[The Game Developers Conference is a one-week event aimed to game developers of different sizes and platforms, which means that, unlike SIGGRAPH, it's more focused just on design, writing, programming and marketing of games.]
This article sums up my day 3 and 4 of GDC. This has been a very interesting week, and I'm getting more than I thought I would. So far I can definitely say that, I need to come back to GDC when I get the chance, because it's been an amazing experience.
Day 3 started with me going to a talk from JP Research. If you've read my articles for a long time, then you know they do market research for everything related to computer graphics, from games to high end. It was a very interesting talk, with a lot of predictions. I think one of the most important aspects was the introduction of Vulkan. Vulkan is the new open graphics API from the Khronos Group (developers of OpenGL and WebGL), and promises faster performance at a lower requirements.
The entire expo also opens on the third day. There are basically different areas of the expo: There's the main expo hall, where you find the company booths, the GDC Play section, the careers center, the business center, and the IGF.
The main expo hall is similar to what you find at SIGGRAPH, with a lot of companies exhibiting their products. Obviously, they are all related to games in one way or another.
I did a quick pass through the entire floor, met the guys from Noiton Mocap (the makers of Perception Neuron), visited the Unity booth, and the FMOD booth. FMOD is particularly interesting to me, since it's an audio tool that's free to all indies (with projects under budgets of $100K). Another interesting company is Kongregate. If you plan on making games for web, you should take a look at their website.
The GDC Play part is interesting. Here, basically you pay for a small space where you can showcase your game. Since this is an event mostly aimed to developers and publishers, the idea is to present the games to possible investors or publishers (gamers come to these events as well, but they are a minority).
If I had to pick the best part of the third day, it would be the #1ReasonToBe panel. The panel was basically 4 developers from very unlikely parts of the world, sharing their experiences in game development, and giving the reasons why they decided to get into game development. At some point, they showed a bunch of reasons different devs would give to that question, in their original languages, and all I can say is that it was an amazing feeling when I read, in spanish, one of those reasons, because it would have been the reason I would have given, had they asked me.
I even have to admit that moment almost made me cry.
One of the main reasons why I traveled to GDC was to get a PS4 devkit from Sony (my studio is part of an incubation program for Latin America). This is the day I got it.
... And later that day I was invited to the Unity Latin American Happy Hour...
Yeah, that's me in the Unity offices in San Francisco...
The next day began with a panel about Women in Gaming. To me this subject was particularly interesting, because we don't have a games industry in my country, so we pretty much have the opportunity to get women involved right off the bat (although I have to say it's really difficult).
Later that day I attended a round table where indies from all over the world could come in and have a conversation. We discussed different subjects, like networking, attending events (or rather, if it is worth to attend events), game jams, and such. Small things like this are really helpful, because different devs can share their experiences, so others can learn what they can from those.
After wandering around the expo floor for a little more, my day finished with the G.A.N.G. Awards, where they award the best music, audio, dialogues and "everything related to audio in videogames" categories you can think of.
And those were my third and fourth days. There's only one day to go, then I go back home.
Sergio Aris ROSA
Sr. Staff Writer