after june

"CK" is a conglomerate of personal artistic projects by a Canadian chameleon.

GDC 2016


Let's get right to this. I suck at blogging. And yet, life is pretty cool. So here's a blog post from last month which I never finished and therefore never submitted. But today I realized: incomplete blog posts = life! I mean, when do we really encounter closure? The only times I've felt "well, that's closure" is during a break-up, or a death. So I'm going to embrace incompleteness -- my life is busy and often I'm offline -- and here is what I wrote about GDC 2016.

March 17, 2016

I don't blog a lot. But when I do, I'm in a hurry and it's in point form! Also I mmmight be drinking wine which was rubbing alcohol in a past life. #ThanksObama

I'm at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco! I'm here representing three groups: officially, Toronto-based videogame sound agency Orb Soundwerx and #INeedDiverseGames; unofficially, Dames Making Games Toronto.

Tonight and last night have been awards nights, neither of which I've attended, because my days have been non-stop from panels in the morning and parties in the night. I need some time to eat Cheezies and unwind, you know? Also, the awards were covered by Gamasutra, so if you'd like to learn about the best independent games and audio in games last year, click on those words. (I can tell you this though: Her Story played the part of That Kid at your high school grad who received highest honours, various scholarships and medal after medal, eventually having the Excellence in Chemistry lanyard get stuck in his 'fro. Yeah, we all remember that, Stanley (congrats, Stanley))

Anyway, my firsthand GDC experience involves primarily the panels and seminars, because I'm socially awkward and only network when there's alcohol involved, so during the day I mainly keep to myself and absorb information.

So let's speak of the panels a bit!

Big conference rooms full of nerds. There, you have it.

Oh, you want insight into what was learned? Maybe you should just click on that Gamasutra link and read articles done by people who get paid to recount such things! Bwahahah! Because my strongest impressions at this point are:

-The writer's "round table" took place around a square table, thus shattering my last illusions that semantics are taken seriously by ANYONE; 

-Games for Change: Turn to Face the Strange thankfully rebuilt those same illusions. Also, it was a very good panel about two kinds of games: those done with the primary intent of being thought-provoking, critical and careful art, vs. those done with the primary intent of makin dat $$$ by massaging the vicious behemoth symbiote of Status Quo + Marketing. The hopeful and completely realistic thesis was that the two camps can and should help each other out for mutual benefit. Also there were some nice animal kingdom metaphors: rare, starving games and fat, domesticated games.

-Feng Zhu's panel on designing an IP was basically a condensed university course on digital art, creative writing, storytelling fundamentals and team management all in one. Also, Feng Zhu is hot.

One last thing: a lot of bad stuff has happened throughout this GDC to me. It's on my brain, a pestilent brain-worm, constantly biting where it hurts and souring my memories. If I recount this bad stuff, it will be in a separate blog post, and because I'm a big proponent of yins and yangs, that blog post will have to be offset by a glowing recollection of GDC 2015, which was nothing but wonderful to me.

Sooo, given the sporadic nature of these blogs, the brain-worm may never be brought to light. But for posterity, here is the official mention that this year, a lot of shit happened. Maybe that's why I'm drinking this $8 bottle of wine!

Or maybe that's just because $8 bottles of wine are part of my hipster/skuzzy/poverty-chic persona.

The hostel behind me is now filling up with the other indie teams here at GDC. Why are they here? Why aren't they at the Microsoft party half a block away? Well, maybe some of us are shunning the Microsoft party because they've allegedly hired sexy school-girl erotic dancers, and umm what, you sexist twats, have you lost your minds and think no one is holding you accountable for this shit anymore? Or maybe it's because indie nerds are the best partiers anyway. At any rate, I'm off to watch this guy with a mohawk do yo-yo stunts, or maybe off to a non-Microsoft party where one may run into Chris Avellone or Amy Hennig.

Later, nerds!