Game Developers Conference 2010

This year representatives from Rasmussen’s Multimedia Technologies program were fortunate enough to attend the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Among the seventeen thousand attendees at this year’s conference were students, staff and faculty arriving from Orlando, Tampa, Huntsville, Bismarck, Fargo and Minneapolis.

The GDC is the largest professional games industry event in the world, providing lectures, panels, tutorials and round-table discussions from leading industry professionals. An Expo floor is featured, providing exposure to the latest and greatest technologies, game development tools and software. Visitors are encouraged to mingle with numerous representatives from the industry, each of them on hand to discuss and detail their products and services. Attendees of the conference typically include career seekers, recruiters, studio heads/ managers, developers, exhibitors, sponsors, new businesses and venture capitalists.

Lectures are provided in a number of categories including programming, game design, business and management, production, visual arts and audio. Game career seminars are also held, helping to introduce new talent into the field. Students and employees were able to attend presentations by Pixar on storyboarding and animation, in addition to lectures on the story and art direction of games such as Uncharted 2, Batman Arkham Asylum and Guild Wars II. Students also had access to invaluable seminars on career development, helping to build effective portfolios and advice on landing a top job in the games industry.

Additional highlights included both the Independent Games Festival and the Game Developers Choice Awards. Described as the Academy Awards for the games industry, these events allow both independent and published developers to compete in their session for awards and recognition within the gaming industry.

This year’s Expo floor represented many of the industry’s leaders in not only game design but also new and emerging technologies and software. Representatives were available from companies such as Nintendo, Blizzard, Intel and Nvidia. Features included Autodesk’s latest release of their 3D software and tools, and Wacom’s new and improved drawing screen: The Cintiq 21UX.

The student response was excellent as the conference allowed them to experience the industry face to face, learning new techniques and networking with both peers and professionals. Armed with resumes and full of enthusiasm, each student was able to present themselves directly to their company of choice, learning about available roles and general application procedures. Along with the potential job possibilities, the experience also offered students a look into the culture and pace of life in the city of San Francisco.

Faculty and staff were delighted with the event, taking in as much knowledge as possible to bring back to their relevant campuses. The opportunity to meet with industry professionals offered the chance to share ideas and form links, creating potential for student internships. This will prove invaluable for students wanting to break into the industry, helping them learn about portfolio requirements and submission guidelines. The Expo introduced instructors to the latest technology and hardware being used in the business, allowing them to return home and suggest improvements and modifications to the student learning environment.

Armed with numerous ideas from the visit, both faculty and admissions representatives are already planning for next year’s trip. Possibilities include a Rasmussen booth to promote course awareness, in addition to student assignments and competitions. Campus presentations are currently being planned to share the experience with the entire Rasmussen team.

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