GDC 2009: Preparation

Last week I spent a week in San Francisco attending the Game Developer’s Conference 2009. I went with two of my friends, Mark and Andrei, who are also my co-workers at FunForged. Our initial plan was to volunteer at the conference, not only because of getting a free all-access pass to the conference, but also because of the abundance of networking opportunities there while meeting other volunteers. Alas, Mark and I did not manage to secure our volunteer positions, which we later understood to be because of the sheer number of applicants, the limited number of available volunteering positions, and the established priority being given to past volunteers (which tend to come back each year). Unlike us two, Andrei, having volunteered at the conference last year, managed to secure his position this year. Because of this, it was not a total loss, as we ended up meeting some of the volunteers Andrei hung out with. Still, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for next year. Hopefully, one of two things will happen before the next GDC: either more volunteer positions become available or less alumni volunteers apply … the former being more likely.

Even though I felt a healthy dose of disappointment after receiving the rejection message (I admit, my hopes were high), I decided to press on, turning next to my savings account. I was happy to note that at the time the conference website offered early bird pricing; however, even the discounted amount was not easy to behold. After much debating – going back and forth between the Expo, Summit, Conference, and All Access passes – Mark and I finally decided to purchase the Conference Pass, coughing up little over $1K CAD. At the time we felt it was a necessary evil; in retrospect, a good investment, but one I am not fond of.

Since Andrei was volunteering, we left for San Francisco two days before the conference started. For Mark and myself, this meant we would be spending four days exploring San Francisco prior to being able to attend the second part of the conference we purchased access to. This arrangement turned out well, as we got to see some cool stuff around San Francisco – albeit, not without a share of perilous adventures along the way.

Peirson International Airport


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