Day three of GDC started with me missing my first panel, which is unfortunate, but not unsurprising… despite my efforts at staying on eastern time in order to get up for morning panels, I’m slowly getting more and more on pacific time, and having more and more trouble getting up in the morning (probably helps that I’m not staying anywhere near hydrated enough). Still, I managed to make it in for the Playstation 3 keynote, which was interesting and fun. I’d have to say that there are some things that he discussed that make a lot more sense when heard than read; in-game advertising, for instance. In the actual keynote, the discussion made sense given the audience, and the nuances of speech made it clear that he wasn’t talking about tossing in advertising where it didn’t make sense, which simply hasn’t translated to the written accounts on the news sites and forums. I’m not saying I’m necessarily FOR it, but I’m also aware that games cost a fuckton of money at this point, and additional sources of revenue are necessary, plain and simple.
After the keynote, I wandered through the expo (which had just opened), and unfortunately missed some of my mid-day panels in the process. That said, I put my card in a lot of hands and introduced myself to a number of companies. I chatted briefly with Epic, and got a chance to see some actual gameplay of Gears of War and Unreal Tournament 2007, both of which are looking excellent. I also got a chance to check out their tools pipeline, which really has come a long way since the days of futzing with UnrealEd for Unreal Tournament. Needless to say, if I get enough funding to make it feasible, I’ll be chatting with them about licensing their engine (and in the meantime, a mod proof of concept sounds appealing).
I swung by the Bloggers Gathering and chatted with a number of bloggers that I read, as well as being introduced to a few that I plan to start reading. It was useful discussing the benefits and drawbacks of blogging (the inherent “cult of personality” that occurs, for instance). Also, the concerns with discussing specific games or situations, since that can (unfortunately) potentially impede you from getting hired, and possibly even getting fired (which is stupid, in my humble opinion… what I say or do on my own time, in particular before I worked for a company, is my own business).
After the Bloggers Gathering, I went and wandered through the expo some more, as part of the Booth Crawl (various booths around the expo floor had beer, and even some soda for people like me, as well as cookies and snacks and even some lo mein). In the process, I collected some more information concerning possible employment if this whole “start my own development studio” thing doesn’t pan out, plus some potential contract/commission/intern work for Erica for the summer. I made brief inquiries with a number of companies about working out a publishing deal or partnership… not many bites, unsurprisingly. In these days of ginormous budgets, people are loathe to invest in unknowns. That said, Namco Bandai expressed some interest, so I’ll be contacting them to explore this in the near future.
After the Booth Crawl, I headed across the street and attended the Independent Games Festival Awards and Game Developer’s Choice Awards, which was a lot of fun. Shadow of the Colossus swept the awards, winning 4 or 5 of the awards (out of 8? 9?). Psychonauts also did well. Interestingly, despite being nominated for nearly every award, I don’t think God of War won a single one.
I got back to the hotel around 9-9:30 local, and chatted with Erica for a while on the phone, wishing her a happy birthday since it was technically tomorrow by then. I was completely wiped, though, too many people and too much having to be “up” and social and functioning. Very very glad that my first session isn’t until 10:30am tomorrow.