SF: We’ll be attempting to push out a live blog of GDC as we’re experiencing it (cheap way to get content). Check back throughout the day to get the latest.
JM: 9:50am: Dropped daughter at pre-school. Picked up speaker badge. Checked in with booth team. Met with panelists for first session.
SF - 11:30am: Just finished the first round of meetings. Try Samovar if you want a nice place in the sun that’s nearby. Registration was super easy to get through; it’s generally a bit quieter on Mondays. The schedule looks like a train wreck for the time being, but I’m going to attempt to make it to a few sessions in between. Particularly interested in the Emily Greer panel this afternoon on metrics tied to Core games.
SF - 1:22pm: Getting ready to head into the first session by Greer. CEO of PlayMesh made it to Jamil’s panel this morning and said he acquitted himself nobly. Sorry to miss it.
JM: 2:31pm: Did first panel on cross-platform social mobile, seemed to go well, lots of questions. Then did standalone session on cross-platform, describing lessons learned in fielding three games on multiple platforms. Announced that Crime City Android will feature true cross-platform play between iOS and Android. Revealed gameplay behavior stats, how they differ between FB, G+, and iOS. Seemed to go well, lots of questions while on stage, lots of people with more questions in the aisle and out in the hall. Had lunch with awesome developers. Had a fun interview with a reporter who totally gets it. I really enjoyed that conversation. Must check on booth team. Glad I have a speaker/exhibitor badge. Thanks GDC! Also noticed Dean’s piece on Funzio’s launches on Google+, Chrome Web Store, and Android. Thanks Dean!
JM: 4:02pm: Didn’t need to worry about the booth, Lauren’s got it all under control. Checked in on IGDA booth, randomly bumped into to key developer I’d been talking to the past week. A very cool game designer told me I looked great, so I took a picture with her. The press room had bad WiFi, and the booth setup isn’t finished, so I thought I’d go to the AT&T Store and get a MiFi or something. However, all the options seemed pretty lousy, pricy, and locked into a 2-year contract. Felt visceral revulsion. Decided to wait for a more Apple-y solution. I like $15 a month on my iPad without a contract. Walked back to Moscone North, which had awesome WiFi. Logged in to liveblog. Sat at a table where the Sphero guys were demoing. Not only does the phone control the ball, but the ball controls the phone! Amazing. Love GDC. Next stop, drinks at the W with a developer. Yes, drinks before 6pm. It’s not a bad gig.
SF: 5:27. Had to skip the session in favor of more meetings. Mostly doing the hotel hop thing right now. I find schedule management to be a delicate art. A good chunk of meetings seem to pop up at the last moment when your schedule is already helplessly fukt. When it comes to business development, I think GDC’s real value is in aggregating the world’s gaming population in a single place. It’s one of the rare opportunities to mee folks face to face after tortured phone calls at odd hours. Generally the day progresses from off site coffee binges (3 chai teas today) to happy hour to dinner to parties to drinks. If you plan it right you should hit about 25 quality connections a day (mix of people you know and don’t know).
SF: 12:30 am. Blarg! All done for the night. Tonight was a pretty solid kickoff for what is a traditionally slow day at GDC. Started out with some drinks with the folks at Greystripe (which I used to vainly catch up on e-mail and regroup) then headed off to dinner with a developer friend. I spent most of dinner misrepresenting Erin’s argument in favor of cross-platform in order to seem more intelligent. After that I hit a few parties. I dropped by The9′s party at Bentley Reserve, which was a bit off the beaten track but pretty spiffy in terms of presentation. A bit loud for my tastes, felt the strain on the vocals pretty quickly. I then headed over to the Kongregate party at Harlot (picture below). It was a low key affair. Probably my favorite part is the fact that Kongregate games got me through studying for the bar, so getting to know Jim Greer was a definite highlight, if a bit surreal. The competitive Pacman was a nice touch.
JM: 8:03am Tuesday. Filling in the blanks from last night. Had dinner with some of my favorite developers, and a local friend who I rarely see. Tried to get away from the GDC complex by picking Blowfish Sushi, but lo and behold, there was the CEO of a leading developer, and the execution layer of the EA marketing machine. Also, perhaps the second bottle of sake was unnecessary. Went to the Peanut Labs/Crowdstar/The9 party at the Bentley Reserve. Great location, and not too crazy. Did one revolution. Caught up with friends and made new ones. Note: when someone refers to himself as unemployed at an exclusive GDC party, it might actually mean he just sold his second company. Decided to call it a night, and work on the day job.