GDC Summer Will Offer Virtual Space to "Bump Into" New People

Courtesy GDC

The all-digital version of the annual Game Developers Conference will offer hands-on workshops, networking tools, webinars and more.

GDC Summer, the all-digital version of the Game Developers Conference, is now open for registration.

With the event going fully virtual for the first time in 30 years, the presentation of programs will be transformed, though the content will continue to offer a broad range of educational and technical information on the art, craft and business of game development.

According to GDC general manager Katie Stern, the event will feature small group roundtables; a meeting tool for attendees to connect with each other and set meetings or video calls; community forums; webinars; "ask me anything" streams; hands-on workshops; and plenty more.

Speaking to some of the benefits of the live format going digital, Stern said in a statement that the new format allows for the event to reach a larger community: "We are now able to open the doors even wider to offer education, networking and business functions for a global audience at a price point that is more accessible — and in a way that doesn’t require travel."

The physical GDC event, previously scheduled to take place in March at San Francisco's Moscone Center, was postponed in February amid coronavirus concerns. Developers and media from all over the world typically attend the conference, with over 29,000 attendees recorded last year.

"I recognize that a large part of the value of GDC in its physical form is the serendipitous networking that occurs from the 'hallway track,' bumping into people you might not have otherwise had the opportunity to engage with," continued Stern. "Understanding there is no one-to-one recreation of that, we set out to create other fun, engaging experiences that surround the core program. These offer unique engagement formats to give your brain a break from learning, create some social space and facilitate that opportunity to organically 'bump into' new people."

As in previous years, GDC Summer will also host an indie showcase and GDC Pitch event to help facilitate business interactions.

For those unable to take time off from work to attend the virtual programs, morning and afternoon sessions will be offered to allow for that flexibility and all first-run broadcasts will archived on the event platform for on-demand access during the week. 

Stern also teased some pre- and post-conference social offerings that may take place, such as virtual mixers, relaxation live streams or mindfulness sessions. 

GDC Summer is set to run Aug. 4-6; registration can be found here.