days of tutorials and summits focused on specific emerging platforms and topics, including a newly introduced Free to Play Design & Business Summit, the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, and the Independent Games Summit.

Summit highlights included Microsoft senior game designer Richard Rouse III giving a timely Game Narrative Summit lecture titled, “Seven (or So) Techniques for Writing a Moral Game.” In the talk, Rouse detailed the ways that developers can write games with a solid foundation of morality and engagement. In the Free to Play Design & Business Summit, King’s Tommy Palm presented a session titled “Candy Crush Saga Postmortem: Luck in the Right Places” to reveal the company’s new brand identity, two new games and some of the secrets behind creating a mega-successful free-to-play casual game.
The main conference began on Wednesday and included the 10th and final edition of a GDC favorite, the Game Design Challenge, for which this year’s theme was “Humanity’s Last Game.” Independent game designer Jason Rohrer won the competition with his game proposal, A Game for Someone, a board game locked away in a titanium tube and buried in the Nevada Desert.  All attendees of the session were given a unique sheet of paper in an envelope listing 900 different GPS coordinates, with only one coordinate in one of the envelopes revealing the location of the game. Rohrer estimated that if one person visits a GPS location each day with a metal detector, the game would be unearthed within the next million days.
Kojima Productions’ Hideo Kojima revealed and shared first looks for Metal Gear Solid 5 during a talk on the Design/Visual Arts Track, and also confirmed plans for a new development office in Los Angeles. The legendary game developer also provided developers with a first look at a new proprietary project called the FOX engine, and described how the technology will provide a platform for further innovation in the game making process.

Creating safe spaces in the game development for everyone has been a hot industry topic of late and GDC made significant efforts to address criticisms head-on with the all new Advocacy Track.  A highlight of the track was the #1ReasontoBe session, a panel dedicated to creating an open dialogue about what it means to be a woman in the games industry and what actions are necessary to foster more inclusiveness. Other sessions in the track included an examination of the gaming industry as society’s scapegoat and a lecture that encouraged developers to create more diverse characters and character profiles.

Additionally, several exciting hardware details were shown off at this year’s event for platforms and devices including Oculus Rift, PlayJam’s GameStick, Ouya and Sony’s highly anticipated PlayStation 4 next-gen console.

The popular Classic Game Postmortem series returned this year featuring Franz Lanziger, discussing Crystal Castles, Robyn Miller talking about the creation of Myst, Bill Budge lecturing about his inspirational Pinball Construction Set and Julian Gollop talking about the origins of X-COM: UFO Defense. The creators of each game took attendees on a trip behind the scenes of some of the most influential games of the industry’s history.

GDC 2013 hosted the 15th annual Independent Games Festival (IGF) and the 13th annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCAs) on the evening of March 27. Cart Life creator Richard Hofmeier won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize award at the IGF and its associated $30,000 grand prize, as well as the award for Narrative and the Nuovo Award for Innovation. At the Game Developers Choice Awards, thatgamecompany's emotionally-charged Journey won six of the evening's eleven main awards, including Best Audio, Best Game Design, Best Visual Arts, Best Downloadable Game, the Innovation Award, and the coveted Game of the Year Award.

The GDC Expo floor was packed with more than 350 exhibitors, the Independent Games Festival (IGF) Pavilion, a bustling Career Pavilion and Business Center area and the GDC Play showcase.

The UBM Tech Game Network's GDC Vault website (www.gdcvault.com) will offer access to select GDC 2013 material within the next few weeks, including speaker slides, synchronized video and presentations for select sponsor lectures and sponsor-supported videos, as well as a broad range of conference videos. GDC All-Access Pass holders and individual Vault subscribers will get access to hundreds of video sessions from this and previous GDC shows.

“With the game development industry evolving at a faster clip than ever before, we find both the profile of the developer and the types of games represented at GDC also growing to include new and different people and interests,” said Meggan Scavio, general manager of the Game Developers Conference.  "The response we’ve gotten to this year’s event makes us feel confident that the changes we’ve made, such as the introduction of the Advocacy Track and the Free to Play Game Design and Business Summit, have helped evolved the conference to be even more inclusive. We are thrilled to continue to be a place where members of the profession can connect, discuss and showcase, and look forward to continuing the tradition in upcoming events.”

More information on Game Developers Conference 2014, as well as the other GDC events throughout 2013 – including GDC Europe, GDC China and the new, co-located GDC Next and App Developers Conference (ADC) – will be available at www.gdconf.com.
About the UBM Tech Game Network 
A core provider of essential information to the professional game industry, the UBM Tech Game Network offers market-defining content, and drives community through its award winning lineup of print, online, event and research products and services. These include the Game Developers Conference®, the Webby Award-winning Gamasutra.com and network of sites, the Game Advertising Online ad network, the Game Developers Conference® Online, the Game Developers Conference™ Europe, the Game Developers Conference™ China, Game Developer Magazine, the Game Career Seminars and GameCareerGuide.com, the Independent Games Festival and Summit, and the Game Developers Choice Awards. Visit: www.jointhegamenetwork.com
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