Today is the start of the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, California, which has evolved into the single largest gathering of video and PC game developers in the world. Major announcements and news events have occured during GDC over the past several years and this year's event will likely prove to be no exception. FiringSquad got a chance to chat with GDC's director Jamil Moledina to find out more about the conference and what we might expect from the event.
FiringSquad: First, can you give us a brief history of the Game Developers Conference?
Sure thing. The GDC started as a gathering of programmers in pioneer developer Chris Crawford’s living room in 1987. The show started with the name “Computer Game Developers Conference,” and grew in size, changed ownership, moved to different cities, and also grew in scope to cover the entire industry. Today, the GDC is the largest event in the world dedicated to game creation, with over 12,000 attendees last year.
FiringSquad: How many attendees and exhibitors are planning to attend GDC this year?
We’re tracking to exceed last year’s numbers, which for exhibitors was over 200.
FiringSquad: What do you think are the biggest trends in game development that will be addressed at the conference this year?
Our theme this year is “What’s Next,” which means we’ll definitely have a great deal of focus on next generation consoles. But not everyone develops for those platforms, and with that in mind there’s a lot of changes going on in the industry overall. There’s a dramatic push to broaden the market of gamers, find new ways of distributing games and building communities with gamers, as well as creating games in a distributed fashion.
FiringSquad: One of the big keynote speeches will be from Ron Moore, the man behind the re-imagining of the Battlestar Galactica TV series. Why was he selected to speak at a game conference?
The studio gave Ron a challenge to recreate a beloved franchise, respecting the original fan base yet delivering something fresh and new to the experience. Virtually every game producer is given this exact same challenge at some point in his or her career. Ron’s example is a highly visible one to the game development community in particular, since science fiction and this specific property are very much in the consciousness of our attendees. Plus, Battlestar Galactica is my favorite show.