Hey folks. Since myself and Phil have started making our GDC plans, we thought it’d be a good idea to encourage you all to do the same. To get things started, you should let everyone know in the comments below if you’re planning to attend.
I know a bunch of us have become GDC regulars, so feel free to ask questions. When I have time, I’ll start assembling a mini-faq up here in the post.
We (Ludum Dare) are planning to have a gathering again this year. We haven’t reserved anything yet, but it will probably be
GDC Monday GDC Wednesday, and probably at the same venue (Tad’s Steaks). I do regret Tad’s does not have a vegetarian menu, but the venue is just too perfect otherwise (food court style, come as you please, and a full large room we can reserve away from all the other customers).
GDC 2013 and San Francisco Mini FAQ
Q: What pass should I get?
A: The Independent Games Summit pass is certainly the best bargain, but quantities are limited. You should order it ASAP, ’cause it’s getting close to when they ran out last year. It gets you in to the Indie Game Summit on Monday and Tuesday, the Expo Hall, the GDC Play hall, as well as all Sponsored talks Wednesday to Friday. I want to highlight the last one. Sponsored sessions are your talks by NVidia, Autodesk, Unity, and whatnot. Depending on what you do, there may still be content for you after Tuesday.
If you miss the Indie pass, I actually recommend waiting a bit. Around Xmas, the GDConf people send out a coupon. That coupon is typically good for $50 off the Summits pass, or (I think) $100 of the main pass. Go sign up for their newsletter if you like saving money.
Q: Cheap travel?
A: Most of us are arriving by airplane. I don’t have much advice there, other than booking before your flight fills up.
Once you arrive in the airport (SFO), I highly recommend taking the Bart train.
For about $9 (one way), you can take the train from the airport to Powell St, which is just a few blocks from Moscone.
A: I’m a big fan of the Food Emporium on the bottom level of the Westfield Mall. It’s a food court, but an amazing one at that. You can eat pretty much anything for about $10, even Steak.
Something I discovered recently is The Food Trucks (another link). As the name suggests, a variety of trucks park themselves at various locations around San Francisco, and at least last year they had a great spot just a block from Moscone. You can find some really wild stuff here, such as a Korean Beef Burito (Koreto). And there’s different trucks each day. Also about $10.
A: This is the main reason I started this post. I highly recommend splitting a hotel room with someone. Many hotels offer a “2 double beds” option for practically no more money. So with that, you can literally pay half price for your hotel if you share. Plus, you have someone to chat with in the evenings after all the chaos. The GDC website has been pretty good lately for hotel bookings.
Another alternative is the Hostel. Bunking with a bunch of other developers is a really cheap way to sleep. (hey can someone give me links and details for hostel(s?). I’ve never stayed there).
Oh and if you snore, there are these. Your fellow indie thanks you.