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[GAMING] Alan Yu and Game Developers Conference

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  • madchinaman
    Q&A: GDC director Alan Yu http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/03/16/news_6091539.html http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/03/16/printable_6091539.html
    Message 1 of 1 , May 16, 2004
      Q&A: GDC director Alan Yu
      http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/03/16/news_6091539.html
      http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/03/16/printable_6091539.html
      (http://www.gdconf.com/)

      GameSpot goes mano-a-mano with the individual who makes the Game
      Developers Conference (http://www.gdconf.com/) tick--and lays bare
      his goals, dreams, and even a few of his nightmares.

      See it » Game Developers Conference (http://www.gdconf.com/)
      director Alan Yu is the ubiquitous presence and guiding force behind
      the annual conference. Known for bringing together the best and
      brightest game developers, creators, and collaborators (including a
      few heavy hitters from the industry's corporate suites), the GDC
      kicks off in less than a week.

      A full lineup of events is posted online at the GDC site
      (http://www.gdconf.com/), and a quick scan will make it clear that
      the event presents many an opportunity to hear and learn from the
      industry's masters.

      With just a few days before GDC's opening bell, Alan Yu spoke to
      GameSpot. He addressed some of the show's highlights and talked
      about what it's like to go into the final stretch of an event that's
      been in the works for nearly a full year.

      GameSpot:: Hi Alan, and thanks for speaking with us. Can you tell us
      what your overall goal is with the program this year?

      Alan Yu: The goal of this year's program (http://www.gdconf.com/)
      is to highlight the evolving nature of game creation. Consumer and
      user expectations are so high, and developers are realizing that the
      old tricks of the trade have reached their expiration date. So where
      do we go from here? How will production processes and game creation
      change? The conference program (http://www.gdconf.com/) is the
      gravity point around which intellectually honest discourse of the
      questions and topics will be discussed.

      GS: What's the special message or topic you hope to illuminate
      through this year's lineup of sessions (http://www.gdconf.com/) ?

      AY: The theme of the 2004 GDC is "Evolve." The game industry is
      changing. At every GDC, developers are discussing what and how the
      industry will be in two and three years. Each year, it gets harder
      and harder to see that far out. This year's sessions will reveal a
      glimpse of the industry's collective crystal ball.

      GS: Who are some of your bigger catches, personnel-wise?

      AY: Obviously, the keynotes represent some very heavy hitters. But
      there are some speakers I feel it's very important to note. We are
      very honored to have some of Japan's leading developers speaking at
      the GDC this year. These game designers have revolutionized the way
      games are designed and played. They include Masahiro Sakurai of
      Kirby and Smash Bros. fame; Tetsuya Miziguchi, creator of Space
      Channel 5 and Rez; Toru Iwatani, the father of Pac-Man; and Eiji
      Aonuma, game director of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Their
      speeches will be simultaneously translated, which illustrates the
      global nature of both game development and the GDC.

      GS: What are the two worst things that can go wrong at GDC?

      AY: I have a recurring nightmare where I'm running through the halls
      during GDC and no one's around. It's sort of related to the
      nightmare where you show up to school with no shoes on. I mean,
      there are many, many things that can possibly go wrong, but that's
      why we've been working so hard over the last year, to make sure we
      have everything covered.

      GS: What's the one must-see item at this year's conference?

      AY: The Experimental Gameplay Workshop is the must-see of the
      conference. Although the event has been going on for a while, I
      don't think I've evangelized it nearly enough. Think of the EGW as a
      signpost for interesting paths and trends in the development of
      gameplay. We do tons of technical R&D in our industry (AI, shaders,
      etc.), and this is the GDC's attempt at gameplay R&D. The goal is to
      bring new ideas and new forms of gameplay into the mainstream
      creative process. Eyetoy was presented for the first time here in
      1999, and the focus of this year's workshop is how best to utilize
      physics in gameplay.

      GS: What do you feel is the impact of this conference on the games
      we play? What can we see in what we play today that you feel we can
      thank GDC for?

      AY: At the GDC, game creators come together to openly share ideas,
      technology, and methodologies. One of the reasons we are a $11
      billion dollar industry today is this free exchange of ideas. Game
      developers stand on each other's shoulders and build on each other's
      successes. The conference itself is like a large chemistry set where
      different elements come together and inspire each other. At the end
      of the day, it's the developers that make the game industry what it
      is today. There would be no industry to speak of without them.

      GS: The Game Connection is a new feature for GDC and it seems sort
      of like speed dating for developers and publishers. Can you explain
      how the Game Connection works?

      AY: Game Connection is an event produced in partnership with Lyon
      Game. It provides a convenient forum for developers and publishers
      to meet effectively over the first two days of GDC in half-hour
      chunks. Over the past two years, many developers and publishers have
      lamented the fact that they see fewer and fewer of the conference
      program because of meetings. Some have said there just isn't enough
      time to do everything they needed to do at GDC. By adding Game
      Connection, we hope to give a little more structure and texture to
      all five days of GDC so it's as productive as it can possibly be for
      all involved.

      GS: What's your one favorite GDC story?

      AY: Let's see. There are so many. 2000 was a very exciting time for
      Drew Angeloff and Seamus Blackley, when the Xbox prototype stopped
      working the day before their speech. There was a flood of the
      registration area in 1996. In 2001, the president of Mexico
      complained that the attendees were too loud and keeping him awake.
      There are so many more that I've chosen to forget.


      By Bob Moseley, Curt Feldman -- GameSpot


      ==============

      http://www.gdconf.com/aboutus/
      The Game Developers Conference defines the future of the $10 billion
      game industry and shapes the next generation of entertainment. Now
      gearing up for the 18th event in 2004, the conference provides an
      independent forum for expert developers from around the world to
      share ideas, build skills, and learn about the latest tools and
      technologies.

      The Gama Network is the only media organization targeted exclusively
      at developers and publishers of electronic games. Our vision is to
      make games the leading entertainment form of the 21st century by
      empowering and inspiring this strategic community. Our publications,
      events, web sites and research are focused on facilitating business
      relationships and the exchange of ideas, thereby advancing the state
      of the art and driving growth in the game market.

      Our attendees, readers, and members are the technical, creative and
      business talent behind today's and tomorrow's hottest games. They
      are game designers, artists, animators, programmers, producers,
      sound designers, testers, audio engineers, publishers, level
      designers, and, above all, pioneers. They employ a broad tool set,
      including hardware, software, and services, to create applications
      that entertain over 100 million people worldwide. Their work is
      responsible for the emergence of games as a major market force,
      surpassing box office receipts in revenue in 1999.


      APA Members of the Board of Advisors
      http://www.gdconf.com/aboutus/advisoryboard.htm

      Cyrus Lum
      Inevitable Entertainment
      Cyrus Lum has been an artist in the computer game industry for over
      10 years. He got his start at Strategic Simulations Inc., creating
      computer artwork for games based on the Advanced Dungeons and
      Dragons license.

      After 4 years at SSI, Cyrus moved on to Crystal Dynamics, Inc.;
      founded Crystal's art department and served as the Art Director. His
      work can be seen in such game products as Crash 'n Burn, Total
      Eclipse, and The Horde. Two years later, Cyrus packed up and left
      California for Texas and Iguana Entertainment, Inc.

      There, he founded the Advanced Technology Group which handles
      Acclaim Studio's high-end 3D rendering, and animation for games.
      Before Cyrus left Acclaim, he served as the Vice President of
      Digital Productions for Acclaim Studios where he coordinated and
      provided visionary direction to the advanced computer graphic art
      efforts of Acclaim Studios - Austin, Salt Lake Teeside (UK), London
      and the Acclaim Studios Cinematic and Motion Capture Group.

      In March of 2000, Cyrus cofounded Inevitable Entertainment - a video
      game development company dedicated to creating innovative product
      for the next generation game consoles. He serves as Inevitable's Art
      Director.


      Masaya Matsuura
      NanaOn-sha
      Masaya Matsuura graduated from Ritsumeikan University with a major
      in Industrial Sociology. An encounter with an Apple II Computer
      software "Kaleidoscope" at age nineteen changed his life
      dramatically.

      The images were mesmerizing, but he felt something was missing. He
      added music to it, his very first experience as a producer of
      computer entertainment.

      In April 1983 Masaya formed the band PYS'S (pronounced "Size") with
      female vocalist Chaka. The band pushed the frontiers of computer
      music, but the state of digital media at the time wasn't enough to
      satisfy Masaya's creativity. After ten albums and several hit songs,
      PSY'S disbanded in August 1996.

      In 1993 Masaya explored new ground by combining music and multimedia
      with the release of The Seven Colors. It was the first CD-ROM from a
      Japanese musician and went on to win the Multimedia Grand Prix of
      1993. The Seven Colors was followed by TOOL-X in 1994 and Tunin'
      Glue in 1996, both multimedia music titles that offered completely
      new ways to enjoy music.

      December 1996 saw the release of Parappa The Rapper in Japan. It was
      like no other game that came before it, and it took Japan by storm.
      Parappa The Rapper went on to win the 1996 CECA Award, the Japan
      Software Award, and was named Japan Game of the Year 1997 by the
      readers of eighteen domestic game magazines.

      In 1999 Masaya crossed over from rap to hard rock with Um Jammer
      Lammy, and the game won an SCEI Gold disc after just two months.
      Masaya's imagination doesn't end with music games. Vib-Ribbon,
      released in Japan and Europe in 1999, is another game revolution
      that creates gameplay from the player's own favorite music CD.
      Parappa The Rapper 2 was released in Japan in 2001 and is now
      available worldwide.

      In 2003, Masaya produced and composed sounds for the new Aibo,"ERS-
      7", which was very experimental and exciting work for him. Now in
      November 2003, Masaya releases mojibribbon for PS2 in Japan. This is
      a network title that has very unique style of blending rhythm and
      Japanese calligraphy using speech synthesis technology to convert
      text into rap sound.

      Alan Yu
      Game Developers Conference
      As the director of conferences and events, Alan Yu is responsible
      for the Game Developers Conference and community relations for the
      Gama Network. In his previous position as program director,

      Alan developed the conference programs and managed speaker relations
      for both the GDC and GAMEXecutive conferences. He is the liaison
      between the GDC and its group of industry advisors and maintains
      close ties to both the developer and publisher communities. Alan is
      29 years old and is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College in New York.


      ==========


      Interview with Alan Yu
      http://www.gamedev.net/columns/interviews/alanyu.asp

      Alan Yu is the Director of the Game Developers Conference. We
      recently chatted with him about the upcoming 2004 GDC.

      What kind of new events and special features will be present at
      this year's GDC?
      Alan: The Serious Games Summit is a two day event focusing on non-
      entertainment uses of interactive applications. We felt it was
      important to cover this topic at the GDC this year because the
      number of serious games projects is increasing so rapidly, and
      because they represent a whole new revenue stream for game
      developers.
      Also for the first time, the GDC is hosting GAMEHOTEL. It has to be
      experienced to be understood, but it's a mix of visionaries from
      within and outside the game industry in a vibrant, interactive
      setting, and really showcases games as a driving force in today's
      popular culture.

      For anyone who cares about innovation in games, the Experimental
      Gameplay Workshop and the Independent Games Festival are two can't-
      miss events.

      The GDC is deeply honored to have Masahiro Sakurai, Ryoichi
      Hasegawa, and Toru Iwatani all speaking this year.


      In your opinion, and despite the fact that there are so many,
      what's the number one event to attend this year?
      Alan: I'd say the number one event to attend this year would the
      Experimental Gameplay Workshop. The EGW is a signpost for
      interesting paths and trends in the development of gameplay. Eyetoy
      was presented for the first time here in 2000 and it's gone on to do
      quite well. This year's workshop focuses on physics in gameplay.
      It's a real happening during the GDC.

      What went into titling this year's conference as "Evolve"? Were
      there other names? Other themes considered as well?
      Alan: Every year, right after the GDC, we meet with our advisory
      board to shape the content and themes for the next conference. Every
      discussion, no matter the subject, came down to evolution: how every
      aspect in our industry is evolving, how they are evolving, the pace
      at which they are evolving. Evolve was the only theme we
      considered.

      How has the wireless internet support improved over last year's
      GDC?
      Alan: In addition to WiFi in the conference center, there will be a
      WiFi lounge on the Expo floor, courtesy of Intel.

      How have you guys made use of the extra space provided by the
      expansion that was underway last year at the convention center and
      hotel?
      Alan: The new Marriott will be used for additional conference
      sessions and everyone is glad to have more sleeping rooms downtown.

      What prompted the change from a Tuesday through Saturday conference
      to a Monday through Friday conference? Will it continue to be so in
      the future?
      Alan: The GDC is a working conference. Moving the conference to the
      work week was done out of consideration for our attendees. Plans are
      to keep the Monday through Friday schedule.

      Any old events that will be getting any sort of facelift this
      year?
      Alan: The 2004 Visual Arts track is fantastic. Classes are refocused
      towards advanced artists and some are expanded to two hours to
      really allow artists to go step-by-step through tools and
      techniques. We recognize that as games and film converge, having
      skills in both fields becomes more necessary for artists, so
      keynotes include the visual effects supervisors from The Matrix and
      Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon feature films.

      There's been some confusion as to the fate of Suite Night. It's
      listed in the brochure schedule, but not on the website. Will there
      be a Suite Night this year? If not, why?
      Alan: No there will not. With the addition of the Game Developers
      Choice Awards several years ago, GAMEHOTEL this year, and all the
      other parties this year, we felt like attendees had too MUCH to do
      and were stretched too thin.

      What other old events were cancelled this year besides Suite Night?
      For instance, I noticed that the Programmer's Challenge was absent
      as well.
      Alan: Every year, the GDC content changes. Attendees should be able
      to fully immerse themselves sessions and events to get the most out
      of them. Look for the Programmers' Challenge to return in the
      future.

      With the IGF expanded to 20 finalists, were there any major changes
      made to the Game Developers Choice Awards? Or will it simply just
      run a bit longer?
      Alan: You'll have to attend and see for yourself. NVIDIA is hosting
      a party at the Choice Awards this year, so expect a good time to be
      had by all.


      Interview conducted by Drew "Gaiiden" Sikora.


      ==========


      Interview with Alan Yu and Jason Della Rocca
      http://www.gamedev.net/columns/interviews/yurocca.asp

      I was recently invited to have a talk with Jason Della Rocca,
      program director of the International Game Developers Association,
      and Alan Yu, Director of the Game Developers Conference.
      Unfortunately, it was too difficult to get them in the same place at
      the same time for a chat interview due to the GDC being less than a
      week away (where has the time gone?). However we managed it through
      email, and this is what they have to say.

      Who are you and what do you do?
      Alan Yu: Alan Yu, Director of the Game Developers Conference
      Jason Della Rocca: Jason Della Rocca, Program Director of the
      International Game Developers Association

      What major changes have come about since last year's GDC?
      Alan Yu: Games have become mainstream, mass-market media.
      By 2005, 70% of homes will have a game console. Games are now played
      across all demographics. This means an increasing diversity and
      sophistication in games. There is literally a game for every gamer.
      The GDC equips developers with the skills they need to continue to
      be successful in this environment.
      Games are ubiquitous
      Games are everywhere in our daily lives. Even when people are away
      from home, they still want interactive entertainment. We've covered
      mobile and wireless gaming in the past - this year there is a
      dedicated, all-day seminar.

      On Thursday 3/21, Neil Young of Electronic Arts will talk about
      lessons learned making Majestic.

      Broadband will change the world
      With an always-on connection, consumers can demand content at any
      time. While this is a great opportunity, it is also a huge
      challenge. Game developers are here exploring and sharing ideas
      about how to meet this challenge.

      Online distribution, whether episodic or on-demand, changes how
      games are designed, programmed, scheduled and sold.

      Also on Thursday, Shin'ichi Okamoto, CTO of Sony Computer
      Entertainment, Inc. will address Sony's broadband strategy.


      This is the first year of the IGDA's Academic Summit at the GDC.
      What's that all about?
      Jason Della Rocca: What the IGDA Academic Summit is all about is
      academia and game developers beginning to work together for a more
      critical understanding of the craft of game design and games as a
      form of artistic expression and as cultural context.
      We are seeing more and more schools adding degree programs in game
      development.

      We are also seeing industry and academia partnering on things like
      the Games-to-Teach project at MIT, developing conceptual prototypes
      for the next generation of educational media for math, science and
      engineering.

      The IGDA's Education Committee is hosting this two-day "summit".
      This is the first time leading game developers and pioneering
      academics will come together to focus on research initiatives and
      relations as well as the creation of game development and game
      analysis curricula.


      The Wireless Game Summit is also a new addition. Has the interest
      always been there for something related in the previous recent
      years? Specifically, what aspects of wireless gaming will the summit
      focus on?
      Alan Yu: The GDC has covered wireless gaming in past years, and
      every year, we've seen the interest grow.
      We're seeing very aggressive growth numbers for this segment -
      upwards of $5 billion by 2005. That's 4 out of 5 mobile users
      worldwide playing games.

      The Wireless Games Summit taking place here at the GDC is setting
      the agenda for how developers will use this new platform, how they
      will take advantage of this explosive market.

      In addition to the Wireless Game Summit, the GDC has lined up a
      series of tutorials, presentations and roundtables. Ian Baverstock
      of Kuju Entertainment, David Collier of PacketVideo, Greg Costikyan
      of Unplugged Games, Ryo Shimizu of DWANGO, and Chris Wright will be
      leading sessions that will cover all aspects of wireless game
      development, including game design and new business models


      The Real-Time Reel is another enjoyable ongoing event. Any changes
      from last year?
      Alan Yu: This year, we are only accepting real-time footage. We've
      changed the name to reflect that. NOTHING is pre-rendered.

      In interviewing the Independent Games Festival finalists this year,
      they all saw the IGF as an event, rather than a contest, saying they
      were satisfied just being a finalist and not worried about winning
      or losing. It seems like this year is going to be another success
      for the independent development community
      Alan Yu: The games on display at the IGF Pavilion at the GDC are the
      culmination of a year-long event. It starts with the call for
      submissions. Once the finalists are announced, the game development
      community is visiting the website getting to know the games,
      learning from them, participating in a dialogue.
      The creativity, range, and sophistication of the games are
      incredible this year.

      Independent game developers are critical to the continued health of
      the game industry. The independent development community plays an
      important role in supplying new game ideas and concepts, and
      disseminating them throughout the larger community of developers.
      They are moving the industry in new directions.


      Parties are always a big thing at the GDC, how are people going
      to "break it down" this time around?
      Alan Yu: We've got the usual lineup. But the parties are
      opportunities for more than just "breaking it down." A big part of
      the GDC is about gathering as a community and realizing that you as
      a developer are part of something larger than just you and your
      project. There are thousands of other developers from all around the
      world experiencing the same challenges and triumphs as you.
      Jason Della Rocca: This year, the IGDA is hosting Group Gatherings -
      where developers who share a common interest can meet about that
      specific interest.

      The Game Developers Choice Awards has proven itself to be an honest
      view of the games industry. This year looks to be another winner.
      Jason Della Rocca: Thank you. That is a very gratifying thing to
      hear. We are very, very excited to be bringing the Game Developers
      Choice Awards to the game development community again this year.
      This is a time for developers to take time to recognize the art and
      science that they create on a daily basis, and to honor one another.
      The philosophy of the awards is that the best, most meaningful
      recognition is from one's peers.

      How is the Expo looking for this year? Stronger than last? About
      the same?
      Alan Yu: Very comparable to last year. This year, like every year,
      the most innovative companies in the world are at the GDC Expo
      demonstrating the tools developers will use to create the games that
      will be on store shelves two to three years from now.
      Tools are so powerful now - they are really enabling developers to
      focus on creativity and game design. Companies are showing platforms
      and distribution systems that will allow players to have the highest
      quality content anywhere, anytime


      The GDC always has a popular volunteer program to give the average
      Joe without the dough a chance to check out the conference in
      exchange for work. How was the turnout this year?
      Alan Yu: Stronger than ever. The GDC is lucky to have such an
      involved and passionate volunteer community. Conference Associates
      are an integral part of the conference. If you're interested in
      volunteering next year, check our website this fall

      The IGDA gave out 25 scholarships to students around the world in
      order for them to attend the GDC free of charge (not counting travel
      expenses). How was the turnout this year?
      Jason Della Rocca: We had well over a hundred applicants. This is
      another example of the community reaching out to academia to nurture
      the future of game development.

      Are there any specific events happening that you would like to shed
      more light upon?
      Alan Yu: Something new we're doing this year is The Experimental
      Gameplay Workshop, which will explore new kinds of gameplay. This is
      vital to the industry. We want to foster an environment where risk
      taking and innovation in gameplay can be explored, and ultimately
      rewarded.

      The IGDA and the GDC are continuing to come closer and closer
      together. We have the Academic Summit, the GDCA and the continuation
      of the IGDA track sessions. Are there any future plans that can be
      spoken of? For instance, the IGDA just started a new program called
      Breaking In. Could that be a possible GDC addition in some way in
      the future?
      Jason Della Rocca: Although we do have several IGDA sessions at GDC
      tailored to university students, the Breaking In program targets
      high school students and is not quite appropriate for an event like
      GDC. In general, the IGDA will continue to meet the needs of the
      development community and are ever grateful for the GDC's support.

      Looking at what's in store this year, is there anything that comes
      immediately to mind that you might want to do next year?
      Alan Yu: We want to continue to meet the needs of the international
      game development community. As you know, game development advances
      at a rapid pace. The GDC will reflect this in the coming years.
      Jason Della Rocca: I can see a second rev of the Academic Summit -
      assuming all the academics behave themselves this time around ;) The
      Game Developers Choice Awards is always a central focus and we'll
      continue to grow and evolve it.

      Thanks a lot for taking a slice out of your busy days to answer
      these questions guys
      Alan Yu: Thanks. See you at the conference.
      Jason Della Rocca: I have the strength of ten men.


      =========


      GDC Interview
      http://pc.ign.com/articles/356/356420p1.html

      We talk with director Alan Yu about GDC's place in the world of game
      development.

      March 29, 2002 - Although we sometimes think of it as a forum for
      eating, drinking and talking trash about people we pretend to be
      friends with, there is a serious, professional side to San Jose's
      Game Developers Conference. This year marked the 16th GDC, an event
      that has grown to be both well known and perhaps even a bit
      misunderstood by the gaming public. There are a few future games
      shown on the show floor, but that's not the real point of the show.

      Every year around 10,000 programmers, artists, writers, game
      designers and other industry professionals from around the world
      come to the conference and take part in classes, lectures,
      tutorials, and roundtables ranging in topic from "Creating Emotional
      Involvement in Interactive Entertainment" to "Hardware-Accelerated
      Procedural Texture Animation." The lectures and discussions, which
      are run by the leaders and innovators of the industry, included
      dozens of famous speakers such as Will Wright, Warren Spector, Peter
      Molyneux and Kazunori Yamauchi.

      The conference also features a large expo-style floor space where
      developers and tool and engine creators hawk their wares to the
      development community. The new technologies featured on the floor
      are often incorporated into future games, enhancing the gamer's
      experience and shaving time off of development.

      To get an insider perspective on this annual conference, we cornered
      conference director Alan Yu and forced him to answer a few questions
      regarding the present and future of the GDC.

      IGNPC: Where do you see the Game Developers Conference (GDC) fitting
      among the other PC and video game related shows such as the
      Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in LA and the ECTS in London?

      Alan Yu: I think that we're complimentary events. E3 is a great
      show; it's huge, and everyone has to be there if you want to see
      games that are coming out this Christmas. But the GDC is really
      about making games as opposed to selling games. I think the GDC's
      great because basically, it all starts here. People are here talking
      about the games that we're making that will come out not next
      Christmas but two or three Christmases from now. Ideas are even
      germinating here for games that will come out long after that.

      IGNPC: Do you think the GDC has found its niche?

      Alan Yu:Yes, definitely. This is the top gathering of the world's
      leading game developers and nearly everyone who's making games is
      here this week.

      IGNPC: What were the successes of the show?

      Alan Yu:In a very difficult economy you see that the game
      development industry is still very strong and there are over 10, 000
      people here -- on track to be the same as last year -- and years
      previous. I'm pleased that people gather here every year just like
      salmon swim upstream each year to lay their eggs...it's a ritual.

      IGNPC: Who benefits from the GDC?

      Alan Yu: I think developers benefit because they are able to come to
      a place and learn from each other, share ideas, and be inspired by
      one another.

      IGNPC: And why is it important for game developers to share research
      and ideas?

      Alan Yu: It makes games better, which is our slogan this year. It
      expands the market. Everything comes from the ideas that are here,
      so you share ideas, you grow the industry, and everyone wins.
      Interactive entertainment as an art form has barely scratched the
      surface. We haven't even begun to optimize our top experiences. The
      games we have now are great, but it's going to be even greater in
      the next 2, 3, 4, 5 years ahead, and to get there you have to be
      able to share the techniques that you've learned. Otherwise, you'll
      keep coming out with the same stuff, and that's no good.

      IGNPC: Where do you see the GDC progressing from here?

      Alan Yu:Games are already a culturally dominant force. Clearly, what
      movies are to the last century are what games will be to this
      century. I think the GDC will always continue to mirror what the
      game development industry needs and that's where we'll go.

      -- Erik Peterson


      ===========


      Talkin' GDC with Jennifer Pahlka and Alan Yu
      http://archive.gamespy.com/gdc2003/pahlka/index2.shtml


      Alan Yu, Director, Game Developers Conference

      GameSpy: How has the show grown over the years?
      Alan Yu: I think we just mirror the industry. It's kind of hard to
      say... the water's been boiling for a while, and you just don't know
      when it started boiling. When you're in it, it's a little bit
      difficult to see how big it actually has gotten. I think it's
      mirrored the industry. I don't think we've gotten so big that it's
      unwieldy, I just think the community has gotten bigger, and GDC
      mirrors that.

      GameSpy: I've already asked this of Jennifer -- what's the one thing
      you won't miss this week?

      Alan Yu: The Game Developers Choice Awards, by far -- a peer-based
      award. I don't want to go as far as to say it's the Oscars of the
      game industry – Oscar started as just kind of a banquet, and no one
      really cared about it. Things have got to start somewhere. The Game
      Developer Choice Awards are a real genuine reflection of how
      developers see themselves. If you had to show off the personality of
      our industry, that would be the place to do it.


      Alan Yu In terms of creators, on the development side, it's really
      sincere. People are really humbled to be nominated and to be
      recipients of those awards. There's no greater honor than to be
      nominated by your peers. You can get a lot of awards from a lot of
      different people, but when your contemporaries say, "Hey, you guys
      did a great job on that," I think that makes it extra special.

      But there are tons of other things, too. The Independent Games
      Festival -- it's not just a showcase for unpublished talent … IGF is
      about innovation. You see some really innovative stuff up there. I
      would spend some time checking out those games and talking to those
      guys, because innovation for our industry is going to come a lot
      from these independents that test the waters out.

      And there's Warren Spector's keynote on "creating games in a risk-
      averse environment". I don't want our industry to become the toy
      industry, and I don't want it to become "blank blank game, part 8".
      No one wants that. We're fighting really hard, certainly here at the
      GDC, and when it comes to the GDC to make sure we don't give in to
      this kind of creative ennui. Keep things fresh. Keep things
      innovative. Keep pushing the envelope. But there are also commercial
      realities. You have to make sure that you balance the two out. •


      ======

      GDC 2004: The Future of Gaming on Display in San Jose

      Interview With GDC Director Alan Yu

      When our landing craft first hit the beach and we stormed the San
      Jose convention center we luckily bumped right into the man in
      charge, Director Alan Yu. Mr. Yu was kind enough to answer a few
      questions we had about the event's history and the future it will
      help to create...

      THG: Mr. Yu, thank you for your time. We appreciate that your
      schedule must be very hectic right about now. What is the history
      behind GDC? How did it start?

      Alan Yu: The GDC started nearly two decades ago, in the living room
      of a game developer. It's grown to 300+ sessions and attracts more
      than 10,000 attendees every year.

      THG: Is it staying true to its history? How is it progressing beyond
      the original scope and vision?

      Alan Yu: While the GDC has expanded to touch on every aspect of game
      development from art to to production to business to programming,
      across every platform and every genre, one thing remains constant:
      the GDC is about game creation.

      THG: How does the developers coming together (at the GDC) benefit
      the average gamer?

      Alan Yu: At the GDC, game creators come together to openly share
      ideas, technology, and methodologies. The free exchange of ideas is
      what enables evolution in the games to occur at such an exponential
      pace, providing the average gamer with incredible advances in
      gameplay.


      ==========================


      Interview With GDC Director Alan Yu
      http://www4.tomshardware.com/business/20040401/gdc-01.html


      -

      Summary:
      Unlike the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the Game Developer's
      Conference leaves behind the glitz and glamour and focuses on the
      technology that will drive the games of the future. New software and
      hardware are shown that will allow a level of immersion you may have
      thought was years away.

      Summary:
      Unlike the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the Game Developer's
      Conference leaves behind the glitz and glamour and focuses on the
      technology that will drive the games of the future. New software and
      hardware are shown that will allow a level of immersion you may have
      thought was years away.

      -


      When our landing craft first hit the beach and we stormed the San
      Jose convention center we luckily bumped right into the man in
      charge, Director Alan Yu. Mr. Yu was kind enough to answer a few
      questions we had about the event's history and the future it will
      help to create...

      THG: Mr. Yu, thank you for your time. We appreciate that your
      schedule must be very hectic right about now. What is the history
      behind GDC? How did it start?

      Alan Yu: The GDC started nearly two decades ago, in the living room
      of a game developer. It's grown to 300+ sessions and attracts more
      than 10,000 attendees every year.

      THG: Is it staying true to its history? How is it progressing beyond
      the original scope and vision?

      Alan Yu: While the GDC has expanded to touch on every aspect of game
      development from art to to production to business to programming,
      across every platform and every genre, one thing remains constant:
      the GDC is about game creation.

      THG: How does the developers coming together (at the GDC) benefit
      the average gamer?

      Alan Yu: At the GDC, game creators come together to openly share
      ideas, technology, and methodologies. The free exchange of ideas is
      what enables evolution in the games to occur at such an exponential
      pace, providing the average gamer with incredible advances in
      gameplay.

      THG: Has technology as it has evolved over the years changed the
      role of the programmer in a development team? Are the number of
      programmers needed for a title increasing?

      Alan Yu: Technology has advanced so far that it's a given, if you
      will, that the number of people needed on a team has increased.
      Development teams have grown from several people to say, 60 people
      who might come together for a particular project, then disband and
      go work on something else. There is a lot of debate on the use of
      middleware and centralized programming groups, but the degree of
      complexity to build a game is so high that the role and position of
      programmers won't radically change right away.

      THG: What upcoming technologies do you think will have the greatest
      impact on game development?

      Alan Yu: There is a lot of technology out there that is enabling the
      player to interact with the game beyond the controller. The GDC's
      Experimental Gameplay Workshop is a signpost for interesting paths
      and trends in the development of gameplay. Eyetoy was presented for
      the first time here in 2000 and it's really gone on to do quite
      well. This year's workshop will focus on physics in gameplay.

      THG: I have noticed that on the speaker panel this year, there are a
      few people that are originally from the movie industry, how do you
      see movies and game development merging in the future?

      Alan Yu: On the creative side, you have IP moving from games to
      movies and vice versa. On the business side, the film industry is
      seeing that games have much lower production costs yet equal gross
      revenue potential of films. From the standpoint of film artists and
      animators, this convergence means having skills across both
      disciplines is becoming necessary. You see game trailers beginning
      to credit actors in the style of film trailers, and lucrative
      product placement deals covering both game and film extensions of a
      single IP. The GDC covers the entire spectrum of challenges and
      opportunities presented by game/film convergence.

      THG: What is "the next big thing" in gaming?

      Alan Yu: Physics, graphics and animation are advancing so rapidly,
      that the player is immersed in the game at an incredible level. You
      can argue that this is a given for most gamers. So the final
      frontier is involvement. AI and gameplay are at the heart of
      involvement, so advances in these areas will probably yield the next
      big thing.

      THG: What are you most looking forward to at this year's GDC?

      Alan Yu: The GDC is hosting GAMEHOTEL for the first time. It has to
      be experienced to be understood, but it's a mix of visionaries from
      within and outside the game industry in a vibrant, interactive
      setting, and really showcases games as a driving force in today's
      popular culture.

      THG: Thank you again for your time. We appreciate the direction and
      focus you contribute to the gaming industry

      THG: What upcoming technologies do you think will have the greatest
      impact on game development?

      Alan Yu: There is a lot of technology out there that is enabling the
      player to interact with the game beyond the controller. The GDC's
      Experimental Gameplay Workshop is a signpost for interesting paths
      and trends in the development of gameplay. Eyetoy was presented for
      the first time here in 2000 and it's really gone on to do quite
      well. This year's workshop will focus on physics in gameplay.

      THG: I have noticed that on the speaker panel this year, there are a
      few people that are originally from the movie industry, how do you
      see movies and game development merging in the future?

      Alan Yu: On the creative side, you have IP moving from games to
      movies and vice versa. On the business side, the film industry is
      seeing that games have much lower production costs yet equal gross
      revenue potential of films. From the standpoint of film artists and
      animators, this convergence means having skills across both
      disciplines is becoming necessary. You see game trailers beginning
      to credit actors in the style of film trailers, and lucrative
      product placement deals covering both game and film extensions of a
      single IP. The GDC covers the entire spectrum of challenges and
      opportunities presented by game/film convergence.

      THG: What is "the next big thing" in gaming?

      Alan Yu: Physics, graphics and animation are advancing so rapidly,
      that the player is immersed in the game at an incredible level. You
      can argue that this is a given for most gamers. So the final
      frontier is involvement. AI and gameplay are at the heart of
      involvement, so advances in these areas will probably yield the next
      big thing.

      THG: What are you most looking forward to at this year's GDC?

      Alan Yu: The GDC is hosting GAMEHOTEL for the first time. It has to
      be experienced to be understood, but it's a mix of visionaries from
      within and outside the game industry in a vibrant, interactive
      setting, and really showcases games as a driving force in today's
      popular culture.

      THG: Thank you again for your time. We appreciate the direction and
      focus you contribute to the gaming industry.
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