Friday, March 4, 2011
GDC Day 5
An interesting round table with Dan Greenberg and the Anti-Censorship SIG of the IGDA. Some things have been happening... like the ESRB realizing that, holy cow, there's all these mobile and social games that aren't rated by us! By golly, we need to get their money... I mean, rate their products to protect the public! At the same time, as games get global distribution with the click of a mouse, most developers aren't aware of all the different rating systems and regulations in different countries. Australia? Yeah, they're getting really weird Down Under. Dan is starting up a Facebook group, and working on a way to get information about ratings to all interested parties. This is definitely something to be aware of if you're making any kind of electronic game.
I did manage to figure out why some of these game companies are at GDC: they are looking for employees. OK, I get that... but do you really need 4 spaces and an enormous temple-like set-up, free t-shirts and fans and other tchtochkes to attract people for the half-dozen or fewer positions you have? Like they're going to move to China instead of, say, Seattle? Either these companies have more dollars than sense, or they are international pharmaceutical dealers.
Many middleware vendors are promising multiplatform output... write once, push a button and you'll have your software on everything more complicated than a toaster. Hmmm... seems like there's more to multiplatform development than that. Could the marketing guys be overpromising? Do programmers like Doritos?
Since it's the end of a long show and I'm feeling a bit crabby, allow me to vent a little about booth design. I walked by far too many booths where it was not immediately obvious to me what they were selling. Your graphic designer may have told you that the dramatic black backdrop with just your company name was eye-catching, but someone should have told you that not everyone knows who the hell you are or why they should stop and find out. A simple subhead can solve these problems... "A global payment solution that gives you 200 countries to make money from" or "Motion capture cheaper and better than anything else" or some such. At least give me a clue so I know whether I should even waste time asking you what you do. If you don't, you're wasting my time and your money. Double bad.
More detailed thoughts later, after recovery.