GDC: Quick first day impressions
The first day of talks are over, with mobile gaming and serious games being some of the major tracks, with IGDA special topics another track. It's amazing how large GDC has gotten without losing the feeling of being a tight-knit developer community. Even in a room with 500 people, a programmer can crack a Duke Nukem Forever joke, or people can listen to Trip Hawkins talk about his early Electronic Arts design decisions, and no matter how many people are in the room, it's almost like a one-on-one experience.
While the Expo isn't going to be set up until Wednesday, I took a look around (MobyGames is an exhibitor as well as press) and saw an incredibly diverse portfolio of exhibitors. Some middleware companies, such as fmod, Rad Game Tools, and CRI are here. 3-D control device vendors are here as well, along with Autodesk (hey, someone has to make all those 3-D models). There are also some unlikely exhibitors, like Sun Microsystems, who is evangelising java as a gaming platform. More on that later, I guess.
The booths and displays are looking like they'll be the biggest yet; Sony's in particular looks like it's going to be some sort of dual-platform riser, with meeting rooms on the top platform. Just another reminder of how big the business of gaming has become.