Ugh, it’s been almost a month and I feel like I haven’t done anything. That’s not true (I’ve been doing a lot of reading, which has been great), but I haven’t done any writing or work on Memories. So that ended up one of my big plans for this long weekend – make some sort of progress on Memories. (I was tempted to sit down and write a short story or something, but decided in the end that I really need to finish this game first).
So I made a paper prototype of most of the game so far, and started trying to think things through a bit.
This has been great. I made little tokens out of paper with the characters, whether or not they have a heart, and what their job title is. I also made paper tokens of the keys you’ll need, and the memory triggers. This way I can move everything around super easily, which has allowed me to change my mind as to who will be in what room (and who will have the keys you need). Thanks to this, I’ve actually managed to properly think through some of the problems I’ve been having for the last few weeks regarding the second and third memories, which means I can get back to building the game! 🙂
I wasn’t prototyping the narrative, but sitting down and making this prototype reminded me of a GDC talk I attended about paper prototyping for your narrative design project. I know my friends and I were disappointed with the talk itself (he spent too much time on terms we were all familiar with; it was just starting to get into the good stuff when he ran out of time and had to hurry through the stuff we were more interested in), but if you’re interested in it, I found the talk on Youtube.
Oh yeah, I’m also renaming the wizard. For some reason, I didn’t realize his name started with an “E” when I named him. One of the families has an “E” as the first letter of their names, and I didn’t want it to be confusing. So he’s now going to be Godric. I think that’s appropriate – it means “power of god” plus “”power, rule.” Definitely appropriate for this wizard! 😉
I did it: I made it to GDC in San Francisco this year! I’m really excited to be able to scratch that off of my list of goals for the year!
I went to San Francisco on March 16th. With the time changes, I made it there around 1pm. I met the friend I stayed with at San Fran in the airport (we split a room); we checked into the hotel, then went to China Town. Last time I was in San Fran (for Casual Connect last summer), I meant to go to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory but forgot about it. So that was the first thing I wanted to see! You have to pay 50¢ to take pictures, which in my mind was well worth it. I got a bunch of free samples, and ended up buying several bags of fortune cookies (which actually made it home relatively intact).
After China Town, we met up with some friends at the GDC badge pickup party; GDC had officially begun! I ended up going out for dinner with some friends that night, then heading back to the hotel a bit early; Sunday was the one and only night where that happened!
Monday and Tuesday were the Narrative Summit days. Being a writer, those talks were my primary interest in GDC (besides the networking opportunities). I sat in on some excellent talks, including my friend’s day two talk about putting more sexy men into video games (“Fewer Tifas or More Sephiroths? Male Sexualization in Games”), which was being haled as THE talk of the Summit.
Day three I called a “me” day. My friend and I stayed and chatted in the hotel until about noon. Eventually we wandered to the conference, although she went sooner than I did because she had an All Access pass (I only had as Summits and Tutorials badge, which meant there was a lot less for me to do on the latter three days of GDC). So I went to a round table, then went to meet another friend of mine and go see the Golden Gate Bridge. The two of us have been friends on Xbox Live for 6-7 years; last Wednesday was our first time meeting in person.
The final two days were mostly networking and checking out both the Expo Hall and GDC Play. I wish I had discovered GDC Play sooner than Friday because it was a lot of fun!
In the end, I had a really great time seeing old friends and meeting new ones. And now I’m hoping to make it back to GDC next year!
Pictures from my trip can be found here if you’re interested. 🙂
It is official: I am going to GDC!
I know that I made getting to GDC one of my goals for the year. But over the last few weeks, I was worried that getting to San Francisco this March wouldn’t be a reality. But I’ve managed to sort everything out and have registered for the conference. I’ve also spoken with a friend and we’re going to room together.
I can’t wait! 🙂
Back in July, I attended the IGDA Summit in Seattle. While there, I met many great people and had an excellent time. But one piece of advice that I got really stuck with me: if you want to be a video game writer, go to GDC Online. So I did! It’s now been a week and a half since I returned home after the conference. And with life returning to normal, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my fantastic experience in Austin.
I went to GDC Online specifically for the Narrative Summit and the Game Writing Tutorial. While my pass let me attend the other Summits and Tutorials, I only attended sessions from these two. I really enjoyed the various talks; there were lots of excellent speakers during all three days. My favourite sessions from the Narrative Summit were Cory Herndon’s “Tweet Quest,” the panel on Co-Operative Campaigns, and Richard Dansky’s “Muppetational Game Writing Critique Workshop.” The entire Game Writing Tutorial was also extremely valuable, especially if you are, like me, relatively new in the industry.
While the conference itself was a great experience for learning the craft, the after hours events were great for getting to know everyone. I was lucky that I met a lot of people in Seattle, so Austin was a great place to catch up with them. But there were also many people that I met for the first time at GDC Online. They were all extremely welcoming, willing to share their experiences or just chat. And the best place to find them all was after hours at the Gingerman. Here the writers gathered for Write Club, Family Business, socializing and merriment. The Gingerman after hours gatherings were just as valuable as the Conference proper. And always a lot of fun!
From start to finish, GDC Online was a great conference. I learned a lot and had a great time hanging out with everyone. My advice to anyone who wants to be a video game writer: definitely look into attending the next GDC Online – and make sure you stop by the Gingerman!