Every year in spring, thousands of developers, industry insiders, and gaming enthusiasts flock to San Francisco to clog the already busy downtown streets for the Game Developers Conference. Unlike the more fan-facing shows, like PAX or E3, GDC focuses on the business of gaming. That means you’ll find more people in business suits running around than you’ve ever seen in one place, but don’t let the lack of pageantry fool you. GDC lures in some of the biggest names in the industry and holds its share of exciting stories.
The conference is also one of the biggest platforms for indie games and is holding its 21st Independent Games Festival alongside its expo. As part of the festival, indie developers show off their creations in the IGF Pavilion and GDC even hosts a high-toned and fancy to-do award ceremony celebrating indie game excellence.
Unfortunately, unless you are in the press you’d be looking to drop a fat stack of cash to gain entrance into the hallowed audience chambers for the first two days of the conference. That’s why I decided to skip all that and meet up with Chris Bourassa and Tyler Sigman, co-founders of Red Hook, creators of Darkest Dungeon and soon Darkest Dungeon 2. Their gothic RPG was nominated for the conference’s Independent Game Awards back in 2016 and both have given several talks for GDC, so they were the perfect pair to walk me through what it's like to attend the show.