GDC Recap 1: Getting to SF and getting my GDC on!

This year I attended GDC, the Game Developers Conference. It is the largest conference for those involved in the game development industry and it is seen as a fantastic resource to learn skills, network with peers, and see where the industry is headed. Its not really a place for those that want to play games, but there are tons of interesting things for those who want to know how games are made.

Getting There.

GDC is in San Francisco. I do not live in San Francisco. Getting to GDC involved a long bus ride from southern California all the way up to the bay area. I could fly, but I actually like the relaxed feel of riding the bus over the panic of airports. I always fill my phone up with game podcasts and game devs podcasts to get myself in the zone, and try to plan out what things I will be doing each day using the GDC app.

This year I picked out a hotel that was much nicer and much closer to Moscone Center than the place I stayed last year. I learned my lesson booking last minute. Last year I was unprepared. I didn’t give myself enough time to relax, and I planned an activity for every minute of every day. I didn’t know about the importance of EventBrite RSVP’s for getting into events, and I didn’t know what to expect when it came to networking with people around me. This year turned out a lot better!

Day 1

AI Arborist: Proper Cultivation and Care for Your Behavior Trees
More “I”, Less “A” in AI Interviews
Math for Game Programmers: Ranking Systems: Elo, TrueSkill and Your Own
How Defold Helps Indie Devs Perform Live Updates with AWS (Presented by Amazon)

Highlight of this day was Upload VR’s party! I couldn’t RSVP for it because I waited too late, but then later in the day a person on the GDC app linked to a post by the CEO about extra invites.  A few minutes later, I had one! The party was an interesting mix of music, dancing, booze, food, and all things VR. There were about 6 full green room stages for shooting VR/AR video, and each one had a unique demo to experience. There were multiple live performances using VR, including a demo where two ballerinas in motion tracking suits performed a dance with CGI rendered backup dancers mimicking their movement. There was also a live demo of a surgery training VR exercise.

 

Note: I know these posts are coming very late, I have been very busy lately and I'm gonna do my best to catch up!

Scheduling.

So, for the rest of this year at least, I want to try to keep myself to a pedigree. One Blog Post a day.

This would be hard if I really wanted every post to be a indepth article about game modding, or programming, or an opinion  piece, so I am opening up my blog to a bunch of new topics, bringing it more in line with a personal blog than just a dev one.

Heres a few ideas I want to do.

Reviews.

Not just game reviews, or media reviews, ANYTHING. I plan on trying to review one thing a week, weather that is a game, movie, TV dinner, hair product, piece of clothing, microcontrollers from Adafruit, etc.

Reflections.

There are a lot of obscure and interesting things that shaped who I am as a person today, and I think it would be nice to reflect on some of these things, people, etc, and write a bit about how they affected me.

Dev Progress Update

I want to take one day a week after work and focus on either working on, or releasing source code to one of my many, many unfinished products that I have accumulated over the years. I want to put all my code on either Github or Google Code so that others can take my projects and fork them if they want to continue development on it in the future.

Project Dantarion Update

I also want to post once a week about progress being made on the rewrite of my game prototype using Lua and UE4.

Cool Link

This is kinda the “I don’t have time” post that I want to do, rather than go a day without posting. These will just be a link to something, like a page, a song, a video, etc, and a shot paragraph about why I think its cool or interesting. I have no excuse not to be able to do one of these even if time is short, I could even post them from my phone.

Photography!

I live in a beautiful place. I want to try to post a picture once a week of something, even if its just my roommates cat, or the sunset.

A New Era of Dantarion

 

This month begins another attempt at self-reinvention. As time passes and we get older, I think its important to take moments in time and reevaluate what you are doing with your time here on earth. Some call it a “mid life crisis, but the concept is the same no matter what your age is. You wake up one day, think about your current life, and wonder “Whats next?”

I had been thinking about this a lot recently, and came to a bit of a conclusion as to what action I want to take in this regard. At first, I thought about each aspect of my life separately.

I want to get in better shape.
I want to advance my skills and my career.
I want to eat better.
I want to meet new people and do exciting things.

Yes, these are stereotypical New Years resolutions that people make, and at first glance, these things are only kinda related, and it might make sense to think about them separately. But I thought indepth about them, and realized that the thing keeping me back is the same in all cases.

Continue reading A New Era of Dantarion