For the most part, it turned out rather well. I wasn't completely sure what to expect since this is the first GDC I've ever been to, but I wasn't disappointed, it was a good time.
Some background for those of you who haven't been to the GDC, essentially it's split into a few components:
- The expo floor with a bunch of booths where various companies vie for attention by giving away gaudy trinkets
- Sessions, which are basically one hour speeches on some topic
- Tutorials, which are essentially one-day classes on something
- Parties, which I was generally not cool enough to be invited to ;)
The sessions were for the most part really interesting. There were a few that were disappointing, and some other ones that were obviously marketing ploys (which I'm sure will shock approximately... nobody), but otherwise most of the sessions were good. I should have some summaries up soon. I think the real standouts for me were Peter Molyneaux's talk about his new innovation in Fable 2, and the session about making games for non-hardcore gamers. The sex in games round-table was also fascinating, although I think it would be rather hard to somehow make a discussion on sex not interesting.
The expo was.. pretty much what you'd expect an expo to be like. It was, uh, loud and there were lots of blinking lights. I think Wizard of The Coast gave out the best free stuff (a travel mug and a game! Hoorah!), although for the most part the entire thing is kind of a blur. Also, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of booth babes. I realize that sounds rather shallow, which is only precisely because it is, but dammit I'm a shallow person. Not to say there weren't pretty girls at various booths of course, but for the most part there really wasn't anything entertainingly scandalous (although I suppose most people would probably consider that a good thing, when you consider E3).
It was also a lot of fun meeting the various people who make GDNet run in person. They definitely made things a lot easier for a rather naive and unprepared first timer such as myself, which I'm very much grateful for.