- [Just a quick note - if you're not a member of the press, or an IGF finalist, or a speaker, or a CA, and haven't bought your GDC pass yet, GameSetWatch's eagle-eyed corporate overlords point out that now might be a good time to do so, before the price zooms up and conks you on the head.]

CMP have announced and reminded that today is the final day for early bird registration to its February 18-22 2008 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, with an 11:59pm PST deadline for a conference pass discount of up to 30 percent.

The world's largest industry-only event dedicated to the advancement of interactive entertainment has taken steps this year to boost its focus on community-building and networking with the expansion of its lineup of summits that take a closer look at the industry's emerging trends, and through its myGDC initiative, which features enhanced social/professional networking capabilities on the GDC site.

The conference is also simplifying the pass structure to provide more intuitive access to the diverse experiences at the GDC. Complete details and registration for the conference is now available at the official website.

In addition, the conference has expanded its lineup of single-track summits dedicated to specific communities. The 2008 lineup includes the return of the Serious Games Summit, the Independent Games Summit and the Casual Games Summit.

GDC 2008 will see previously announced keynotes this year from celebrated inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, who will inspire attendees to take a dramatic look at the future of games and electronic entertainment. Microsoft's Windows and Xbox Live VP John Schappert will also be delivering a speech setting the stage for revolutionary changes in its community-oriented campaigns and game development in general over the coming year.

New to the schedule this year are the Game Outsourcing Summit, pioneered in 2006 at the GDC's successful standalone summit in Los Angeles, and the Worlds In Motion Summit, focusing on the intersection between games and online worlds. The standalone GDC Mobile event continues as well, as a dedicated conference with breakout sessions.

More than 16,000 game industry professionals will convene during GDC and, as such, intuitive access is another priority for the conference. GDC passes are therefore now being divided into five easily navigable categories. The All Access Pass offers entry into all GDC offerings including lectures, panels, roundtables, keynotes, tutorials, summits like the Serious Games Summit, and even the standalone GDC Mobile conference.

The Main Conference pass gives attendees access to the GDC's lectures, panels, roundtables, and keynotes. The Summits and Tutorials pass allows entrance into the entire summit lineup listed above, as well as the GDC's popular technical one and two-day tutorials. There are also Expo Passes for those who want to peruse the expo floor only, without attending any of the GDC's editorial content, and a GDC Mobile pass for entry into that conference exclusively. Details, prices and registration for all passes are now available at the official GDC website.