Game Dev twitter is currently buzzing about GDC, everyone posting pictures of themselves meeting people, talking about the talks they’re attending, their hotel experiences, the parties they go to, and the hangovers the next morning.
So, you might be wondering, are you at GDC, Gareth?
Damn right, I am.
I’m at Gareth’s Damn Computer.
Ok, that was a pretty terrible pun, I admit. Sorry, not sorry. When you become a father, the Pun Force enters your body and you lose all sense of shame.
In all seriousness though, no, I’m not at GDC. So my streak is unbroken – I’ve never been to GDC. Even though it’s the Mecca of my chosen vocation.
And every year, I won’t lie, I do experience that FOMO.
To quote that great poet, Fred Durst, no one knows what it’s like, to be the bad man, to be the sad man.
You said it, Fred. No one knows, no one knows…
Except all the devs who live outside America, Canada and Europe and can’t afford it, of course.
Because that’s really the problem. Cold hard cash. It’s fuck off expensive to make that trip if you don’t live in one of those countries.
Rami Ismail did a good post on this a while back. You can read over his methodology, but the tl;dr version is that it’s about 4x more expensive, relatively, to go to GDC from South Africa, where I live, than from inside the US. I can’t justify that kind of expense right now.
Which sucks, because it’s also the biggest networking opportunity in the industry. And, well, just fun. I’ve been to Gamescom (via government funding), and that was great. There’s something revitalizing about hanging out with your own people, the ones who share your deepest passions and interests.
You return feeling energized, excited, connected.
And it would be pretty cool to meet in person the folks I only know through a twitter handle or a blog or whatever.
In my mind’s eye, we’d chat, become best friends and invite each other to our respective birthday parties. We’d exchange heartfelt letters at Christmas. Maybe you’d name your kid after me, I dunno.
It doesn’t have to be your first born, mind, I’m not proud. Naming any of your children after me would be fine.
Ah well, one day, one day.
But, until then, why not:
We can have our own GDC. With Blackjack, and hookers.
(Disclaimer, there will be neither Blackjack, nor hookers. I believe that would be against the Discord terms of service.)
Come say “hi”, friends, whether you’re at GDC or not, whether you’re a dev or anyone else.
I won’t even ask you to name a child after me. 😉