But here's a few things, I want to share with you guys. First: This wasn't the first time I attended GDCE. I already participated as a volunteer (or conference associate) there last year. The experience is simply amazing. You meet lots of cool people, among the other CAs there are game developers all over the place. And game developers are actually (mostly) pretty cool people. I even chatted a bit with Brenda Romero. She is such a wonderful person.
My job at GDCE this year was that of a badger, i.e. I stand around at the entrance of the expo floor and check, if everybody who enters has their badge. It can get pretty boring in the later hours, but at least I felt important when sending Gamescom exhibitors away. I could see some interesting talks and look at various booths. All in all a really good opportunity! :)
The best thing about GDCE, however, are the parties, where you can hang out with all the developers. There was a GDC/Respawn (Respawn is another event aimed mostly at German indie developers) party on Tuesday evening. Even though there were dance floors, not many people did dance. I immediately felt comfortable among my kind. You can chat with developers and exchange your ideas.
On Wednesday, Gamescom started. For trade visitors, at least, Thursday it was for the rest. I got the opportunity to work for a developer at their booth. I won't go too much into detail here, but let's put it this way: It was almost unbearable.
Not that these guys did anything wrong, I won't blame them. Just Gamescom alone and all the attendees, they're almost the absolute contrast to GDCE. Gamescom itself is very, very loud and every booth tries to be louder than those next to it. After two days, I kept working only with earplugs, while my voice worsened more and more. A small upside I had was a few booths away from me, where Petroglyph had their Grey Goo booth stationed. (Thanks again, Frank!)
Nevertheless, I learnt a lot about video game trade fairs, the attendees (impatient, greedy little brats! Most of them, anyway) of Gamescom and how to set up your booth in general. If I ever become a game designer and win the lottery at the same time, here's how my booth at Gamescom would look like:
- Two walls with foam between them, as well as a ceiling to shield of some of the noise outside
- Closed headphones for everyone, who wants to try my games
- Earplugs as a free giveaway and promotion
- Barcode scanner for me, so I can scan people's ticket numbers and thus minimize them coming back again and again for another giveaway and not giving a damn about the game
But, apparently, I will probably not become a gamedev too soon, as well as I am not going to win the lottery. All in all, I do not regret working at either of the events, GDCE was much cooler, however. I even think about applying for GDC in San Francisco next year. That way I might finally see some part of the states...