koster.jpgThe GDC Vault service has debuted several free videos from the Game Developers Conference 2011, featuring Playdom's Raph Koster on whether social games are truly social, a rant on game AI, and a retrospective look at the forces behind the successful Humble Indie Bundle.

These talks join recently-debuted free videos from GDC founder Chris Crawford, Bungie's David Aldridge, and Maxis veteran Stone Librande, as well as the much-watched classic postmortem series as part of GDC 2011's 'free recordings' section on GDC Vault.

The following free lectures include highlights from the conference's notable Summits, which covered topics such as social and online games, AI, independent games, and more.

The first talk offered for free is a lecture from Playdom's Raph Koster dubbed, "Social Mechanics for Social Games." In this session, Koster picks apart the interpersonal interactions that take place within online social titles.

As he notes in his talk, "Many have accused social games of not really being social. But they are underpinned by many classic social mechanics that drive interaction and community-building. Some of these have been proven to work in other genres such as MMOs and are beginning to filter into the social games market; others are easily visible and quite familiar in real life, but have yet to be seen in the design of social games."

The session, "Turing Tantrums: AI Developers Rant!" features a handful of AI developers from various companies speaking their minds on what they feel are the most important issues currently facing the implementation of game AI.
The session includes AI specialist Richard Evans on the benefits of "rolling your own scripting languages," Blizzard's Brian Schwab on the driving forces behind successful AI, as well as rants from developers Kevin Dill (Lockheed Martin), Mike Lewis (EGOSOFT), and Dave Mark (Intrinsic Algorithm).

Finally, in "The Humble Indie Bundle" Jeffrey Rosen and John Graham provide a inside look at the processes and planning that led to the surprisingly successful indie game promotion, which generated more than $1.3 million for charities and developers.

The speakers note, "[The Humble Indie Bundle] was the first promotion to combine five indie games in a pay-what-you-want, cross-platform (Mac, Linux, Windows), DRM-free extravaganza. Also notable, was the fact that this promotion was not orchestrated on a large existing gaming portal but was a spontaneous event put on by the indie developers themselves."

As the group behind the leading worldwide gaming conference, GDC organizers remain committed to making the event's best current and historical lectures available for free to the global game community, and will continue to release new free content throughout 2011.

Full GDC Vault access is available to GDC 2011 All-Access Pass holders, speakers, and All-Access Pass buyers to other GDC events for the rest of 2011. (Subscribers having issues accessing content should contact GDC Vault admins.)

Individual Vault subscriptions not tied to All-Access passes are now available in a limited-edition Beta invite process -- those interested in signing up to be invited in on a first come, first served basis should sign up on the GDC Vault website.

In addition, game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via viewing an online demonstration.

GDC organizers are also committed to making more archival content free for all during 2011, following a successful 'GDC 25 Chronicles' digitization project. GDC historian Jason Scott has been retained for the rest of 2011 to continue digitizing the extensive Game Developers Conference archives, with his 'Tales From The GDC Vault' series.