This GDC will be remembered for the "GDC flu" which led some of the speakers to lack of voice and a scattering of schedule. It was the first time we met in S.F., and in Moscone, which was exciting, even though we were used to S.J. It was crowded, from the get-go, which seemed unlike any other GDC, and the Wednesday morning was unbelievably crowded.
This GDC was the first year for Girls in Games. Although the group had shown a demo at the Microsoft Women Celebrating Women in Game Development Party the previous GDC, it was not under the name Girls in Games. We got incorporated, changed the name, and spread the word at GDC. Our roundtable went swimmingly well and thank you to all that participated!
I think that Girls in Games is at the crux of many converging issues. First off, we had the Quality of Life Summit, which spotlighted the issues that often concern women in game development. Concurrently, the Casual Game Summit and Mobile Summit repeatedly stated the importance of female players (and their respective dollars) in the game market. And then, our roundtable gave voice to the frustration of many that there were not enough women involved in game development.
Obviously, I had some goals for GDC, some of which included Girls in Games. I have noticed within myself a tenacity. I can be very goal-oriented and drive toward that goal. I'm not talking about drive as in "passion for gaming" but a stick-to-it-iveness, the ability to identify a goal and go after it. I think it's a rather innate quality, a spark that can't be taught.
However, I think that being in journalism definitely honed this ability. You call because you've gotta call. You do because you've gotta do it. Or else your story is gone. Gaiiden, speaking of 3 AM scribblings, that's the way it is.
So, one of my goals this year was to go to a lot of parties. That's because last year I felt like I didn't really attend GDC and spent way too much time in the hotel suite. And the purpose of parties, despite what you think, isn't best met with free beer and food, it's that you get the opportunity to meet other people. To expand your circle. While I can probably walk around GDC and see people, I definitely enjoyed GDC this year because I met a lot of people that I hadn't known before. I met friends or friends, I re-introduced myself to others, and some people, I met while waiting on line.
In total, I went to 15 parties. I'm sure there were more, because we knew where they were located but just didn't go. It was nice to round out the evening Thursday at Denny's, just kicking back and mildly talking shop.
Well, we went through some parties, and I am very tired. All the pictures are on other people's cameras. I've uploaded what was on my camera, although not all.
I spotted J.C. Herz, author of Joystick Nation, walking through the hallway, so here's a picture of me, her, and Brian Hawkins of Soma Consulting.
The weird thing was some guy popped into the photo before, appearing like a Cheshire cat. So we had to take another photo.
Later in the day, Lars and Sparky (and I really should get their photo uploaded) of the They Came From Hollywood indie game walked into the Press Lounge. Sparky, of course, was dressed impeccably. Boots with buckles, I think, and fire engine red hair.
My friend Tim, who is starting a job at Zoomedia, came by in the afternoon, so we walked through the Expo for 20 mins, most of which was spent looking at E-Mu, since he DJ's at a local club. I didn't upload the photo but it's not bad and it was taken by (yes, I knew your name wasn't really Gavin even though that's what the badge said.. and let us leave it at that :)
I also might add that Tim wore black, with a black T-shirt full of white skulls.
Our roundtable went very well today, I think. It ran over by a little, so effectively, we did not head out to parties until around 7:30 PM.
Ok Parties. Yeah, so we went to some parties, maybe about 8, I don't think I was keeping track, except that in the beginning, we only stayed for about 10 mins at each place, because the Argent parties were supposed to end soon. Drew saw the Korean version of his book at the CRM party. I did want to go to the Nokia party, bec I haven't yet gone to a Nokia party, but it was further away than I wanted to walk. We ended up at the RealArcade party where there were dancing go-go girls, very crowded, and while Eric Cha (Xenopi), Elaine Cho, and I lounged near the door, DavidRM had braved trying to get to the back of the room, whereupon he said it was all full of PopCap people. He related to us that there were these people in PopCap that knew of him before PopCap got big, and because it was so loud in there and I was wearing ear plugs and talking on the cell phone to him, I thought he was talking to one of the go-go girls. Michelle Sorger was still at the GANG awards, but she joined us later, along with Carolyn Fazio of Sonic Farms, at the 24 hour Denny's.
I have a lot of sessions to report on, and I think I'll get to them on Saturday.
so that first message was just a test. I wonder if there's a way to add pix to this blog... or else there might be a pic of a Zork paperback on the Random Pictures Gallery...
But what a way to start off the conference... by brownnosing! ;-)
I have a 10-yr old book written by Steve Meretzky, who was the first speaker at the Casual Games Summit. It's What-Do-I-Do-Now Book #1, An Infocom Book called Zork: The Forces of Krill. I thought it would be a hoot to bring it along and ask for an autograph. So that's the first thing I did. (Well, after Speaker Registration, Press Registration and the GameDev Press meeting.) The Speaker Registration was like a wild goose chase. It was inconveniently tucked away under the escalator.
I was quite shocked to learn that I had missed Opening Remarks at the Serious Games Summit. Hadn't realized it started at 9:30 AM instead of 10 AM. My name got mentioned and I was supposed to stand up and say something except.... I WASN'T THERE. Oops.
It got worked out. Hopefully.
At 5:30, Michelle Sorger and I were interviewed by Oluseyi. Say, it's pretty tough on the other side of the fence. Michelle and I are promoting Girls in Games (http://www.girlsingames.com) and we have a roundtable at GDC entitled "Attracting Women into Game Development." Yes, ha ha, people have mistaken the session title for "Attractive Women in Game Development" and we've been calling it that on and off to get people's attention.
Our roundtable sessions will be held in Room 3024 on Wednesday, March 9, 4-5 PM; Thursday March 10, 5:30 - 6:30 PM; and Friday March 11 at 2:30 - 3:30 PM. It is actually listed in the Conference Highlights.
I wanted to see Kent Quirk's talk during the Casual Games Conference, but because of a hotel snafu (I now have Internet access, yay!) I missed it. But I saw him later at the Serious Games Summit Reception and reminisced about the first Independent Games Festival.
David Michael and I also had lunch with Daniel Greenberg, of which we have a running joke that every GDC he meets David and forgets that they used to work on the same project, so David has to repeat the story and they exchange business cards again. "How's Middle Earth?" I ask Daniel. We know him as the Everything to do with LOTR (the book, not the movie) producer.
Well, it's about midnight and the guys are out carousing (I assume). Stay tuned for more tomo!