GDC was great... of course

I've had a very rough time figuring how best to discuss my experiences at this year's Game Developer Conference, since I did a lot of pondering about "casual games" and small/indie games finding their way onto consoles (ala Xbox Live Arcade and games like Marble Blast Ultra from Garage Games.)

The thing is, is supposed to be all about massively multiplayer hoo-hah, so talking about how stoked I am on the development of casual goodies and smaller games doesn't feel right to post on the main site.   Well, good thing I set up my personal blog, eh?

 I had a couple great chats with some big named folks in the industry and one was Richard Garriot.  The new path that Tabula Rasa is on has me excited and interested in the game for the first time.  I heard about it briefly a long while ago and I just wasn't sure what to think of it.  Richard has great ideas flowing from his head and his attention to detail and research about game design has me really intrigued by what's to come from his studio.  I'll talk more about that in an official post when I dig up my notes and fire a couple email to Richard for clarifications and maybe even a Q&A or something.  I'm slow on this news, so I'm sure you'll find some interviews and info somewhere.  Maybe I'll shine a different light on it when I get around to my take on it.

Auto Assault is going live soon and that has me very happy too... those guys have their studio on the other side of town from me and I know Scott Brown and Ryan Seabury somewhat now.  I really want them to succeed with that game mostly from a hope-my-friends-do-well perspective, but I also have a great deal of interest in growing our local game development community in the Denver region.  Good luck, NetDevil!!  :)

While I'm talkin' about Auto Assault, I'm proud to point you to the very sweet-looking Auto Assault Online Trading Card Game (TCG) made by my good friends at Worlds Apart!  These guys have already made some great TCG's, like the Lord of the Rings Online TCG.  If you like games of this ilk, their games will make you very happy.   You also just gotta play their fantastic game Star Chamber, which has gotten terrific praise as you'll see from their site.

Oh yeah, Will Wright is frickin' amazing.  I'm a game designer in a big part of my life and Will gets me fired up every year with his incredible presentations.  This year he spoke a great deal about the value of good, passionate research for game design/development... and astrobiology, which brought up a lot of Spore development discussions.  Good stuff.  I'll have to find some links to more detailed explanations of his talk, but for now, I'm just mentioning it since it was a highlight of the GDC for me.  Oh yeah.. got to chat with him for a nice bit on one evening.  Very approachable guy and I really enjoyed that discussion.

Hmmm... what else to briefly hit upon?...  The makers of Hero's Journey have pooled their resources to create a MMO game development kit/engine/thing (some info here) that you can license to create a MMOG.  It's a serious investment, like BigWorld, but it looked excellent and very promising.  They're both very impressive and I'll be compiling info about them in a different space.

The guys at Garage Games are on fire, did I mention that?  I'm so stoked for them and all that they represent in the game industry.  I hope they have continued, growing success, since I know they'll continue to share that success in various ways to the indie game development community.

Well.. that's a brief blast of info on my long week at GDC.  I met a ton of great folks and learned a lot of stuff, as usual.  I'll parse through my notes and try harder to sort this all out for you soon.  It's really a magnificent conference and I'm always glad I went.