Saturday, April 4, 2009


Last week (March 23-27) the Game Developer's Conference was here in San Francisco, and it was kind of a crazy week. Most of the time was spent promoting Seek 'n Spell, and although it's still too early to see whether the work paid off, the word got out to some good people who seemed to be excited about the project.

We of course got GDC passes, but since they were just for the Expo and it didn't start until Wednesday, the first couple days we attempted to garner interest in Seek 'n Spell from those exiting the sessions. We held demos every day at 1pm in the Yerba Buena Gardens above Moscone South and passed out flyers to get people to come, but the turnout wasn't quite what we hoped. We were really excited to have Jay from Casual Gameplay stop by for a demo though. He's a great guy, and I think he had a lot of fun. He definitely excelled at the game and won maybe the second or so game that he played!

Wednesday the Expo started, but we didn't get there right away. We were invited to give a talk about Seek 'n Spell on BoingBoingTV, and we spent the morning in Dogpatch trying to find the studio. We had the intersection, but not an address, so needless to say it took about an hour to find the place. But once we got there things went smoothly, and the guys there seemed to be pretty excited about Seek 'n Spell too.

After the BoingBoing filming we back to Moscone and saw the Expo. While GDC wasn't quite the spectacle that CES was, it was still awesome with lots of fun stuff. One of my favorites that I will always find absolutely fascinating is anything that uses brainwave sensors to measure and/or incorporate your brain activity. There was a game or two of this type, and there was also a research setup that measured brainwaves to judge a player's interest in a game. By mapping the activity (or lack thereof) of certain waves you can tell if someone is visually engaged, actually thinking about the game, or just completely checked out. This technology would be useful for all kinds of fields, education and advertising being ones that first come to mind.

We finished off Wednesday by attending a party later that evening, and Thursday we held the 1pm demo in Golden Gate Park, because the network near Moscone was completely depleted by conference attendees. It ended up being more of a testing session than a demo, since surprisingly enough the people who won't cross the street for a demo won't hop on a bus to get to a demo either. But it was a great day to be in the park, and it never hurts to get some testing in.

Altogether it was an excellent albeit unproductive week (schmoozing is more time consuming than you'd imagine, and it doesn't leave much time for programming). So to relax from all that hard work we went to Lake Tahoe to celebrate with a ski weekend. A week of games just wears you out.

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