Back from GDC

Posted on Sat 22 March 2014 in blog

Well, another year, another GDC.

An upbeat show - the combination of the indie/mobile tidal wave and a new console generation has breathed some much needed life into the old beast - the business center was bigger than I’ve seen it in years, and full of people hustling.

The floor was buzzing!

The absence of many familiar AAA names was still pretty striking - no lines around the block for the Activision/EA meat markets, no scores of kids waiting to show their portfolios to someone from Blizzard or whatnot.

There was, however, a booth from SpaceX. Someboedy told me they are hiring tech artists. See, we’re conquering the world… from above!

And, there was an amazing bustle of activity from the indie-casual-mobile side. Tons and tons of booths, more than I remember ever seeing before. Most of them will probably be gone in two years, but it’s still great to see people hustling around, coming up with plans, and trying to make something big after all the gloom of the last few years. Here’s hoping the many friends and former colleagues who’ve been battered by business can make up some lost ground in this new gold rush. It’s probably another bubble - remember when everybody wanted to hire a teal of 800 to talk on WOW? - but it’s still better than sitting around moping.

All the movement has a lot to do with all the changes in the business that have broken the stifling rut of AAA juggernauts, sequel-itis, and me-too design that was hanging over us like a fog a few years back. All sorts of fun and interesting stuff happening.

Saw some cool tech too, which I’ll talk about later in the week. In the meantime: so long SF!

Update: I did not see this talk, but this rant from Greg Costikyan does summarize neatly some things I am worrying about over the long haul…