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GDC Next panels tackle eSports, Kinect and indie life

The future of eSports will be the focus of a newly announced panel at the inaugural GDC Next conference, due to take place in Los Angeles in November.

"The Evolution of eSports as a Sport, Entertainment and International Pastime" will feature Riot Games' Dustin Beck, eSports host Marcus 'djWheat' Graham and Team Dignitas' Michael O'Dell, among others. The panel will offer up "the path to developer success in the industry and some data-driven indicators of its evolution as a global pastime," according to event organizer UBM Tech.

GDC Next, set to take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center alongside the App Developers Conference, Nov. 5-7, replaces GDC Online, an annual fall event that previously took place in Austin, Tex. The event's tracks including "Next Generation Game Platforms," "Free To Play & New Business Models," and "Smartphone & Tablet Games."

Other panels announced today include "The Next Generation of Kinect," with Microsoft senior software engineer Claude Marais and "Going from AAA to Indie" in which studio founders who had previously worked for large developers — such as Zynga, EA and Bungie — will talk about their experiences and offer up advice.

Previously announced talks include former Microsoft game director Adam Orth talking about online behavior; Ubisoft's Jill Murray on narrative and gameplay options for female characters and Thatgamecompany's studio manager Sunni Pavlovic discussing game design.

"GDC Next is focusing on creating the game experiences of the future," according to the event's website. "We're bringing together the creators of tomorrow's biggest and most innovative video games for this event and getting them to present their best practices."

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