Thursday, April 9, 2009

GDC 2009

I caught the flu right after GDC, I guess like a lot of people who didn't get enough sleep, because there were too many parties in the evening and very interesting talks early in the morning and you wanted to be everywhere at the same time. There have been some remarkable moments this year and I'm gonna try to make a list of my personal favourites.

Ron Carmel's keynote, "everything you always wanted to know about going indie, but were afraid to ask": It wasn't just a very good presentation, it was also very informative, about 2D boy's experience with selfpublishing World of Goo. It was also the first of many talks that explained how publishers become more and more obsolete, in times were you can sell and distribute games by yourself (putting a lot of effort into it).

Indie Game Maker Rant: Yes, we'll take over and kick all the space marines' and warrior babes' asses!

How to manage small Indie teams by Kellee Santiago: I guess everyone in the room who has worked in groups could relate to this talk (it had the most personal QA session I've seen at GDC so far). It was a lot about problems in teams that come up by avoiding conflicts and how to tackle them, thanks, very helpful. 

Making LOVE in your Bedroom by Eskil Steenberg: Eskil talked about and demonstrated the tools he build to make LOVE, his MMO Adventure Game, all alone. It was brilliant and made me want to learn more about it. It was the most interesting talk I saw at GDC this year.

Erik Svedäng winning Seumas McNally Grand Price for best Independent Game. I was hoping for this, Blueberry Garden expands the area of what games can be. I've seldomly seen such a poetic game and it feels great to play and explore. Congratulations Erik

GDC Microtalks, One Hour, Ten Speakers, Unlimited Ideas: It was compact, diverse, thoughtprovocing, hilarious and engaging, impossible to summarize and not fill the whole page.

All about Noby Noby Boy by Keita Takahashi: Hard to explain what made this talk to awesome, it  was very inspiring. We need more people as consequent and with such a unique vision as him in games.

Experimental Gameplay Session: A lot of new gameideas, some of them mindblowing, like the puzzle platformer Miegakure from Mark ten Bosh, where you jump between the 3rd and the 4th spacial dimension, which probably few people understood (I didn't, but found it cool anyways). One of my favourites was the storytelling experiments of Daniel Benmergui. He finds new and beautiful ways of storytelling, something that hasn't been explored enough in games yet.

Game Over Continue? It wasn't officially part of the GDC anymore and that was probably one of the reasons why it was so great. An exhibition of game related art and four games by indies collaborating with visual artists at a little gallery/shop on the height. The place was crowded, everyone had a great time and being away from the Moscone halls seemed to have quite a relaxing effect on people. To bad they closed at 10.

That were some of my personal favourite moments of GDC. Writing this actually makes me realise that there were a lot more, but I gotta stop now.

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