So what exactly did we do at GDC? Among other things, we went to the IGF/GDC award shows (look, Journey won Game of the Year!), and got to congratulate all our fellow devs on their wins/nominations. Watching Tim Schafer and Andy Schatz MC the two shows was a treat as always, and it’s the event where you’re most likely to meet some of the big names in AAA development. And yet, it’s not the highlight of GDC. Not for me at least.
So in San Francisco, there’s a hostel where practically all the Indie devs stay during GDC. This is fantastic. Meeting people at formal events is nice, and grabbing lunch with a random katamari of devs is great too, but heading down to the hostel common room at 2am (because time zones!) to do some browsing, and running into 20 devs in various states of panic/denial is amazing. The casual atmosphere lets you really get to know these awesome people, and learn that they’re all having the same struggle as you: Making a game. Making games is hard.
It was a whirlwind week of meeting people though. I’m just gonna list off some of the favorite moments from the conference now. Going to Supergiant Games to play Transistor. Hanging out with DannyB and Grant Kirkhope, chatting about DD’s music. Meeting Kert Gartner, and asking him to help us make a trailer for DD. Chatting to Lucas Pope about game design. Having dinner with the guys from Cipher Prime, and playing something new from them. Touring EA redwood shores with Paul Barnett. Going to the MoMA to see Robin Arnott exhibit SoundSelf. Meeting Steve Russell, and playing Spacewar! on an actual PDP-1. And about a million other things.
There really is no place quite like GDC