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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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2018 Game Developers Conference and Virtual Reality Developers Conference Opens Today

by Rainier on March 19, 2018 @ 7:59 a.m. PDT

The 2018 Game Developers Conference (GDC) kicks off its 32nd edition today at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

Adding to GDC’s renowned lineup of lectures, tutorials, roundtable discussions and networking events, GDC 2018 will feature the Vision Track, a series of mini-keynotes designed to provoke and inspire, which will be presented by speakers including Supercell’s CEO Ilkka Paananen, Pixar’s Pol Jeremias-Vila and David G Yu, NYU Game Center Director Frank Lantz and Skydance Interactive’s Laralyn McWilliams.

VRDC returns to GDC 2018 for its third consecutive year on March 19-20, giving attendees the opportunity to learn about virtual reality and augmented reality in game development across disciplines including Design, Production, Programming, and Visual Art. The GDC Summits, which also take place March 19-20, offer in-depth insight in focused, full-day Summits and Tutorials covering a comprehensive range of game development disciplines including Artificial Intelligence, Community Management, Education, Game Narrative, Mobile, Independent Games and UX. GDC 2018’s Esports Day, which takes place on the 19th, offer attendees the ability to learn about growing esports ecosystems alongside long-time developers, publishers, and esports community leaders.

Following VRDC and the GDC Summits, the main GDC conference will kick-off on Wednesday, March 21. This year, the GDC conference will feature four Classic Game Postmortem sessions, in which the creators of Sonic the Hedgehog, The Bard’s Tale I and II, NBA Jam and Ultima Online share their unique perspectives on the development process, inspirations and lessons learned creating some of the most innovative games of all time. Some of the most respected companies and developers in the industry will be hosting sessions during the GDC conference, including Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Riot Games, Epic Games, Bungie, Naughty Dog, and many more.

The 20th annual Independent Games Festival (IGF) Awards, which honor the most promising developers and projects from the world of independent video games, and the 18th annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCAs), which recognize and celebrate the creativity, artistry and technical ingenuity of the finest developers and games created in the last year, will both take place back-to-back on Wednesday, March 21, starting at 6:30pm PT. The GDCAs will also feature special honors for important industry leaders, including  independent developer and Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail, who will be awarded the Ambassador Award, and Double Fine and LucasArts veteran Tim Schafer, who will be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. Both awards ceremonies are available to attend for all GDC 2018 pass holders and will be livestreamed on the GDC's official Twitch channel.

GDC hosts a variety of Interactive Spaces that are open to all attendees throughout the week. The GDC Film Festival debuts this year, marking one of the first-ever documentary and narrative film festival centered on the art and culture of video games. Independent games will be celebrated at the Indie MEGABOOTH Showcase, GDC Play and Day of the Devs by iam8bit and Double Fine. Returning for its fifth year, alt.ctrl.GDC allows attendees to play with imaginative games that use non-traditional controllers like the 2017 Award winner, Fear Sphere, which was a spine-tingling inflatable escape-room that players stepped inside and illuminated with a flashlight that doubled as a portable video projector, while another player stood outside to help guide the sphere-engulfed player to safety.

In total, the GDC consists of more than 750 lectures, panels, tutorials and roundtable discussions. The GDC Expo will feature more than 550 exhibiting companies and a host of Interactive Spaces. To learn more about GDC, follow @Official_GDC or visit: http://www.gdconf.com.

GDC is also introducing XRDC this week, a new event in October 2018 that will focus on augmented, virtual and mixed reality innovation. Following five successful editions of the Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC), XRDC will expand to encompass the rich diversity of immersive experiences across industries including games, entertainment, healthcare, education & training and more.  Over the course of two days, attendees will gain access to expert-led sessions, the latest solutions and innovations, and unrivalled networking with top tier companies, developers, artists, technology providers, VCs and business professionals.  XRDC will take place October 29-30, 2018 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, CA and the call for papers will open in early May 2018. For more information about the event and to stay updated as content is announced, please visit: http://www.xrdconf.com

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