Monday, May 24, 2010

Canada vs. America

Game Developers Conference America and Canada

Well, we already have definitive answers when it comes to women's hockey and universal health care. But now, for the second year running, Canada has decided to toss its hat into the GDC ring as well.


It's not really much of a competition, especially as the IGF will always put the original GDC head and shoulders above the rest. I will say though, that I was pleasantly surprised by what GDC Canada brought to the table. There was a lot of character and passion that I've found to be true of most Canadian game-makers. It was nice to see the Game Career Seminar carried forward, and given the economic climate it was awesome that free passes were distributed to the recently unemployed.


Once you cross cultural borders, you can really see how universal the gaming community is. Not only are the exhibitors and speakers representative of global companies, but many have bases of operation within the country as well.


The focus in game development trends didn't vary much either. Social games were up front and center. Original GCD panel discussions and lectures were packed with social-media games, and GDC Canada keynote speaker this year was Studio VP and GM of FarmVille. As we've all heard now, "More people have played FarmVille than have ever played Mario".


While it's interesting to see the spotlight shift slightly off of the latest God of Wars or Gran Turismos, today's social-media industry has also become dominated by a similar handful of major players. Social browser games once brought a lot of attention to the indie arena, but micro-transaction downloadable add-ons have attracted some big fish.


A GDC summary wouldn't be complete without referring you to one of the great presentations. A bit outside of my normal niche, this talk on procedural audio presents some new ideas in an easily digestible way.


Two down, Europe and China to go!


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As a game audio designer I provide game music, sound effects, voice, and other editing services.


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