Three massive halls. Thousands of game developers. Enough free energy drinks to put a grown horse into cardiac arrest. This is the Game Developer's Conference, and these are the Aussies who are braving the San Francisco cold and endless supply of caffeine to make their mark on the world stage.
Held annually in San Francisco, the Game Developers Conference draws people from all over the world to spruik their games and learn from the best developers in the business.
So what draws an Australian developer across the seas to the GDC? We tracked down the Australians milling about the Moscone Centre for their thoughts on development, promotion, and yes, maybe even the parties.
Freeplay Award-winning Melbourne-based developers Brawsome have been holding down the fort at their booth in GDC Play, an exhibit that allows developers to showcase their games to distributors, publishers, and the press.
“This is the second time we've been here under the Brawsome banner,” said director Andrew Goulding, who is here with designer Ben Kosmina and Alastair Craig, who contributed his writing skills to Brawsome's soon-to-be-released comedic puzzler MacGuffin's Curse. “When I attended the GDC in previous years, I never got to attend a talk or anything like that – I've always just been rushing around, having meetings with publishers and press members.”
It's draining work for an indie developer. I ask if it's a bit depressing to sit around the booth from nine to five each day, and while Andrew concedes that he does miss going to the talks, he says that Brawsome “would not be on the map at all” without yearly visits to the GDC.
“We've spoken to 25 people just today,” he explained when I visited his booth on Tuesday, “and I can't count how many more have walked by. We're really getting the word out there, getting people excited about the game before launch.”
Hopefully manning the booth pays off for MacGuffin's April 19th release on Steam and iOS.