I've begun to arrange my schedule for next week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and it's quite a task. With dozens of sessions on game design, production, visual art, audio, and a myriad of other topics - in formats ranging from roundtables to lectures to panel discussions to tutorials - I've got way more interesting options than I can possibly attend.
This, of course, is a wonderful problem to have. I'm grateful for the opportunity, and I intend to make the most of it. I'll attend three days of sessions and do my best to report on what I see and learn. I'll also be at the Independent Games Festival and on the Expo Floor checking out some of the newest indie games and meeting their designers. And I plan to do some recording for the podcast. So, yeah, it'll be a busy week. I can't wait.
Since I need to make some choices, I thought it might be fun to solicit a little help. This year's GDC features keynote addresses by two industry luminaries: Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo; and Hideo Kojima, Head of Kojima Productions and creator of the Metal Gear series. Given my hectic schedule, I've decided to attend only one, and I'm asking you to help me choose. Here are the program notes for each:
Known for giving rise to the stealth action game genre with his creation of the acclaimed Metal Gear series more than two decades ago, Kojima’s keynote will focus on conquering various development obstacles with creative game design, using the driving game design philosophies behind the Metal Gear series as reference. The address, “Solid Game Design: Making the ‘Impossible’ Possible,” marks Kojima’s debut appearance at the GDC.
The development of both Nintendo DS and Wii was based on the idea that the video game consumer base could be broadened if the definition of a video game…and ways to access games…were viewed differently. The fact that these platforms have been accepted so enthusiastically around the world shows that there is opportunity for developers to stretch the boundaries of what was previously viewed as possible in terms of realizing a creative vision.
In his keynote address, Nintendo global president Satoru Iwata will talk about Nintendo’s role in creating better tools and bringing opportunities for developers to introduce their innovative ideas to a marketplace that is increasingly willing and eager to embrace new game design possibilities.
Vote below for the keynote you're most interested in, and I'll attend and report on the winner. I'm earnestly interested in both, so I won't be disappointed either way. Thanks for indulging me in a little GDC March Madness, and may the best industry titan win!