GDC – For Professionals Only
The Game Developers Conference, also known as GDC for short, is the largest annual gathering for professional video game developers produced by UBM TechWeb Game Network, a division of UBM TechWeb, LLC.
Touted as the world’s largest professional-only game industry event, GDC has showcased essential forums that focus on learning, inspiration, and networking of the creators of computer, console, handheld, mobile, and online games.
The event has been known to have attracted over 18,000 attendees, and has been considered the primary forum where programmers, artists, producers, game designers, audio professionals, business decision-makers and others involved in the development of interactive games gather to exchange ideas and discuss possible improvements and developments in the industry.
The GDC was initially focused on the computer game industry, but now the industry has begun to diversify to the point that it now includes a number of other platforms such as dedicated console games, handheld devices, cell phones, and online games. Even today, the GDC continues to define market innovations and future vision, providing insight into the future of gaming.
“Learn, Network, Inspire,” is a recurrent theme that the GDC want to impress to each of its participants.
The GDC has always been presented in San Francisco during the spring of every year. But nowadays GDC conferences are held simultaneously around the world through GDC Austin, GDC Canada, GDC China, GDC Europe, and of course GDC San Francisco.
The conference highlights a series of interactive events which includes, but is not limited, the following:
a. GDC Expo
The GDC Expo has been an avenue wherein most companies are able to demonstrate the innovative tools developers use to create their games that are released or will be released in stores shelves in the near future.
b. Learning Activities
The GDC also features learning activities that includes a variety of tutorials, some lectures, and roundtables discussion by industry professionals on game-related topics, which can cover a wide range of subjects including: programming, design, audio, production, business and management, and the visual arts.
c. Independent Games Festival
Independent Games Festival is managed and developed by GDC’s organizer, UBM TechWeb. The organizers believe that the independent game development community plays an important role in supplying fresh game ideas and concepts, while being able to disseminate them throughout the larger community of developers. It is through this that the Independent Games Festival was conceptualized.
First launched in 1999, Independent Games Festival is the first and largest competition for independent games. Independent Games Festival serves to encourage and reward innovation in independent games. It highlights the innovative achievements of developers ranging in size, from individuals building PC titles to studio teams creating console downloadable titles.
d. Game Developers Choice Awards
The Game Developers Choice Awards has been considered to be the game industry’s only open, peer-based awards show. Game Developers Choice Awards are the only premier honors awarded through peer-recognition in the digital games industry, at the same time celebrating creativity, artistry and technological genius.
Any member of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and industry professionals from around the world can be nominated for the Game Developers Choice Award, free of charge. The winners will then be selected through membership votes.
The Game Developers Choice Awards has been launched since the year 2001.
History of GDC
Originally, GDC started out as the Computer Game Developers Conference (CGDC) which organized its first conference, under the leadership of Chris Crawford, in 1988 at San Jose, California. The first conference was held in Crawford’s own living room and was attended by a small group of twenty-seven designers. Undeterred, Crawford launched CGDC’s second conference later that same year at Holiday Inn, Milpitas. This time the conference was able to attract 150 developers to attend.
By 1991-1995, CDGC has been growing steadily popular among developers and has shown increased attendance from 538 to 2387. Ernest W. Adams, then director of operations has decided to hold the conferences in different facilities in Santa Clara, San Jose, and Long Beach. Which revolutionized and help CDGC grew rapidly
CDGC’s growth was remarkable that it was able to change from a small, undercapitalized company with previous financial losses into a profitable million-dollar business. The growth figures were so immense that by the year 1994 CGDC could afford to sponsor the creation of the Computer Game Developers Association.
After a few years under the cloak of CGDC, it has decided to adapt a new name. In 1999, Game Developers Conference, or GDC, was born and replaced CGDC forever.
Throughout the years GDC has shown that it was able to develop and launched new line of ideas, concepts, and events that were able to pique the interest of game developers. The GDC hosted the Spotlight Awards from 1997 to 1999; followed by the Independent Games Festival in 1999; and the Game Developers Awards in 2001.
In the year 2002, the GDC launched “GDC Mobile,” its first event focused on developing games for mobile phones. In 2004, the GDC started to engage in a partnership with Game Connection to present its Game Connection @ GDC event, a live matchmaking service for developers and publishers. The event then expanded to include Game Connection Services for outsourcing and other services by the year 2007. The GDC also partnered with Video Games Live, in 2006, to feature their symphonic performance of videogame music as the closing night event. Such events and innovation lead to an increase number of attendees from a roughly 2000 in 1995 to 12,000 in 2005 and 18,000 in 2008.
GDC @ 25
This year, the GDC has just celebrated their 25th year last February 28 to March 4, 2011. GDC’s 25th year commemoration was marked with over 400 lectures, panels, tutorials and round-table discussions on comprehensive selection of game development topics taught by leading industry experts.
Rockstar San Diego’s critically-acclaimed Wild West adventure title Red Dead Redemption was the big winner at the 11th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards. The game won a total of four awards which includes Best Game Design and the coveted Game of the Year Award.
In the 13th Annual Independent Games Festival, Swedish developer Mojang’s acclaimed 3D world-building sandbox title, Minecraft, was awarded the Best Independent Game for 2011.
UBM TechWeb, GDC’s organizers, has announced that over 18,000 professionals have participated and attended the said event.