March 4, 2011 Papalati

GDC 2011 – Day 1 – Part 2

I quickly walked the floor trying to gauge where I should start, however I had to make a stop at the Wacom booth to see the new Cintiq 21UX in action.

What a stunning sight to see. Yum. They said I should still be able to get around 12-1300 for the model I have and then I can upgrade. Twice the pressure level and sensitivity levels and it doesn’t hurt that the screen is now glass. Yay, no more striations on my Cintiq display. Jim Chan with AudioImage was very nice and gave me very valuable information including the rumor that all the new Cintiqs are on backorder due to manufacturing difficulties, but just let him know when I want one and he’ll send me one free shipping and no tax. Yipee.

Moving on around the floor I found myself looking at some new technologies such as the Sony Xperia Play phone, aka the Playstation Phone.

What I can say about my hands-on time with the device, most of that time playing a PS1 port of Crash Bandicoot, is that the device feels solid even with the amount of plastic that has been used. I was informed, by one of the booth’s attendants, that many more games will be ported/designed for the Xperia Play in the coming months. I will also add that the visual fidelity of the game was impressive considering the game is as old as it is. This title looked more as if it was a PSN-made title than a 10 year old title. Almost made me think that this was a remake, such as other titles that have recently gone through the remake cycle… BGE, Oddworld, and others.

My next destination took me to the geniuses over at Crytek, to get a look at Crysis 2 in Stereoscopic.

Everyone has their own reservations regarding 3D and its implementation in film and games. My opinion is that only specific games/gametypes should be in 3D. I found that while watching someone else play the game was much easier on my eyes than actually playing the game myself. I later thought on the situation and wondered why that was. The only conclusion I could come to was that while the action was the same on screen, since the demo is the same level for everyone, when we actually interact with the game my eye movement and reaction to the environment was more involved; such as quickly scanning the environment for baddies before they pick me off. At least this is what I could come up with to explain the difference.

The last part of my day I spent over in the “Career Pavilion” part of the expo. In this part many studios/developers have setup booths for hiring purposes. Some booths such as Ubisoft and Blizzard, had split booths one side for students and the other side for professionals.

Here are a few pics of various developer booth’s.

My last activity of the day was spent talking to the VP of Red Storm Entertainment Steve Reid. (Yes, I know its not me in the pic, it’s one of the two guys that were in line ahead of me.)

He provided me with invaluable information regarding the industry as a whole, not just that of Red Storm’s or Ubisoft’s vision. He gave me advice regarding my work, which I then reiterated to a industry vet and a true friend who turned around and elaborated on what Steve was saying and gave me additional advice with regards to that.

Returned to the hotel… feet sore and blistered. Having not adjusted to West Coast time, I passed out around 6:30p.m.