Game Developer Conference Diary, Day 3 - March 26th
By Nicole Hamlett

Ah sweet sadness. Today was the last day of GDC and I’m sorry to see this amazing conference end. It was a light day today. A lot of people have already left for home. I did get to see some goodies though so here it goes!

First stop today was a meeting with Mark Jacobs from Mythic Entertainment. He is really a down to earth guy. We had a great conversation about Imperator (which I can’t write about so you’ll have to wait until E3) and movies and of course Dark Ages of Camelot. You can expect some great features in the new Frontiers Expansion that is going to release later this year. I was surprised to hear that they aren’t going to be downsizing the DAOC staff for the new product which to be honest is a relief. I’m always disappointed to hear that the games that I enjoy won’t have quite the support because of new ventures. Needless to say he’s got a brilliant mind and I can’t wait to see what those wheels are turning out.

My second appointment of the day was with Andrew Elliott from Nokia. I got to get a look at their NGage product. I know that there are a lot of people who don’t like it, but I’m going to tell you that I loved it! There were only a few things that I would change and as I understand, they are changing them with the 2.0 release. I think that the talking from the side of the phone is a little awkward, but otherwise this is a fantastic product. I was surprised at the clarity of the graphics and the ability to use this as an mp3 player, radio, calendar, contact management system as well as play some great games. I poked around with the upcoming Sims release. I’m embarrassed to say that I was so involved in playing the games that I had to record my interview. You’ll see that interview in the next week. I think that Nokia really has something going there.

Unfortunately I lost my camera so I couldn’t take any pictures of the day. That’s what I get for putting it down in an interview. Thankfully it’s getting sent back to me. Liz from THQ just rocks.

After my Nokia interview I walked around looking for Daniel James and the Three Ring guys. I wanted to see the latest developments with Puzzle Pirates. I didn’t find them but I did come upon a great new keyboard from Ergodex. You can map out any key on this board. I thought that it was very innovative. The price of this keyboard is $149 US. I think that it may be a little steep but I will most likely buy one as the price falls a bit. I like the thought that I can move about in game with my left hand rather than using the arrow keys with my right. We left handers have finally gotten our due!

I ran from there to the Saga of Ryzom booth just in time to make my appointment. There I met with Alex Macris of the Themis Group who led me through a preview. I have so many good things to say about this game. I was astounded at how absolutely beautiful the world is. I expect this kind of eye candy from a console game not an MMO. It’s stunningly gorgeous. Also, the character creation for this game is very good. There are multiple choices of the look and feel of your character so that you don’t look like everyone else in the game. It’s up in the arena of Galaxies in my opinion for character creation. I was fortunate enough to get a beta cd for the game so I will give you more detail as I get to play more.

Afterwards I wandered a bit and then it was back to the hotel to get packed up for the 4 a.m. trip to the airport. We headed out for a great Mexican food dinner downtown as our last stop in San Jose. Really, you can’t go to California without stopping to get a great Mexican food dinner.

Stop back to Gamers Hell for some awesome previews, reviews and news this week concerning the GDC trip!