Sunday, March 10, 2013

GDC tips

It's GDC season again... Daphny has a lot of helpful advice on having a good time at GDC, so make sure you read that. Here's some bits of my own:
  • My write-up / thoughts / post-mortem of GDC 2012.
  • Don't over-extend / over-promise / flake on people, don't promise to meetup somewhere but then realize that you're actually somewhere else, etc. I did this to people last GDC and felt pretty bad about it. GDC, in particular, is really exciting because there's so much going on, so it's tempting to try to do everything at once... don't do it. Pace yourself.
  • That said: here's the official unofficial GDC 2013 party list curated by Brandon Boyer.
  • If you must be network-y, then don't be network-y with people who aren't network-y. Use your personal judgment as to whether the person you're talking to (especially an indie or academic) will care about the business card ritual or if they're like Daphny, who uses the business card to mean, "please go away."
  • Typical flow / activity of the week goes like this:

    Monday: Summits. Mostly indies and academics around, but not that many. Very manageable to meet people and hangout / talk with them. A lot of the time, you'll be sitting around with others, just chatting, with nowhere to be in particular.

    Tuesday: Summits. Still mostly indies and academics around. More parties and meetups going on as more people arrive. Maybe you'll have one of those notorious 20-person GDC dinners.

    Wednesday: The big day. The Expo floor opens and the main sessions open up. The IGF pavilion will be absolutely mobbed with people and film crews. Celebrity Game Design Challenge session. Half the auditorium will leave after the IGF awards to go get a head-start on dinner. Biggest parties / socials happen this night.

    Thursday: Hangover. Fatigue is starting to settle in, and people are starting to get sick. IGF winners have been announced, so people who don't follow the indie scene are going to check the pavilion out. Bigger flashier parties that are somehow less promising than the night before. Mojang had their big thing on Thursday, last year; you can attend to pay tribute to Notch.

    Friday: Half-gone. Many AAA devs / corporate have left by this afternoon, but the expo floor is still packed as so many misguided students swarm the career pavilion and expo -- so some companies don't even stick around. Experimental Gameplay Workshop session happens Friday afternoon. Most international indies stick around and make a vacation in San Francisco out of it.
  • This year, save the date for something special: Thursday, 1 PM.