The Game Developers Conference Online in Austin will begin in Austin on October 13th. For those looking to attend, here’s a bit of information about what you can expect.

From the press release:

    Neal Stephenson, best known for his works of speculative fiction including Snow Crash, The Baroque Cycle and Cryptonomicon, will keynote the Game Narrative Summit at the 2011 Game Developers Conference Online (GDC Online). In Stephenson’s keynote, titled “Music, Movies, Microcode, & High-Speed Pizza Delivery: A Conversation with Neal Stephenson,” he will be joined on stage by renowned video game journalist and Spike TV host Geoff Keighley on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 11am. GDC Online 2011, presented by the UBM TechWeb Game Network, brings the premier online game development event back to the Austin Convention Center from October 10-13, 2011.

    Stephenson, the author of Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Zodiac, the three-volume The Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World) and Snow Crash, which was named one of TIME Magazine’s top one hundred all-time best English-language novels, has explored and redefined genres from cyberpunk to the historical epic. Now, to celebrate the publication of his new novel REAMDE, set against the backdrop of the games industry, Stephenson comes to the Game Narrative Summit at GDC Online for a unique keynote conversation led by video game journalist Geoff Keighley. A special book signing for REAMDE, which releases on September 20, 2011, is also scheduled during GDC Online.

    Geoff Keighley has spent almost 20 years covering the video game business as a journalist, television personality, and producer. Today he serves as both host and executive producer of “GTTV” on Spike TV, which is consistently the highest rated video games show on television. Keighley is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kotaku, Business 2.0, and Entertainment Weekly, and is the author of the acclaimed iPad app “The Final Hours of Portal 2.”. Keighley was named one of the top 30 journalists under 30 in 2004 by NewsBios.

    The Game Narrative Summit is one of three specialized Summits at GDC Online focusing on relevant and emerging sectors in the online and connected games space. The conference will also feature the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit and the GDC Virtual Items Summit. The Summits kick off the week of the event on October 10-11. Highlighted Summit sessions and speakers include:

    Game Narrative Summit:
    · Blurring Fact and Fiction: Adventures in Writing Games that Draw on Historical Themes
    Speaker: Charles Cecil (Revolution Software)

    · Just Go: A Roundtable Q&A with Valve’s Writers
    Speakers: Erik Wolpaw (Valve), Marc Laidlaw (Valve), Chet Faliszek (Valve), Jay Pinkerton (Valve) and Ted Kosmatka (Valve)

    · Building the Story-driven Experience of Deus Ex: Human Revolution
    Speaker: Mary De Marle (Eidos Montreal)

    · The Evolution of Game Story… and What It’ll Look Like in 2065
    Speaker: Nolan Bushnell (Independent)

    · New for 2011 – The Game Narrative Summit Game Writing Tutorial (October 12, 9am – 5:30pm)
    Speakers: Toiya Finley (Schnoodle Media, LLC), Andrew Walsh (Freelance), Carl Varnado (Star Education), Tobias Heussner (Bigpoint Berlin GmbH) and Evan Skolnick (LucasArts)

    Virtual Items Summit:
    · Combat Arms Postmortem: The Art of Selling Guns
    Speaker: Jungsoo Lee (Nexon America Inc.)

    · From Subscription to Hybrid – Introducing Virtual Item Sales into EVE Online
    Speaker: Ben Cockerill (CCP Games)

    Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit:
    · Squirrels and Gunships Climbing the App Store: A Double Postmortem of Nuts! and Zombie Gunship
    Speakers: Arash Keshmirian (Limbic) and Serban Porumbescu (Limbic)

    · Words With Friends: Building and Growing a Game on the Top of the Charts
    Speaker: Vijay Thakkar (Zynga With Friends)

    · Successful Publishing on Smartphone Platforms: iOS vs. Android
    Speaker: Giordano Bruno Contestabile (PopCap Games)

    GDC Online takes place in Austin, Texas from October 10-13, 2011.