Game development and the world of game design have become so large that people are willing to fill entire halls to gather and showcase their work, to learn from one another, and to network. Game development conferences started out as early as 1988 and have since grown to include major press outlets and to have gamers waiting for the latest news from these amazing conferences.
Any student of game design should aspire to one day attend conferences like these, if for no other reason than to learn.
The Design, Innovate, Communicate, and Entertain (D.I.C.E.) Summit was established in 2002 by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. Their mission is “to promote and advance the worldwide interactive entertainment community” while enhancing “awareness of the interactive art form.” The DICE Summit has become one of the most important events in the gaming industry, with major developers from all realms of the industry attending the summit and even providing talks.
The event does come with a pretty high entry fee, but those willing to put down the money for it are treated to something special. Networking opportunities are almost as numerous as the learning opportunities offered to attendees. The DICE Summit also comes with one of the big award ceremonies in the gaming industry.
Electronic Entertainment Expo
The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, became a necessity once the industry really took off in the late 90’s. This trade show was started in 1995 and was considered one of the largest trade show launches at the time, with over 80,000 attendees. It cemented the industry’s foothold in the technology world.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo is closed to the public but, for independent developers, E3 represents a chance to showcase their work. Members of the press and members of the gaming community see E3 as the “mecca of gaming.” Developers use E3 as an opportunity to announce their latest in both hardware and software and all eyes in the industry are on this event.
E3 is a place for new technologies to be put on display for others to play with and learn from and all students of game design know how important this trade show is to how every year in gaming will play out.
Game Developers Conference
Unlike the other two gatherings on this list, the Game Developers Conference (GDC) comes from truly humble beginnings. The GDC was established over 26 years ago in the living room of prominent game designer Chris Crawford. 26 developers gathered in his living room and discussed the art of game design. Fast forward to 2013. GDC is now one of the biggest formal gatherings of game developers looking to make strides in the industry.
GDC features a number of lectures, panels, and round-table discussions featuring both big market developers and independent stars. The entry fee is high for those interested in attending, but the opportunities present here for collaboration are endless.
Students are even offered a discounted price for one of the days, so game design students should take advantage of any opportunity given to them.
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