GDC 2013, San Francisco


What another great GDC!
Through another scheme provided by the UKTI and our good friends at Game Republic, we were able to repeat last years attendance and hit the best video games conference for a second year.

The main conference happens from the Wednesday onwards, of the GDC week, with the first two days focusing on longer duration tutorials. And it was on the first Monday that the UKTI held a showcase of UK based companies, inviting other companies and the like to this closed event. We were lucky enough to be selected as one of those attending!

Much of the week-long conference was a blur, as we bound from meeting to session to tutorial. We yet again were able to meet a huge array of the industries greats, discussing what opportunities they had available. Catching as many of the sessions as we could, it’s often difficult to pick from just one time-slot, wishing we could be in multiple places at once.
The fantastic session regarding running a small studio echoed many of the trials and tribulations that we too, as a small team, encounter on a daily basis. The wonderful (and hilarious) session on The Writing of Borderlands 2 not only demonstrated how much writing can influence game design but, as huge fans of the franchise, helped to explain how many facets of the game actually came to exist (the Bane gun being one of them!).

Speaking of sessions, a visit to GDC would never be the same if one did not attend the Experimental Gameplay Workshop. This is, by far and away, one of the best sessions at the entire conference. This sentiment is true for many a GDC-goer, as this session was moved to a larger hall, allowed extra time and also to “run-on” just in case. And, as is also always the case, we left this session with so many ideas about our own games swimming around our heads!

Outside of the conference there are so many events and parties (such hard work!) that evenings are just as fully filled as the conference days! We were lucky enough to be able to attend the OUYA launch party and see the final, release consoles – and of course, enjoy the 12ft tall OUYA in the corner! The ever-fantastic One Life Left/Wild Rumpus party upped its array of wacky games by bringing the custom-controller-requiring Tenya Wanya Teens, a gaming experience that is unlike anything else – pure lunacy (which of course, we adored)!

San Francisco natives, Double Fine, also held their own shindig celebrating the release of The Art of Brutal Legend book.
Yes, we’re mega-fans of Double Fine’s. Yes, we geeked out massively. And yes, not only did so many of the artists sign and doodle the books – we also got a unique piece of artwork from Tim Schafer himself.

Now we’re back in Blighty, time to put all of these contacts, the experimental ideas and resources gleamed from the various talks, to good use!