GDC

Post-GDC Wrap-Up

As many of you know, I had been preparing for GDC over the last few months in hopes that I could network a bit, get feedback on my work, and hear back about some open positions.

Overall, it went very well. I made a handful of good connections, and got to talk to some great studios. I got my portfolio reviewed by places such as Capcom Vancouver, Valve, Insomniac, and High Voltage. The feedback I received echoed each studios’ development philosophies. Some wanted me to focus more on one area over another, while others wanted me to continue to generalize.

Valve was really interested in knowing the history and story of the pieces I had in my portfolio. They wanted to see all the sketches that led up to the final product and why I made the design decisions that made it into the final piece.

Most disappointingly, however, is that the Epic booth wanted absolutely nothing to do with looking at my portfolio, and even claimed they have never offered such a service, despite my interactions with the booth last year. I was notably frustrated at the time, primarily because the woman behind the desk was condescending and rude, going as far as laughing me out of the booth. It hurt. I had worked hard since last year’s GDC and catered my portfolio to Epic over any other studio in hopes of getting a good review from the company I idolized the most. That didn’t go so well.

Regardless, the critiques I did receive really motivated me to focus my efforts into more of a complete package. I have good work, but I don’t push it far enough. I tend to stop on a picture when it is just “good enough”, and I only tend to make one or two of any certain kind of picture. To expand on my strengths, I will be trying to get back into working daily, even if it’s just for a brief period. I need to do more sketching and really drill home on the areas I love the most. I seem to have the most fun lately when I am sculpting in Zbrush, so I will be working in that.

For the next few months, I will work on fewer large projects, and instead work more on small pieces that can be finished in a couple days to a week. I need to build my foundations better and get really comfortable with techniques before I feel I should be completing complex things again.

I went to the zoo yesterday and took a bunch of pictures. For next week, I will be sketching from those and updating next Sunday.

Apart from the Career Pavilion, I spent a good amount of time checking out lectures and the expo floor.

There was a great design lecture from Richard Lemarchand of Naughty Dog talking about why it’s important to grab a player’s attention over trying to “immerse” them.

 

There was a great little museum about the History of 3D Game Graphics that had a bunch of playable stations showcasing 3D games across decades. I finally got a chance to play the Virtual Boy.

Here is a picture of some development kits from that museum.

 

Also, apparently we’re all evil people.

 


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