It’s that time of year again folks – when developers from around the world descend on San Francisco to showcase their wares, attend talks, and mingle with like-minded people at some of the best mixers the games industry has to offer. If you’re heading over to the epicentre of all things gamedev, make sure you drop by the GameSparks booth (stand 2216, South Hall, or in the Unity Partner’s booth) and say hi! In the mean time, join us as we take a look at some of the must attend events of GDC17!
When: Sat 25th Feb | 19:00 – 21:00 PST
Where: SoMa StrEat Food Park, 428 11th St, San Francisco, California 94103
Tell Me More: Kick off GDC with the annual pre-dinner. This year the dinner is being held in the SoMa StrEat Food Park which is packed with food trucks so there is guaranteed to be something for everyone. Make new friends and meet up with old ones while enjoying delicious food. If you’re new to GDC or just don’t know the area too well, you can meet up at the Moscone West Entrance at 18:30 PST and walk to the park from there. Because the event is outdoor, they may move to Westfield if it rains, so keep an eye on the event page to make sure you don’t miss out!
When: Sun 26th Feb | 17:00 – 22:00 PST
Where: Canton , 655 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Tell Me More: A slightly more formal take on the GDC pre-dinner, this dinner sponsored by Newcode, Udacity, E4G and 8oobirds, has taken over the first floor of the Canton Dim Sum and Seafood restaurant. With a buffet which is included in the ticket price as well as a table-side chat with MC Shirley Lin and Vickie Chen, CEO of NewCode it’s bound to be a delicious and informative start to your GDC week. Spaces are limited so get your tickets early if this event is for you!
When: Sun 26th Feb | 21:00 – 02:00 PST
Where: 724 Hookah, 724 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
Price: Free ($20 if you want to participate in Hookah)
Tell Me More: If you’d rather a more relaxed start to GDC, then this is probably the place to be. The GDC Hookah, Developers & Shennanigans event promises to be chill out zone which lets you network without the hustle and bustle of the other events. For $20 you can participate in hookah, but the organisers have stressed there is no pressure to do so. If you just wanna chat and relax that’s cool too. Even though the event is free, registration is recommended.
What: The Mix GDC Week 2017
When: Mon 27th Feb | 19:00 – 23:00 PST
Where: 981 Mission Street, San Francisco CA
Tell Me More: This is the 6th year The MIX Showcase will be at GDC showing a wide range of the best games that Indie Developers have to offer. Not only is the event bursting at the seams with indie talent but you can play the games on show yourself and chat to the creators too! This event has not 1, not 2, but 12 sponsors! Including Patreon, Gamemaker Studio 2 and Unity (whose asset store we were recently added to too!).
What: PocketGamer Party
When: Mon 27th Feb | 20:00 – 23:30 PST
Where: The Grand, 520 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Price: Free but arrive early – Eventbrite ticket does not guarantee entry(Limited to Game Developers and related industry Professionals only)
Tell Me More: This year the Pocket Gamer party is space themed! If that hasn’t got you signing up already then they’ve also got a fantastic party planned with food, drink and some top notch networking. Don’t forget your business cards!
What: IGDA Networking Event
When: Tue 28th Feb | 18:30 – 21:30 PST
Where: Children’s Creativity Museum, 221 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Tell Me More: The IGDA Networking Event this year is held at the San Francisco Children’s Creativity Museum, which is not only an awesome place to have a networking event but the IGDA has ensured there is never a dull moment by including a whole host of activities to get you talking (and singing!). Through the night there’ll be karaoke, stop-motion animation demos, an on-site photo booth and more! Pop in for 3 mins or 3 hours – registration is open on eventbrite, but organisers have said you can come and go as you please making multi-event attending a doddle!
What: Nite to Unite for Kids
When: Tue 28th Feb | 17:30 – onwards PST
Where: Fairmont San Francisco, 950 Mason Street
Tell Me More: Each year, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation brings together more than 600 members of the video game community to raise funds for scholarships and other critical education and digital learning programs at Nite to Unite. It’s a night to celebrate the many ways video games drive positive change in our society and transform kids’ lives. Support this great cause and join ESA for a night to remember, with a networking reception and silent auction, followed by a seated dinner, as well as a cocktail and dessert after party!
What: 4th Annual VR Mixer
When: Wed 1st Mar | 17:00 – 23:00 PST
Where: Temple SF, 540 Howard street, San Francisco, CA
Price: $99 (17:00 entry), $30 (19:00 entry)
Tell Me More: The VR Mixer returns to the Temple Nightclub just 2 blocks from the Moscone Center. Styled like a futuristic club from TRON, the Temple is the perfect place to show of the latests in VR technology and gaming. The event covers both floors of the temple with plenty of room for demos and socialising.There will also be a live music performance on the night. Last year the event had one thousand attendees from across the industry – a perfect chance to meet some of the leading developers in VR!
What: The Big Indie Pitch
When: Thur 2nd Mar | 15:00 – 19:30 PST
Where: Barbarossa Lounge, 714 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
Tell Me More: Pocket Gamer is back again with their Big Indie Pitch. Their unique speed dating format gives developers 3 mins to pitch their game to a panel of 8 experts from the games industry. Participants will receive real industry feedback on their pitch and the winner will go on to be featured in Pocket Gamer and more!
When: Thur 2nd Mar | 16:00 – 18:00 PST
Where: Google, 345 Spear Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
Price: Free (limited spaces)
Tell Me More: Speakers from Respawn, Multiplay and Google Cloud come together to talk about the server architecture behind one of 2016’s biggest games – Titanfall 2. After the talk there’ll be food, drinks and a chance to network with fellow attendees and some of industry’s leading multiplayer developers so remember to bring your business cards – This is one event you don’t want to miss!
What: GDC Fire Pit Party
When: Fri 3rd Mar | 13:00 – 20:00 PST
Where: Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Price: Free (Chip in for some ingredients from Safeway if you want to eat)
Tell Me More: An informal gathering of developers to finish off GDC 2017. Rest your convention floor worn feet, grill some food, and reflect on the week with friends and strangers alike. Bring instruments if you have them and as the sun sets the local ludosport club will be doing a lightsaber sparring demo! (All of this is weather permitting of course.)
What: 2017 Post GDC BBQ
When: Sat 4th Mar | 12:00 – 20:00 PST
Where: 1264 Albion Ln, Sunnyvale, CA 94087-3827, United States (45 mins drive from Moscone Centre, carpool or public transport recommended)
Tell Me More: Not ready to leave GDC behind just yet? Avid gamers John and Beth Leonard host the Post GDC BBQ which has seen a wide range of attendees in the past from top industry execs to students this party is for anyone and everyone who loves games. A perfect chance to chill and get some last minute networking in!