View Full Version : GDC Post Mortem

03-19-2005, 11:15 PM
Of those who went, what was your guys' impressions. Was it successful for you? In which ways? or which ways was it not.

03-19-2005, 11:37 PM
I would have to say that out of the last four times I have gone (worked three, lectured one), this one was the most useful and interesting. It remains to be seen if the 'useful' part amounts to a hill of beans or not. I had a pretty good time, made some contacts, made some friends and hung out with others. This years and last years GANG awards were both interesting. Too bad the Union audio guys screwed up the sound. A room full of audio people and the Union guys would not let us touch their gear. Too funny.
Lots of very late nights and very early mornings.
Another bad: IGDA and GANG members could not go to their own meetings and awards shows without a show badge. Thats just wrong. Next year it will be back in San Jose, so that will not be a problem.
The weather could not have been better and that was very very unusual. Even in the summer, SF is usually foggy, windy and cold. Previous three years it always rained at least one day. Not so this year. Weather sure is making up for it now! :(
All in all, a good show for my part.

03-21-2005, 09:34 PM
talk about weather!!


In the friggin bay area....south san francisco...I mean you could have see the frigginthing from my house (if you were on the roof)

I saw 5 accidents all within 1.5 miles of each other, it was nuts yesterday. End of the world :)

oh and...returning to normal programming, I didnt see anythign at GDC,..well because I couldnt find the time to go....crazy since it was FINALLY closer to me,...and I was too busy... figures

Jay Semerad
03-22-2005, 01:09 AM
Ashif - missed you man!

The audio track was pretty same-ole-same-ole, but it was a nice change being in SFO this year. Back to San Jose next year, I guess...


Brian McBrearty
03-22-2005, 06:33 PM
Had a great time. My first GDC. Don't have San Jose to compare to. Will in a year. Was worth the trip cross country for me. Looking forward to making the trip annually.

Jay, sorry I didn't manage to meet you. At the risk of creep'n you out, I actually think I know what you look like at this point and yet managed to screw up saying Hi. As I recall, I saw your badge, recognized the name from here, intended to say hello momentarily, got sidetracked by Nile Rodgers, talked to the rockstar instead, shallow sort that I am. End of story. My loss. :)
Anyway, sorry. See ya next year, Man.

Was there ever a NS gathering? I had forgotten what column under what sign we were supposed to meet at. :)

Dave Chan
04-06-2005, 01:41 AM
Here's a post mortem I did for Aaron Marks. He was only able to use a portions of it, so I thought I'd bore you all with it. Hope the length isn't a problem for this board -

GDC 2005 was a conference of change for me. It was the first time that the conference was in San Francisco, it was the first time I had ever visited San Francisco and the last but far from least it was the first time I was attending on my own instead of BioWare.

I always enjoy GDC. I get to meet great people that I would never see otherwise because I live about as far north in North America as you can get and still be in a city large enough to support a thriving high tech community. Needless to say I didn't get much face to face interaction with other developers while I was at BioWare and get even less now. Getting down to GDC is the one time of year I am able to connect with people that I usually only know from email and sometimes the occasional phone call. The great thing about this industry is the sense of camaraderie. Even the most talented and prolific creators are usually more than willing to talk shop and share an insight or idea. That goes doubly so for the audio community. It's not uncommon to have a feeling that you can just pick up a conversation where you left it the year before without missing a beat.

This year I didn't get much time to check out the floor because I was trying to figure out how, as an independent contractor, to seek out contacts. So, I can't really comment too much on that, although it did seem a bit more noisy and crowded this year. Then again, it seems to be going that way more and more every year. Or, it might just be that I'm getting old.

The sessions that I did attend were great. This is the first year I attended any sessions with live translation. I have to say that it was a bit bizarre. Not because of the concept of live translation or the headsets or anything like that. It was because the seemed to have two translators tag-teaming the session and one of them obviously had a better grasp of the subject matter and context than the other. This led to a kind of surreal experience akin to switching back and forth between language tracks on a DVD. Despite this little hiccup I really enjoyed Chance Thomas' interview with Nobuo Uematsu and the session with Silent Hill creator Akira Yamaoka. It's good to know that even though gamers and game creators come from different pats of the world and from different cultures that we often face the same challenges and joys.

The Halo 2 session with Marty O'Donnell and Jay Weinland was great. It's always interesting to see the fantastic tools that a company can put together for audio when they have advocates pushing to advance the audio envelope, no pun intended. (Speaking of Marty and Jay, I had the pleasure of sitting down with these gentlemen after the great party at the Drum Machine Museum thrown by David Javelosa. I'm always curious to hear about other people's experiences in the industry and even more curious when they come from somewhere else to the world of gaming. Marty has a metric boatload of insight that I think folks in game audio would do well to listen to. If for nothing else than to get a discussion started on how we view the value of our input and time in the gaming industry.) I drooled over the toolset they had at their disposal and could see the potential that it opened up. I was glad to see that a lot of that functionality also made it into the SCREAM API by Sony. Dave Murrant showed off how the tool was used in God of War and once again, I was salivating.

I also sat in on the session on "Creating Ambience and Immersion in Games" with Julian Kwasneski, Chuck Russom, Marc Shaefgen, and Dave Murrant as well as the "What Makes Music for Games "Music for Games"?" with Clint Bajakian, Jack Wall, Peter McConnell, Jared Emerson-Johnson and Chuck Doud. The one thing that always impresses me about sessions like this is how people with so much experience are so willing to share their insights and secrets with a room full of people that could potentially be their competitors. It reminds of a quote from a CEO of a successful company that often shared his company's new technology openly. He said that he'd rather see his competitors running with him than against him. That's often the same feeling I get when I talk to people in game audio.

In the end I didn't get to meet everyone that I wanted to and didn't get to all the sessions I wanted to, but that's not much different than any other year. I learned quite bit, picked up some new ideas and had a beer or two with some old and new friends. Overall, I think GDC 2005 was a success for me and I hope it was a success for others as well.