Game Developers Conference 2011. The nuts and bolts of the game industry, all in one week.
The whole idea behind GDC is to equip and to provide ample opportunity for aspiring game developers to pursue their dreams and work in their crafts. I must admit that this idea was not accentuated enough at last year's GDC. However, this years GDC was a definite step in the right direction. No matter where a new game developer or student of game development turned, there was opportunity around every corner. Huge name producers of game technology such as Epic Games, Havok, GameSpy and Nvidia all allowed such opportunities by making all of their development tools completely free to use and offered open invitations to use them. Even Google got in on the act!
The sessions this year were a big improvement. For example; there was a lot less ranting and a lot more encouraging. I personally enjoyed and was very refreshed by the positive, "you can do it" mindset that Donald Mustard at Chair Entertainment expressed to the crowd as well as Retro Studio's positive yet realistic approach to conveying the challenges of game development and enjoying the end product. Sure there were a bunch of sadder tales like the trials of Team Meat and Klei, but even those stories had a happy and victorious outcome. In short, there are more open doors for game developers to walk through now than ever before and GDC 2011 has conveyed that message perfectly.
Oh, and the hosts of the Game Developer's Choice Awards were still corny as hell. See you all next year!