GDC 2013 Chat

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
December 3rd, 2012 3:52 pm

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.

Q: Food?
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.

Q: Hotel?
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. :)

21 Responses to “GDC 2013 Chat”

  1. PoV says:

    As expected, I am attending. I’ve already booked my pass (the $325 indie pass), and will be booking my flight and hotel this week.

  2. Morre says:

    I’ll be there with a bunch of folks from the company. Would love to meet some of the Ludum Darers if I can find the time. Will try to get my schedule figured out :)

  3. Hamumu says:

    I’m going for the first time ever. Scary! Good info up there.

  4. philhassey says:

    Phil’s GDC Tips:

    – Make sure you’ve got a phone with a GPS+maps application on it. Definitely an essential item for GDC!

    – Splitting a room is good for saving some bucks.

    – Keep an eye out for parties and stuff you want to go to. The conf is probably less than 50% of the value of going.

    – If you’ve got a game nearing release, BRING IT! Everyone wants to play-test your new game and will do it for free, and they are ALL game designers, so they know what kind of feedback is helpful.

    – If you want to meet with press about your upcoming game, be sure to be in touch with them waay in advance. They get booked up fast.

    – Have fun! GDC is a blast! Make sure to get a hotel near enough to the conf that you can drop by your room for a quick nap in the afternoon or whatever. I’ve found that to be essential for keeping up the energy the rest of the day. You’ll be going from 9am-midnight most days.

    See you there!

  5. tomhunt says:

    Haven’t officially booked pass or travel yet, but am definitely interested in being there for the week.

    Getting just the indie pass and if nothing else just being around just for the partying and networking seems like as good a reason as any to go, although the full access pass is still pretty tempting..

    Those hotel rooms are pretty steep, though, especially near the conference center. Some of these can run almost as much as the price of a main or full access pass for the week.. So if anyone wants to split a room, I’m game. :)

    Any specific hotel recommendations?

  6. Cake&Code says:

    Zeik and Cake (me!) are planning on going for the first time this year! Luckily I’m going to school at Berkeley right now, so heading to Moscone is only a BART ride away. 😀

    These tips are super great though! Thanks for sharing. (You too, Phil!) We both got the IGS passes, so we’re crazy excited to maybe meet some of you LD’ers. I can definitely vouch for the food court that was mentioned. Also, if you’re a big food truckie, you can keep track of where some pods of food trucks will be in the city through

  7. Sos says:

    Yay see you there guys!

  8. racarate says:

    So, is there going to be a jam at all or is it just eating and chatting? I thought the noisebridge jam last year was pretty sweet, but turnout was light and it only ran for a few hours. Plus, jamming at the end of a week of 100% over-on-ness was pretty mind-melting.

  9. racarate says:

    Oh, by the way this is a pretty great hostel for GDC:

    It’s either a 45 min (pretty) walk or a 30 min bus ride to Moscone… but it’s very affordable and the ambiance is straight out of a Kubrick movie.

  10. monomanio says:

    I’m planning to go this time. It’ll be a good $2500 though, but i think its worth it, or?

  11. Just thought I’d pop in and say we’ll be having a booth at GDC Play, so come say hi!

    We’ll be showcasing Concerned Joe,

  12. savethejets1 says:

    As racarate was saying the fishermans wharf hostel is great! if you can get in there. One of the nicest hostels I’ve seen.

    If not, I’ve stayed in the HI international downtown and it was pretty good, it’s within walking distance to Moscone. There’s some great restaurants nearby there too.

  13. xyxy says:

    Any one knows the coupon code for GDC registration? I received it over the new year but accidentally deleted it. Would much appreciate if Mike or someone else can kindly help me out! Please kindly send me the code to lene2wu at hotmail dot com. Thanks a ton! See you all at GDC!

  14. PoV says:

    Whoops! I’m a week late checking this thread. That said, there’s some IGS passes here if you act fast:

  15. PoV says:

    (Tentative) The Ludum Dare Gathering at GDC will be on GDC Wednesday, right after the IGF Awards. Phil has something to do GDC Tuesday, so that least Wednesday.

    We haven’t booked the venue yet. I’ll do that as we get closer to GDC.

  16. FuzzySmurf says:

    oh wow, how can i join you guys? is it open to anyone? I would love to join in.

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