GDC 2017 – Game Developers Conference Hosted by SWAG

Speak with a Geek was on the ground again at GDC 2017 with host Cecilia Castelli where record breaking attendance proved once again that geeks rule and our beloved tech industry is only getting stronger – go gamers!

All of the big industry partners where in attendance; Google, Oculus, Facebook, Nvida, Unity, Intel, Valve, AutoDesk, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Xbox, Twitch, as well as game industry champions like Pixel, PCGamer, ArtStaion, 80 Level, GamersOn, Gang and Glixel.. to name just a few.

SWAG hit the breakout rooms and summits day one and was able to nab interviews with gamer giants Nick Allen, VP at TWITCH and Chris Wynn Executive Producer of Day Break.

Nick was quick to point out the billion dollar projection for the esports game industry he’s championing at Twitch by 2019 – esports being compettive gaming at the highest level – efectively sports for video games. Nick gave a shout out to SWAG for being on the ground talkking to the right people and added Esports needs talent in all areas from HR to tech and Dentists – hmm dentists? Ok well go on with your esports self Nick!

Next up Chris Win of DayBreak the company known for owning the franchise EverQuest, EverQuest II, The Matrix Online, PlanetSide, Star Wars Galaxies, Star Wars Clone Wars: Adventures, Free Realms, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2, H1Z1: Just Survive, and H1Z1: King of the Kill, along with more recent acquisitions Dungeons and Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online gave a great interview.

When asked if he had ever given someone a shot with no experience. He said “actually yes” and that he also knew a guy that used to be a garbage man and is now a top designer at one of the largest gaming companies around just because he ran a D&G underground workshop. So never think your not up for a shot at the title prize – that experience making pizzas and love for tech games might be enough to get in the door. It takes all kinds.

The Expo Floor at Moscone Center featured almost 570 companies exhibiting their latest products and tech gadets and software. Major players in the game space such as Google, Sony, Microsoft and Amazon along with developers such as Epic Games, Insomniac Games, Hi-Rez Studios, Oculus, Valve, Unity Technologies, and hundreds of others.
There was also an awards show and for IGF and demos galore showcasing everything one could imagine from unconventional controllers to alternative control schemes. GDC also supporting emerging developers and SWAG spoke to a few such as Jaycee Salinas who came on a sponsorship to shsowoff his game TRACKHER – a combination of space innvaders and Pacman. Jaycee said he dropped out of FullSail Academy to pursue games and told SWAG you just have to follow your dreams and give it your best – then anything is possible.

Another developer Hyacinth Nil, showed off a game he created for non-binary people stating his company Abyssal Uncreation’s goal as being to bring games to marginalized communities be it, non-bianary, trans gender, LGBT, women or minorities.
Overall the consesnus was that the gaming industry is thriving and hungry for new talent – from engineers, to artists and developers as well as HR and education leaders. As stated by Jennifer K Paige, Community Strategist for Xbox “the world is going in this direction (games) so come on, don’t be afraid” We’ve just got to find the right solutions for us all to play.


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