Game Design From Outer Space

We’re attending the Game Developers Conference for the second time, so here they are our latest expectations about talks, people, parties and games.

GDC 13 - Badges

Game Developers Conference 2013: Our Expectations

So, here we are. We’ve packed our bags, got our badges and now we are ready to start a week-long adventure of great expectations at Game Developers Conference 2013.

GDC can be sometimes a scary beast. You’re running from one conference to another, trying to learn as much as you can and knowing that just being in a place means that you’re missing at least three more cool ideas. And then there are parties, which are of course cool and all that, but can be a little overwhelming in the long run.

So, what are we expecting from this GDC?

Federico: Well, if last year the GDC was the new uncharted territory, now we know what to expect. It could seem easier, but it’s actually a bit more difficult. We invested a lot in being here, and when you know what’s at stake everything could get a little scarier. Nevertheless, I’ve got great expectations. I want to overcome my shyness and to get to know a lot of cool people. During this year I was so inspired by many game developers, and I want to thank them. And to better know them.

Marina: I expect to recognize and to be recognized, even if this is just my second time here at GDC. I want to try to remember as much people as possible to say hi again and ask for news. Of course I’ll try to know new people too, but it’s always good to see friendly faces, isn’t it? I’ll also try to steal some project management tricks to improve my own recipe, I’m sure my fellow crew members will be glad.

What about the talks? Anything you think will be worth?

Federico: Postmortem aside, which are always pretty useful, I’m expecting a great deal from the NASA talk. I mean, it’s effing NASA! When I was a little kid I even had an astronaut jumpsuit replica. Then there’s a lot of curiosity about PS4 and how they’ll relate with indies. I’m a strong openness advocate, and I really hope that Sony’s claim about opening doors to indie devs won’t be a false promise. We’ll see. Then there’s a lot of stuff about storytelling this year. I hope to learn a lot from that since I’m not so great as a writer.

Marina: Last year I attended the two-days Game Design Workshop, and it was great, but I missed a lot of interesting talks. This time I’m 100% dedicated to the summits and the main conference. I certainly look up to production and management talks, but I’m also very attracted to narrative tips and tricks, so I’ll follow some talks of the Game Narrative Summit, like Warren Spector’s. Today I found out a BBC talk about cross-media and video games – a must. Obviously, I really look forward to meet Anita Sarkeesian and have a chat about her Tropes vs Women project.

Ok, the Expo floor will be crowded with games. Anything in particular you are longing to try?

Federico: Well, this year there’s this interesting board game showcase. I strongly hope to play Brenda Romero’s Train. It’s a peculiar board game I talked about a lot in my lessons, but I never got to play (since it’s not commercialized). Then there’s a lot of cool stuff to try at the IGF booths. I would say I’m pretty curious about Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime and Cart Life (which I haven’t played yet being a Mac guy).

Marina: Cart Life is one of my priorities too (I’m a Mac gal)! I need to shake a lot of hands around the Independent Games Festival, because this year’s finalists are SO AWESOME. And then, even if we are not talking about indie anymore, I want to give BioShock Infinite a good try.

What about parties? Parties are a big occasion for networking and a strong part of human relations at GDC.

Federico: Hell, yeah. All other parties may be still trite and dull, and I’m sure this year Wild Rumpus will be super awesome (there is Chipzel, can’t wait to listen to her music). But I somewhat long for the OUYA launch party. Why? Because I’m curious as hell about this little console. Everyone is underestimating it, but I’m more and more convinced it could be a real game changer.

Marina: I’ve got two invitations for two different Women in Games events – a lunch and an after GDC party – so I’m really excited. These will be my first WiG events after the lunch in Brighton in 2011, and I hope to get the most out of it.