My trip to GDC 2015 in San Francisco, USA

GDC stands for Game Developer’s Conference. It’s one of the biggest meetings for game developers anywhere in the world. I was lucky enough to receive an all-access pass via a Global Game Jam Scholarship.

Video Game History Museum

Video Game History Museum Exhibit

The trip was fantastic. The conference takes place in San Francisco, so I was able to jet off to a warmer climate for the week. My days were spent exploring the expo floor and attending phenomenal presentations. The highlight of the expo floor for me was the Video Game History Museum exhibit, which had playable arcade cabinets of some of the first games!

Every single presentation I went to was mind blowing and it would have been physically impossible to attend all the talks I would have liked, as there are usually two or three (or six) awesome talks all scheduled at the same time. Luckily these are available online, at the GDC Vault (many of which are available without a pass!). My two favourite presentations were about how Gone Home used level design to tell a story and a postmortem of Adventure given by the game’s creator!

Post-mortem on Adventure

Postmortem on Adventure

A video game postmortem is a presentation about how the game was developed. It specifically looks at what went well and what didn’t.

My nights in San Francisco were spent at parties hosted by games companies. They were a ton of fun and provided a great way to meet game developers from all over the world.  One of the parties I attended took place in a space like a warehouse with massive projectors that were being used for a video game tournament. The best part was that the game being played was developed in Vancouver!

One night I attended an awards show to honour game developers who were chosen by other developers.

Awards Show

Awards Show

Overall, it was an amazing experience. The presentations were incredibly informative and it is always fantastic to meet more people in the game development industry. Remember – you’ll never win a scholarship you don’t apply for!

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