As I’m writing this, I just came back from my long trip in both San Francisco, with the main purpose to attend the Game Developers Conference.
This is my second year in a row for me attending GDC, the first time was really fun with loads to do, and I got to explore San Francisco. This time around, I did have a little experience and could had a good idea of where to go, but that didn’t mean there were some changes that threw me off. The main one being that the North and South Moscone Halls were being rennovated, so they looked like a construction site. The buildings were still explorable, but it was quite a contrast to last year. A section of the Yerba Buena Park above the North Hall was closed off as part of the rennovation.
As with last year, there are several sessions, talks and workshops going on during all five days along with the Expo Halls, Day of the Devs and Indie Megabooth, however this year also had the GDC Theater. The theater shows a lot of documentaries about game development, specifically the indie scenes around the world. However I didn’t go to that many talks, I had an Expo Plus badge, meaning I was limited to Sponsored, Career and Advocacy sessions, and some don’t interest me while others clashed with other things going on at GDC.
The Expo Halls are separated into indie game development (which includes Alt.Ctrl GDC, Train Jam and the IGF Pavilion) and major companies + middleware. There were a lot of games to try out, and several companies were giving out freebies. For me the best freebie was an Xbox One Game Controller from the Microsoft stand!
Finally, there are plenty of opportunities to meet with game developers. GDC had over 30,000 people in attendence, so it’s always overwhelming, but most of the people tend to be sociable and there are plenty of meetups and afterparties to get to talk to people. Even as an introvert I managed to talk to game developers from around the world, from Indie to AAA and got a load of business cards in the process!
After checking out many of the indie games, I’m tempted to try out a new visual style. I’m used to pixel art in my games but I feel as though more can be done instead of simple low resolution designs. It might also be fun to try some more expressive designs as well.