Valleywag conference correspondent ConFonz pops in from this week's Game Developers Convention in San Jose, where the future's cloudy and the strippers are far away.
The business of building games was never more corporate than this year. When IBM and Versant have booths on your show floor, you know that there's big bucks to be had. And you know that it means someone's been playing grab-ass in the closet with the consultants.
Last year, GDC was in San Francisco, and so shall it be next year. This was probably the last time that the event will ever occur down in San Jose. It's a slightly sad thing to see it move on up the penninsula, but mainly it'll be a boon for the after-hours crowd, all of whom end up drunkenly slurring their words at the bar in the Fairmont Hotel. It's a sad fact that there is fuck-all to do in downtown San Jose when yer drunk and have a corporate AmEx card. Of course, in SF, the Gold Club is only a block away from the Moscone, allowing game execs and PR weenies to have stinking stripper snatch rubbed all over their filthy mugs before lunch is over.
After the jump, be careful shaking Will Wright's hand (pictured, with his other hand and his face).
No free coffee, rad on-site game from GameLabs (Throw those Virgins in the volcano, go Green!), and a ton of confused executives staring blankly at the booths of Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft.
You see, it's a transition year, and no one has a clue who's going to win the great console wars of 2007. In fact, no one even has a clue how to program the damn things. Game developers, as a rule, don't touch the hardware. They're purely routines and AI guys. The thought of optimizing code to run faster on multi-core processors is completely foreign to them. This is why IBM is here. This is why the bearded grognards of assembly code are now being recruited back into the folds, after having been fired in 1995. This is why Trip Hawkins is now peddling cell phone games.
Unfortunately, the whole affair left the ConFonz with a sour taste in his mouth, and why there's so little actual gossip in here. The ConFonz did find out two juicy bits of gaming-god info, though. First, Steve Jackson is looking for a publisher. He's got an old 4X game he wants to publish online, and it's all written in Perl(!#^@@##&)43d)-../. Second, Will Wright doesn't wash his hands after he pees in the little kid urinal.