GDC 2011 Recap: Part 3

This is Part 3 of my GDC recap. If you missed Part 1 or 2, you can read them by clicking on the links below.

Click here to read Part 1.

Click here to read Part 2.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday was a mixed day where we had some time in the morning to do some GDC stuff, but there was some IGDA events planned for the afternoon.

In the morning, I went to watch Satoru Iwata’s keynote speech . This was definitely cool as I was able to see a gaming icon live on stage. His talk was interesting as he discussed how things have changed so much in 25 years (it was the 25th anniversary of GDC this year). He highlighted it by showing just how quickly things have changed with Pokemon. It went from link cables, to infrared connections, and now to Wi-Fi in just a few years.Shot of Iwata's Keynote Speech

From there it turned into a Nintendo press event as Reggie Fils-Aimes came on stage and talked about the various new features of the 3DS and how it will continue to shape innovation.

After that speech, I sat in on the Game Writers’ Roundtable. This was really an interesting session. One thing we all learned during our first six weeks of Nexus is that none of us have ever penned a script before, and certainly not for a video game. Writing for games is challenging so I thought this would be a good session to sit in on.

I learned a lot actually. It was mostly tips and tricks on how to write in smaller and smaller chunks. One of the key tips is that it is crucial to use imagery or the environment to do a lot of your story telling. Not many people like reading fields of text, so you have to tell your story visually and let the player fill in the details while only giving them the crucial text.

Hopefully some of the notes I took from this session can help us out as we further continue our writing for Nexus.

After that session it was time to meet up with the IGDA Scholars once again. This time it was for lunch with Zynga. This was really awesome. Zynga wined and dined us and we got to sit and talk with people from Zynga about what kind of projects they were working on, what kind networking and bandwidth issues they deal with, what they look for in new hires and more. It was a great opportunity to sit and talk with them and we all had a great time.

Post lunch with Zynga, we had a little time before the next IGDA event for the day, so I went down to the Expo floor where I checked out the Sony booth and got a picture of the NGP. I also played some Killzone 3 in 3D. I then hopped over to the Crytek booth where checked out CryEngine 3 to see how it compared to UDK. I also played some Crysis 2 in 3D. Sony's NGP

From there I actually got some hands on time with the 3DS. I have to say it was mostly underwhelming to be honest. Street Fighter 4 and Resident Evil: Mercenaries both looked solid in the 3D department, but it wasn’t anything amazing. Sometimes it was even more of a distraction. I tried out Zelda: Ocarina of Time in 3D and it was actually distracting.

Crysis 2 and Killzone 3 were solid in 3D, but I am still very hard pressed to jump on the 3D bandwagon. After trying all of these out, I am still not fully convinced it’s the next big thing. However, time will tell and as developers further work with the technology I am sure there will be huge amazing leaps.

After perusing the Expo floor it was time to meet up again with my fellow IGDA Scholars as we sat in on the PlayStation Move update. Here we learned a lot of the technical information behind the Move and we also learned about the Move.me program. Move.me is a program they are starting that will allow developers to make applications for the PC that utilize the Move system.

The IGDA Scholars were then given a more private tour of the Sony booth. Afterwards the awesome people behind the scholar program, Jack Bogdan, Sheri Rubin and Gordon Bellamy handed us the first of our mystery boxes. We received some pretty awesome gifts at GDC for being IGDA Scholars and the first was an OnLive Microconsole. Major thanks to the IGDA and OnLive for those!

After receiving this awesome gift I met up with my IGDA mentor, Dustin Clingman, the President and CEO of ZeeGee games in Orlando. We talked for a bit and he introduced me to a lot of people and taught me some of the networking ropes. He ran off to dinner and I actually caught up with Zach and we went to the IGF and Game Developer Choice Awards show. Those were both totally awesome, and Tim Schafer was a riot as the host of the Game Developer Choice Awards.

To wrap up the night I once again met up with Dustin at the W Hotel where we chatted some more, I met some more people and we continued to discuss various networking methods and strategies.

I really appreciate the advice from Dustin and I thank him for showing me the ropes and introducing me to new people.

That is it for Part 3. Coming up next is Part 4, the last two days at GDC.

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