Last week, Nate and I attended the Game Developers Conference for the first time. It was also our first time in San Francisco. It was a completely amazing experience. We got to meet lots of cool people. Some of them were fellow developers we've been talking to on forums for years and the people who made some of our favorite games. It was nice to find out that the people from the internet actually have faces and are real human beings. My theory that people on the internet don't actually exist was proven to be false.
It was great talking to everyone there and being immersed in such a creative environment. Looking at other people's games and hearing them talk about them (especially when they are leagues better than my own) really inspires me to try to take my stuff to the next level. I was in a bit of a creative slump after the Chicken Bandit (at least in terms of game design) and I really needed this kind of recharge.
There was tons of different stuff going on there the whole time. The IGF games set up on the show floor was probably the best part. All of the IGF finalists games were set up and it was fun going around talking to all of the developers.
One night they had a GDC showing of Indie Game: The Movie, which is a terrific documentary that follows a few independent developers through various stages of the process. It was really well done and I recommend it to anyone who has eye balls, ears, or any type of capacity to experience a film. The film makers and indie developers in the film were all there and did a Q&A panel after the film. I love that sort of thing, and it was great to hear what they all had to say about the process of making it. The developers in that film are lucky because they have a movie that documents events of their life. This is a great thing to have and look back on. I know this fact because I, too, have a movie about my life. Many of you may not know this but it is true. It is recorded on a series of VHS tapes, filmed by my dad's camcorder. It covers all the important events in my life including first steps, first words, first day on the bus to kindergarten, and much much more. One may even say too much more. The movie even has deleted scenes such as the one entitled “Accidentally Pressed the Record Button While Carrying in Backpack,” which features two and a half full hours of complete darkness, rumpling noises, and the faint sound of voices in the background which you can't quite make out what they are saying.
Nate plays video games at the IGF show floor.
We also attended a party / chiptune music show that featured a bunch of different chiptune artists on stage playing their instruments. If you are not familiar with chiptune artists, their instruments typically consist of computers, weird electronic devices, lots of wires, and in most cases, gameboys. I have never went to one of these before and it was quite an interesting thing to experience. All those years as a kid that I sat on my couch and played my gameboy by myself, I had no idea I could have got up on a stage and played it for a crowd that would rock out to it. There were lights flashing, bleeps blooping, people “dancing”, the best way to imagine it would be to think of what a robot dreams about when he goes into a seizure coma. That is pretty much the only way I can describe it.
One notable performer there played with altered vocals in addition to the chiptune music. He sounded like someone who lost is vocal box due to throat cancer. For the first couple songs I thought it was supposed to be an anti-smoking PSA.
There is so much more I could go on about, but I think I'll cut it off here for now. It was a totally awesome trip and I'm already looking forward to going next year!