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GDC09, Day 4.5: I'm moving back and forth through time

Confounded old Nicholas Gamgee! I’d lose my own head if it wasn’t bolted firmly to my neck, and remarkably handsome.

In my excitement to conclude my series of GDC09 write-ups, I forgot to actually revisit my abortive post from Day 4 of the conference.

As previously mentioned, Day 4 was quite eventful after the day’s talks, so I missed the opportunity for a recap; however, since my previous post was overly wordy, I’ll keep this recap to a minimum. The day started with a session of “GDC Microtalks,” in which ten speakers each took precisely six minutes each to rant about a particular topic. Great range of subject matter here. Then came “Game Studies Download 4.0,” a look at video games in academia, again covering some pretty broad topics. If I’m overly brief here, just look below for my full notes.

I rounded out the day in the “Experiemental Gameplay Sessions” workshop. Again, I won’t go into detail here, suffice it to say that, if you ever attend a future GDC, do whatever it takes to see this session. Some of the designs left me absolutely floored. So, for no other reason than expedience, here are my top three most memorable games of the bunch:

  • The Unfinished Swan, by Ian Dallas. This game literally gave me chills. The mood is perfect, and the mechanic is powerful. I’ll be talking more about this game in a post or two.
  • Spy Party, by Chris Hecker. Really seems to capture the intrigue, danger, and more importantly, subtelty in some of the more realistic spy stories… you know, the kind where the spy doesn’t advertise his presence by blowing up most of a city. Really fun to watch players compete in this one.
  • Today I Die, by Daniel Benmergui. Simple, beautiful game melding poetry with gameplay. And the soundtrack is perfect.

And with that, I’ve completed my write-ups of every day at this year’s GDC. Furthermore, I just uploaded the collection of notes I took during each lecture/session; you can find them here. Some of them may be overly vague or confusing, but feel free to send me any questions you may have.

Finally, let us now observe the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that influenced this post’s title (see 1:21).