In case you're interested in the goings-on of the Game Developers Conference '08 (being held in San Francisco from 22-28 February), details about the speakers for each of the six summits have been announced. I have this horrible feeling I'm actually going to be in the general vicinity of San Francisco during the conference, but am going to be locked in the libraries of Stanford & Berkeley, which is a shame because some of these summits sound supremely interesting. The summits will be happening over the first two days of the conference, and you can find all sorts of information at the GDF website. There are full details after the jump, via Worlds In Motion.
The Casual Games Summit aims to present a global vision of the key forces driving the sector's growth, with sessions including a discussion with Rebel Monkey's Nick Fortugno and Joju Games' Juan Gril about the key innovations of 2007, "The Year in Casual Game Design," and a talk about the rising variety of markets for casual games with rmbr.com's Gabe Zichermann entitled "The New Demographics of Casual Games."
The IGDA's Education Summit is the only two-track summit, with one track aimed at novice educators just entering the game education genre, the second for more experienced educators looking for additional teaching tools. The summit features keynotes by the International Hobo Design Group's Ernest Adams and by Persuasive Games' Ian Bogost.
The Independent Games Summit aims to help all independent developers think about the critical needs for launching and marketing a game from game design to distribution methods to guerilla marketing concepts. Sessions include a sit-down with 2007 IGF Grand Prize winners Bit Blot (Alec Holowka and Derek Yu) discussing the development of their award-winning Aquaria, and a postmortem with Q Games' Dylan Cuthbert on the PixelJunk series for the PlayStation 3.
The returning Serious Games Summit continues to lead the dialogue for the rapidly-growing sector that features use of interactive games technology for non-entertainment purposes. One highlight of this year's summit finds Ben Sawyer of DigitalMill and Peter Smith of the University of Florida presenting "Serious Games Taxonomy," aiming to develop a stronger definition of the entire field of serious games, including categorization and specific labelling within the large gamut of activity. Another session highlight spotlights Robert J. Stone of Human Factors Integration Defense Technology Center, Stephane de Buttet of Agence RhÃ´ne-Alpes NumÃ©rique - Lyon Game, and Jim Parker from University of Calgary/CPSC presenting their "Serious Game World Report".
The Worlds in Motion Summit, launching at GDC08, will explore the cross section between gaming and interactive networking tools like online worlds, player-generated content, social networking and general personalization. Highlights include SOE veteran, Areae co-founder and noted industry figure Raph Koster discussing the ways virtual worlds are increasingly relevant to the ways we play, and a discussion with Relic Labs' Adrian Crook on the free-to-play business model and how it is evolving the face of online play.
The new-to-2008 Game Outsourcing Summit, incubated with GDC's successful standalone summit in Los Angeles in 2006, was created for those industry professionals looking to increase development resource awareness, expand their knowledge of the outsourcing sector, hone existing relationships and establish new partnerships. The content for this summit, to be available at gdconf.com soon, will offer in-depth business-oriented seminars supported by research and market analysis from every region in the world. Speaker highlights include Xin Chung, founder, and Steve Gray, CTO and executive producer, of Shanghai-based Vykarian, as well a talk from Aaron Pulkka, senior director of outsourcing at Vivendi Games.