Arrived in San Francisco a couple of hours ago, late due to transfer delay in Minneapolis. Staying at a hotel called The Donatello, a block from Union Square. I was able to get a discounted rate here that is lower than the available rates at the conference arranged hotel deals, except for a couple of places that were already fully booked. Of the 3 GDC's I've attended in San Francisco, this hotel sits in the middle in terms of nice/comfort, for what its worth. The Pan Pacific (which has since changed names) was the nicest (equal to the Sofitel in Paris), then The Donatello, followed by The Powell Hotel, where I stayed last year. The Powell is very
inexpensive for downtown, and is reasonably close to the Moscone center. Its not awful...clean as far as I could tell and nice enough rooms, but the hallways are quite dark and the rooms a bit stuffy. The room here is very large and comfortable.
I believe CMPMedia is expecting about sixteen thousand people at GDC this year.
I'm going to spend part of the evening gathering my thoughts, getting prepared for the first day of GDC, tomorrow. Plan is to attend the Advanced Visual Effects with Direct3D session, perhaps mixed with a bit of XNA Developer Day.
There should be wireless access at the Moscone center, and my goal is to blog during the day. I brought my camera, so at some point should have some photos at least.
Things I personally am on the lookout for: info on next-gen GPU technologies for consoles, PC's, and mobile platforms; what is up with game physics, including plans from Havok, nVidia/Ageia, and others; lighting middleware; pipeline tools; innovative application of robust
math/physics techniques, etc.