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Out of town at Austin Game Developers Conference

I’ll be out of town this week at the Austin Game Developers Conference, but should get some fun lessons out of the experience. I’ll blog about it after.

If anyone’s going, please shoot me a note at voodoo [at] gmail and give me a shout.

Here are some of the interesting sessions that I might or might not attend :)

Embracing Web 2.0: Applying Web 2.0 success to the MMO space. 
An
exploration into the tools, techniques, and ideals that helped Web 1.0
transform into Web 2.0, and how these transformations might be adapted
to improve the infrastructure and services behind MMO Gaming.
This Session will explore in detail what Web 2.0 is and what Web 2.0 is
not, how Web 2.0 can be leveraged to improve existing methodologies and
processes within MMO infrastructure and services, and how Web 2.0 can
help reveal untapped resources and opportunities within the gaming
community.

Combining Conventional MMO Gameplay with a Mini-game Mindset 
If
you are developing a MMO and want to do something "new" without
reinventing the wheel, our solution combines existing concepts in novel
new ways. We take the strong motivational and entertainment style of a
conventional MMO and combine it with Flash and other Web 2.0
technologies. The game provides seamless interaction between the
virtual world and web based content, community and interaction. The
presentation will focus on an in development game built on this type of
hybrid gameplay. In the game, players take on the roles of explorers,
builders, scientists and colonists on the Moon in an alternate future.
By showing their knowledge of physics as presented in mini-games,
players are able to level up, gaining access to new regions, skills and
gear.

Is It Fun Yet? 
At
each stage of an online game’s development, designers have asked
themselves the age-old question: “Is it fun yet?” Feedback on this
question comes from many different sources: from the development team,
QA, focus groups, and online beta testers. All of these are important
sources of feedback, but the one that is the least understood and
utilized involves player metrics from online beta testers. This session
focuses on using player metrics to analyze the “fun factor” in a game,
and provides concrete examples of how metrics can be useful in
identifying key areas in which the game can be improved.

The New Kids on the Social Networking Block 
A
recent study revealed that 76% of Americans trust the recommendations
of their friends while only 11% trust what companies tell them. This
single statistic reveals a turning point in the relationship between
advertisers, entertainment companies and the public. Each entity is
trying to cope with the changing realities of the new age of social
media.
This panel takes a close look at the residents of the next generation
of social networks and virtual worlds and examines what they have to
teach game developers and marketers. Who are the people behind these
avatars? Why are they there and what are they doing? How can you engage
them? Why should you care?

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