I could have titled this post "Survived GDC!" Maybe even "Surviving GDC," since I've worked up some tips about the experience. But before I get there...
GDC was great. Had a blast! Involving no literal explosions! So a big win all around.
I got to see a whole lot of people. If I start listing names it'll get boring and I'll forget some anyway. So I'll just note that I met Alexis Kennedy (of FailBetter Games) and Jeff Vogel (of Spiderweb Software). Among lots of others. And of course even more people that I know from the IF world or the game conference circuit and was happy to see again.
- Narrative Innovation Showcase (lightning showcase by many designers, assembled by Clara Fernández-Vara and Matthew Weise).
- Meg Jayanth on NPCs in 80 Days. (Here's a related talk she gave at Practice last year -- Vimeo.)
- Alexis Kennedy on narrative in Sunless Sea, and also boozing it up on stage.
- Sam Barlow on Her Story.
- Adam and Rebekah Saltsman talking about how they decide what games to develop at their indie studio.
- Jane Ng on the art design and implementation of Firewatch.
- The development of the Hitman and Tomb Raider franchises into Hitman Go and Tomb Raider Go.
- Tetsuya Mizuguchi looking back on 15 years of Rez.
- I didn't even attend any of the Friday talks, such as the extremely interesting open-source release of Inkle's game engine.
I am not going to do per-talk writeups, but you can read Emily's posts (Mon, Tue/Wed, Thu/Fri). Also Aaron Reed's post.