GDC: Your 2009 survival guide to keynotes, liveblogs and superstar interviews

Monday, 23rd March 2009 09:42 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Here we go. Game Developers Conference 2009, the first major call for the global industry’s trade show circus, kicks off in earnest in San Francisco on Wednesday.

As ever, some of gaming’s biggest names are queued up for the event, with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata delivering the opening keynote, followed the next day with a lengthy talk from Konami’s Hideo Kojima.

You probably want to know what’s happening, when it’s happening and whether or not you should tune in to see us cover it live, right?

Hit the link.

Note on times for Europeans – Due to US daylight saving, PST is currently seven hours behind GMT and eight hours behind CET.

  • The Iwata keynote

What is it?

Discovering New Development Opportunities

When is it?

Wednesday, March 25, 9.00am-10.00am PST (4.00pm-5.00pm GMT)

What are we going to see?

Satoru knows. We don’t. And neither do you. The last time Nintendo keynoted GDC, Miyamoto announced a Mii channel and talked about his dog for over two hours. It’s fair to expect more this time.

New hardware? Triple A first-party product? There’s no point speculating. You may see Zelda and Mario. You may see nothing. It’s Nintendo, Ringo. You may see Iwata’s family album.

VG247 liveblog?


  • The Kojima keynote

What is it?

Solid Game Design: Making the ‘Impossible’ Possible

When is it?

Thursday, March 26, 10.30am-12.00pm PST (5.30pm – 7.00pm GMT)

What are we going to see?

This one’s a bit easier to pick. If we were betting men, we’d guess you’re going to see a Kojima pet project announced. Think along the lines of Boktai. The talk’s an hour and a half long, but we’ve been told it’s going to be a sedate affair. An MGS5 reveal? Nah. E3. That said, you’d be a fool to blink. That’s an awfully big stage, an awfully big crowd and an awful lot of time to wank on about nothing in particular.

VG247 liveblog?


  • The Ueda session

What is it?

Evolving Game Design: Today and Tomorrow, Eastern and Western Game Design

When is it?

Wednesday, March 25, 10.30am-11.30am PST (5.30pm-6.30pm GMT)

What are we going to see?

Don’t get your hopes up. As far as we’re aware there’s absolutely no chance of a Trico reveal. This is going to be an interesting session no matter what the content, but you’re far more likely to hear platitudes on the general decline of development in the Far East than solid talk on specific product.

VG247 liveblog?

No. Sorry. We got an offer we couldn’t refuse.

  • The Luminaries Lunch

What is it?

An “informal, unpredictable, non-PR’d discussion” between David Perry, Will Wright, Nolan Bushnell, Neil Young, Rob Pardo and Warren Spector.

When is it?

Wednesday, March 25, 13.00pm-14.15pm PST (8.00pm-9.15pm GMT)

What are we going to see?

Watch this like a hawk. Last year’s session was a bewildering wealth of megaton quotes, and this year’s line-up is nothing short of sensational. Wright and Spector on the same forum’s a bit ridiculous, if you think about it.

VG247 liveblog?


The Molyneux session

What is it?

Lionhead Experiments Revealed

When is it?

Friday, March 27, 2.30pm-3:30pm PST (9.30pm-10.30pm GMT)

What are we going to see?

All being well, we’re going to get a first look at a new Lionhead game. Molyneux’s already said as much, and indications are looking favourable. Keep your fingers crossed.

VG247 liveblog?

Unconfirmed. Steph’s flying home on Friday, but we may be able to fit it in. We’re pretty sure any game announcement’s going to come out on the Thursday, however. We’ll keep you updated.

  • The PS Blog lounge

What is it?

“It’ll be a casual place for bloggers, podcasters and broader online media community to hang out, relax and write/blog/podcast about the event.” There’s a bunch of first-party developer sessions taking place in the lounge over its three days.

When is it?

Tuesday, March 24: 10.00am-5.00pm PST (5.00pm-12.00am GMT)
Wednesday, March 25: 10.00am – 5.00pm PST (5.00pm-12.00am GMT)
Thursday, March 26: 10.00am-3.00pm PST (5.00pm-10.00pm GMT)

What are we going to see?

Taken straight from the invite. All times are PST:

Tuesday, March 24:

  • 11:00 am: Mattias Nygren (Tarsier Studios) will be in the Lounge with playable Rag Doll Kung Fu.
  • 4:30 pm: Go hands-on with inFamous during Sucker Punch and SCEA’s inFamous cocktail

Wednesday, March 25:

  • 10:30 am: Titan Studios talks Fat Princess, with hands-on play time.
  • 2:00 pm: Join Insomniac Games for a case study on Resistance 2′s Co-Op and Multiplayer and the title’s future roadmap discussion.
  • 3:00 pm: SCEA’s Jack Buser gives an update on the latest Home Space.
  • Also, Media Molecule staff will be available throughout the day to discuss the LittleBigPlanet community and the rise of user-generated content in games

Thursday, March 26:

  • 10:30 am: Dylan Cuthbert of Q-Games talks new PixelJunk, with hands-on play time.

VG247 liveblog?

Nothing planned, but we almost certainly will. We’ll keep you updated on timings.

  • Interviews

Expect to see interviews and quotes from the following this week:

  • BioWare – Ray and Greg are in SF in force. You’ll see plenty from them this week.
  • Epic – Epic’s got a big stand at the show and some of its big guns on hand. We’ll have good stuff for you.
  • Kojima – Who’s got him? We’ve been told he’s having a “quiet one,” but don’t be shocked when someone goes live with a four-pager.
  • Sucker Punch – Open season from the PS Blog Lounge.
  • Media Molecule – Open season from the PS Blog Lounge.
  • Q Games – Open season from the PS Blog Lounge.
  • Michael Pachter – He’s there, he’s awesome, he’s got a head full of numbers. Watch for quotes.
  • Warren Spector – Grab him! One of the nicest men in games.
  • Activision – We can’t say what’s happening, but we’re going to see some of the big stuff in session.
  • Sony execs – Plenty of them in the house this year.
  • Nintendo – Nintendo’s told everyone there are no opps for European press at GDC at all. Whoever bags the Iwata interview wins GDC.
  • Microsoft – Again, it’s looking sparse. We’ll do our best.
  • Will Wright – Someone must have a one-on-one. It isn’t us.
  • Peter Molyneux – Steph may not get through this one without swooning. Keep your fingers crossed.

And lots, lots more. We’ll bring you everything we can from around the web. Exciting!



  1. Blerk

    /rubs legs

    #1 6 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    Quite a lot there when you put it all together, innit.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. Hero of Canton

    I predict Will Wright’s megaton will be how he’s cloned himself to appear twice at the Luminaries Lunch. ;)

    Iwata will talk about opportunities for apps on DSiWare and how people should be making the most of MotionPlus. Most we’ll get gamewise is a rough launch date for the peripheral/Wii Sports Resort, I reckon. Zelda/Mario? Not a chance. I’d be amazed if we even hear anything about Pikmin 3.

    Molyneux, being a big blabbermouth, will talk about his next game, the one after that, and someone else’s game which hasn’t been announced yet and oops please don’t print that Stephany I’ll let you do a voice in Fable 3 which has a dog AND a cat in and damn my big mouth.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Psychotext


    #4 6 years ago
  5. Mike

    I can’t wait: NEWS EXPLOSION!!!

    #5 6 years ago
  6. Patrick Garratt


    #6 6 years ago
  7. Patrick Garratt

    Canton – I reckon that Nintendo stuff sounds about right. To be honest, I reckon you’ll be lucky if you get that much.

    I can’t believe I gave Wright’s announcement away.

    #7 6 years ago
  8. Blerk

    Is Pikmin 3 actually ‘for real’? I was under the impression that when they said last year that they were ‘working on Pikmin’ they were actually talking about the updates of the Cube versions.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. Quiiick

    @ Hero of Canton
    LOL! :)
    Great post!

    #9 6 years ago
  10. The Benny

    Blerk – I’m fairly sure people brought that up when the GC remakes were first announced and were told that the Pikmin game they’re working on isn’t the remakes.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. The Benny

    Found it, Wikipedia has some sourced comments from Cammie Dunaway:

    “IGN: One of those GCN rereleases for Wii is Pikmin. We just want to clarify that this is not Pikmin 3 that Miyamoto referenced at E3 2008.

    Cammie Dunaway: It’s not the Pikmin that Mr. Miyamoto referred to, no. Mr. Miyamoto referred to a new Pikmin, as opposed to the classics that are being rereleased on Wii.”

    #11 6 years ago
  12. Blerk


    #12 6 years ago
  13. Roybott

    Anyone know if there will be live Video feeds of any of these available somewhere?

    #13 6 years ago
  14. Patrick Garratt

    Not that I’m aware of.

    #14 6 years ago
  15. No_PUDding

    What… the….fuck……

    What offer was better than a boring panel with no Team ICo announcement?

    Oh… right!

    Well sucks for me, cus I’d still have loved to have read it live blogged, so I am gonna play some Rage Against the Machine, and pretend like Pat is ‘THE MAN’, and get all angry and shit. Everyone good with that?

    #15 6 years ago

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