Thought I’d take a break from not writing much about flash programming to dump all my notes from GDC last week. I’ll start and end with an overview, and likely seek to be a bit freakishly detailed in the middle. If anyone would like a more polished/streamlined report, please just let me know.
The annual Game Developer’s Conference takes place down in San Francisco, and is a place for all forms of game developers to share knowledge. Since I develop educational tools that walk the line between fun games and fact-heavy exercises I was rather thrilled to attend this year. There were over 400 sessions (maybe an average of 5-10 overlapping at any given time?). I went through, read each description, and carefully planned a schedule for each day. As part of the pass I had, I’ll be able to access video for all recorded sessions (access begins in a couple weeks, and lasts until next year’s show).
I’ve gone several times before – manning a booth for local Corvallis-area Motion Capture wizards NaturalPoint in the expo portion of the show- but I’d never had a chance to actually go in, sit through sessions hosted by legendary game designers, and mull over the thoughts being thrown about.
Anyway. Basically, from around 8am to 6pm each day I ran around between different rooms in the two different buildings (Moscone North and South, joined by an underground hallway) – desperately trying to absorb THE KNOWLEDGE.
GDC had 18,250 attendees this year.
Dry Monday Details:
I set out around noon on Monday, taking the MAX from Beaverton over to the Portland Airport. After several flight delays I ended up in SFO around 7:30pm. Rode their BART system into town. Checked into the Pickwick Hotel, which is a block away from the Moscone center, around 8:45. A long day of sitting.
Tuesday and Wednesday were purely focused on sessions and workshops. Thursday through saturday the expo hall opens up (and many more people swarm in). I spent the weekend down in Santa Cruz area with friends (it’s where I grew up).
I tried to “Live Twitter” the event. Although I wouldn’t claim my twitter accound is work safe, I feel compelled to share it Anwyay:
And after the first few sessions I switched to jotting down copious notes on my MacBook, and was really just tweeting photos.
There was an interesting marketing game during the show called “Back Chatter,” sponsored by the IGDA (Indie Game Dev Association). The idea was that you follow “bcgame” in order to play. Before each block of talks you direct messaged your guesses at what would be the three top twittered words (“d bcgame won tuu treee”). If you won, you could swing by their booth and pick up a prize. While I tried to take part, I often forgot, or just tweeted words I thought humorous.
their website is here: BackChatter.com
I do think it an interesting idea to challenge attendees to guess what will be the most remembered aspects of hundreds of different sessions. You can’t help but mention what you hope to get out of your upcoming session pick? You want to check in just to see whether the twitter crowd is attending the same sessions you are? hmm.
I don’t know that OSU faculty would be savvy enough to twitter during our Faculty Forum, but the game is supposedly open sourced and available for any conference to leverage.