Thursday, October 21, 2010

GCAP '10

Fascinating trip to GCAP this year (that is to say GCAP itself was fascinating, not the trip there. That was mundane and, dare I say it, rather painful).

If I could sum up this year's conference in one word it would be this one: marketing.

This word and subsequently theme was common to 80% of presentations, particularly the plenaries. David Edery's take on the lifecycle of a console is a useful guide for those wishing to maximize their chances of success when launching a new title on a particular platform.

The chaps at Endgame offered one of the few solely gameplay focused presentations as they outlined the difficulties they encountered when balancing, er, difficulty. Fractured Soul for the DS is a gamers game, if there is such a thing any more; if there is, this it is one, or something. A significant portion of their presentation was centred around the user testing process and the feedback generated by it. Heartbreaking might be one way to describe it. However, for the sake of a little pain, a well balanced gameplay experience is its own reward.

The Doublefine keynote was entertaining though not particularly relevant to those not running a large studio. Despite that, it did offer one particular lesson applicable to any developer; take risks.

Between sessions we were treated to a middling selection of pastries, none of which tempted me (though they were quickly snapped up by other more ravenous developers. Devs are a fine judges of pastryflesh). Lunch was distinctly DIY which seemed in keeping with the rise of local indie developers, though I can't say I was the target market given the lack of veggie options. Still, while I don't have the stats handy I'd suggest the average developers diet would consist of cakes, donuts and liquefied versions of those for refreshment (and possibly bathing purposes).

All in all, a successful trip. Gold Coast was fucking horrible though, that casino's lighting system looked like an offcast from the set of the original Tron. Couple that with the Elvis impersonators and the ghastly women who inhabited said casino and the inside of my drab yet spacious digs at Best Western were entirely preferable. That said, $35 for not cleaning my dishes? gefuckd

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