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My GDC postmortem

The 2009 game developers conference was quite an experience for us at GoPlay Games. As a new company we couldn’t resist the chance to network with our fellow game developers and make new connections. I personally was excited to see the games and their designers over at the Independent games festival section. There were some very interesting titles that really showed how creative you can be when designing for the iPhone. Hopefully next year we will have a candidate or two on display. I think the most creative iPhone app was Ruben and Lullaby and Smiles was the most fun. Also on the show room floor was an old school classic with new school paint. Punch-out made its triumphant return to gaming on the Nintendo Wii. It was love at first sight again. Mike Tyson’s Punch-out is my favorite game of all time yet I still haven’t been able to beat it. Sad but true.

We made sure to swing by the booths of Unity and Garage Games to check out their iPhone engines. Both companies have some impressive technology and because of said technology, developing 3D games for the iPhone is easier for the independent developers out there. The best games 3D games I have seen performance wise on the iPhone have been racing games. Developers have been able to create a good sense of speed and implement decent accelerometer controls for the racing games on the store so far. I’d like to make a racing game in the future but with a GoPlay twist.

Now I don’t believe in going anywhere out of town with only business on my mind. One of the best parts about any GDC are the many evening parties you can attend. We made sure to swing by the parties thrown by IGDA, Nvidia, WiGi, and Zynga to name a few. The funny thing is you end up doing just as much networking at the parties as you do on the GDC showroom floor. Small talk at a GDC party can easily turn into a business opportunity if you work the room right. A few of the contacts we made came from us talking outside of the Pub. I probably handed out more business cards at night than in the day time. You never know where opportunity will be, but if you do happen to be there where opportunity is, you won’t want to be there without business cards.

I did meet a lot of people, a lot of companies and had a great time developing our network but hands down the best part of GDC was just being there with my close friends. GoPlay Games is made up of individuals who I have known personally for quite a while and being in San Fran with them was just a blast. I believe If you surround yourself with good people… you will have good times. We brought home many pictures and even more inside jokes that we will probably be tossing around for years to come. So here’s to another great GDC next year.

So the future for GoPlay Games is looking bright. We’re finishing up Popple, and already working on our second project. In two months we went from almost nothing to a now full time game development studio. We have press on our first game and great feedback from everyone who has seen it so far. I cant wait to see what else we do in 2009.

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