Feature: Game Developers Conference

By brandon sheffield.

March 6, 2002 11:59 PM PST

GDC – day 3.5

Today marks Insert Credit’s first trip to the Game Developer’s Conference, the least publicized and least hyped of the big gaming expos. Not that the GDC is an expo by definition – it’s primary purpose is to provide a symposium for developers from around the world, that they might discuss their particular obsession.

Recently however, there has been an increasing emphasis on the exposition side, though the entirety of the place could be fit inside E3’s tiny Kentia Hall with plenty of breathing room.

So this is the environment in which Jaimie and I found ourselves today as we joined the show, already 2.5 days in process. Registration was a breath of fresh air compared to the haughty staunchness of the E3 process. Hell, I even left my business cards in the car (street parking no less!) and they still took my word as my identity. Surprising for an expo that charges over $1,000 for non-press all access passes.

We had a mere 30 minutes on the expo floor before closing time, so as is natural, we headed straight for the free beer. We were the last two in line to get the last two beers form the Gamespy stand. They announced via the microphone that Jaimie was too young to be in line, and inquired as to whether or not her parents knew she was here (a falsehood incidentally, for those keeping track). Ah, memories.

Nokia was displaying the N-Gage (pics tomorrow, movies sunday) and games line-up in their booth. I didn’t get to touch one given the time constraints, but I dare say I hope the thing lights up when I handle it, because the dark screen was nigh impossible to view. And that screen is very, very small. It is a cellphone afterall.

Sony has a modest booth, displaying some very fancy looking ps2 models, their linux kit, and a host of already released games. At first glance, not too much to get excited about there, but we shall see what tomorrow brings.

Sega America and Sega.com (the new-ish mobile division) were hiding in the back, as were Nintendo, Rockstar, Infogrammes, Sammy, Ubi soft, and a few more of the usual crew. They’re here to scout for talent, but we’ll see what interview opportunities I can finagle in the two days that follow.

The independent games expo was held on the show floor, occupying a few kiosks with the higher profile titles (as it were). On cursory view, Teenage Lawnmower, Wild Earth and Terraformers were intriguing.

There was still more to see inside, but the doors were closing – it was time to move out. In the lobby immediately outside of the expo doors, there were a few monitors set up with PS2s and Xboxes for people to mess around with. Following the throngs of people we made our way across the street to the auditorium where the Game Developer’s Choice Awards were to take place.

Sadly, due in equal parts to finicky flash ram, computer incompatibilities and my own foolish blundering, there will be no pics of the event. Even though I took 40. *sigh*

The show must go on.

Next: the GDC Awards show

brandon sheffield


[Initial Impressions]

[Awards Show]

[Nokia N-Gage]

[Sammy Interview]

[Sony Peripherals]

[Ghouls & Ghosts and DTS]

[Ajile JAMiD]

[Programmer's Challenge]

[Nokia Party]

[Post-Show Wrapup]