Game Audio GDC 2019 Asbjoern Andersen


GDC is only a couple weeks away, and if this is your first time, you may feel a little overwhelmed. Perhaps you are figuring out last-minute arrangements, or planning what parties and networking events to attend, or looking into what sites to visit in San Francisco.

Luckily, Meredith Hall, a multi-disciplined Producer, Marketer and Business Developer, took this question to Twitter, and she received dozens of responses from GDC veterans about what they have learned and how they make the most of each conference. We compiled them here, with the permission of the contributors, so take a moment and read what you should know before your first visit to Moscone Center.

Also, before we start, we'd like to mention there is the GDC Mixer Discord run by @RedVonix that you can join to talk about prepping for GDC. The server is located here: http://bit.ly/gdcmixer


Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2019 takes place March 18-22 in Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, CA, US. Tweets have been edited for spelling, grammar, and brevity.
Please share:

 


 

Here’s the tweet that started it all

 

Ok, #GDC veterans. You’ve probably done this every year. Now for the 2019 edition.

What are your TOP tips for @Official_GDC first timers? 💗 To pack, to do, to see, to attend, to meet, to plan for, to avoid?

✨RTs appreciated✨

meredith ✨ 🔜 GDC @merryh

 


 

Business Cards

Make your business cards as close to standard size as possible. Yes, your coaster-sized oval cards are cool and stuff, but if they’re impossible to put away they’ll end up in some pocket, never to be seen again.

Killer ♡ Queen @Deadlyweiss


Bring a permanent marker with a fine tip to take notes on business cards. You’ll have 50 in your pocket at EOD and won’t remember who was who.

Stephen Kick @pripyatbeast


Don’t throw your business card at someone without saying anything to them and then just…leave. Sure, I remember that person’s name now, but for all the wrong reasons!

jarann pan @jarannimo


Never ever ever give away the last business card you’re carrying. If it really comes to that, hold onto it so people can snap a picture of it instead. Better than nothing.

Sam Seltzer-Johnston @sbseltzer

 
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Meeting People

Don’t be afraid to approach people!

Robert Dowling @Pixelpickle


Value people. People are the most important thing you can invest in during GDC – talks come pretty low on the list as you can watch them online later. Make opportunities to meet people you want to meet, reach out, organise coffees and meals. Be proactively social.

Liam Esler @liamesler


There are many different types of parties.
Networking parties – Connecting people
Vendor parties – Chat with product/service vendors and other using them
Publisher parties – Bring different devs together, celebrate
Dance parties – Music/dance based
Country parties – Recruitment/jobs
Industry group parties – Networking but everyone there has a common interest, think Women in Gaming, or Latinx in Gaming
There are other non-party based events.
Things like meetups to have ice cream or go running

Keir Rice 🌌 @KeirRice


Make friends and don’t be afraid to chat with people. Everyone at GDC shares the same passions you do. I’ve made tons of great friends in the industry from around the world because of GDC.

Jeremy Lecus 🎮 @BrewCityGamer

 
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Talks

Don’t rush, have fun. With that being said, if you’re not early enough for big talks, you will miss out. Know which ones you don’t want to miss. The rest are optional.
Alex Moreno @FuzzyIndie


Round tables are great and a good way to meet people and make an impression.

Eric John E @MxEricJohnE


When you go to the microphone to ask a question after a talk, if the question wouldn’t fit in a tweet and doesn’t end with a question mark, it’s not a question, it’s a speech.
Don’t do speeches.

Nick Landry ⚔️ @ActiveNick

 
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Popular on A Sound Effect right now - article continues below:

 

Latest releases:  
  • Funny / Comedy / Cartoon Cartoon Voices Play Track 800+ sounds included, 26 mins total $30 $25

    Cartoon Voices sound library features cute and funky sound effects of made up characters, designed to fit into cartoonish animations and video games. It’s more than 800 sound effects (raw + designed) of male and female sounds like laughing, screaming, singing, different emotional expressions like anger, sadness, happiness and more. The preview will give you a good idea of what’s inside.

    Inside you’ll find:

    • 283 male designed sound effects
    • 290 male RAW sound effects
    • 122 female designed sound effects
    • 122 female RAW sound effects
    17 %
    OFF
    Ends 1560463200
    Add to cart
  • Funny / Comedy / Cartoon Baby Sounds Play Track 160 sounds included, 85 mins total $39 $27

    Baby Sounds library includes 160 HQ (24bit/96kHz) indoor recordings of newborn, infant, toddler laughs, sighs, screams, whimpers, giggles, and cries. All captured in real-life conditions, over a 14-month period.

    Apart from the profound pre-speech vocalizations, you’ll also find cute recordings of a suckling pacifier, baby farts, breathing, breastfeeding and sneezing that will help your foleying character become more realistic and lifelike. Overall, the collection caters to projects in need for authentic newborn/ infant/ toddler boy vocal expressions.

    31 %
    OFF
    Ends 1559253600
    Add to cart
  • Now it’s easy to reach the highest levels in professional gameplay sound and audio engagement. Mobile Game 2 – Leveled Up SFX is a dynamic collection of 500 royalty free game sound effects inspired by top selling app-game hits like Candy Crush and Angry Birds.

    Inside this premium sound library you’ll experience tonal and non-melodic sounds, collects, coin sounds, pickups, treasures and specials. There’s an outstanding selection of UI sound effects, app sounds, musical motif SFX (these are our favorite sounds in this library), splash screens, logo sounds, alerts and game notifications plus cartoon and animation sound effects as well.

    Mobile Game 2 – Leveled Up SFX is the all new and totally original creative companion to our #1 best selling game sound library – Mobile Game. Make a bold statement today and level up your audio production with Mobile Game 2 – Leveled up SFX. On Sale!

    • 525+ game ready audio assets
    • Professional gameplay sound library
    • All in 96k/24bit .WAV – plus 44.1k 16bit and game ready MP3
    • Perfect for games, apps, software products, animations, video and motion graphics
    Add to cart
  • Drones & Moods The Case Play Track 185 sounds included, 41 mins total $30 $10

    Need to create suspense, tension, action and mystery in your production? “The Case” is great for you.

    Like my library UNSOLVED this pack is Inspired by crime/investigation movies and series, and contains 185 sounds (Wav, 24 Bit / 48 kHz) aimed to enhance the tension and drama of movies, games, series, trailers and musical compositions.

    You will find deep Bass Loops, powerful Percussive Loops (kick, hi-hat, hits, metal), Cinematic Melodies and notes (synth, clean electric guitar, percussive piano) and Fx (soundscapes, atmospheric elements, drops, hits and impacts).

    You will get:

    • 37 bass loops
    • 37 cinematic melodies
    • 67 percussive elements
    • 44 Fx

    This library has a nice mixture of sound design and music. It can be used to create moments of suspense and tension from a sound designe perspective or from a musical perspective thanks to the bass/percussion loops and melodies.

    67 %
    OFF
    Ends 1559253600
    Add to cart
  • Drones & Moods Sonikscape Play Track 338 sounds included, 191 mins total $74

    SONIKSCAPE has been produced to create intense underscore, dark atmospheres and abstract textures.

    This collection comes packed with cinematic soundscapes, vocal atmospheres, textures out of processed flutes, ghost breaths and vocal effects, dark low oscillations and subsonic frequencies, bowed cymbals, psychological screech and more.

    Dedicated to the movie trailer, suspenseful film and television soundtrack, dark ambient music, audio-visual installation and sound artist.

    Sonikscape is a collaboration between SampleTraxx and German sound designer Sebastian Emling who already collaborated on Cinematic Zither and Old Broken Piano.

    Add to cart

Need specific sound effects? Try a search below:
 

 

Goals

Know why you are going, and don’t be afraid to let less important stuff fall by the wayside – it is your trip.

Liam Routt @LiamRoutt


In your planning, schedule one thing you *absolutely* want to do each day, and go with the flow with everything else. You won’t overwhelm yourself, and you’ll make time for what’s important to you.

ᴀꜱᴛʀɪᴅ ʀᴏꜱᴇᴍᴀʀɪɴ @astridrosemarin


+ Have goals of what you want to achieve while over there.
+ Use it as an opportunity to reflect on your past year, how you’ve grown and what your next goals are.

Trevor Dikes 💀 @TrevorDikes

 
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Networking

The real GDC action doesn’t even take place at the convention center – it’s all about the meetings and conversations you should be setting up NOW.

RedVonix® is All Up In Your GDC Plans @RedVonix


If you’re searching for a career, see what companies are going to be on ‘show floor’, then reach out on LinkedIn for their HR/recruiters – They may be able to help set up interviews or meet with specific persons at a scheduled time.

If you’re looking to network at after-hour parties, try to find more niche events to go to. You’ll be able to actually meet and talk to people, rather than be drowned out my massive crowds, rowdy partiers, or people that, while nice, don’t help your networking goal.

SamKablam @Sam_Ka_Blam


1. The audio podcast at Sightglass Cafe is great.
2. Don’t eat lunch alone — Go up to the Carousel and learn more audio! Make friends!
3. Take a break and go to the Musee Mechanique by the pier — it’s a hidden jewel.
4. Eat shawarma across Moscone!
5. Don’t look like a tourist.

Claudine Guild @ClaudineGuild


Scott Benson said to learn how to dismount from conversations “thanks for your time, it was great meeting you.” Something like that. When the conversation lulls, stick the landing, don’t end it on a soggy walk away.

Mitchel Wong 🛫 GDC expo floor basically all day @pengwndude

 
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Take Care of Yourself

Drink water.
Pace yourself.
Drink water!
Plan for breaks.
Drink. Water.
Shower!
Seriously, drink water.

John Epler @eplerjc


Buy a lacrosse ball and toss it in your bag. Sit down for 10-20 minutes mid-day and at night and roll the bottom of your feet over it. It’ll hurt a ton, but it’s loosening up the tightness in your feet. When you stand up, they’ll feel great!

Also, drink about 3x as much water as normal.

Mitch Alpiner @MoltenSlowa


– Don’t book out your entire days back to back
– Make a Twitter list of people you meet
– Parties are parties have fun but don’t do them every night.
– Hand sanitize
– It’s ok to look at badges for names
– Have a cup of tea and sit down

Aurore @Aurore360

 
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Don’t Forget to Eat

Eat at least one meal a day that requires a fork.

Susan Arendt @SusanArendt


* Stay hydrated, have snacks on hand, avoid getting hangry!
* Try to get away from the conference at some point for good food (maybe eat a Mission burrito?)
* When you’re feeling overwhelmed (and you will!)/wiped/anxious/etc, lounge at the Mild Rumpus, my favorite part of GDC <3

Jo Lammert @JoLammert


– Don’t buy food at the venue. There’s better options around Moscone. If you’re in tight budget mode there’s a Target opposite of the West building where you can buy food.
– If you want to taste the world famous Moscone Crepes you better get there early. Line gets insanely long.

Luis F. De Leon – Take your time @luisfdeleon


If you’re staying close to Moscone, head to Trader Joe’s and stock up on nuts and other healthy snack foods. These are an easy breakfast or light lunch. Take an afternoon off to explore the city (Disney Family Museum, Palace of Fine Arts, Musee Mecanique). Drink water.

Patrick Swinnea @patrickswinnea

 
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San Francisco and the USA

The SF sun will be blazing hot, the shade so cold even vikings freeze to death. Night time is brutal if you’re unprepared.

Tom-Ivar Arntzen @Tinimations


Tipping the quick way: move the decimal over one step and double it. This is a 20% tip. Adjust accordingly from there. In general cocktails or other complex drinks you just tip 1 dollar per drink regardless of cost.

B-b-b-b-baka to the bone @FaeRunTheWorld


Regarding mobile sims, if you want to step off the plane and have data, try out http://www.simcorner.com. Order your sim now, it gets delivered before you depart, then you pop it in when the plane lands.

ᴱᴰ ᴼᴿᴹᴬᴺ @UppercutEd


Arrive 1 or 2 days early to enjoy the city, it’s wonderful. Don’t overbook yourself, do what you really like to do instead of trying to do what you think is expected of you. Eat and drink well. Parties are overrated, don’t drink too much and sleep enough or you’ll get sick.

If you can, stay a bit longer after the convention. I once did a roadtrip afterwards and it was gorgeous. In networking mixers just be really interested in the people. The most enjoyable talks are postmortems imo.

ION 👀 @ionlands

 
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Getting Around

– Overbudget. Everything is expensive.
– There’s a tunnel that runs from Moscone South and Moscone North. Yay avoiding cars!

Riley Halligan ✈ 🔜 #GDC19 @Oh_Hi_Riley


DON’T TRY TO SAVE MONEY BY BOOKING A FAR AWAY HOSTEL. You will end up paying the difference in Lyft/Uber/BART rides.

Elie Abraham 💕 Quantum Wheel Jam @ElieAbraham64


Use the buddy system walking around in the evening.
Have comfy shoes.
Make. Time. To. Sit.
Get a week long metro pass. So worth it and tons of good food a short ride away.
Treat people like people, not as just an extension of their company.
WATER. 💦
Travel Advil & chapstick.

Marcykarp @marcykarp


Keep your phone charged, use it for the public transit, BART and MUNI both have apps. Study a map ahead of time and keep one handy. Use the buddy system and make sure someone knows where you are going and with whom, if you go solo at any point.

If you are going to be a pedestrian at any point, be aware that some streets are angled very steeply. Not all sidewalks are great for folks in wheelchairs, but a good many are. SF is the city that inspired “Crazy Taxy,” so don’t trust drivers or pedestrians to be reasonable.

Mystery Corgi @MysteryCorgi

 
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Stay Safe

You’ll think “I don’t need my spare battery”, but you will.
It WILL be colder at night.
Pack proper shoes. You will be walking a lot.
Be careful! San Francisco is not a safe city : (

Elie Abraham 💕 Quantum Wheel Jam @ElieAbraham64


Don’t have your badge visible outside of the con, ever. Hide it in your shirt, under a sweatshirt, put it in your pocket, etc. Don’t flash a bunch of swag that says GDC on it, travel in groups, call an Uber if you are out late and need to get back to your hotel.

Travis @VfxTravis


Check with your hotel or locals about what the safety is like at night around where you’re staying. I wasn’t confident about mine last year so after a couple of conversations for late night returns, I either walked with a friend or went door to door with Uber/Lyft.

Vee 🛸 GDC 😈🌈 @V_garpend


The tenderloin area is dangerous at night, I would avoid it completely. I would advocate staying in a group in the day.

People get mugged there every year.

Mark Mandel @Neurotic

 
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Final Thoughts & Resources

Have at least a few moments in the park above the conference

Martin 🐨 @MartinKvale


@stephanschutze has a great blog post on exactly this that I found helpful last time I went: http://gamasutra.com/blogs/StephanSchutze/20160203/265023/Travel_Tips_for_Developers.php

Jason Imms @jasonimms


I made up a comprehensive presentation of my notes from last year: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lwq4x3x9pycf3js/I%20Went%20To%20GDC%20And%20All%20I%20Got.pdf?dl=0

Barbara Kerr oh god GDC is upon us @ms45


As with every conference you’ll ever go to, in the games industry, or elsewhere, never go and come back thinking you wasted your time. Turn up with a hit list of people and outcomes.

Sandy Lobban @noisemeup

 

A big thanks to everyone for letting us share their tips! Have a great GDC!

 

Please share this:


 

 
 
More resources for making the most of GDC 2019:

See all Game Audio Sessions at GDC 2019
• See the 2019 GDC Party List
• See the list of devs connecting at GDC 2019
• Join the GDC Mixer Discord Server here
• Visit the official GDC page here here

 
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THE WORLD’S EASIEST WAY TO GET INDEPENDENT SOUND EFFECTS:
 
A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement - a few highlights:
 
 
  • Drones & Moods The Case Play Track 185 sounds included, 41 mins total $30 $10

    Need to create suspense, tension, action and mystery in your production? “The Case” is great for you.

    Like my library UNSOLVED this pack is Inspired by crime/investigation movies and series, and contains 185 sounds (Wav, 24 Bit / 48 kHz) aimed to enhance the tension and drama of movies, games, series, trailers and musical compositions.

    You will find deep Bass Loops, powerful Percussive Loops (kick, hi-hat, hits, metal), Cinematic Melodies and notes (synth, clean electric guitar, percussive piano) and Fx (soundscapes, atmospheric elements, drops, hits and impacts).

    You will get:

    • 37 bass loops
    • 37 cinematic melodies
    • 67 percussive elements
    • 44 Fx

    This library has a nice mixture of sound design and music. It can be used to create moments of suspense and tension from a sound designe perspective or from a musical perspective thanks to the bass/percussion loops and melodies.

    67 %
    OFF
    Ends 1559253600
    Add to cart
  • Foley Pub Foley Play Track 155 sounds included $15

    155 Foley sounds recorded at a small English pub including glass movement, clinking, collecting and washing, various sized keg slides and impacts, drink preparation, fridge stocking, cooling units and furniture organisation. Perfect for putting together the elements needed for a convincing bar scene in your film, game or podcast.

    Recorded at the Town Mouse Ale House, Newcastle upon Tyne

    Add to cart
  • I made these sounds with my mouth, dried them off, and shined them up for your use! In this package, you’ll find 221 polished sound effects to use for all manner of user interface. Some are clicky, some a poppy, some are breathy, and some are plain ol’ goofy (all very technical language, you see). Regardless of their aesthetic, they are all 96kHz/24bit quality WAV files and drag n’ drop ready.

    50 %
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Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Funny / Comedy / Cartoon Cartoon Voices Play Track 800+ sounds included, 26 mins total $30 $25

    Cartoon Voices sound library features cute and funky sound effects of made up characters, designed to fit into cartoonish animations and video games. It’s more than 800 sound effects (raw + designed) of male and female sounds like laughing, screaming, singing, different emotional expressions like anger, sadness, happiness and more. The preview will give you a good idea of what’s inside.

    Inside you’ll find:

    • 283 male designed sound effects
    • 290 male RAW sound effects
    • 122 female designed sound effects
    • 122 female RAW sound effects
    17 %
    OFF
    Ends 1560463200
  • Funny / Comedy / Cartoon Baby Sounds Play Track 160 sounds included, 85 mins total $39 $27

    Baby Sounds library includes 160 HQ (24bit/96kHz) indoor recordings of newborn, infant, toddler laughs, sighs, screams, whimpers, giggles, and cries. All captured in real-life conditions, over a 14-month period.

    Apart from the profound pre-speech vocalizations, you’ll also find cute recordings of a suckling pacifier, baby farts, breathing, breastfeeding and sneezing that will help your foleying character become more realistic and lifelike. Overall, the collection caters to projects in need for authentic newborn/ infant/ toddler boy vocal expressions.

    31 %
    OFF
    Ends 1559253600
  • Now it’s easy to reach the highest levels in professional gameplay sound and audio engagement. Mobile Game 2 – Leveled Up SFX is a dynamic collection of 500 royalty free game sound effects inspired by top selling app-game hits like Candy Crush and Angry Birds.

    Inside this premium sound library you’ll experience tonal and non-melodic sounds, collects, coin sounds, pickups, treasures and specials. There’s an outstanding selection of UI sound effects, app sounds, musical motif SFX (these are our favorite sounds in this library), splash screens, logo sounds, alerts and game notifications plus cartoon and animation sound effects as well.

    Mobile Game 2 – Leveled Up SFX is the all new and totally original creative companion to our #1 best selling game sound library – Mobile Game. Make a bold statement today and level up your audio production with Mobile Game 2 – Leveled up SFX. On Sale!

    • 525+ game ready audio assets
    • Professional gameplay sound library
    • All in 96k/24bit .WAV – plus 44.1k 16bit and game ready MP3
    • Perfect for games, apps, software products, animations, video and motion graphics
  • Drones & Moods The Case Play Track 185 sounds included, 41 mins total $30 $10

    Need to create suspense, tension, action and mystery in your production? “The Case” is great for you.

    Like my library UNSOLVED this pack is Inspired by crime/investigation movies and series, and contains 185 sounds (Wav, 24 Bit / 48 kHz) aimed to enhance the tension and drama of movies, games, series, trailers and musical compositions.

    You will find deep Bass Loops, powerful Percussive Loops (kick, hi-hat, hits, metal), Cinematic Melodies and notes (synth, clean electric guitar, percussive piano) and Fx (soundscapes, atmospheric elements, drops, hits and impacts).

    You will get:

    • 37 bass loops
    • 37 cinematic melodies
    • 67 percussive elements
    • 44 Fx

    This library has a nice mixture of sound design and music. It can be used to create moments of suspense and tension from a sound designe perspective or from a musical perspective thanks to the bass/percussion loops and melodies.

    67 %
    OFF
    Ends 1559253600
  • Drones & Moods Sonikscape Play Track 338 sounds included, 191 mins total $74

    SONIKSCAPE has been produced to create intense underscore, dark atmospheres and abstract textures.

    This collection comes packed with cinematic soundscapes, vocal atmospheres, textures out of processed flutes, ghost breaths and vocal effects, dark low oscillations and subsonic frequencies, bowed cymbals, psychological screech and more.

    Dedicated to the movie trailer, suspenseful film and television soundtrack, dark ambient music, audio-visual installation and sound artist.

    Sonikscape is a collaboration between SampleTraxx and German sound designer Sebastian Emling who already collaborated on Cinematic Zither and Old Broken Piano.

 
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