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First GDC 2013 panels announced

Coming next year

The first three GDC 2013 panels are now detailed on the conference's official website, which lists the keynote speakers taking part.

Ubisoft's Jean-Francois St-Amour will head the presentation "Rendering Assassin's Creed" to discuss the various rendering techniques behind the latest title in the Assassin's Creed series.

"This talk will cover the game's weather system, lighting solution, ocean rendering and material system," reads the presentation blurb. "In addition, this presentation covers what the AC3 team believes are the biggest bang for the buck improvements that can be made to current-generation titles being ported to DX11 PC hardware."

Roundtable discussion "Free to Play, Pay for Stuff: Virtual Goods Win" features speakers Daniel James of Puzzle Pirates studio Three Rings and Matt Mihaly of Iron Realms Entertainment, known best for MUD title Achaea, Dreams of Divine Lands. The "off the record conversation" goes in-depth into the state of the microtransaction business model. This is the ninth year the discussion has run.

"The Beauty and Challenge of Mixing Physical and Digital Games" includes speakers Eric Hautemont of Days of Wonder, Tom Chick of Quarter to Three, Soren Johnson of Zynga, Richard Garfield of Three Donkeys and Joel Goodman of Playdek. The talk looks at the blurring line between physical and digital gaming.

"Video games are incorporating elements and conventions from board games while some new 'board games' only exist in digital form. What defines the aesthetic of board games if they are no longer limited to a physical format?" reads the blurb. "This panel will focus on the practical challenges and benefits of designing games that straddle the physical (real cardboard board/card games) and digital (mobile, browser, console) world."

GDC 2013 takes place in San Francisco from March 25 to March 29, 2013.