May 12th-13th saw the just concluded, successful first annual Game Developers Conference Canada, held at the new Vancouver Convention Center by Think Services in conjunction with Reboot Communications.
There was a general focus on higher-budget games for the first GDC Canada -- reflecting the output of many Vancouver-area developers like EA Canada, Relic Entertainment, Next Level Games, and Radical Entertainment, all of whom had representatives at the show.
2009 GDC Canada's relatively small size gave it an intimate feel, although the keynotes by Don Mattrick of Microsoft and Drs. Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka of BioWare saw fully-packed rooms.
Think Services-owned editorial site Gamasutra had extensive session coverage from the two days of GDC Canada, including both keynote addresses - here's the highlights:
Microsoft's Mattrick Talks Distinctive Days, Pioneer Spirit
"In the first of GDC Canada's two keynotes, former Electronic Arts and current Microsoft executive Don Mattrick spoke with Victor Lucas about his history in the games industry, from Distinctive Software to Xbox. There was particular relevance to the assembled crowd -- after all, Mattrick can arguably credited with having sown the seeds for the now-thriving Vancouver-area game development scene."
BioWare Bosses Talk The Future Of Storytelling
"BioWare co-founders and medical doctors Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk never have any shortage of things to say about interactive narrative, and that held true in the second GDC Canada keynote. The good doctors conveyed their studio's mentality towards game storytelling, from different player character perspectives to internal versus external narrative, to character archetypes."