GDC: Day 3

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Fatigue was starting to catch up with me on Wednesday, but there was no time to slow down. I was scheduled to work another two shifts that were assigned to me, plus I picked up an additional shift to work the 15th annual Independent Games Festival and the 13th annual Game Developers Choice Awards.

My day started with assisting with a session called “Kickstarter Lessons for Indie Game Developers.” I was looking forward to seeing this session, but afterwards I did not feel like I’ve necessarily learned anything new from it. Of course, I already learned a great deal about Kickstarter campaigns from a session I attended at MAGFest, by observing friends running them, and through personal accounts from people I’ve asked. “Kickstarter Lessons for Indie Game Developers” was definitely great for someone who wanted to learn the basics. Kickstarter is a great tool to use for getting support for some amazingly creative and intuitive games. Possibly ones that may have not been funded otherwise. Although I didn’t learn from the session, I’m glad I was able to assist running it.

Wednesday was the first day the Expo Hall and Career Pavilion was available to visit, so in between my shift for Kickstarter and my second shift for the Speaker’s Lounge, I went to check the sights there. It was pretty amazing to see booths set up by companies I grew up admiring like Nintendo and Sony. My favorite booth in the Expo Hall was by far the Sifteo booth¬†where I got to play a Zelda-esque game with Sifteo Cubes. It was really fun moving the cubes around to reveal parts of the map and new areas to explore.

However, I far more intrigued by the Career Pavilion than the Expo Hall. Various logos of companies hiring decorated the booths there. Valve, Riot Games, Nintendo, Microsoft, Konami… Even a local game development studio from Georgia, Tripwire Interactive, was there looking for potential new hires. Sony proudly showed off paintings of Journey and a poster of The Unfinished Swan as people gathered around their booth inquiring about jobs and internships. I definitely wanted to be among those people, but I was just checking things out for now. I also wanted to do some adjustments to my resume before I talked to recruiters.

The real highlight of that day was being able to work the two award ceremonies. I’ve included videos of both here on this blog. Being there, I could literally feel the excitement in the air as I watched the ceremonies unfold in an array of colorful lights in front of me. It was somewhat surreal. I was used to seeing such sights on a screen of some kind, like a television or a computer, and here I was witnessing it live and in person. Cart Life and FTL: Faster Than Light gained most of the spotlight during the IGF. I’m very intrigued by these games, particularly Cart Life, and I would love to try playing them sometime.

Tim Schafer of Double Fine hosted the Game Developers Choice Award with his unique charm and humor. His fun demeanor was definitely contagious, which made him an excellent host. As I predicted, Journey swept the floor, claiming every award it was nominated for. It was well-deserved. Journey has inspired both developers and gamers across the globe with it’s beautifully crafted gaming experience. I’m so glad to see the developers behind it get the recognition they deserve. Personally, it is a game that greatly inspires me and makes me proud to be a part of this industry. It is my dream to one day make a game that can build upon Journey’s legacy.

I was so glad I took the opportunity to work the award ceremonies. If I become a CA again, I will definitely put them, along with sessions, at the top of my list of working preferences. After the awards, I was too exhausted to check out any more evening activities. Despite this, I was determined to spend a little time hanging out with my fellow CAs. We played a few rounds of Johann Sebastian Joust, which was incredibly fun. Satisfied with one victory, I decided to head towards my hotel early (if you consider midnight early), in preparation for another big day ahead.


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