IGDA – GDC Round-Up

March 15, 2011

About 3 hours ago (roughly), I finally got home after a tough GO-Bus trip (battery died) and a very interesting IGDA session at the Toronto Metro Hall! This months meeting was a post-mortem about the Game Developers Conference  2011 including a great selection of speakers from various sections of the Toronto Game Development community! Overall, they all stressed that GDC was something every game dev should do atleast once in their lifetime (sooner rather than later was recommended)!

(From left to right: Craig, Billy, Patrick, Mark, Jamie, and Jim)

 

First was local indie developer, and Hand Eye Society member Jim McGinly. Being the young man that he is today, his talk focused on some interesting panels he attended, which included AI  mechanics, player expression , social gaming, and short indie talks. Next up was Jamie Woo, co-founder of Toronto’s Gamer Camp. He spoke about the challenges of the video game industry, and mentioned some possible solutions to make it grow into an even bigger community. Using social gaming as an example for most issues game developers dislike, he stated that we need more media, innovation, and diversity in games. Third was a fellow classmate of mine, Billy Majuntis, who spoke about his amazing week as an IGDA Student Scholar. He got to tour a bunch of very cool studios like LucasArts and Double Fine Productions and had lunch with the likes of Zynga. He was like a kid in a candy store, but hopefully nothing with high fructose corn syrup (Woo Reference).

(Love for Teddybears)

Mark Rabo, co-founder of Toronto’s Gamer Camp as well, followed up with a talk about the Jejune Institute. I’m not entirely sure if I understood his talk completely, but the journey Mark had in San Fransisco looked interesting. In order to be a part of the institute, he had to complete a series of tasks while at/before/after (wasn’t specified) GDC. These tasks included finding clues around the city, and solving various puzzles, almost like an augmented reality video game. Fifth was Superbrother’s Craig Adams, who quickly spoke about the initial construction of his new game Sword & Sorcery EP , and 7 things you should do at GDC. This included tips like napping on grass, getting a twitter account, and knowing who’s important before the event happens. I highly recommend all those things, especially the twitter one! Last up was Billy’s GDC mentor, and Toronto Ubisoft’s Game Director, Patrick Redding. Patrick spoke about a few key panels that he attended at GDC, all of them focusing on Game Design. Although it was a good presentation, my mind was blown by the stuff he was talking about! Good Job!

All the speakers had great presentations, and hearing them speak so passionately about their experiences has inspired!

The next IGDA session will be an open mic rant, where you can email your topics to them and hopefully you’ll be picked! I’m going to try myself, so maybe I’ll see you there!

Cheers!

Arthur 🙂

P.S You can follow all these gents on twitter (Just if you were thinking of registering an account):

Jim McGinly

Jamie Woo

Billy Majuntis

Mark Rabo

Craig Adams

Patrick Redding

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