GDC Packing List
Pretty much every year we travel to San Francisco to attend the Game Developers Conference. When you go there for the first time it can be overwhelming, but even if you’re a regular it’s easy to forget at least one thing you should have brought. So this year, for the benefit of ourselves and everyone else, I wrote down a packing list.
Business cards We usually order our cards at moo.com, where you can have several variations for the front of the card, while using the same back containing your info. This is a nice way to show off different visuals from your game. If you're unsure how many to order, err on the side of having too many than too few. You can always use them at another event.
Lock for hostel If you stay at one of the hostels, they will ask you at the reception if you need a lock for your personal locker. Of course you don’t, because this year you remembered to bring the one you bought last year!
Hostel International Membership Card If you are staying for around 10 nights, it’s usually worth it to get a yearly HI membership card that gives you a discount for your stay.
US SIM card If you’re coming to the US from abroad, having a US SIM card during GDC is a lifesaver. Yes, there’s Wi-fi at the conference, but that won’t help you in the event-packed evenings. Being able to figure out where your team mates are just by calling them without paying huge roaming fees alone makes it worth it. For 35 USD you can get 1GB of data and free+text voice for 14 days from Ready SIM. You can send the SIM directly to your hotel, but make sure the order is made under same name as your hotel reservation. If not, there's a risk the hotel will discard the letter with the SIM in it. Alternatively, just order it in time to your home address. Also make sure to turn of automatic app updates on your phone or you’ll burn through your data in less then a day.
Laptop Display Adapter I once had an important meeting where I was pitching our game in a meeting room with a really nice HD TV. Of course I didn’t bring my Display Adapter so I had to show it off to three people at the same time on my tiny MacBook 11”. Don’t make the same mistake. If you bring your laptop, always bring your adapter. (On a side note, you should always have one device with you where you can demo your game on. You never know who you will run into and when.)
Large Headphones You often might run into the situation where you want to demo the game in a really noisy environment. If you have large headphones with you, you can accommodate for that at least a little bit. For obvious reasons of courtesy, don’t offer your personal, used in-ear headphones to anyone.
US Power Adapter Buy this before your trip, or buy an overpriced one at the airport.Do you have a question or comment? Get in touch on Twitter.