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What to expect when you're expecting to attend GDC Summer this week

GDC Summer starts tomorrow, and since this will be the first all-digital Game Developers Conference organizers want to quickly remind you what to expect when you log on to attend!

Taking place Tuesday through Thursday, GDC Summer will have an expanded schedule that goes from 6 AM Pacific to 8:30 PM Pacific each day to better accommodate attendees in different time zones around the world.

That means you can look forward to both morning and evening sessions, separated by a long lunch break reserved for networking and special features. There will also be experiential events scheduled at the beginning and end of each day to jumpstart or wrap up your day at this unique digital event.

And don't worry about disrupting your schedule to attend everything live; all live session broadcasts will immediately be archived on the event platform for on-demand access the week of GDC Summer, so you can create your own conference schedule.

Here's what to expect from all the different options available to you when you attend virtually this week!

GDC Summer Schedule, August 4-6

  • 6:00 am – 7:00 am PT Wake up/Wrap up with GDC
  • 7:00 am – 7:00 pm PT Conference Sessions, Interactive Sessions, Sponsored Sessions, Community Channel Sessions, Student Channel Sessions*, GDC Pitch, Daily GDC Summer Puzzle Challenge, GDC Podcast Live! hosted by Gamasutra
  • 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm PT GDC After Hours

* Student Channel programming will only take place on Thursday, August 6

Conference Content

Sessions: GDC Summer sessions will be live broadcasts delivered by a single speaker or panel, with live speaker Q&A during the presentation. After their "first run" these sessions will be archived for on-demand access during and after the event.

Sponsored Sessions: These are your opportunity to hear from leading game technology companies firsthand about the latest products, tools, services, and techniques.

Student Channel: Learn from industry experts and professionals to help jump start your career through lectures, interactive sessions, and small-group discussion.

Community Channel Sessions: Taking place on the Community Channel and available to all pass holders, community channel sessions will address topics ranging from diversity to accessibility to quality of life within the realm of social advocacy in the game industry.

Interactive Sessions

Ask Me Anything (AMAs): GDC Summer will also host live, interactive 30-minute "Ask Me Anything" sessions featuring industry experts answering questions related to specific game development topics. A number of luminaries have already signed on to take part, including Funomena CEO Robin Hunicke and award-winning composer Winifred Phillips!

Skill-Building Series: 45-minute instructional presentations from expert instructors as they take attendees through an exemplary project and review the tools and techniques used to create the work. You'll have the chance to quickly get up to speed on "Pixel Art and Animation in the Hi-Bit Age" with experienced artist and game designer Tyriq Plummer, for example, or bone up on "How Game Studios Should Plan Fundraising - Learning Best Practices" with veteran investor Teppei Tsutsui.

Roundtables: 45-minute live and interactive peer-to-peer discussions on open ended topics, facilitated by moderators who keep the flow of discussion inspired and moving. Constructive controversy and debate are welcome in these discussions, which include a Marketing & Discovery roundtable led by Kitfox Games communication director Victoria Tran and a Building Your Live Service Team roundtable facilitated by veteran producer Grant Shonkwiler.


Meetings & Networking: With advanced filtering and AI-driven technology, GDC Summer gives attendees access to identify, contact, and request and receive meetings with fellow attendees and sponsors via chat or video meeting.
Mentoring & Portfolio Reviews: Find and connect with a seasoned game development professional at GDC Summer to gain invaluable guidance or a portfolio review via chat or video meeting. Simply use the filter options in the networking tool to identify willing professionals in your discipline, or those seeking mentoring.

Showcase Features

Sponsor Showcase: Expand your professional network and join leading companies in game development ready to provide solutions to your business challenges from 11am – 3pm PT.

Indie Showcase: Learn about innovative projects from emerging and independent developers and meet the people who created them. Visit the studio’s dedicated pages and don’t miss their game demo sessions!

University Showcase: Meet with colleges and universities featuring some of the best and brightest students and education programs in the games industry. Learn more about their offerings by visiting their pages and setting up an exploratory meeting. 

Special Events

Community Channel Special EventsFrom yoga classes to mixologist tutorials, we’ve programmed three exciting days of experiential events to help fill in the gaps and get you out of your chair (or at least into a more relaxing headspace) so you can keep learning. 

GDC Summer Puzzles: Play through the GDC Summer event platform (alone or with a small team) to solve the daily puzzle, gaining in complexity throughout the week. Submit your answers for a chance to win GDC merch each day, or the grand prize of GDC 2021 All Access passes! Note: completing the puzzles may require some interaction with our sponsors, resulting in your profile information being shared with them.

GDC PitchSelected studios will pitch their games to a panel of investors and publishers followed by questions, advice, and feedback before the judges declare the day's "Best Pitch".

GDC Store: Grab your GDC Summer products at the all-digital GDC Store!

For more details on GDC Summer, scheduled to take place virtually August 4th through the 6th, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.


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