- Well, we already did one of these on GSW, but my co-workers have been laboring so hard to cover Austin GDC this week (and my other co-workers laboring to run the show!), that I thought it fair to pick the highlights of their comprehensive coverage of the rest of Thursday and Friday.

Some of the key lectures include some great stuff from Nexon on MapleStory and KartRider, as well as BioWare on writing for Mass Effect, a particularly neat Final Fantasy/MMO-related talk by some Square Enix execs, and a host of other goodness - specifics are as follows:

- AGDC: Nexon's Min Kim On The Power Of Microtransactions
In Friday's keynote at the Austin Game Developers Conference, Nexon America’s director of game operations Minho Kim discussed his firm's incredible Korean success with games such as Maple Story and Kart Rider, and explained how the company's microtransaction model adapted to the West.

- AGDC: Jacobs, Bethke Tussle For Online's Future
In an amusingly heated 2007 AGDC match-up, online game execs Raph Koster of Areae, Eric Bethke of GoPets, EA Mythic's Marc Jacobs and SOE Austin head John Blakely convened for a frenzied debate on the biggest online gaming opportunities on the horizon -- and whether Blizzard should sell gold.

- AGDC: Koster, James, Ybarra Reveal Startup Lessons
What do Three Rings' Daniel James, Cheyenne Mountain's (Stargate MMO) Joe Ybarra, Areae's Raph Koster, Heatwave's Anthony Castoro, and Conduit Labs' Nabeel Hyatt all have in common? They're all acquainted with the trials and tribulations of forging out on their own in the wild world of startups. More interesting, perhaps, are the differences in their experiences, as you can read from their stories, advice and suggestions in Gamasutra's full coverage of the panel.

- AGDC: BioWare Charts Writing for Mass Effect
A conclave of Neverwinter Nights vets -- Bioware's Mike Laidlaw and Mass Effect lead writer Drew Kapyshyn, along with managing director Mac Walters, share the secrets of their approach to story crafting -- and hint at next-gen products to come.

- AGDC: Flagship, Nexon Talk Worldwide MMO Licensing
Multiverse's Corey Bridges moderated a panel that brought together Nexon's Calvin Yoo, Jeff Anderson, CEO of Turbine Entertainment (which is currently starting to license out MMOs) Flagship Studios' Steve Goldstein and Joshua Hong, CEO and founder of K2 Network, which is licensing Korean titles to the West. The topic? The challenges and benefits involved in licensing MMOs worldwide, from localization to currency models -- and why Hong thinks Chinese publishers have been bad for the entire industry.

- AGDC: Marketing Your Indie Game, Guerilla Style
"The worst games are done strictly for the money," said Strategery's Jay Moore, formerly a founding father of Garage Games. Along with Mode 7's Paul Taylor, the two talked about getting guerilla with indie marketing, demystifying the topic and boiling it down to knowing the soul of your game and your company, and ways to communicate what sets you apart.

- AGDC: Engaging and Empowering Community Influencers
Out of an entire community of players, this roundtable of community managers - Flying Lab's Troy Hewitt, SOE Austin's EM Stock and SOE Global's Alan Crosby, Blizzard's Paul Della Bitta, CCP's Charles Dane, and Guild Cafe community director Sanya Weathers - know how to identify and employ those star-powered individual users with the power to turn the tide of the entire community in your favor, as well as what to do when those 'community influencers' turn on you.

- AGDC: How Square Enix Hunts The Hunters
The fact that Final Fantasy XI was originally supposed to be an Xbox 1 game is just one of the revelations from producer and Square Enix executive officer Hiromichi Tanaka on building the game, the necessity of excluding microtransactions -- and what was learned, and what's next for the ever-expanding MMO.