It’s another GDC! The Game Developer’s Conference is a mix of professional developers, aspiring developers, fanboys and salespeople hawking all manner of techno-whatzits. I usually spend my time on the show floor looking at random stuff, grabbing free swag and candy. There is a lot of free candy at GDC. If you love candy, I suggest you become a video game developer and come to this show. The first booth I hit up was Sony. They were pimping the PS VITA pretty hard, and I have to admit it’s a really nice machine. Last year, I seem to remember them pushing 3D TVs. I think even they’ve realized by this point, people don't want to sit in their living rooms and wear wacky glasses all night.
One of the features the PS VITA guy was showing off was the AR or Augmented Reality function. This kind of made me sad, because the 3DS did it first. Personally, I think doing stuff like this makes Sony seem like a “me too” company, instead of a leader. Especially following the PlayStation Move, which is nearly exactly like the Wii. I hope they can get out of their funk and start leading again. That being said, this guy has really nice hands. I think he could be a hand model.
Another cool gadget on the floor was the KDJ-ONE which was a mobile audio workstation. It looks like a giant Gameboy, but is essentially a small synthesizer and sequencer. You could pretty much take this anywhere and bust phat beats that would probably get pretty girls to start dancing for you. At least that’s how I imagine using it. It’s not out yet, but will retail at around $800. I have no idea if that's a good deal, or not.
Every year at GDC, companies give out cheap tchotchkes in hopes someone will remember their name and buy stuff from them later. This year the hot swag item was squishy balls! I can’t say that’s entirely original, especially when seven different companies are giving them away. Anyway, I got a whole bunch of squishy balls.
The Nova Scotia booth was as well attended as you'd expect.
I can’t remember a GDC I’ve ever went to where there wasn’t some poor guy on the floor doing motion capturing for hours on end. This guy was adding his own commentary to the game and would say random things like “Feel my hands of doom! Skkksshwaaaahhh!!!” It think he should have his own video game.
GDC is definitely growing! This year they’ve added a whole new floor called GDC Play. There you can check out various games for tablets, phones and just about everything in-between. One common complaint developers have about GDC is it’s becoming more like E3, and less industry focused. There’s definitely more flash this year than last, and I don’t imagine that’s going to change next year.
One of the coolest things on the floor this year was the display by the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment. There was a variety of old school gaming systems and some really groovy looking stuff. Like this Sega Genesis 32X! Look at this thing! Doesn’t this look fun?! In fact, it wasn’t fun and was released too close to the superior Sega Saturn, thus greatly confusing consumers. This was essentially the beginning of the end of Sega’s console manufacturing days. I still love my Dreamcast!
There isn’t much cosplay at GDC as it’s industry focused, but you occasionally see somebody in costume trying to draw attention to their game or event. I got to say, whoever came up this this idea is definitely on to something.
Probably the best part of GDC is meeting the people there. Just about everyone there shares a deep love of video games and are really fun to talk to. And some of the indie developers are quite colorful, like this man of many hats.
And there is your totally random, not really relevant to anything important GDC coverage! Hope you enjoyed it! Also, I’ll be giving this little guy away and other random GDC swag at the SJ Fan Meetup at WonderCon! Come by for a chance to win him! Friday, March 16 2:30–3:30 Room 208AB!
Thanks for reading!
by Urian Brown