Geek alert! The annual Austin Game Developers Conference begins on Wednesday… and the city is prepping. For The Austin Chronicle, James Renovitch offers up a preview:
Expect keynotes by people with less-than-recognizable names but significant impact on the industry. From the front lines of World of Warcraft comes Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment, with some perspective on what it means to manage an online game with more subscribers than Switzerland has people. Fellow keynoter Brian Schmidt, meanwhile, serves as Microsoft’s audio honcho but must find it hard to shake his early career pinnacle of having his theme to the video game NARC covered by the Pixies.
Expect parties all over Austin, including at local gaming god Richard Garriott’s house. “On any given night there will be three to six things that are available to go to,” Walton says.
Don’t expect an invitation in the mail. “It’s an industry show,” warns Walton. A game-design dilettante would do well to steer clear and let the big boys meet and confer. These meetings can be the conception of the next great game.
In fact, don’t expect hordes of slaphappy video-gamers plugging and strapping in for next-next-gen-gaming action, either. “There are vendors who are pushing their wares. They might be recruiting; they might be selling technology. But they’re not selling games,” says Walton, shattering visions of getting dibs on Grand Theft Auto IV. If there are exchanges taking place, they are likely exchanges of specialized information.