I’m getting over the jet lag I think! But man, San Francisco was fun. If I could, I’d actually live out there. What a place!
So it was a trip for the Super Indie Pals – now best buddies (Jay Armstrong and Jimp). Hanging out with these guys was a blast! Everyone kept asking us if we’d known each other for long too which was pretty funny as we’d probably all been friends since Mochi London 2013 (Me and Jay knew each other before hand though, we adopted Jimp I guess).
After a huge 16 hour flight was FGS! I wouldn’t say we were jet lagged much, just bloody tired. But we made it early!
So Sunday was FGS. What a day this was. After I got there, I felt like I’d missed out on so much from not attending the previous ones. If you didn’t go, you should check out the recordings, now!
Jay won the Most creative game award in the Mochis for Super Adventure Pals. How awesome is that?! But despite what Jay and Jimp say, I was the real winner…. I totally didn’t steal Jays award and put my own stickers on, I promise! (I’m bad a lying).
I’ve really got to say thanks to the Kongregate team for letting us hang in their offices and drink their beer a ton too. I think we were there three times! Really cool people to hang out with, and I have office envy too (Same with Mochi, I want your office).
What I loved most was twitter. The great thing about GDC and FGS was that everyone was all in the same place and everyone used twitter – this is a recipe for big meetups, everyday. It happened too! We ended up with Myself, Jay Armstrong, Jimp, Joey Betz, Con Artist Team, Colin and Steve from Mochimedia, Toge Productions lads, John Cooney and some of the Kongregate team, John from Notdoppler, Anya from Addicting Games, Brad Bourne and probably more that I can’t think of. We had a crew and we used it! What I remember the most is over dinner, John mentioning that we had the cream of the crop of the flash industry, right here under one roof. Which is pretty insane really! We hung out with the Juicy Beast guys (Yowan and Dom), The FGL team, Daniel Stradwick (Monsters Den) and also Simon from Berzerk studio.
But along with meeting all of the above, it was awesome to hang out with Daniel McNeely from Armor as it’s always been emails we’ve worked over and it’s great to put a face to the name and really get on with them – making it a mission next year to visit them out in Orange County!
We also got to go to Alcatraz on the Tuesday too, thanks to Chris from FGL for that too as it was great fun! We were looking after the Gardens by ripping up and chopping some plant (I have no idea) that Seagulls nest in. Jimp and I were the chumps that stood and choped the big leaves into little leaves, whilst Anya and Jay threw a ton of plants at us. After we got to do the audio tour of Alcatraz and see some of the cells and stuff – which was awesome, you have to do it!
Once GDC wound down, we decided to explore! We rented bikes and headed over the Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito. I fell in a prickly bush and had people laugh at me which was fun, BUT, chump of the month goes to Jimp for going over his handlebars and scaring a Mexican couple. Bravo!
All in all, I want to live in San Francisco now and if you live there, I’m jealous of you. Lets swap?
Was it worth it?
‘I’m not reading this huge ass article that you’re about to write, you cheeky british chump!’ version = YES!
With that aside, I know you’re wanting to read this (You better)! So before I left for GDC, A lot of people were saying they’re probably not going to make it as they can’t afford it or they don’t think it’ll really be worth it.
The first answer is cool, I mean yeah it’s definitely going to knock you back a bit in terms of finances, but you can totally make the trip without absolutely destroying your bank, you know this too.
From a business and networking point of view, it’s completely worth it I feel. Personally, I might not have made it out if FGS (Flash Gaming Summit) wasn’t on purely because it’s completely targeting the industry I’m actively in (Flash Games) so I knew that everyone I’m going to meet is pretty much making flash games, wanting to, or in some other way involved. However GDC isn’t so much, it’s a lot more wider but it doesn’t mean you can’t get a lot out of it either.
Independent Games Summit Pass let me down though. A lot of the larger talks and ones that seemed really interesting weren’t covered on this (I kinda knew this before – but I didn’t think it’d be that much of a pain). I was wrong, I think we made like 4 talks in totally, which is pretty sucky. But a few we tried to go in we got turned away due to our passes (even when our pass was listed) too, so I think next year It’d be best getting an access-all pass so I can see everything I want too and to also watch them online after (Which the Indie pass totally didn’t do).
We got to hang around the GDC area and the Expo (Probably the best part of the Indie pass if you miss out on the first two days of the summit like we did!). And we also got denied coffee because we had an indie pass!
Was it worth it? Of course!
Definitely the bets trip I’ve been on.
(If you’ve made it this far, tell me on twitter @ChrisJeffGames and I’ll owe you a cookie!)