GDC 2008

GDC 2008: Jamil Moledina: Probing the Mind of GDC, Part One

Russ Pitts | 18 Feb 2008 21:00
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A few years ago, everyone in the game industry looked forward to May. That was when the E3 Expo took place, and everyone even remotely involved in the industry crowded the Los Angeles Convention Center for a look at the latest, greatest innovations and to rub elbows with the best and brightest. But that was then.

Last year a dozen or more pretenders to the throne emerged from the ashes of the E3, but none so convincingly as CMP's little conference that could, the GDC. From its roots as a modest gathering of developers deep in Silicon Valley, GDC has evolved into one of the biggest events of the gaming year. Drop a bus on San Francisco's Moscone Center next week, and you'll probably do more damage to the game industry than Uwe Boll.

Now, February is the month to look forward to, and GDC the place to be. The Escapist will be there, and we recently spoke with Jamil Moledina, the Executive Director of GDC. In part one of our interview, he tells us what's new, what's not, what you can expect to see coming out of San Francisco next week and why you should care.

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The Escapist: What's new this year, now that GDC has emerged as the industry's frontrunner event?

Jamil Moledina: So E3 ... went back to its core values of being a media and retail showcase of fall games, and we kind of adapted from being just the muse of the game industry to becoming the central gravity point for everyone to come together if you need to get anything done in making games. So it's a wonderful thing. It's kind of a responsibility ... an enhanced responsibility for us to continue to deliver for our core values, which is presenting a lot of breakthrough information to developers.

TE: Do you think that's kind of put some pressure on you guys; whereas before GDC was the show if you were a developer or wanted to talk to developers about developing, now it's become so much more. Has that put some stress on you guys?

JM: I can't say that it really has, because everyone on the team who is working on GDC is extremely passionate to the industry. In fact, I'd say we're more loyal to the game industry than we are to our own corporation, which is a bizarre thing to say. So we've always felt an incredibly high degree of responsibility to deliver for the developers. And since we've maintained that as our core principal, we're still functioning in that regard.

So we're not necessarily the most press-friendly event in the world, or really a showcase friendly show. I mean, a lot of the information you're seeing about certain games being revealed at GDC ... it's not officially part of GDC. It's all happening in the halo around our show. So the games that are officially being revealed at GDC are all related to some incredibly breakthrough in game design or programming.

But honestly, we're building and treating the GDC in much the same way that we always have, with an eye to the individual developer and not the large company.

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