GDC 2016

Every time I go to one of these things I always remember how much they don’t do anything for me. I see everyone enjoying it and genuinely gaining knowledge and skills. But to me it always feels like I’m waiting to go home.

Talks

Going to talks is a waste of time. The online versions have the following special features:

  • You can’t smell other people’s BO
  • You can stop it as soon as you realise the speaker is an idiot
  • You’re not sitting next to a nerd live tweeting it to their 40 followers
  • You can rewind if you don’t understand
  • You can fast forward if you do understand
  • It doesn’t matter if you fall asleep

The only thing you can’t do is line up at the end to ask questions. But that’s ok because the questions asked at the end of these things are usually made by people who misunderstood something, or by people who try to outsmart and second guess the talker, or by people who don’t speak english.. but embarrass themselves and the speaker by trying to ask a question anyway. The good news is that all the speakers are on twitter – so you can just tweet a question to them if you really have one.

VR Invasion

So many VR games. So many VR peripherals. Really VR’d out already.

We went to the Rift VR party on the off chance they’d give us a free one. They didn’t. It was opposite a strip club. The girl on the front asked me to spell my name, I had to type it for her because when I say “a” it sounds like an american “i”. I think it was mainly for journalists to play games. It kind of backfired when they started being sick because of tracking issues.

We got approached by a guy while we were there. He asked us what Rift games we were working on then he knocked a tray of food out of a waitresses hand. We told him we made Rust and Garry’s Mod. He didn’t know what they were. His company buys profitable games to fool the stock market into thinking they’re profitable. We shook his hand when he left, but he walked off when Helk put his hand out to shake. I hate everything about him.

Notch was making drinks there. I asked for vodka sour but he made me vodka soda. I tried to drink it but it was disgusting.

Crazy People

There’s a lot of homeless people in SF. There also seems to be quite a few people on hallucinogenic drugs.

The first day we were there some guy threw a milkshake at a bin and shouted “WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME IT WAS ILLEGAL”. He then started shouting at people asking why they wouldn’t talk to him. He jumped in front of Alex, who confusedly smiled at him. Then he ran off screaming and shouting.

On the last day we had a couple of hours to kill so we went to the science museum. There was a guy there ranting and raving on the steps. There were a ton of kids around. He chased after a bus and then ran into the forest. He looked like data from the goonies.

It’s confusing. These guys have clean clothes on. They don’t seem to be homeless. Have they just taken drugs and escaped the safety of their homes? Are they mentally ill?

Flight

We flew Virgin Atlantic. They lost Tom’s suitcase. Later on in the week it emerged that they’d sent it to Ghana. They gave him a phone number to call to check the status of it. He got the concierge to call it in the hotel, and it turned out to be a sex chat line. He only got it back on the last day when we went to the airport to leave.

On the way there I got the flight attendant to change my chair into a bed. When Paul saw this he thought he’d to the same thing, so asked someone and they said sure and started doing it. Half way through he realised it was the pilot.

Outcome

We took 20 people – half of whom we’d never even met face to face before. So it was nice to get everyone together and meet. I think for the most part the team did get enjoyment from attending the talks. It was also a nice surprise that none of the team were massive weirdos either.

It was also nice for me to take a bunch of meetings that I’d been putting off for years. But ultimately it was all stuff that could have been discussed over email, or not just not discussed at all.

Ultimately I find I prefer to sit in my boxers making games rather than getting dressed and talking/hearing about them. I still don’t understand why people skint themselves out to attend these things. Maybe the illusion of being a successful game developer is more important than actually being one?