Unity + GDC Trip Report
Man, what a week! GDC ’09 has now slipped past us and slowly we’re recovering and getting our heads back above water. I thought I’d take a few minutes and share some thoughts from our end about the incredible week we just had. Not only did GDC prove useful for us as fellow members of the larger game development community, but it also proved useful for us as a technology provider as we had a great showing both on and off the expo floor. Needless to say we’ll be back at GDC again as they always prove to be an amazing time for us on all levels.
Our first GDC showing in 2007 saw us huddled together with other Nordic companies in the Nordic Games pavilion, it was tight quarters that barely allowed us room for one demo machine. We followed that up in 2008 by breaking out on our own and getting a 10 foot x 10 foot booth on the expo floor, this allowed us two demo machines and it was a crowded affair due to all the foot traffic. This year, our third in a row at GDC, saw us in a 20 foot x 20 foot booth with three demo machines and it still wasn’t enough! Our booth was constantly crowded, our demo machines in continuous use and the response to Unity was incredible! We were able to demo the product and talk to folks from about every background you can imagine. Developers, publishers, students, teachers, artists and executives, all stopped by to check out what we have to offer. Of course we also managed to go through well over 1000 handouts and give out 500 t-shirts, needless to say we were one of the stars of the show!
GDC wouldn’t be GDC without the chance to meet up with folks so we made sure to book a dedicated meeting room for use by David Helgason, Joachim Ante and the rest of us as needed. That room was in constant use as we had a steady train of people wanting to specifically arrange meetings with various staff members. Additionally we had folks want to meet with us off the expo floor, whether they were from various media outlets (I was interviewed for online/print/TV usage no less than 5 times!) or from publishers, schools or development shops. All of those meetings provided us with ample opportunity to spread the word about Unity in a more in-depth fashion than we could on the expo floor where things were a bit noisy, crowded and often focused on 5-10 minute demo run throughs. Again, the consistently high-level of interest in us helped show that we’re on the right track and generating a ton of buzz around the industry.
The Parties & The People
Ok, GDC wouldn’t be GDC without all the parties and chances to meet up and socialize with other folks in the industry. The parties were wide and varied, but all of them were of course incredibly fun. For myself the big parties I attended were our own team nights out, the Nordic Games Party and then the coolest party of them all (I’m biased), our Unity 2.5 GDC Launch Party on Thursday night. We rented out the entire Anon Gallery in San Francisco, hired a DJ, had an open bar and food service, all in a very cool location. On top of that, we had our party run from 6pm all the way until 2am so as not to conflict with other events and guess what, we had people hanging out until the very end! The entire week was awesome, we got to meet loads of new people and hang out with plenty of old friends (Graveck, Flashbang, Three Melons, Sticky Studios, and on and on and on). All of that was solid goodness!
The week is over and we’re of course all abuzz about the stir we’re creating and the attention we’re getting. Of course we are also all incredibly motivated to keep working hard and continue to move Unity forward. The pressure is on, folks are looking at us to «do the right things», and we’re ready for it. So along with that «high» from last week comes a healthy list of things we can do to improve as well. We spent a lot of time together as a team building camaraderie (after an awesome day sailing on the bay!) and to plan and map out the coming months as there’s a lot to do. We’re on it.
As always, it’s Unity FTW!