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The Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2025 Core Concepts Call for Submissions will be open July 9 through August 8, 2024 at 11:59pm PT. Please contact Kysa (Ludviksen) Korosi with questions related to Core Concepts.

GDC Summits and Game Career Seminar Call for Submissions will be open August 22 through September 26, 2024 at 11:59pm PT. Please contact Sam Warnke with questions related to Summits and Kysa (Ludviksen) Korosi for GCS.

Review the Submissions FAQ for helpful tips and suggestions on how to make a submission stand out. Join the Call For Submissions mailing list for announcements and updates!

If you have any questions about the GDC programs (Core Concepts, Summits, Workshops, GCS), please contact one of the following producers:

Summits & Workshops: Sam Warnke
Core Concepts & Game Career Seminar: Kysa (Ludviksen) Korosi

GDC Summits are curated deep dives into specific pre-determined topics, covering a comprehensive range of game development disciplines. Summits are programmed by their respective Summit Advisors. The GDC Summits solicit proposals from speakers with deep industry expertise and innovative ideas from a particular niche or emerging area of the game industry. All Summits take place on Monday (March 17) and Tuesday (March 21) of GDC week (March 17-21, 2025).

GDC Workshops are interactive full- or half-day sessions designed to teach skills and promote critical thinking. Workshops can consist of lectures, hands-on exercises, and group discussions. Most GDC Workshop content is created entirely by the Workshop’s organizers, however some accept session proposals for inclusion in the Workshop curriculum. Please see below for which GDC Workshops are accepting proposals.

Submission criteria and guidelines are available below. The following GDC Summits and Workshops are seeking speaking proposals:

Game Career Seminar (GCS)

The Game Career Seminar is a one-day program that takes place on Friday, March 21, 2025. It's designed for people who are relatively new to the video game industry, whether they're a student, someone breaking in from another industry, a hobbyist looking to make the leap to full time, or simply anyone who's interested to learn. Attendees will experience sessions about specific disciplines, tips for how to get hired, and learn best practices for game development in general along the way.

Game Career Seminar Advisors are welcoming submissions from game developers and industry experts who can share their perspectives and insights on getting into and more importantly succeeding in the game industry. We tend to consider our audience relatively savvy - they'll have made a small game or two, maybe worked with a college team, maybe done some game jams, and are now trying to figure out how to get a job at a big company, or how to make a go of it themselves. We like to consider our audience as working on their "second game" rather than their very first. 

Topics of Interest

We like topics that appeal to a broad audience, like making the most of a game jam or how to do interviews in a videocall-oriented world,  but we also like specific topics such as "spreadsheet basics for designers" or "low poly 3D best practices" or similar. In a nutshell, consider what you would've liked to know before working on your second game, and that's about the level we're looking for. We are looking for sessions that will inspire the next generation from a diverse set of speakers, so please submit with that in mind! We are interested in hearing from a diverse range of candidates that reflects our young audience.

Also, we tend to prefer lectures over panels, unless those panels are really excellent and hyper targeted. If you do submit a panel, it's likely that, if the topic is interesting, you will be asked to reframe it as a series of microtalks, or similar. The reason for this is feedback is consistently lower for panels in terms of take-home information.

Conference Program Topic

Whether you're making your first game or your third, the Game Career Seminar is here to help you get a leg up on your career, and find your place in the game industry.

GCS takes place on Friday only (March 21) of GDC week (March 17-21, 2025). Submission criteria and guidelines are available below.

Submission Guidelines

If you would like to submit, please take note of the following:

Diversity and Representation

GDC aims to achieve diversity of voice, experience, and perspective. Please take this goal into consideration when considering who would be best to speak on behalf of your company or department and/or when submitting panelists.

Vendor-Specific Proposals

GDC does not accept product or vendor-related submissions. If your talk is a thinly veiled advertisement for a new product, technology or service your company is offering, please do not submit. If you would like to publicize a product, please visit the become a sponsor page for more information on sponsored sessions.

Original Authors

GDC only accepts submissions by original authors of the presentations. PR firms, speaking relation firms, and all other parties who are not direct authors of submitted presentations are discouraged from submitting a proposal on behalf of their clients/speakers. GDC requires direct contact with presenters to expedite questions during the submission review process.

Submission Maximum Per Company/Studio

All submissions undergo close review and deliberation by GDC Advisors. To ensure the advisors are able to effectively review a wide range of proposals from a diverse range of perspectives, companies/studios are limited to a maximum of 10 submissions per GDC Summit (and/or Workshop, if applicable).


Phase I: Prepare & Submit Session Proposal

  • Speaker Contact Information
  • Session Title: Provide a session title in fewer than 10 words. Please try to include keywords, topics, and game titles covered by your talk.
  • Track (Summit, Workshop, or GCS) and Format
  • Presentation Outline Details (This will NOT be published on GDC website. For Advisor review only): You have approximately 500 words to outline and thoroughly describe to the GDC Summit and GCS Advisors what your talk will be about, and why it will be interesting to GDC attendees. This is NOT the abstract for your talk on the GDC website or published event agenda. This section will NOT be published. It is for you to describe concretely and succinctly what is compelling about your talk, provide supporting data, and outline your presentation in detail to the Advisors. Submissions with thin presentation outline details (e.g. less than 400 words) will most likely be declined by Advisors due to lack of information required to evaluate the presentation and its impact. Do not tease with something like, "My lecture will reveal amazing findings about how people play puzzle platformers," instead say, "We have found 90% of people only play puzzle platformers while eating pepperoni pizza," or whatever your amazing finding actually is. If you need more than 500 words to describe your lecture in this way, you can upload a full outline and supplemental materials (.doc, .pdf, .txt) to your submission.
  • Speaker Biography, Game Credits, Speaker History and X username (Biography and X username will be posted on website)
  • Session Description (This will be published on GDC website)In 100-150-words, provide a concise description of your session. This is the abstract of your talk that will be published on the GDC website. If your company requires PR approval prior to publishing, please note that this section will be made public upon official acceptance. Write in 3rd person, present tense.
  • Attendee Takeaway (This will be published on GDC website): In 50-words or less, tell us what attendees will gain from this presentation. Be specific by giving concrete examples and remember that GDC attendees are experts in their field. This will be published on the GDC website. If your company requires PR approval prior to publishing, please note that this section will be made public upon official acceptance. Do not use bullet points, write in 3rd person present tense.
  • Intended Audience (This will be published on GDC website): In 50-words or less, describe your target audience and who will benefit from your presentation. Is prerequisite knowledge necessary for understanding the content of the session? If so, what are the prerequisites? This will be published on the GDC website. If your company requires PR approval prior to publishing, please note that this section will be made public upon official acceptance. Do not use bullet points, and write in 3rd person present tense.
  • Supporting Material (This will NOT be published on GDC website. For Advisor review only): It is optional to submit supplemental information that supports your session proposal. Additional materials may include white papers, code, demos, videos, images, proof of concept, etc. Supporting materials will NOT be published on the GDC website and are solely for the GDC Summit and GCS Advisors during submission review.

Phase II: Session Proposal Review, Selection & Notification

  • Summit and GCS Advisors review submissions in October.
  • Submitters are notified of their status in early November: Phase 2 Conditionally Accepted, Declined, or Accepted
  • Phase 2 submitters will be required to prepare the complete presentation for review by the Summit Advisors*
  • Phase 2 submissions are due earlyDecember.

*Note: You are not a confirmed speaker until your Phase 2 presentation is reviewed and approved by the Summit and GCS Advisors. Most GDC talks are Phase 2 conditionally accepted prior to official acceptance. In Phase 2, submitters will receive feedback from an Advisor, whose aim is to maximize takeaway for the audience, align content with the editorial goals of the topic they advise (see track descriptions and topics of interest below), and ultimately help prepare you for a successful talk. All GDC Advisors are game industry and GDC veterans with extensive expertise in their respective fields.

Phase III: Final Review & Confirmations

  • Summit and GCS Advisors review Phase 2 presentation revisions in November and December
  • Phase 2 submitters are notified of their final status mid-December through early January: Declined or Accepted
  • Submitters who miss the deadline to submit their presentation plans for review will be automatically declined; exceptions will not be made.

Selection Criteria

The Summit and GCS Advisors will review and rate submissions based on the following criteria:

  • Concept: This is the basic idea of your submission. Is it interesting? Is it relevant? Will it be beneficial for game developers to hear? There is plenty of room for innovative ideas and also the tried and true.
  • Depth: Is the basic idea well considered and thought out? To what extent will the audience gain insight? The more in-depth, the better.
  • Organization: Are your ideas conducive to present in front of an audience? Will the Advisors understand what you are trying to say? Organization helps.
  • Credentials: How do your credentials qualify you to speak on the topic you have proposed?
  • Takeaway: Is the attendee going to leave this session knowing something they didn't know when they walked in? Are they learning or being inspired? This is the most important aspect of every GDC session. The submissions will be rated on a one to five scale by each of the reviewers and the resulting scores are averaged. Submissions in each category with the highest scores are considered first. If there is too much topic overlap, a lesser scoring submission may be selected to keep variety in the program.

Speaker Expectations

GDC attendees are very intelligent. They are looking for material that is not obvious and expect excellence from GDC speakers. After your presentation, they will evaluate it based on delivery, knowledge of the topic and the visuals presented.

Preparation is one of the most important factors in delivering a successful talk at GDC. Please keep the following in mind when you propose to speak:

  • The proposed outline you submit now must match the talk you present at the Summit. Consider the talk’s duration and submit content accordingly.
  • Plan to commit AT LEAST 25 HOURS to prepare for your session.
  • Rehearse the delivery of your session to be more effective; preferably in front of your peers and/or record yourself speaking then review it. Both are great ways to practice pacing and timing. Your presentation materials must be completed and submitted four weeks before GDC.
  • Please note the Summit Advisors and content team are here to help. If you have ANY additional questions please email Sam Warnke

Summit Descriptions & Topics of Interest

The Summit and GCS Advisors are seeking proposals on the following topics, which are the foundation of the programs this year. However, feel free to submit your own original ideas for consideration as well. At GDC, we aim to achieve diversity of voice, experience, and perspective. When considering who would be best to speak on behalf of your company or department, we strongly encourage taking this goal into consideration.

Select any topic listed below to view its description and topics of interest.

The field of real-time graphics is made exciting by how rapidly it evolves and advances. This one-day summit provides professional insights into the state-of-the-art graphical techniques used by some of the most visually advanced games on the planet. It provides attendees with a peek behind the curtains so they may learn about the latest technologies that bring new levels of realism, advancements in  performance, and more! The summit strives to focus on vendor-neutral techniques so that each session will have the potential to benefit all engines and shaders. 

Summit speakers will dive deep into the technical details and optimizations that drive the graphical fidelity of their games, sharing both lessons learned as well as ideas for future directions and advancements. Attendees of the summit should be familiar with modern rendering APIs such as DirectX or Vulkan, real-time shading languages, the basics of GPU programmable pipelines, as well as common real-time graphics algorithms. Some knowledge of game engine rendering architecture is helpful but not strictly required. The target audience includes graphics programmers, game engine programmers, technical artists, and other graphics enthusiasts. 

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak 

The Advanced Graphics Summit welcomes submissions covering a range of modern rendering techniques, such as: 

  • Rendering complex, detailed worlds, leveraging advanced techniques for efficient scene representation, culling and draw submission, and resource streaming 

  • Fast and accurate material models for a wide variety of content, including physically-based reflectance models, subsurface scattering materials, and more 

  • Advances in lighting, shadowing, and real-time raytracing 

  • Rendering and simulation of natural phenomenon such as atmospheric, volumetric, and weather effects 

  • Image-based techniques for denoising, anti-aliasing, color-grading, compression, and general frame-treatment 

  • Strategies for more efficiently leveraging the GPU, memory bandwidth, and other hardware resources 

Presenters are expected to share enough detail about their techniques that attendees could reasonably replicate the presented results or directly apply the lessons learned in their own games, engines, and graphical projects. 

Conference Program Topic 

Learn the latest programming skills and techniques to develop games across platforms including consoles, mobile, PCs, virtual reality, and more. The demand for high production value in games continues to increase with new tools, middleware, and technical skills required to solve difficult development problems. 


The GDC AI Summit features panels and lectures from top game AI programmers, designers, researchers, and AI enthusiasts in the industry. This two-day summit promises to give you an inside look at key architectures, techniques, and issues within successful commercial games, as well as let you eavesdrop on conversations, debates, and rants on how game AI can move forward. The event is targeted toward the intermediate to advanced programmer who wants deeper insight into the world of game AI. Additionally, designers, animators, and other content creators whose work touches AI systems of all types will find invaluable insights and lessons from the speakers. 

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak 

The AI Summit is welcoming submissions on AI-related topics such as: 

  • Postmortems of the AI in recently released (or soon to be released) games - especially with a focus of "challenges faced... and overcome!" 
  • Advancements and improvements in AI architectures (e.g. behavior trees, planners, utility systems, MCTS, etc.) 
  • New architectures and approaches for AI-related problems (e.g. data-driven, modular systems, etc.) 
  • AI authoring tools 
  • Improvements in navigation and avoidance algorithms 
  • Animation control through AI systems 
  • Multi-agent coordination in tactical, strategic, or social situations 
  • Use of AI for content generation in games 
  • Use of AI for gameplay management, pacing, etc. 
  • Non-traditional uses of AI in game development applications (e.g. tools, debugging, playtesting etc.) 
  • AI for narrative generation and chatbots 
  • AI in VR, mixed reality, and AR 
  • Experimental AI designs 

Note that this is, by no means, an exhaustive list of suggestions. All submissions of presentations that involve the use of AI techniques in games will be entertained! 

Conference Program Topic 

Learn the latest programming skills and techniques to develop games across platforms including consoles, mobile, PCs, virtual reality, and more. The demand for high production value in games continues to increase with new tools, middleware, and technical skills required to solve difficult development problems. 


Skilled video game animators wield a unique blend of art, design and technical prowess to get the job done, and the Animation Summit is at the forefront of sharing the relevant knowledge with developers everywhere. This one-day summit brings together a group of experienced and specialized animation experts across AAA and Indie. The Animation Summit is seeking submissions from developers across the industry to focus on deep-dive discussions into the needs of strong character performances and player communication. Submission topics of interest include all facets of animation expertise: 'traditional' focused talks on animation process, technical achievements, bite-sized tips and tricks, insight into animation culture, and how to best apply all that knowledge to game development. Through a variety of tools and disciplines, the day will show how the unique demands of making games is creating the need not just for great animators, but great developers.

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak

  • Animation craft by way of character performance, action, gameplay, and cinematic experiences
  • Process and cross-disciplinary technical achievements in rigging, tooling, and procedural or simulated solutions.
  • Animation and game development culture
  • Bite-sized tips and tricks

Yearly Session Descriptions:

Animation Microtalks

Join in on one of our yearly favorites with the fast-paced Animation Microtalks. 1 hour, 10 professionals, with talks dedicated to educate, entertain, and inspire using rants, raves, observations and wild musings on animation and the industry as a whole. These talks are not dedicated to the craft of animating in video games, but the quirks, culture, and community that surrounds us – all under one common theme.

Tricks of the Trade

Six animators rapidly deliver their best tips and tricks for working in and refining their craft. Each speaker has 5 minutes to showcase their personal favorite ideas, workflows, and animation techniques.

Conference Program Topic

Learn from leading artists with a wide variety of art styles and concepts, and explore the inspiration and process behind their work. Learn methods to create quality art and animations for all kinds of games under tight deadlines; from stellar concept art techniques to post-production best practices and everything in between.

The Art Direction Summit is a one-day summit, completely dedicated to art direction and broader artistic vision. Come see the leading artistic forces of the industry share their experience and raise the most important issues of the day. Learn a ton about what really matters in art, and how to build or support a vision and make friends doing it. There will be a wealth of concentrated art-specific information from the top minds of the industry that should be interesting not just to veterans and seasoned art professionals, but also new artists and faculty/students who are interested in learning more about the pressing issues of the day and industry realities. New friends who are also passionate about game art are welcome. The Art Direction Summit advisors welcome all submission topics related to art direction, technical pipelines, and new means of collaboration (especially during this past year) for games development.

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak

The Art Direction Summit advisors welcome all submission topics related to art direction, technical pipelines, and new means of collaboration (especially during this past year) for games development.

Conference Program Topic

Learn from leading artists with a wide variety of art styles and concepts, and explore the inspiration and process behind their work. Learn methods to create quality art and animations for all kinds of games under tight deadlines; from stellar concept art techniques to post-production best practices and everything in between.


The GDC Audio Summit consists of presentations that reflect the broad spectrum of interactive audio disciplines, and serves as an introduction to the Audio Track at GDC. Focused on the technical, creative, and logistical topics surrounding the successful navigation of sound for games, this one-day Audio Summit uniquely balances deep knowledge-sharing with breadth of applicability to the entire audience, and includes the opportunity for attendee-driven conversations with our individual presenters at our Lunchtime Surgeries. The summit aims to serve programmers and content creators, specialists and generalists, veterans and novices, as well as both freelance and in-house audio solution providers. 

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak 

The Audio Summit actively pursues and celebrates a diverse slate of industry presenters, with more than 100 unique speakers over the Summit’s two decade history at GDC. Audio Summit advisors are seeking novel and diverse perspectives that can be applied to everyone creating and supporting sound for interactive media. Specific topics of interest include (but are not limited to) career development and health, music composition, sound design, dialogue, technical sound design and implementation, and other emerging topics – with specific focus on how they uniquely relate to audio experience development for interactive entertainment. 

Conference Program Topic 

Join the game industry's top audio professionals to share knowledge and experience from the real world addressing audio's unique aesthetic, technical, business, and logistical problems. 

This summit is your one-day "deep dive" of this essential and occasionally overlooked (until it's too late) component of video game development. Having discussed the common issues that can be problems in our well-established industry, we are now taking a break from well-worn rants, ruminations on toxic communities, and beginner-level topics. It’s time to create practical, achievable solutions. Additionally, all initial submissions should include supporting data.

Who should submit: Experienced, creative, underrepresented, and currently practicing community management professionals. We are looking for new and diverse voices and single speaker talks vs panels to provide opportunities to a wider range of people. We also want this summit to reflect our industry’s increased scope of professionals (including e-sports, indie, and tabletop)!

Topics of Interest to get you started:

Career development

  • finding your path (and/or possibly changing tracks), specializations, voice, style, and resources to get you there
  • the job hunt: resources, strategies, negotiation, full time vs contracts, remote vs onsite
  • Building and sustaining successful community departments
  • hiring, recruiting, retention, making sure your team reflects your community
  • dividing and conquering: creating delegation of tasks at scale

Tools of the trade

  • strategies for social listening tools in conjunction with being community embedded
  • the platforms of yesterday, today, and tomorrow and making the case for (or against) each
  • qualitative vs quantitative data: picking the right metrics for business goals, how to talk “numbers and feelings” effectively, etc.
  • compliance and policy strategies in the age of increasing global privacy concerns

Communities of the future

  • case studies of your pandemic solutions/wins, post-mortems from existing communities
  • accessibility and representation for new and existing communities

Gain insight into game industry trends, identify business opportunities and network with platforms and developers to explore potential partnerships. Learn the latest approaches to marketing games including user acquisition, community building, and tips to secure coverage from press, streamers, and influencers.

The Educators Summit is dedicated to bringing forward the most innovative and exciting ideas in game education today. Attendees will discover new experimental and inventive educational approaches as well as best practices that they can bring back to their faculty and classrooms. This one day summit brings together educators from established game development programs with new game course creators that want to understand the challenges they'll face in the next few years. It is a great professional development opportunity that will explore how new areas of game education will advance the field for the next generation of students.

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak

Who Should Submit

You're an inspired educator with some great ideas to share with others about teaching game design/development, to improve everyone's practice. You've done some ground-breaking work on your curriculum or research that we can all use to improve what we are doing with students. You have a unique point of view on teaching game design/development that you haven't seen anywhere else, that you know could add value. You have an idea for a panel, and can assemble some great speakers from various schools to speak to a particular topic. We are looking for new voices, so if you haven't submitted before, please consider doing so. There is probably something amazing and unique about how YOU do things that we would all benefit from hearing about. We are particularly interested in hearing from programs/people who may not be regular attendees.


The audience consists of educators of game development and studies (working in the context of community college, four-year college/university and graduate education programs). Most attendees are at schools that already have well-established game programs and courses of study (or else they will be in a few short years, once they work the kinks out of a newly-developed program). The Educators Summit is soliciting for the following topics:

  • Inspired approaches to teaching any aspect of game development or game studies.
  • Novel ways to fund or publish games research, student game projects, etc.
  • Proven best practices for successful programs, courses and research structures.
  • Strategies for encouraging and teaching diverse student communities.
  • Teaching game design/development online.

Annual Lecture Themes 

If you're interested in submitting a talk to one of our annual lecture themes, be sure to note that in the "Presentation Outline" section of the submission form. These themes include:

  • Course case studies - Short presentations (30 min) on the design of a specific course with strong proven results.
  • Soapbox - Short presentations (7-10 min) with sharp, pointed commentary on current issues in the state of game education.

Tips for submissions, based on some common mistakes we've seen:

  • The Educators Summit is not about serious games, it is about how to teach people about games (how to make games, how to analyze and understand games, issues around graduate research in games, etc.) A talk about teaching serious game development, or a game that helps teach about games, would be appropriate for the Educators Summit. Case studies of serious games that have nothing to do with game education are not.
  • Don't focus the proposal too much on the speaker and their contributions to the field. If you have an interesting project or case study to share, that's great, but be clear about the audience takeaways. How will attending your talk help hundreds of other educators do their job better?
  • Speakers vs panels: Single speaker sessions are the most successful structure. It is difficult to justify two or more speakers for a lecture format, so please consider that. Panels should be considered if your topic would benefit from multiple perspectives, and each speaker on a panel should represent a distinct aspect or point of view of the topic, typically from different institutions as well.
  • Make sure your topic isn't a beginner-level topic, such as "How to start a game development program", which has been covered many times before. When writing your proposal, it may be useful to look at session names and descriptions for the last three years (and watch talks related to your topic on In this way we can build up our collective understanding of the theory and practice of game education.
  • Takeaways and topics should be immediately clear from the initial read. Make it obvious why your peers would want to watch your proposed talk. This isn't the time to conceal information. A proposal titled "Five Things You Can Do to Improve Student Retention" should list what those five things are. Give us enough information to evaluate your talk.

We try not to include sessions in the schedule that seem too similar to a session we’ve had in recent years. So it’s good to look at the list of previous Educators Summit sessions in the Vault to see if we’ve covered your proposed topic recently. If we have covered the topic recently, make sure to include how you’re differentiating yourself from the previous session in your submission.

Conference Program Topic

Discover the most innovative and exciting ideas in game education in the Educators Summit. Learn best practices to bring back to your classrooms and experimental approaches that will advance the field for the next generation of students. Join educators from established game development programs and new game course creators for professional development and to explore challenges together.


The Fair Play Alliance is pleased to invite all proposals for the Fair Play Workshop relating to practical design methods, learnings, and outcomes, or applied research on designing for digital thriving. 

This year the focus is on designing for digital thriving. Thus, we will be looking for submissions that focus on how we can design for inclusive spaces, more resilient communities that repel or resist bad actors, to promote prosocial play, for greater individual well being in players, to promote a sense of belonging among our players, and challenges related to designing or advocating for this work.  

In addition to the submitted talks this year, we will be running workshops around the Design Playbook for Digital Thriving, a collaborative work by the Fair Play Alliance and Joan Ganz Cooney Center. These workshops will help to translate the theory around designing for thriving into practical applications that participants can take back with them.  

The Fair Play Alliance is an organization of over 300 gaming companies from around the world committed to fostering healthy player interactions as a core part of how we make games. With this goal, we seek to curate and empower the creation and sharing of best practices across the industry. Please note that FPA membership is not required to submit a proposal. 

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak 

This year the focus is on designing for digital thriving. 

  • Design for inclusive spaces or to promote a sense of belonging among our players
  • Design for more resilient communities that repel or resist bad actors 
  • Design to promote prosocial play
  • Challenges related to designing or advocating for this work  

Conference Program Topic 

Addressing topics ranging from diversity to censorship to quality of life within the realm of social advocacy in the game industry, Advocacy sessions aim to provide a forum for discussion and ultimately a place to effect change for the development community. 

The GDC Free-to-Play Summit brings together top game developers and publishers from around the world to share ideas and discuss best practices for free-to-play gaming, which has become the dominant business model for mobile games and thrives on most other platforms. This two-day program will focus on the nuts and bolts of great free-to-play game design and successful business strategies across all genres, audiences, platforms, and stages of the lifecycle of a game. 

We look for each talk to focus on at least one of the pillars of F2P: acquisition, engagement / retention, and monetization. We warmly welcome proposals from outside mobile gaming and/or outside North America. 

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak 

The Free-to-Play Summit is soliciting for the following topics: 

  • Postmortems on the launch of new free-to-play games, or post mortems on major updates to existing free-to-play games. Even postmortems for unsuccessful games can be interesting, if presenters honestly cover what went wrong. 
  • How to raise funding to create a free-to-play game or company. 
  • Strategies for launching across multiple territories. 
  • Strategies for launching across multiple platforms. 
  • Soft launch best practices: why, when, where, and what to look for? 
  • Improving both player experience and revenue performance via skillful integration of monetization elements into the game design. 
  • Authentic and non-spammy social and viral engagement techniques. 
  • User acquisition techniques, learnings, and innovations for both paid and organic user acquisition 
  • Pros & cons: staying independent versus working with a publisher or partner. 
  • What does a modern publishing deal look like for a F2P game? 
  • A survey of which genres are ripe for additional competitors, and what genres are too crowded (or too dominated by a single unassailable market leader). 
  • How to build and maintain a community of loyal players. Share new insights, stories and experiences about how to be sticky in a low-attention-span world. 
  • Free to play games designed for non-traditional gaming audiences. 
  • How to augment your IAP revenue with rewarded video and other forms of advertising. 
  • What does free-to-play mean in a world of subscriptions services? (e.g. Xbox Game Pass, Apple Arcade) 
  • Good ways to include subscriptions and season passes, and learnings from implementing these in individual free-to-play games. 
  • Live ops and events: best examples of how to keep your game fresh and increase monetization. 
  • Where are the F2P opportunities for small studios today? How can they compete with a 100-person team with tens of millions for user acquisition? 
  • The pandemic changed player habits and behaviors; what lessons can we learn from that? What is different and what remains the same? 
  • Innovative usage of analytics in games and how it impacted design/product decisions. 
  • F2P is mature, and broken in many ways. Crypto had its hot minute, and now it is dead - or is it? Is there a better future for players and developers where the best of F2P and blockchain come together? 
  • Games used to be created by developers for players, maybe funded by a publisher. Today, the ecosystem is so much more broad with streamers, communities, ad networks, and other such constituents. How are developers using web3 or other technologies to further expand how people participate in gaming? 

Conference Program Topic 

Learn the nuts and bolts of great Free-to-Play game design and successful business strategies across all genres, audiences, platforms, and stages of the lifecycle of a game.

Game and Entertainment design opportunities in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Human Spatial Computing are expanding as the technology of internet-connected societies continues to iterate. Exciting new opportunities are appearing in areas like Online and Social Play, Live Music, Fashion, and Education as we connect with one another virtually through new hardware and software platforms. Continuing development is expanding opportunities in Travel, Retail, Fitness/Wellness, Product Design, Journalism, and Sports Entertainment as well. If you've developed an immersive experience or application in gaming and beyond, we want to hear about it! 

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak 

The Summit advisors are soliciting submissions exploring VR, AR, XR and other innovations in connected games and entertainment pertaining to topics across multiple disciplines including Design, Narrative, Production, Programming, and Visual Art. We are especially interested in hybrid approaches in this space, as games become part of the larger push to virtualize and gamify once in-person spaces in order to increase access and maintain connection during the pandemic. Submissions should be representative of interesting and current work happening in these spaces, and have valuable, actionable, and/or inspiring takeaways for the GDC audience. 

Conference Program Topic 

Learn to create amazing, immersive VR and AR experiences for games and entertainment at the Future Realities Summit. Be inspired, learn from experts, and share best practices to create augmented and virtual reality for games, films, and other forms of entertainment. 

The Game Narrative Summit covers interactive narrative in all its forms, from AAA blockbusters to indie games to mobile/social projects. The two-day event features an all-star lineup of speakers from every corner of the discipline. Session content ranges from the advanced and theoretical to practical case studies and advocacy for writers, designers, producers, and others seeking to expand their understanding of game narrative. The Game Narrative Summit attracts attendees from all over the world with a passionate interest in the ongoing evolution of interactive storytelling as a driving force in the future of entertainment.

The summit's preferred submission format is 30-minute lectures, though we may consider longer talks for subjects that warrant more in-depth approaches. The board reserves the right to suggest changes in any submissions.

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak

The Game Narrative Summit welcomes proposals addressing all aspects of game narrative, including (but not limited to!):

  • Case studies of recent projects that demonstrate exemplary game writing
  • Fresh takes on traditional narrative techniques as adapted for interactive storytelling
  • Theoretical and conceptual advances that drive change in game narrative
  • New insights into the role of the interactive writer in franchise development
  • Analyses of timely issues in the game narrative field, e.g. inclusivity, ethical dilemmas, etc.
  • Spotlighting best practices within specific areas of interactive writing, including:
  • Narrative and emergent game technologies, e.g. VR, AR
  • Narrative in mobile, social, and casual games
  • The writing of specific game genres, e.g. FPS, RPG, MMO, MOBA, etc.
  • Resonating with specific target audiences, e.g. children, international markets, etc.
  • Advancing specific objectives, e.g. awareness, change
  • Navigating the challenges inherent to certain types of game projects
  • Focused insights on any specific elements of game narrative, e.g. character, dialogue
  • Lessons drawn from games that go beyond dialogue and focus on non-verbal narrative
  • Adapting narrative constructs from other media to games, e.g. film, comics, literature
  • Inspirational demonstrations in emotive game content
  • Business and career advice to help game writers succeed professionally
  • Verifiable evidence of the positive effects interactive storytelling can have
  • Experts debating opposing points of view on any of these topics

Conference Program Topic

Learn about interactive narrative in all forms, including AAA blockbusters, indie games, mobile, and social projects from fundamentals of story development theory to practical case studies.

The Independent Games Summit is the place for the independent game developer at GDC. It features lectures, postmortems, and panels from notable independent game creators, including many former and current Independent Games Festival finalists and winners. This two-day summit seeks to achieve diversity of voice, experience and perspective, while highlighting the best and brightest in indie development. 

Discussion topics range from development topics; such as game design, narrative design, art direction and practice, or programming; to studio practices and strategy; such as distribution, business, marketing, governance and studio culture. The IGS will consist of  a main, large room alongside a simultaneous second smaller room - this enables us to combine more traditionally popular subjects with more niche, deep dive, or focused talks. Please submit with this in mind!

Please also remember that when submitting, IGS prefers to offer talks which are relevant to recent releases, direct experience, and well-grounded takeaways. We don’t accept talks which are clearly aimed at marketing a game or upcoming release. However, we actively welcome perspectives and experiences which could be considered marginalized in the context of GDC’s typical offering. Finally, you don’t have to come to us with a story of perfection or success! We find that learning from failure is often much more interesting to our audiences, so you should feel encouraged to speak to the messy realities of game dev, as well as the lessons learned. 

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak 

  • The IGS is soliciting for the following topics: 
  • Design Practices - design techniques particularly suited to indies, such as new collaborative practices, rapid prototyping or voluntary constraints, as well as more abstract talks on how you approach indie limitations in practice. We're interested in any talks that fall under this umbrella! Even if you feel like your approach is too "out there", we want to hear from you! 
  • Design Philosophies: We’re also interested in the philosophies underlying your games - do you have a talk about how your game represents an Indigenous perspective? Or how you approached ethical design practices? Or on building tools to represent your specific cultural philosophies on storytelling or design? Tell us more! 
  • Case Studies and Post-mortems - inspirational talks that demonstrate what worked, what didn't, what surprised you and made you wiser. Postmortems don't have to only talk about breakaway hits - failure discussions are great too, and the process can be more enlightening than the commercial outcomes. If your own project did not yield enough data for a talk on a certain topic, consider consolidating ideas from your peers or people with similar games, or running a panel with several speakers. 
  • Disciplinary Deep Dives - each discipline in video game development encounters unique challenges working in the independent space. Building games on your own often requires deep, specialized learning in new areas. Talks for specific audiences about advanced techniques in Engineering, Design, Art, Audio, Production/Project Management, UI/UX, or Storytelling, and other areas are all welcome and encouraged. 
  • Indie Business - how to fund your project, ship a profitable game, what tools to use, how to manage teams, pick the right platform, and run a company without self-destructing. 
  • Promotion & Marketing - how to get noticed, build an audience, or even a community, when the "Marketing Department" is also the dev team. 
  • Managing Teams - how to manage and model healthy work/life balance, what are your successful diverse hiring practices, how do you scale a team in a healthy and productive manner, how to lead teams under difficult circumstances, remote working best practices and speculations on what the post-COVID world impact is/might be on management practices, and how you are adapting to/trying to lessen your impact on the climate crisis. 
  • Production Methods - how to cut scope for an ambitious project while retaining creative quality, how to sustain a business during negative economic circumstances, and in general, ways to build great games with an emphasis on team health and sustainability. 
  • Indie Publisher Perspectives - are you an indie publisher or producer? Do you have insights on the market, ecology, project management, and indie game design and development that you can share? We want to hear more! 

Annual Lecture Themes 

If you're interested in submitting to give a microtalk in one of our annual 60–minute group sessions, such as the Indie Soapbox, the Failure Workshop, the Tech Toolbox, or Making Room, be sure to note that in the Presentation Outline section of the submission form. We might also invite you to be a part of one of these sessions if it feels like a good fit. Microtalks can be anywhere between 10 mins to half an hour, depending on the session’s needs and proposal contents. 

  • Making Room: The Making Room session collects talks devoted to the ways in which we make space for ourselves and others in the game development process or in the space of our game design. The concept of “making room” is intentionally broad to allow for explorations of how you make space for everything from marginalized experiences, cultural differences, accessibility, neurodiversity, to any other means of making room in your processes and design. Please note your submission is for Making Room in the Presentation Outline Details section of the submission form. 
  • Failure Workshop: Failure is a great opportunity for learning! What have you learned from your failures? Creative growth often comes from having permission to fail, as well. How can we encourage productive failure? Rather than ignore our failures, let’s talk about the good, bad, and the ugly of failure. Please note your submission is for Failure Workshop in the Presentation Outline Details section of the submission form. 
  • Indie Soapbox: The Indie Soapbox is the place for sharing microtalks on a topic that is important to you! These can be highly specific or very broad, but all should aim to be provoking, educating, and inspiring. The Indie Soapbox is the place to share what’s on your mind when it comes to making indie games. Please note your submission is for the Indie Soapbox in the Presentation Outline Details section of the submission form. 
  • Tech Toolbox: What tools have you made for your games? What tools have you had to hack together or use in creative ways to get the job done? We want to hear all your high and low moments with tool development for your indie game. The Tech Toolbox is about exploring tech solutions to our pipeline or creative problems. Please note your submission is for Tech Toolbox in the Presentation Outline Details section of the submission form. 

The Level Design Summit offers an all-day series of talks spanning the vast spectrum of this crucial aspect of game design. The Level Design Summit advisors curate a diverse mix of established and emerging voices from all corners of the level design world to present an entertaining and enlightening agenda of talks for attendees.   

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak  

The one-day summit is seeking submissions that share specific techniques, in-depth analysis of shipped games, introspective explorations of "big" concepts that affect level designers/teams, and provide guides to process and workflow related to level design.  

Conference Program Topic  

Learn methods to create compelling worlds and interactive experiences through the use of systems, architecture, and lighting. Get ideas for new games, tips to push your project forward, and learn how to understand and tune the interactions of an ever-increasing number of tools, systems, and techniques required to design great games.  

Academia and other industries show that rapid technological progress offers new possibilities and valuable applications of Machine Learning. The Game Industry is no different and this two-day Summit will present in depth, meaningful applications in Video Games across two themes. The first theme is about “Machine Learning for Development”, assessing where Machine Learning can assist developers in creating better Games, improving Production Process, allowing them to improve and facilitate the Creation Process of their games. The second theme will be about “Machine Learning for the Player”, assessing what new possibilities can be offered to the Player, ranging from being able to create new, original experiences to better adapting Games to Players’ needs as they play.

Speakers contributing will go in depth when necessary in required techniques and most importantly, share practical lessons and wisdom regarding their success and failures. Attendees of the Summit should be familiar with basic Machine Learning techniques and in the “know-how” of Video Game Creation Techniques. The target audience includes a wide range of trades including Programmers, Artists, and Designers. 


Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak 

The Machine Learning Summit is welcoming submissions on topics related to Machine Learning such as: 

  • Initiatives that contribute directly to runtime features like AI, Physics, Animation, Audio or Rendering. 
  • Initiatives that contribute to support Content Creation Process, Development Pipeline, Build Stability, QA, Game Balancing or Production 
  • Advancements and improvements from Academia that could be applied in the near future to the field 
  • Lessons learned from attempt of deployment of a Machine Learning Driven System in general (human/tech) 
  • Successful deployment of Player-Facing System 
  • Initiatives related to a specific trade that point towards disruption in how Developers are making games 

In all cases, being able to show measurable results is a must. Note that since this field is new, cases of application failure are welcome! Being able to share code/structure is also encouraged. 


Conference Program Topic 

Learn the latest programming skills and techniques to develop games across platforms including consoles, mobile, PCs, virtual reality, and more. The demand for high production value in games continues to increase with new tools, middleware, and technical skills required to solve difficult development problems. 

The Tabletop Summit is a one-day deep dive into the art and science of designing non-electronic board, card, and roleplaying games.

Featuring multiple notable speakers from the world of analog game design, this is an opportunity to get deep into the design mechanics behind innovative and popular games, and hear about the design ethos that has shaped standouts in the resurgent world of tabletop game development.

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak

The Tabletop Summit is looking for talks including:

  • ‘Making of’ talks for notable and intriguing games of medium or high profiles, or those with particularly different or innovative mechanics.
  • Game design talks about entire genres of tabletop games.
  • Discussions of physical games that have digital aspects included. (Digital-only board games are not a primary focus of the Summit.)
  • Talks about some of the fundamental concepts underpinning tabletop game design.
  • Discussions on the presentation of analog games through live-streamed media.

Conference Program Topic

Learn methods to create compelling interactions with realistic physics, facial expressions, and lighting. Get ideas for new games, tips to push your project forward, and learn how to understand and tune the interactions of an ever-increasing number of tools, systems, and techniques required to design great games.

Technical Artists

Technical Art is an ever-evolving discipline, with TAs playing key roles in developing efficient pipelines, creating visually sophisticated content, and optimizing performance. Technical Artists bridge the gap between content creators and engineers and wear many hats in the process. No matter what role a TA plays on their project, they are ready to leap into action to collaborate and solve issues with their team. Now more than ever TAs have been employing their skills to respond to the global challenges and find creative and dynamic solutions to enable production during challenging times.

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak

The one-day Technical Artist Summit aims to help TAs around the industry find and share the tools and skills they need to manage the turbulent waves of game development at their own studios or from their own homes. Speakers will present new tools, techniques, and turn our attention to the future of the Technical Art discipline. The Technical Artist Summit is seeking submissions covering any topic related to technical art.

Conference Program Topic

Learn from leading artists with a wide variety of art styles and concepts, and explore the inspiration and process behind their work. Learn methods to create quality art and animations for all kinds of games under tight deadlines; from stellar concept art techniques to post-production best practices and everything in between.

The one-day GDC UX Summit features panels and lectures from top UX practitioners and advocates in the industry. This summit is targeted towards all levels of expertise interested in game UX and focuses on best practices and case studies rather than pure theory. The intent is to increase UX awareness (specifically as being user-centered and using a scientific approach), become stronger as a game UX community, share our growing experience and expertise in the industry, and push the boundaries of our discipline. 

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak

The UX Summit is welcoming submissions on UX-related topics in the following areas:

  • UX advocacy, strategy & maturity (using a rigorous user-centered practice): advancing UX maturity in studios, demonstrating ROI (return on investment), getting stakeholder signoff, facilitating collaboration for better UX practices across various disciplines, UX best practices for AAA, AA, or indie developers, etc.
  • Ethics: best practices & challenges (e.g. dark patterns, “attention economy”).
  • Inclusion (including accessibility): best practices and guidelines.
  • Designing to prevent disruptive behaviors (aka “toxicity”), bolster prosocial interactions, and protect players: best practices and guidelines. 
  • UX design:
    • Case study of a feature (i.e. describing the iterative process, demonstrating what success looks like), making sure to show user data-informed examples. 
    • Game post-mortems through the UX lens (i.e. user-centered at a minimum).
    • Platform specific challenges (e.g. VR, AR).
  • Esports: specific UX challenges 
  • New technology in games: the impact of recent tech such as blockchain technology or machine learning on game UX.
  • User research:
    • Successful relationship between user research and design.
    • Concrete case studies.
    • Advantages and limitations of biometrics.
  • Analytics and business intelligence servicing the player experience (case studies).
  • Evidence-based game UX frameworks with concrete applications to game development. 

Conference Program Topic 

Learn UX design and strategy best practices to improve overall quality and increase the likelihood that your game will create and sustain engagement in the UX Summit. UX helps ensure that the design and business intent of your game is the one ultimately experienced by your target audience. Learn about all facets of the user experience discipline in the video game industry using knowledge from cognitive science, psychology, and application of research findings. 

Visual Effects

Visual effects (VFX) for games is the art of creating striking visuals that clearly communicate gameplay, UI, environment and several other game design signals. With what seems like magic, VFX artists have the power to breathe life into the world of a video game.

VFX in games have to run at real-time without impacting game performance (usually 60 to 90 frames per second). This means a lot of thought and creativity has to go into how they are built, as opposed to pre-rendered effects often found in film. As such VFX artists closely collaborate across disciplines bridging the gap between art, design & engineering; working together to bring the game to life.

The aim of the VFX summit is to come together as a game VFX community, share our knowledge and help push the boundaries of our discipline. If this excites you, come join us at the one-day VFX Summit, where top VFX artists from different backgrounds will share their expertise across a diverse range of topics.

Topics of Interest for Proposals to Speak

The VFX summit welcomes all VFX related topics in the range of:

  • Game post-mortems focusing on VFX
  • Impact of new VFX tech, tools & features
  • Best practices / pipelines & workflows for VFX
  • Technical art through the lens of VFX
  • VFX philosophy & design
  • Platform specific VFX tips & tricks
  • Disciplinary / Cross-disciplinary skills for VFX
  • Genre / Art Style specific VFX tips & tricks
  • Practical advice for beginner VFX artists
  • Other interesting topics related to VFX for games

Conference Program Topic

Learn from leading artists with a wide variety of art styles and concepts, and explore the inspiration and process behind their work. Learn methods to create quality art and animations for all kinds of games under tight deadlines; from stellar concept art techniques to post-production best practices and everything in between.

GDC Summits and Game Career Seminar Frequently Asked Questions

What is the submission deadline?

The GDC Summits and Game Career Seminar call for submissions deadline is Thursday, September 26, 2024 at 11:59pm PT


What makes a good submission?

  • Review the submission guidelines above and follow the instructions.
  • Incomplete proposals or proposals that are commercial or marketing in nature will not be considered.
  • Write your proposal so that it is easily understood. Concise, precise language and a discernible thesis will also help your chances in the review process. The Advisors will read many submissions. Get to your point as quickly as possible. Consider what the proposal is about. Why is it interesting? How is it important to game development? What will game developers get out of the session?
  • Review the Submissions FAQ for helpful tips and suggestions on how to make a submission stand out.

What are the session formats?

The final length and format of accepted sessions will be determined by the Advisors. Please select what you feel will be the most appropriate.

Lectures30 or 60 Minutes

Lectures are issue-oriented, provide concrete examples, and contain both practical and theoretical information.

GDC generally prefers only one speaker but we may accept two if you can demonstrate the second person is necessary.

Postmortems and case studies are included in this category.

Panels60 Minutes

Panels take many different viewpoints on a topic or issue and combine them in one debate session with a moderator.

Debate among panelists (with very different ­opinions) is welcome and audience Q&A time should be accounted for.

We prefer 60 minutes for this format and no more than 5 people with diverse representation. Include all the panelists you have confirmed in the proposal.

A very limited number of panels will be accepted.

How do I choose a session format?

60-minute lectures tend to be case studies or inspirational, high-level, detail-oriented talks. 30-minute lectures tend to cover a single, narrow topic in depth. Panels tend to examine a controversial or difficult topic with no easy answers and lots of interesting, diverse talking points; panels are always 60-minutes, which is enough time for about eight planned questions. In all cases, expect to leave a few minutes at the end for Q&A. Also consider who is speaking. Most lectures are given by a single person, unless there is a compelling reason that requires multiple speakers. Panels generally have a moderator and three or four panelists with unique experience or viewpoints who are known experts on the topic.

How does the submission and selection process work?

  • We will email you a confirmation when we receive your proposal. If you do not receive this confirmation, contact Sam Warnke.
  • Save the link to your proposal, you can revise your submission details until the deadline.
  • The advisors will review all submissions in the coming months and determine the status.
  • GDC conference managers will notify you of the status of your submission by early November.

Who will review my proposal?

The GDC Summit Advisors review all Summit submissions. Advisors to the specific Summit program you select will review your proposal. They are distinguished industry professionals who volunteer their time to help develop the numerous sessions at GDC. They work to ensure that the quality of the content provided to attendees is high-level, relevant, and timely. Game Career Seminar is programmed by GCS Advisor, Brandon Sheffield.

Can I submit to multiple programs (i.e. Summits, Core Concepts, and/or Game Career Seminar)?

Yes. There is no penalty for submitting a proposal to more than one GDC program. Should you submit the same topic more than once, keep your audience in mind and adjust similar content as you deem appropriate. Each program has its own advisors and will be reviewed separately.

If your proposal is accepted into multiple programs, please let Sam Warnke know ASAP upon acceptance. You may need to select one program to speak in.

What are the benefits of speaking?

The benefits of being a speaker include:

  • Complimentary registration
  • Access to all Core Concepts sessions, GDC Summits sessions, the Game Career Seminar, and the Expo floor
  • Speaker meal card for the Moscone Center
  • Your name and presentation featured in our conference program and website
  • A one-year subscription to the GDC Vault (recordings of all GDC events, past, and present)

How do I propose a vendor-specific session?

We want our talks to be opportunities for professional game developers to share their ideas and experiences. Proposals that are commercial or marketing in nature will not be considered. In general, content specific to proprietary products and technologies are considered sponsored material. The Summit Advisors and conference management reserve the right to exercise their editorial discretion. If you would like to publicize a product, please visit the become a sponsor page for more information on sponsored sessions.  

What does GDC expect from speakers?

When you agree to speak at GDC, you are making a commitment to deliver a well-prepared talk and to speak on the topic you have proposed. We ask that you do not drastically change the submitted topic or content.  You will be evaluated by attendees on how well you delivered your presentation, aim to be among the top 50 presenters.  We ask speakers to submit the final version of their presentation to be made available on the GDC Vault, so we can make it available online.

When will I be notified of the status of my submission?

You will receive an automated email response once your submission is received. We will notify you of the status of your submission by early November. If you do not hear from us, please contact Sam Warnke.

How should a PR Rep or Executive Assistant submit on behalf of a potential speaker?

First, it is ideal for the speakers themselves to submit as they can provide the most detail about the content. However, if you are a PR representative or someone submitting on behalf of a potential speaker, fill in the speaker's contact info in the first section and list the speaker's information in the speaker profile section, but be sure to add yourself as the 'PR contact' associated with the speaker profile(s). This will ensure that you receive all email correspondence relating to GDC in the same email as the speaker(s). Without complete speaker details, the submission will be considered incomplete and will not be able to advance until speaker contact info is received.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Sam Warnke.


Connecting the Global Game Development Community