I was pulling double duty, covering the event itself and its happenings as a journalist for DIYGamer and MCV during the day, and talking Arcen and indie game development in general in the evening as well as other downtime periods.
The conference itself was fun, informative, and (as expected) utterly exhausting. Over 22,000 industry folk were in attendance, though it never felt overcrowded thanks to the layout. Despite seeing a few great talks, it felt like there were dozens of good panels I completely missed. Regardless, interesting developments tended to spread like wildfire, with plenty of new reveals to muse upon and advice to debate over seemingly everyday.
I spent a ton of time with Retro City Rampage developer Brian Provinciano, and went out quite a bit with Lorenzo Scagnolari and Marco Pivato of 93 Steps. I also caught up with my pals Terry Cavanagh, John Polson of Dejobaan, Paul Taylor of Mode 7 Games (huge congrats to them for winning the IGF audience award for Frozen Synapse), and Adam Rippon of Muteki Corp. Additionally I had the pleasure of meeting Rami Ismail of Vlambeer (way taller than you'd expect), Dan Griliopoulos (one of my favorite games writers), my new work affiliates at Indie Game Magazine, MCV, and Develop, and spend bits and pieces of the week with many other industry friends both new and old. Food, drink, and/or discussion nicely sums up the majority of these meetings.
A quick aside: Super Duper Burger is as advertised — amazingly good food. I ate lunch there a couple times and regret not going more throughout the week. San Francisco really has great food and drink in general.
As for A Valley Without Wind, I was able to set-up impromptu demo sessions with a few press that weren't entirely swamped by their schedules, and talked casually about it to more people than I can count. On top of that, I had a few dozen people demo it at the very awesome POW party put on by Morgan Tucker (aka Crash Faster) at the DNA Lounge.
The venue was really impressive, especially when it was packed full of GDC attendees and San Francisco locals all beered up and ready for some excellent chip tune performances. Here's a video I took with my phone right before the doors opened:
I took a few pictures that night as well. Next up: PAX East! (Which Arcen will be attending in much more of an official capacity, what with a booth and everything.)