Oh GDC – How I Adore Thee

In two days I leave for the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. GDC is hands-down my favorite event of the year. Yes, Comic-Con is fun, PAX is going to be awesome and so are all of the smaller events that happen in the Vancouver area. But GDC has a special place in my heart.

GDC is where the shroud of secrecy is broken.

It’s an event where developers from around the world come together to celebrate their love of making games. Want to know how BioWare tackled cinematics in Mass Effect 2? Go check out Armando’s talk. Interested in the latest AI developments, there’s a WHOLE summit just for Artificial Intelligence.

Every time I go to GDC (I think this will be my 8th time), I’m amazed at how open and candid the other developers are. These are trade secrets, their companies competitive advantage, that they are sharing.

While it’s true that some of the sessions are pretty light and filled with marketing and PR buzzwords, but if you have ever been at a Clint Hocking GDC presentation, you will leave that room with a better understanding of how to design better games, if it doesn’t all go over your head.

And the candor doesn’t end in the presentations. If you want to know more, chances are that a deeper discussion into the topic at hand is only a few beers away.

On top of this assault of information, there is the added bonus of a little thing called ‘Friendship’. While some people will degrade the term by calling it ‘networking’, GDC is a place where I can meet up with past co-workers who have drifted to all corners of the globe, as well as meet new friends.

This year also marks my first trip to the Flash Gaming Summit (which, after being a HUGE success last year, I’m surprised isn’t a part of the official GDC this year) and it will be great to see what the big movers and shakers in my newly adopted Flash world are thinking 2010 has in store.

I’ll be posting pics and stories from GDC on my Twitter @shaneneville .

And if you are going to be at GDC, and you don’t know me, please come up and say hi (I’ll be the guy in the NinjaRobotDinosaur shirt) or hit me on Twitter to meet up.

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