Attending the Game Developer's Conference - an Incredible Experience

June 19, 2012

Rob Braun '12

This past March I experienced my very first Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco, CA. I'm normally a more introverted person, so I went into GDC with the mindset of breaking out of my comfort zone a little and making sure I had fun above all else.

The first two days of the conference I attended the presentations I signed up for: Monday was "Learn Better Game Writing in a Day" and Tuesday was "Producer Boot Camp".  In the game writing workshop we were all seated at large circular tables and our table became our "group" for the random exercises the speaker had planned for us. I wound up talking to the different people in my group and actually ended up having dinner with one of them.

On Wednesday I attended the AltDevSummit held at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel and was headed by Mike Acton, the founder of AltDevBlogADay. As a contributor to AltDevBlogADay, I knew about the summit before the general public and was excited about it because it represented a chance for me to meet Mike face-to-face. The summit itself basically consisted of Mike going over resumes and then running through the thought experiments he puts the Insomniac engine team through every week.

The biggest boon of GDC for me was being able to meet so many fellow game developers. Going into GDC, all I heard was how if you wanted to network/meet people you had to go to the major parties. As someone who gets mild claustrophobia/anxiety in large crowds, this was a less than appealing idea. I lucked out during the AltDevSummit when Mike informed us that every year he went to the Cigar Grill with whomever he could round up and that we were more than welcome to attend. Not only did I get to hang out with a bunch of cool "gamedevs", I got to have actual conversations and discussions with them, something I don't think your average conference goer could say.

I had fun at GDC. I got to meet awesome new people and learned a little bit more about the game industry. I would definitely recommend GDC as a must go for anyone even considering a career in the game industry as the benefits far outweigh the costs.