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March 23rd, 2006 - Game Developers Conference by Reid

Doom3[CC] in action at GDC 2006
Game Developers Conference 2006 in San Jose, California

On Thursday, Nick and I went to a talk called "Rules Worth Breaking" by Noah Felstein and Hal Barwood. Both are well established game designers and I was really looking forward to what their wisdom could teach me. I learned a thing or two but didn't feel the presentation focused much on the actual Rules that could be broken. Most of it was prerequisite information needed understand where they are coming from, with their 400 Rule project. Noah mentioned during the talk that he wants to explore the notion of certain rules that pertain to fairness. I suppose one rule could be to always give the player feedback as to why they are failing. If you don't do that, players will feel like the game is cheating against them, has the upper advantage and that things are fairly balanced.

It will be interesting to see if he includes any rules about fairness in regards to game accessibility. I doubt it because he's focused on the game play mechanics, not the interface schemes players have with the game and I think that's perfectly reasonable. Afterall, we do have Ernest Adam's "Bill of Player's Rights" in which he does briefly touch on the right of the player to have access to a game they wish to play via accessibility features. Ernest mentioned at GDC that he'd like to learn more about accessibility issues, which is awesome! I gave him a CD-Rom that was made for the Game Accessibility SIG to hand out. It has our white paper on it, other articles and many examples of games that incorporate various accessibility features. It was a pleasure to hear that someone like Ernest Adams is interested in the idea of accessibility features for games.

Later that night, I went to the "Level 99" party which was for those that spoke at GDC. It was really exciting to go because so many industry "stars" were there. I saw Noah and Hal from earlier in the day, ran into Squirrel who I worked with at Ritual Entertainment. Luckily, I saw Jamil, who ran the whole GDC event I think and had done so for a few years now and each year keeps getting bigger and better. I introduced myself because I wanted to thank him (or whoever) was responsible for including the Mod Competition in the IGF Choice Awards. Jamil was very open and seemed quite aware of the Doom3[CC] mod I developed. I certainly hope that the Mod category becomes permanent for future GDC's because it's such a great experience for young developers in the mod community and hopefully a mod can inspire a developer in some way.