GDC this year provided me with just as much inspiration as in my first year I was there. Last year my time at GDC inspired me to apply for the EAE program. And this year it has inspired me to create the most compelling thesis game we can make. Whether walking around the GDC Expo Hall, working the EAE booth, watching the GDC Awards show, or speaking with industry professionals, the enthusiasm for the thesis game grew exponentially. In this brief post, I will note specific moments that rejuvenated my passion to create a great thesis game.
On Tuesday I awoke excited to receive my pass for this year’s event. As a result, I went to the Mascone Center. It was an exciting moment picking up my expo pass and seeing my name on it, especially since I was finally coming here as part of the EAE program. Now I would be here as a video game producer rather than as an academic.
Wednesday also brought forth more GDC inspiration. I began by first walking around the expo hall and afterwards working the EAE booth. The EAE booth was located near the IGF showcase games. It was great being able to meet various people in the industry and showing off our wonderful games. It was further great witnessing some of the featured games for this year’s conference. Seeing them made me feel anxious to see our games there. And knowing that one of our own was among the mix caused me to want to continue working on our game. Later that day, we went to the GDC awards ceremony. It was great observing all the games and seeing what other indie developers were doing. It was an honor seeing the game Papers, Please winning many awards. I became inspired by the game’s message which addresses ideas of immigration. I’m glad that others embrace the game’s rhetorical message.
Thursday was in full swing. Since I wanted to gauge potential internship opportunities for a lowly producer/game designer, I hit the careers area hard. Even though there were little openings for internships, I luckily met some great people who provided some insightful advice and even may have found a possible internship position for the summer.
In the evening, many of us went to the Intel Student Games Competition. Here, our very own Cyber Heist, which was also an IGF student showcase winner, was competing against other student games. What I found captivating was witnessing my contemporaries’ games. Some of them were amazing and really polished – in spite of the evening being filled with technical problems from the hardware and audio provided by Intel, the games still shined. These games included Kraven Manor, Hymn of the Sands, Plushy Knight, Maestros, and Museum of Simulation Technology. They were amazing to witness and in the end is motivating me to create a compelling and an enjoyable thesis game.
For me, the paramount aspect of the entire GDC experience was spending time with people from my cohort outside of our work. It is great adventuring with others and sharing this experience together. In these moments one can only grow closer and I feel much prouder of our program and our work.
Well there you have it. I am now ready for the end of this semester and seeing where we can take our thesis game. I am very much learning from my time at GDC. It is nice to be able to escape the bubble of our studio and become a part of the larger community, and thus create an avenue in which I am better able to see what we are achieving and how we can further iterate on our ideas. Stay tuned…