How is it useless garbage, and how do you think PAX Dev will be better other than being run by Penny Arcade (who are admittedly a great bunch of people)?
That it coincides with PAX seems like a good deal.
"Then there's the double-barreled shotgun from Doom 2 - no-one within your entire household could be of any doubt that it's been fired because it sounds like God slamming a door on his fingers." - Yahtzee Croshaw
GDC is almost all filler. Pointless "rant sessions" from non-developers, a million "how to market your iPhone game" sessions, company PR masquerading as sessions. A lot of the sessions, even ones that should be technical inside-baseball stuff, seem catered to students, journalists or people without any real know-how. Even the most technical sessions I've attended adopt this attitude of "well let's keep this at a high level because half this audience isn't sophisticated enough for anything else."
The number of sessions that seriously talk about game design and development in a way that is useful to professionals seems to be getting lower every year. A lot of the use for GDC for devs is just getting people in one place so you can have side meetings.
PAX Dev has no press, which is already a huge step up. GDC has a lot of events that are more for press than for actual developers, and the inclusion of press has IMO a watering-down effect on everything. For lack of a better term it's become a lot less "hardcore" from when it first started.
I'm looking at the GDC 2011 schedule builder for Wednesday, isolated to design-related sessions, and it's pretty barebones. Lots of sponsored stuff, lots of touchy-feely retrospectives, lots of "look at the game we just released" disguised as design.
From what I understand GDC began as a small number of smart dudes getting together to genuinely talk about game design and development. These days a lot of it is just if you are releasing a game try to get someone on your team to do a session somehow related to it as promotion, or if you are a self-promoter make sure you have a GDC session every year so you remain relevant. It's a lot of PR and careerism.
My specific hopes: No marketing/PR talks, no Zynga, no Chris Hecker, no sponsored sessions.
vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.