Can’t get to GDC? Live vicariously (on your own schedule and dime) with GDC Vault

February 1, 2014


Having been to the Game Developer’s Conference for the last two years, I’m going to have it sit it out this year. I really enjoy my time there, and have made a lot of friends (particularly in the indie scene – they’re always so approachable!) ┬áBut with no financial support from institution, flying to San Francisco from Qatar and staying in a hotel for a week really adds up (to the tune of about $4000 US), so I can’t justify it this year.

However, while it’s impossible to replicate the parties, events, and face-to-face time with other developers without going, you still can get access to a lot of the talks. If you’ve always wanted to go to GDC and hear gaming professionals speak, you only have to look as far as GDC Vault.

GDC Vault comes free with an All-Access-Pass to GDC, but you can also buy a yearly subscription to it via their site. What this gives you is a unique login to the site, and access to their recorded GDC archive of talks. This is not just limited to San Francisco’s GDC, but all the GDC events around the world. You also gain access to talks from events that happen over the year your prescription lasts.

I know I’m probably a bit weird – I like to watch lectures outside of TED talks. But living in Qatar, where I am fairly cut from the games development industry, this allows me to continue to learn and feel connected to it all. And it’s not what you’d call “cheap” – $495 is a chunk of cash for sure. But for me, it’s a lot less than $4000!

GDC Vault has some featured/free content (589 sessions currently) posted on their site which is worth a perusal, whether you want to subscribe or not. It’s a great resource for people studying games, developing games, or just really interested in the process of how games (including some of their favorites) get made. Post-mortems on classic games like Fallout, Doom, Myst, and arcade games like Gauntlet and Robotron 2084 are also a nice touch.