Monday, March 27, 2006

The GDC Post

Saturday I returned home from GDC, exhausted, hoarse-voiced, and (the good news) a few pounds lighter than when I arrived - testament to the rigors of an event where you are basically always "on" from 8am to 2am (and those were the early nights!)

This was GDC number 11 for me, and it doesn't get old. The industry changes, the event grows and changes, and my role has changed too - meaning it's a very different event year-to-year.

Last year was pulling together a bunch of stuff around the Intel booth, managing a team that was staffing it, working on demos for months before the show, helping with event organization, and I also spoke at the IGDA "Quality of Life" event.

This year, I spent about 60% of my time in a meeting room talking to casual game developers & publishers, and other related companies. Big change.

Aside from getting business done, I managed to walk the show floor a bit (got to see my alma mater's TripleHead2Go product in action - sweet!), and attended two sessions (yup, only two - The Experimental Gameplay Workshop, and the Game Developers Rant session - both of which were really awesome).

I also had some great impromptu meetings in the hall, and checked out some games. (I loved Jon Blow's "Braid" despite the fact that it made my brain hurt!)

As usual, the best discussions were in hallway chats, and over lunches and dinners or drinks "in the pit" at the Fairmont. It was great having lengthy discussions with people I'd never or only briefly met in person. It was also great seeing friends I'd not seen for some time (Robin, Alice, Mark, Dan, Dean, Will, Jason, Jon, Souris, Sylvio, and.... well, the list could go on quite a bit).

I'm going to wrap this post for now, but I will get around to posting at length about the subjects of some of those discussions when I have more time. In particular, there were 3-4 topics that came up in *multiple* discussions with different people. The short versions, to plant the seed:

  • What does it mean to make MySpace a game - and what happens when we do so?
  • The sex & violence in games issue, and to what degree to have a responsability (or if you prefer, market opportunity) to create media that is guided by a differently oriented moral compass than our own?
  • Managing innovation; and managing creativity vs craft.
  • Christensen Effect and its effect on the Developer Relations/Evangelism process for HW companies

But you'll have to wait for those posts. I have a day job to get to!


Matthew said...

Speaking of innovation in video games, I found a revamp of an old DOS classic available for download. Not sure if it would have made the GDC. But you can't lose if it's available for free.

Come to my blog for the download link & to find out more.

Darius Kazemi said...

Hey, it was nice to (formally) meet you.