Saturday, March 13, 2010

GDC 2010 Overview  

gdc 2010 at moscone south

Every year I go to the Game Developers Conference to keep tabs on how artificial intelligence in games is developing. Each year I take copious notes. And each year I promise myself I'll blog my notes online, and yet I never do.

Until now.

GDC 2010 seems smaller than GDC 2008, but it doesn't feel wrong. In the past few years it's been held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, taking up the massive Moscone West building and the North and South halls. I say 2008 because 2010 feels about the size of 2009, but where 2009 felt outsized, this year they've ditched Moscone West, filling out North and South "just right" for a smaller, saner, but still vibrant conference.

gdc 2010 show floor

The show floor is still massive, going on and on, filled with books and tools and technologies and games and career opportunities and just about anything you can imagine.

gdc 2010 show floor keeps going

And I mean just about anything. Steve Weibe? Really? No offense, but that seems more of an E3 or Comicon thing. Of course, maybe he's super cool, but since I missed him at the booth it was just a bit jarring to see the machine there all by its lonesome.

gdc 2010 steve wiebe really

The South Hall held the AI Summit and many interesting talks. I'll talk about the AI Summit, Starcraft, indie games, and future technologies (past and present) in a subsequent post.

gdc 2010 north entrance

But there is a whole other hall, where more talks are held. The AI Roundtables occurred here, as did talks on the Sims 3; I'll fold these into the above posts.

gdc 2010 stairs down

But the thing that strikes me about the North Hall (other than the giant black hole of cell reception and borked wifi) is the churn of people going to talks, coming from talks, talking about IP and licenses and techniques and advances. Here, simply because of its physical layout you really can see the industry's creative malestrom churning.

gdc 2010 make games

"I want YOU to make games." Indeed.

-the Centaur



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