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GDC 2008 just days away

What we're up to and what looks good.

It's the Game Developers Conference next week, and Eurogamer will be sitting there in the front row of as many sessions as possible, or possibly somewhere near the back so we can sneak out if it's boring. We're sure it'll be fine.

GDC isn't always as big as the likes of E3 or the Tokyo Game Show for announcements, but there are usually some good ones, and the keynote addresses are where those take place. There are three keynotes this year - on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - and we'll be providing our usual LiveText coverage of two of them and reporting on the other one:

  • LIVETEXT: Wednesday, 20th February, 6.30pm - 7.30pm GMT: Microsoft's John Schappert, "A Future Wide Open: Unleashing the Creative Community" (LiveText coverage)
  • Thursday, 21st February, 6.30pm - 7.30pm GMT: Ray Kurzweil, "The Next 20 Years of Gaming" (News report)
  • LIVETEXT: Friday, 22nd February, 6.30pm - 7.30pm GMT: David Jaffe, "From Grunt to God to Startup: Career Lessons From the Edge of Game Development" (LiveText coverage)

But that's hardly the extent of it, with dozens and dozens of sessions from major developers on a wide range of subjects. Some highlights, off the tops of our heads, include:

  • "Storytelling in BIOSHOCK: Empowering Players to Care about Your Stupid Story", with Ken Levine, 2K Boston
  • "Standing the Test of Time": A Q&A with Sid Meier, Firaxis
  • "WII FIT: Creating a Brand New Interface for the Home Console", with Takao Sawano, Nintendo
  • "From DOOM to RAGE: Pushing Boundaries", with Matt Hooper, id Software
  • "My First MMO", with Dave Jones, Realtime Worlds
  • "'Do, Don't Show' - Narrative Design in FARCRY 2", with Patrick Redding, Ubisoft
  • "CRYSIS in the Making", with Cevat Yerli, Crytek
  • "FABLE 2 - The Big Three Features Revealed", with Peter Molyneux, Lionhead
  • "A PORTAL Post-Mortem: Integrating Writing and Design", with Kim Swift and Erik Wolpaw, Valve
  • "UNCHARTED: DRAKE'S FORTUNE Post-Mortem: Amazing Feats of Daring", with Richard Lemarchand, Naughty Dog
  • "Development - SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL", with Masahiro Sakurai, Sora Ltd.

And there's also the prospect of fights breaking out when, for example, people realise that the Crysis and Far Cry 2 sessions listed above take place at the same time on the same day.

On top of all that, there will of course be countless opportunities to play games on the Expo floor, to interview developers like Lionhead's Peter Molyneux and Epic Games' Mark Rein, and the small matter of the Independent Games Festival's award ceremony, where we will finally discover which is better, drawing or goo. Assuming one of them wins.

For full details on all the sessions at GDC, check out the Conference website, and watch out for our coverage throughout its duration.