Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

GDC 2018 Diary: wednesday morning

So yeah… not feeling 100%, maybe its the dreaded GDC flu from so many handshakes and talking close to people in noisy bars. Maybe its just waking up tired and thirsty in a strange city. Hopefully I’ll shake it off.

Yesterday I didn’t go to a single GDC thing, and this is the final nail in the GDC conference coffin for me. The interesting stuff is the meetups, the parties, the lunches, the hanging-out and talking about games. Next year, if I come, I’m not getting a pass.

I went to a few events at a side-conference thing that I am rally keen on, where I told people my own experiences with advertising strategy, and then was in a cool discussion of sim game design, and artificial life. The AL one was especially interesting. There areĀ  lot of cool, talented coders who are working on, and experimenting with interesting artificial life ideas, but translating them into games people want to buy is much harder. The trouble seems to be that the coder, and the CPU have all the fun, and the ‘player’ just gets a cool screensaver. Someone will crack this problem one day.

Its funny the extent to which the more game devs you know, the less you talk about game dev. It sounds weird, but listening to people talk about the house house they bought / are renovating, or their pets, or their holidays or whatever, becomes the standard thing after a few years. I’m sure some people for whom this is their first GDC and have been in the industry for just a year or two find it weird to overhear me and a bunch of dev veterans talking about solar panels, deer hunting or growing super-hot peppers.

In the evening I went to the humble party, traditionally the best party of the show, albeit one thats still a little too busy and loud for me:

A bigger venue, with more of a ‘video game event’ vibe than the Monday night thing. Everyone is here, and its great to catch up, although TBH I’m not envious of people who have anything ‘riding’ on this event. Imagine having to justify a flight, hotel and GDC pass on the basis of the value of business-contacts made in a loud, dark sweaty nightclub. It definitely CAN be done, I’m just glad I don’t feel like I need to do it any more. I’m old…

Today will be much more chilled for me, which suits me fine as its a day to recover, maybe even look around SF a little bit, who knows. Hopefully I’ll feel better later today.