I had the great opportunity this last Sunday/Monday to go to Microsoft GameFest in Seattle, Washington, for free! ($450-650 reg price). 

Our school, OIT, received a grant this summer for 20 xbox 360s, 20 developer licenses, and $10k to put on a few classes.  That’s pretty much how I got to go, but this just is exciting.  Our school is finally getting involved in game development, and it’s about time.  This will also be great for the club (OTGD)!

GameFest was more of a current developers in the game industry event, but having an avid interest in game development, I was able to get the opportunity to go and meet many people in the industry from programmers to researchers.  It was a blast.  There was free food, some great prizes, good information, and a great way to meet some new people and get my name out as an interested student in game development.  Don’t know for sure whether I’ll hear from people I gave my business card to, but oh well, I had a great time meeting them and hearing about all the different things going on.

I got there on Sunday for the reception, and met a few interested people there who had started up a company about a year and some ago.  We stayed at a friend’s place (free) and then had some free breakfast at the event.  Key speaker was there who announced the winners of the dream.build.play contest that Microsoft put on.  Went to a bunch of lectures, had some free lunch, met people in the expo area, and then went to some more lectures.  It ended that day at 6 or so, then at 6:30 was the after party.  That was a blast.  Free food, pool tables, Foosball, Xbox 360s with Guitar Hero 2 and a bunch of old arcade machines.  I also met a bunch more people while I was there towards the end, sadly we had to leave early since my friend had to work the next day.

I had a great time and wish I could have stayed for the next day, but oh well…there’s always next year!