Finally, here's our summary of what impressed us (or what didn't impress us) at the GDC this year.
Most Missed Exhibitor
Apple has been a staple at past GDCs, but was nowhere to be seen this year.
Least Missed Exhibitor
Digiscents, the makers of iSmell. You remember these guys - there the ones who wanted to put smells in your games. Who wouldn't enjoy the smell of a musty dungeon filled with rotting flesh? Honestly, we were surprised that they lasted as long as they did.
Best Way To Burn Calories
Walking to/from sessions in the Fairmont
Worst Way to Burn Calories
Realizing after getting to the Fairmont that your lecture's in the Hilton
Best Change To The IGF
Putting all the contestants in a ring instead of in columns.
Worst Change To The IGF
Putting that ring right next to the Dolby booth
Best Food Item
Those little egg-roll things during booth crawl
Worst Food Item
It goes by many names: The infamous "GDC Woody," or the "Wood on Wheat." Next year, could I get my sandwich minus the toothpick shards, please?
Best Company to Join the Industry Elite
There are a handful of companies which play a major role in the game industry (e.g. Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, NVIDIA, etc.). Without a doubt, Criterion has joined those ranks. Many of the top selling games last year used Renderware Platform, including Grand Theft Auto 3 and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, and with the launch of Renderware Studio, this year should be a banner year for Criterion.
NXN Software. NXN alienbrain, like Renderware, has been gradually building momentum over the past couple of years, and now that they've added project management to their already strong asset management package, look for even more companies to adopt it.
Dolby. Games are beginning to use Dolby's 5.1 surround sound technology to enhance gameplay, Bungie's Halo being the prime example. With support on all 3 major consoles, a growing list of publishers recognizing the value of Dolby technology, and an outstanding developer support program, look for this trend to continue through 2002.
Best Booth Babe
As we mentioned during the show, there were far fewer booth babes in sight at the expo than in past years. Whether this is good or bad, it made it a bit more difficult to pick a "best" booth babe. So, we won't. Feel free to visit the booth babe page and pick your own favorite.
Booth With Best Babes Who Weren't Actually Booth Babes
a.k.a Companies We'd Most Like to Work For. Again this year, many companies opted to staff their booths with attractive women who actually work for the company. And once again, the clear winner in this area was Renderware, and this time, we brought back proof (though the photos of course say nothing of the sexy British accents).
Bender Helper Impact - like last year, they weren't technically in a booth, but they were in attendance at several of the other booths (NXN, Dolby), and they still deserve a mention.
Well, it wasn't exactly graft, since they weren't giving them out to all comers, but ATI was holding drawings for their 128 MB Radeon 8500 cards at the ATI sponsored sessions, and they must have given a lot of them away, since I saw people walking around with them all the time. I got one myself, as did Joe "EvAcLeAr" Fernald.
Best Effort by a GameDev.net Staff Member
John Hattan has always been the foundation of our GDC coverage, but he couldn't make it this year due to his wife having a baby. He had only one request of us: to get his copy of "Winning Ways" signed by John Conway. TAN took care of that for him, so yay for TAN.
Personally, I want to thank everyone who helped us cover the GDC: Ernie, Drew, David, and Mason. I think we provided more in-depth coverage this year, for more events, and we tried to focus on the things that GameDev.net members said were important. Hopefully, you agree, but if not, be sure to let us know what you'd like to see more of next year.