As always, GDC was a great experience. I highly encourage those of you who have never attended the conference to do so next year. This is especially true for students who are looking to break into the game industry — the educational (as well as networking) opportunities at GDC cannot be overstated. And with that, here are just a few examples of the great stuff that GDC had to offer:
The IGF winners were announced, and — no surprises here — Crayon Physics scored the grand prize. Petri Purho, the guy behind Crayon Physics, writes about it (and more) on his blog, Kloonigames. Keep an eye on Petri. As I’ve noted on this blog in the past, he’s always cooking up interesting ideas. The man is going places.
The annual Rant is always fun. Clint Hocking wins my vote for best quote: “Why isn’t Medal of Honor about honor? Imagine what it would be worth to you if you could put honor in a box and sell it. What if you package the experience of what it means to be honorable?”
I missed David Jones’ session, and I’m sorry I did. He presented one of the few upcoming “big budget” MMOs that I’m actually (semi-)excited about.
Plenty of Microsoft-related news. Community-created XNA games will, sometime in the future, be made available to all Xbox Live users. Games will be processed via peer review, not a managed portfolio process. Very, very exciting stuff — I’m glad the news is finally out! Other interesting revelations: XNA Game Studio can now be used to build games for the Zune. And last but not least, Fable 2 is blazing trails on XBLA — earn virtual gold in a related XBLA game, and you’ll be able to spend that gold within Fable 2 itself. For the record, I think there are so many cool ways that XBLA and retail games can be linked — this is just the start. It probably doesn’t make sense for the vast majority of XBLA games, but for a select few, there’s great potential.
Another session I wish I hadn’t missed: Game Studies Download 3.0, liveblogged by Raph Koster and revealing “the ten most interesting research findings of the year.” Some real gems in there.