Monday, March 25, 2013

Game Developer's Conference 2013: Day 1

Every year since 1997, I have visited the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco (or Los Angeles or San Jose, or wherever they used to hold it).  I hate it because every year I am reminded how everyone in the game industry is finishing their games and mine isn’t done after three years.

The GDC is also disgustingly expensive.  I’ve been getting increasingly cheaper passes, but this year I got a full pass.  A friend (Hi Susan!) won a contest for a free pass.  I managed to convince her to stay home (“Oh, San Francisco is perfectly safe, except for the radioactive bears!”) and she gave it to me.
New pass in hand, with a hopeful glow in my heard (I really need to have a doctor look at that) I entered the Moscone Center.

The first thing I noticed was that everyone I mentioned my game to suggested I learn to code.  Honey, I’ve been trying to learn how to program since the late 70s.  That ship has sailed.

The second thing I noticed is that the sessions are all really long.  You sit in these armless chairs and wonder how long you have left before your shoulder muscles pop off.
The third thing I noticed was how many game developers have terminal cases of dandruff and no sense of personal space.  They also use odd expressions.  Instead of asking everyone to scoot inward on their seats so more people could sit down, they said “defrag the rows!”

Today I spent at the Indie Game Summit.  Indie games are video games made by people with small budgets and large mental problems.

No, seriously, the last session was about a game called Retrograde, which was made by a man with OCD and clinical depression.  As you might guess from that description, the story was about how he nearly destroyed his life by literally doing the work of 25 people (if you simply count lines of code).  Then, nobody bought it.  I don’t know anything else about the game, except his story nearly drove me to tears.  You should totally buy his game.

More on the Indie Summit tomorrow.

No comments: