GDC 2011— Observation and Sharing

This year’s Game Developer Conference (GCD) was held in San Francisco Moscone Center from end of February to early March 2011. UI Design Center was very fortunate to have caught up and attended this gathering of global professional game designers. In fact, the gathering was filled with riveting experience sharing, ranging from casual to hardcore; from mobile, console to online games; from program, art, sound effect to marketing, covering each and every professional aspect in game industry.    

However, we are not here to talk about what we’ve learned from that week in GDC (I’m sensing slight disappointment?) The proper course sharing session will be organized in the near future (wait and see!) In this piece, we’ll talk about something more light-hearted.    

Design In SF, design in life   

Located in the west coast of United States, San Francisco does not possess that classical-modern fusion of artistic direction like big east coast cities such as New York or Boston; nor was it baptized by profound layers of history and humanities like other European cities such as Paris or Rome. Experienced early western colonization, gold rush, immigration fever, post-war Hippie culture and the most recent Dot Com industry, San Francisco was shaped and molded into a unique artistic and design style: a style fused with multi-ethnic landscape, mainstream and subcultures, tradition and anti-tradition. Art is not an out-of-reach symbol for people to worship. Art and creativity that we saw and experience in San Francisco exists not only in the museums and galleries but on the streets and everywhere we went.   

▲If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to stop by Independent Games Festival  

Independent Games Festival

Originally established in 1998, Independent Games Festival (IGF) has been around for 13 years now. The purpose of hosting this festival is to encourage innovative game production and to give these independent game producers a change to shine.    This year’s award event was still hustling and bustling and inundated with applauses and whistling. We could literally feel the passion and drive of every game producer there. As a member of game industry, we couldn’t help but also feel good about ourselves: game producers are truly a group of smart, creative, adorable and humorous bunch!   

This year in IGF, the following awards were conferred to independent game producers: 

Seumas McNally Grand Prize 
Audience Award
MINECRAFT by Mojang, Sweden  
The biggest award was won by MINECRAFT produced by a Swedish team. MINECRAFT is a sandbox style adventure game. Using the Lego-like wood chunks, players could stack and build their own castles, or excavate cellar through destruction and experience the fun through creation, adventure and puzzle solving.      

Excellence In Visual Art  -BIT.TRIP RUNNER, by Gaijin Games, USA

Excellence In Audio
Technical Excellence 
Direct2Drive Vision Award AMNESIA: The Dark Descent by Frictional Games, Sweden

Excellence in Design  –DESKTOP DUNGEONS by QFC Design, South Africa

Nuovo Award -NIDHOGG by Messhof, USA


Best Mobile Game -Helsing’s Fire by Ratloop, USA

Best Student Game  -FRACT by University of Montreal, Canada

IGF has become one of the most valued events in GDC in recent years. In addition to unearthing more and more creative works, it give the industry an opportunity to rethink: Is it fun to play? The point of designing a game is to make sure the game is fun and entertaining. Game production has become a dream career for many young people and it is also where the passion lies for many professional game developers in the world. We saw a group of people just like that in GDC and we hope that that passion and enthusiasm could continue to support and sustain this industry. We look forward to the next IGF and also hope that in the future, Gamania will have even more exceptional works to be presented at the global stage.         


About Author   

Gamania UI Design Center

Adopting a User-Center Design approach, the Center seeks to improve upon Group initiated projects to promote Gamania self-produced products and give the players the best user experience.   


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