An Amateur’s Guide to Crashing GDC: Part 1

March 19th, 8:55 a.m. — Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Considering how much time we had to figure things out, we probably didn’t plan this out very well. Andrew, Dan and I — my friends at Cactus Cat Games — had been talking about going to the Game Developers Confere ce for something like six months, but only in the past few weeks did things start to fall into place. Dan’s out this time, but Andrew and I decided to make the trip anyway.

It feels weird to be heading to GDC without a pass. But what can I say? Expo passes are steep at $250, and that excludes all of the panels, discussions and speeches that provide the most value — and that’s almost six times as expensive. We also missed the window on the indie circuit, a promising, two-day event for independent developers that’s bundled with an expo pass.

So yeah: we’re kinda bumming it this time around. But that’s okay! There’s still plenty to do in and around the city of San Francisco that’s outside the confines of the Moscone Center. For instance:

  • That Venus Patrol/Wild Rumpus Party is tonight. It’s a celebration of indie games and general weird/cool things. Keita Takahashi (the guy you know from Katamari Damacy) has a new game he’s showing off, and the Austin indie scene is well-represented thanks to Brandon Boyer’s Venus Patrol.
  • Lost Levels, an “unconference,” is taking place next door to GDC on Thursday afternoon. It’s gonna be super strange and wonderful and I can’t wait.

I’m most excited to see what other events and meetups Andrew and I can stumble upon while we’re in town. We’re both newcomers to the game development scene and I’m hopeful I’ll walk away with a much better sense of what this world is like and where I best fit in to it.