- [Just a note on early deadline for Austin GDC, which is put on by my colleagues here at Think Services, and is a very agreeable blend of practical game-related knowhow - particularly in online/social gaming, but also in writing, audio, getting into the biz, actually.]

The organizers of 2008 Austin Game Developers Conference (Austin GDC) are reminding possible attendees that early registration for the September 15th-17th event - which includes keynotes from Bruce Sterling and Club Penguin co-creator Lane Merrifield - ends tomorrow, July 31st.

Austin GDC 2008 is presented by Think Services, organizers of the industry-leading Game Developers Conference (GDC) and the parent of Gamasutra.com and related websites, including this one.

The event is a three-day, multi-track game conference taking place at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas September 15-17, 2008, and continues a multi-year tradition of an Austin-based game event appealing to a nationwide and worldwide game community.

The Austin GDC this year consists of the following elements:

- Austin GDC Online Summit - Austin's signature summit, with four parallel tracks on business and marketing, technology and services, design, and social networking and community for online games. Major speakers from Bioware, Cartoon Network, Disney, EA, NCSoft, and Sony Online Entertainment are participating, with Club Penguin's Lane Merrifield keynoting.

- Worlds In Motion Summit - specifically concentrating on virtual worlds, and expanding from the successful GDC Summit, this business-focused two-day event includes sessions on Facebook gaming, user-created virtual world content and the future of the metaverse - with speakers from IBM, NBC.com, IAC, and more.

- Austin GDC Writing Summit, featuring a keynote from futurist and science fiction writer Bruce Sterling on 'Computer Entertainment 35 Years From Today', plus notable lectures from leading writers from id Software, Carbine Studios, Red Storm Entertainment and Ubisoft.

- Austin GDC Audio Summit, with a keynote from Sony's Jason Page on next-gen audio, and other speakers including Austin Wintory, composer of fl0w, Slipgate Ironworks' Kurt Larson on adaptive music for MMOs, and a special 'Iron Composer Texas' to be fought out on site.

- Game Career Seminar, including notable lectures and panels for those wanting to get into the game biz, such as 'The Game Job Interview RPG', the ever-popular 'Pitch Your Game Idea' panel, and 'You're Hired! How to Get HR to Notice You' - featuring speakers from Vicarious Visions, Nexon, Ghostfire Games, and more.

In addition to an Expo show floor with many game technology companies in attendance, Austin GDC will also showcase the recently announced winners of the 2008 IGF Showcase for Austin GDC, picking the very best examples of 'local flavor' in terms of indie games from Austin and the Southern U.S.

Those interested in registering for the event can visit the official Austin GDC website to purchase their pass - early registration ends on July 31st, though passes will still be available after that date.