GDC Days 4-6 – The Conference

Hold on a second…

No, I’m not cramming everything I did for the last 3 days of GDC in one post. That’s madness. I will, however, sum up what I did in this post, and then, later, I’ll make new posts about the lectures I went to. It’s all part of my crazy post-GDC blogging plans! Mwahaha!

GDC – Day 1


It’s the first day of the Expo and Career Pavilion for the conference. The first day there, we pretty much walked around the entire place awe-struck. I’ve been to GDC before, but the place is still amazing. We all hit a few lectures that day, but overall we walked around aimlessly just checking out the cool gadgets and the showcasing of game engines, like the CryEngine, Unity3D, AutoDesk, and many more. I wanted to get a Minecraft Steve head, but they sold out within 15 minutes of GDC opening.

I managed to find the Full Sail University booth where I met up with all my old teachers. It was good talking to them; my old Career Dev. advisor told me of a few places looking for programmers.

GDC started closing up shop for the day, so me, Jess, Ryan and Justin went to the Full Sail Mixer. I went to the one held last year in (and around) Kate O’Briens, which was too small a revenue to hold us all. This new place was slightly bigger… and so was the crowd, thus making it, again, too small. But I got to talk to my old teachers, meet some of the students (one came up to me saying, “Keith? The Legend?” To which I responded, puzzled, “The… Legend?!” Legend of what? Is it because I Rick-Rolled 46 people at once with my SGD game? Or is it because my Final Project game was based off of Bob Ross?). After the mixer, we started heading back… and got lost… and had to walk a few miles back. My feet were not happy.

Day 1 Lectures:

  • Dynamics: The State Of The Art
  • Cinematic Character Lighting in Star Wars: The Old Republic
  • Psychoacoustic Real-Time Mixing: 7 Secrets You Need To Know

The Expo – Day 2


Now that we all knew what was in GDC, it was time to start interacting. Me and Ryan walked around to check out all the cool toys on the floor. Now, this is an expo, but it’s not E3 or PAX or anything like that. This is mainly for development and design. Though, the stuff they did have were all really cool. Me and Ryan got to play with a camera rig that had no camera – just a screen, and MoCap balls.

As you walked around with the camera, MoCap cameras picked up your movements, and you moved a camera in a digital world. It was awesome. Ryan also got to slightly play around with the Unity3D editors on display. I started preaching about how he and Justin should use it. I also started passing out résumés everywhere I could. I walked up to the Bethesda booth and found out they do it digitally. I started filling out my information (which took 20 minutes or so) and then it asked for my résumé. I have it uploaded online (obviously), so I opened up a new tab… and the computer blocked me. I tried everything. Then one of the H/R ladies came by and told me I needed to have a USB stick. Great. Afterwards… my feet hurt too much, so we all basically piled back in the hotel room and rested.

Day 2 Lectures:

  • Biofeedback in Gameplay: How Valve Measures Physiology to Enhance Gaming Experience
  • Experimental Gameplay Sessions
  • The Player-Shaped Hole; Allowing for Both Narrative and Story

GDC11 Draws to a Close – Day 3


The last day of GDC! And we were exhausted. Most of GDC had quieted down, and we mainly just walked around. We checked out a few lectures, and then rummaged the remains of the expo. Ryan had some problems with the PS Move (If the glowing ball goes behind you, instant connection loss). Needless to say, I won.

The last thing we did was mess around on a Bulldozer Simulator. But, see, I’m mildly dyslexic. I don’t read “BULL” in bulldozer. I read “KILL,” as in KillDozer! I ran that thing into the foreman’s trailer, the nice car he had, and into the porto-johns. I got one wedged under the K’Dozer, and took him for the most traumatic ride of his digital life.

After that, GDC closed up shop for the year. What a ride! It was great. But we still had one last night in San Fransisco, so we went back to the Wharf! This time we hit up the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, and got to see some weird things…

But they also have a mirror maze. We spent about an hour in that thing, running from entrance to exit and back. Ryan, however, could not find the exit nor the entrance. Multiple times I saw him wondering around with this puzzled look on his face. The best, though, was when Justin spotted me. It went something like this:

Justin: “Hey Keith!”

–WHAM!–

I didn’t see it happen. I just know that it did. How did he not see himself in the mirror? How fast was he running to make that sound (I mean, for Pete’s sake, it echoed!). I nearly pissed myself.

Afterwards, we hit the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory on the wharf one more time for our final San Fransisco Sundae: The Earthquake.

There were no survivors.

Finally, we caught a cab, which had a creepy cab driver, and we went back to the hotel room. Me and Jess took of the next morning. The End.

Day 3 Lectures:

  • Havok Script: Efficient Lua Scripting in Game Production
  • The Game Design Challenge 2011; Bigger Than Jesus

Conclusion

GDC == Amazing. San Fransisco == Amazing. The whole damn trip == Amazing. I’d do it again in a heartbeat, but next time, I’ll keep a budget, and I’ll call a cab.

Notes For Next Time:

  1. If you have any documentation from a game you [are working/have worked] on, bring it. If it has sample code in it, even better. Bring you Design Document, Technical Document, Game Bible, whatever. A résumé is a brief summary of you; The Game Bible shows more examples.
  2. Bring your résumé in all different forms. Flash drive, cell phone, paper, poster, tee-shit, coffee mug. You never know who will want in in which way (Though USB and paper should suffice).
  3. San Fransisco’s awesome, but you don’t have to walk all of it in a day! If you saw me at GDC, I was the guy walking around with a limp due to blisters!

This concludes my trip! I’ll post up take-aways from the lectures and what not. Say tuned for The Pillar of Despair!

Till next time! GDC I WILL RETURN!
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KeithM

Computer Scientist for Engility, and Indie Game Dev from New Jersey. Loves playing games, and loves making them, too.

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