March 18, 2014

GDC 2014: What A Difference A Year Makes!


Last year at this time I was just graduating from Full Sail University in Florida and finishing up preparations to start job hunting. I'd been talking with my adviser about GDC; what job opportunities might present themselves and what talks I should attend. After doing a little research I was convinced I should go and, wow, I am so glad I did.

I saw some great talks on really cool technology - like Microsoft SmartGlass, the linking of smart phone and Xbox, which has features such as playing a game of poker between two phones connected to the same Xbox, where neither could see the other’s cards. At the Expo, I saw even more cool new products coming out, including an awesome audio driver that made cheap headphones sound like surround sound, an AI builder that made it easy to implement even team tactics for your bots, AND Perforce Swarm, the product I am currently working on.

At the Perforce booth I was given a demo of Swarm, Perforce's code collaboration tool, got into a discussion with a few Perforce employees and was invited to a drink up they hosted at ThirstyBear Brewing Company. There I met Matt Attaway, our Open Source Community Manager, and started discussing the topic of (surprise) video games. A couple of résumés and three interviews later, I took a job offer from Perforce and have been happily employed since.

Looking through the upcoming GDC 2014 schedule, a couple of things caught my eye. For programming, there is a talk on how Ubisoft did the AI perception and awareness in Splinter Cell: Blacklist. There's a session from Visual Arts titled Change Is Good: The Importance of Iteration Within a Character Art Pipeline—will be interesting to see how they dealt with the versioning of their characters. Lastly, for production, BioWare is presenting on how they build a story and add the elements of choice and consequence to their games. As a Perforce employee it's exciting to see how many games companies are Perforce customers!

I am super excited to attend this year as part of the Perforce team! I look forward to the chance to tell others about the exciting things they can expect from us in the future. So stop by, get a demo, and join us for a beer!