[My colleagues are starting to roll out a bunch of good content for GDC Online now, and here's the tip of the iceberg, with a number of the leading online game folks heading to Austin in October - plus those neat Summits, too.]

As momentum builds for GDC Online (formerly GDC Austin) in Texas this October, organizers have announced key new lectures from the world's leading online game firms, including Zynga, Disney, Playdom and more.

The Austin, Texas-based GDC Online conference and expo -- taking place October 5-8, 2010 -- is focused on online games of all kinds -- including social network titles, free-to-play web games, kid-friendly online titles, large-scale MMOs, and more.

With a leading advisory board guiding the evaluation and choice of lectures, and the newly announced GDC Online Awards honoring the leading games in the space, the conference is a must-attend for those working in online games.

Some of the highlights from newly announced sessions -- as the August 4th alumni registration deadline for GDC Austin 2008/2009 attendees and speakers approaches -- include:

- 'AAA To Social Games -- Making the Leap' sees Playdom VP John Donham, most recently at Metaplace and a 20-year veteran of online games, discussing why "developing games for social networks is a dramatic shift from making titles for PCs, consoles, or even the Internet." The session will "provide you with a solid basis for revising your strategy as you approach social game development."

- In 'Scalability for Social Games: YoVille, Mafia Wars and Farmville', Zynga's Robert Zubek expands on his GDC 2010 Summit talk from the leading Facebook game firm to "describe architectures and proven techniques for building scalable server infrastructure, particularly for social web games, operating on the web and social networks."

- A practical lecture called 'MMO 101: Building Disney's Server System', Disney Online Studios' director of architecture and R&D Roger Hughston presents on the system underlying titles like World Of Cars and Pixie Hollow Online This technical discussion -- "with heavy emphasis on server systems" -- will describe approaches that have been taken in the Disney Online Studios in the development of their MMO environments, including "candid discussion about what is good, bad, and ugly."

In addition to the main conference content, GDC Online will present specialized Summit programs, with in-depth business and technical advice on major up-and-coming facets of the game industry, including the 3D Stereoscopic Games Summit, the iPhone Games Summit, the iPad Gaming Summit, and the Game Narrative Summit (formerly the Game Writers Summit).

A vibrant GDC Online Expo Floor -- something no other online game-specific conference boasts -- also enables attendees to get all the latest information from game tool, engine, middleware, payment, and virtual currency firms exhibiting at the show, as well as recruitment-specific areas and other notable vendors.

GDC Online -- part of the UBM TechWeb Game Network, as is this website -- is scheduled for October 5-8, 2010 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. To learn more about the newly announced lectures across all tracks for GDC Online, for which registration is available now, please visit the official GDC Online website.