My first time to the Game Developer's Conference! Full of developer booths and industry seminars, this was a very exciting day! As soon as I walked through the doors onto the showfloor, I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of emotion surging through me. Seriously, I was holding back the tears just trying to come to the realization that I was there moving through the radiating energy of the games industry. It's hard to describe the strange sense of belonging and the unique package of emotions each booth brings. I took it all in like a giant chocolate box. Outside when you're moving between buildings, you see everyone with the same badge that's hanging around your neck. That also brought out it's own different set of emotions. I'm a total nerd.
It took place in the impressive Moscone Center in San Francisco—just a few blocks from where I live! Exploring the city a few weeks before the event, I happened to come across this building with it's large GDC banners—it was so unexpected; I was shocked once again that I am in SF of all places.
Ever since I got into games I've wanted to go to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), GDC is a very close taste of that with its show floors filled with high budget booths and massive conference presentations. The difference is that GDC is directed toward people in the industry while E3 is for the press—and more recently has become more open to the public with each passing year. Both come around just once a year and I've always regarded E3 as Christmas for gamers; All the developers save their big project secrets to finally be revealed at this event. GDC holds the game of the year (GOTY) awards show—at least, the most official awards show (it's a little disorganized in that every games media event or website has its own GOTY awards). Being the biggest of them all, GDC's is basically the equivalent of the film industry's emmy awards. You were just dying to know all of that I know—sorry, I love talking about this stuff because these events are the few times a year that people come together and celebrate the games industry.
One of the lines died down and I tried out virtual reality for the first time. Rather than a game, it was a cool animation short where you play a role in the story. It was cool being placed in the environment; I felt like I was peaking around actual surfaces and when characters moved close, it activated those senses. I was the clumsy troublemaking droid on a spaceship who ended up saving the day. Oh and the GDC gift shop had a table full of "The Art of…" books! I spent a good chunk of time flipping through those soaking in the brushy concept art.
I got the t-shirt to remember that I've been there—done that!