March 23, 2019 read, explore

GDC: In Retrospect

Going into GDC 2016, we had a lot of expectations. The Game Developer’s Conference is obviously a work conference, aiming to help developers cultivate new techniques, helpful advice, and make great connections. Players going into GDC are somewhat few, and feel the difference when comparing it to other annual events, like E3, for instance. Most people at GDC are, in fact, in the industry, or trying to break in. The few casual gamers attending should have spent their time at events, making friends, or checking out the new games with an Expo Pass.

Upon attending, the expectations were simple: passionate developers, exciting games and gameplay, perhaps something that made VR seem like a great idea, and a few entertaining events to attend. What we got was jaded older developers, and wide-eyed newbies trying to break in. Exciting games and gameplay, and entertaining events, were all around, fortunately. But VR never seemed like a good idea, in the end.

In retrospect, the best part of GDC was being able to meet new people. Everyone was friendly, and more than willing to showcase their game, or talk development. The games were at the Expo, but also at events, and on the show floor. People walked up to others and sparked up a conversation, some stiff, others laid-back and witty. In essence, it was very much a place to connect and feel renewed in the daily challenges of working in game development. There was a sense of comradery, of understanding, that everyone expressed in one way or another. Even the established developers had stories to tell of their struggles early on in their careers.

The downfall of GDC 2016, however, were the sessions. Yes, they are aimed toward developers trying to learn new technical tricks for their work. Yes, some had AAA game titles in their session names, like Bloodborne, or Fallout 4. But the issue was the lack of passion of the speakers, and the developers listening in. Everyone was stiff, or serious, with the exception of a few handful of speakers. Developers walked out in the middle of a Bloodborne session because rather than make it exciting, as it should be, it was very much a lesson in what notes were played when making the soundtrack.

Overall, developers at GDC seemed to be hyper-focused on their craft, to the point where they forgot that they work on games for a living. If someone is overly stressed and jaded, can they really make great, exciting games? Where was the spark, the thrill? Where was that inner wide-eyed newbie in all of them? The new developers, those trying to break in, were excited to be there. Some were even insecure in the daunting environment. But you could tell, with just one look, that they felt like they were heading in the right direction, just by being there.

Perhaps that is what is missing in the industry. Perhaps the sessions were a reflection of what it has all become: a series of technicalities that lead to an entertaining conclusion. These people make games for the sake of others, but they themselves don’t seem very much entertained. Changes need to occur to make the industry better than it is now. The passion is missing, but it can be rekindled if everyone simply remembered that little voice inside that says: “‘I get to wake up everyday knowing I make games, and make someone smile.”

Related Posts

Why can’t EA just make a good Star Wars game?

Star Wars is one of those universes that, in my mind, is hard to screw up. But when it comes...

What Impact Will Brexit Have On The Gaming Industry?

A lot changed after the British public voted to leave the European Union on June 23. The value of the...

We’ve Created Class Divides In Gaming

Upper, middle, and lower class. These are the terms with which we define society both in modern times and when...

GDC Indie Spotlight

GDC 2016 had so much to cover, it’s stretched this long. We did, however, save the best for last here...

GDC: Going Dutch

GDC 2016 was filled with events to attend, if you knew just where to look, whether it was invitations in...

GDC Highlights: 30 Years In Games

Attending the “30 Years of Making Games” session, we immediately felt what we wanted to desperately feel: nostalgia. Sitting in...

GDC Highlights: The Truth About VR

Going to GDC, we knew VR would be a major talk point this year. The areas of coverage focusing on...

GDC Updates

Oatboat has hand-selected the indie devs we will be spotlighting! If you’ve heard from us, and we’ve scheduled a meeting,...

GDC Interviews With Oatboat

Upon the announcement that we will be covering GDC, Oatboat has received many, many emails regarding indie games asking for an...

Polls And Their Help In Development

Recently, Mark Darrah, the executive producer on Dragon Age, took to Twitter to create a poll. He asked players if...

The Government’s Fight With Apple Is A Bigger Deal Than You Think

Apple is being ordered by the U.S. government to unlock one of the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. The company is...

Why Autonomous Vehicles Are Necessary

When the automobile originally came into production, there was a lot of pushback. “Who needs a car?” people questioned. “A...

Announcement: Oatboat To Attend GDC Next Month

That’s right, readers, Oatboat will be attending this year’s Game Developer’s Conference (GDC)! What Will Be Covered Yours truly will...

Captain Phasma Will Be In The Next Star Wars

Actress Gwendoline Christie, who’s known for as Brienne of Tarth in HBO’s Game of Thrones, has confirmed that she will be in the...

Anomaly 1729 Release

Upon releasing on December 30, 2015, Anvil Drop’s Anomaly 1729 has made quite a few people happy on Steam. Getting review ratings...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *