The Game Developers Conference, GDC for short, is the annual convention held in San Fransisco, CA where experts and newcomers in the video game industry come together and discuss the future of video games. It showcases all kinds of events, such as panels given by workers that are currently in the industry, keynotes by the heads of game companies, award shows, job offerings, and previews of new technology. Most important of all, GDC is a place for the game developers of today to get together and strengthen the bonds that tie all video game companies together. I had the great opportunity and honor to attend GDC this year as a student and get a glimpse of what to expect when I get into the work force of development and to get my name out there so when I have work to show, people can say “Hey, I met him a year ago. I should go talk to that guy.” There is no way to describe how incredibly amazing GDC was this year, so I’ll just substitute a description with the sound that my vocal chords made when I walked onto the expo floor: “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.” Yeah, that about sums it up.
As a first time attendee and a student, I was freaked out and excited all at the same time. I mean there I was, sharing the same air of people who have had hands in creating triple A titles in the industry and those who create countless hardware and software for these games to run properly. No amount of forced professionalism could prepare me from casually bumping into some famous person on the con floor. Luckily, there was no encounter of any famous CEO of a developing company, but I did talk to workers who have made games that I’ve played and loved. Not to my surprise, everyone I talked to was incredibly nice and loved to talk about their work. It made me feel like I was actually encouraged to keep pursuing my dream of becoming a game developer, which almost made me jump to the nearest developer’s feet and bow (luckily restraint and fear of losing my badge prevented that). The whole event was great, and what brought it all home was a meeting I had with a game developing company about an internship, which I got by the way, writing story arcs and making in-game propaganda. If there was ever a time that I was at a loss for words, it was right after that meeting…minus the screams of joy. My first GDC was amazing and I cannot wait till next year’s, but there is one thing I learned above everything that I need to bring next year that is more important than food: Business cards, business cards, business cards!