It's all well and good that the entire games development industry is in San Francisco for a week; but if you can’t find firms that will help you release your game or expand your business, you’ve missed a prime opportunity.
With more than 300 exhibitors crammed into the Career Center, the Business Center, GDC Play, various pavilions and, of course, the main expo, it can be difficult to make the connections you need. Fortunately, Develop has made a rundown of just some of the companies you might want to arrange meetings with.
Booth 1238, GDC Expo
The world famous academy of games design is just one of several Scottish firms heading to San Francisco this year, informing more studios about the Dare to be Digital program and its increasingly global reach.
AESVI & Italian Trade Commission
Booth 702, GDC Expo
Italian trade body AESVI is once again teaming up with the government industry to help spread the word about Italy’s growing development scene. Studios represented include Bad Seed, Digital Tales, Forge Reply, MixedBag and Studio Evil.
Booth 836, GDC Expo
The tools firm behind audio software Wwise and SoundSeed will be on hand to demonstrate both its products and see how it can help more developers with their sound design needs. Wwise has most recently been used in Elite: Dangerous and Peggle 2.
Booth CC2420, Careers Center
The Alien: Isolation and Total War developer is taking its recruitment drive stateside with a stand in the GDC Career Center. The studio will also be running several presentations during the conference, and showcasing its upcoming free-to-play title Total War Battles: Kingdom.
Booth 1424, GDC Expo
Last year, the Crysis developer showed off the latest advances for its high-end CryEngine and launched a new subscription model, allowing developers of all sizes to access their technology for just £6.99 per month. Expect more CryEngine updates during the event this year.
Booth 115, GDC Expo
Celebrating its 12th year in business, Scotland-based Dimensional Imaging is one of the leading players in the field of performance capture. The firm will be showing off its latest technology, including the DI4D Head Mounted Camera, used in Remedy’s upcoming Quantum Break.
Booth 1024, GDC Expo
After successfully launching Unreal Engine 4 and its new subscription model at GDC 2014, Epic Games will once again be demonstrating its high-end game development engine. It will even be showing off demos created by members of the Unreal Engine community.
Booth 624, GDC Expo
The Australian creators of FMOD, one of the industry’s most widely-used audio tools, will be available to discuss the merits of using its software in your games. Having been used in Xbox’s Forza series and Supergiant’s Transistor, FMOD is useful for studios of all sizes.
Booth BS2622, Business Center
The ARM-owned company behind the Enlighten tool will once again be seeking to make new connections with developers and show off the capabilities of its middleware. Geomerics will also present a talk on global illumination using Enlighten on Wednesday, March 4th.
Booth 502, GDC Expo
While the company may be taking a step back from its wearable Glass experiment, the internet giant will still be on hand to discuss how games developers can make money with their titles on Google Play. The firm is also hosting a full Developer Day on Monday, March 2nd.
Booth 101, GDC Expo
Belgian middleware provider Graphine Software specialises in texture streaming and compression technology with its specialised Granite tool that minimises memory usage, storage size and loading teams in games for any platform. You can head to their booth to see the technology in action.
Booth BMR2822, Business Center
Middleware giant Havok will be showing off major enhancements to its widely used Physics, Destruction and Cloth tools, as well as brand new technology during GDC. The company has teased that the new tech will enable devs to make purely visual effects fully interactive.
Booth 1142, GDC Expo
The firm behind the PowerVR technology will once again be showing off the high quality graphics enabled by its hardware, which can be found in a wide variety of devices. The company is also hosting a full day of sessions on Tuesday, March 3rd as one of the sponsored developer days.
Booth 1744, GDC Expo
Following a string of acquisitions over the past year, the ever-growing Keyworlds Studios will be on hand to discuss the wide variety of services it can offer developers and other games firms, from QA and localisation to art outsourcing and audio production.
Booth 930, GDC Expo
The cross-platform tools specialist will be heading to San Francisco in search of even more development partners, whether they’re small indie devs or larger studio organisations, with the promise of helping games makers bring their titles to multiple platforms as smoothly as possible.
Booth BS2522, Business Center
With Windows 10, Xbox One and much more to talk about, there will be plenty of eyes on Microsoft this year. The corporation will be in the Business Center to discuss potential partnerships, while the conference is littered with talks about developing across Microsoft’s various platforms.
Booth 310, GDC Expo
Continuing to showcase its end-to-end character animation pipepline, Mixamo is looking to meet any potential customers that want to improve the way they create 3D characters, whether that’s in games, animation or film.
Booths BMR2732, 2738 & 2742, Business Center
Historically guarded when it comes to working with indie developers, Nintendo is now much more open to helping the newest games makers bring their titles to its platforms. The console giant will be particularly keen to discuss the opportunities afforded by the eShop.
Booth 1224, GDC Expo
Another chance to get hands-on with the most talked about technology in video games development. The pioneering virtual reality firm will bring along the latest prototypes of both the Rift and Gear VR, as well as hosting a series of talks on VR rendering, 3D spatialised audio and more.
Booth 632, GDC Expo
The award-winning creator of version management and collaboration software will be in San Francisco to tell developers how its tools can help improve their efficiency. Established Perforce clients include Ubisoft, CCP, EA and ArenaNet.
Booth TTW06, Summit Tabletops
A venture capital firm dedicated to helping devs stand out in the competitive mobile games market, Pollen VC is keen to demonstrate to studios that they don’t have to remortgage their houses to release a game. The firm is also hosting a talk on Tuesday, March 3rd.
RAD Game Tools
Booth 724, GDC Expo
Best known for its Bink 2 video codec, middleware firm RAD Game Tools will be available to discuss its entire portfolio of products, which includes Oodle Network and Data Compression, the Telemetry profiler, animation suite Granny 3D, UI creator Iggy and the Miles Sound System 9.
Booth 316, GDC Expo
The Japanese developer and middleware firm will be showcasing the latest improvements to open source engine Paradox, post-processing tool Yebis and new rendering engine Mizuchi. Head to page 54 to find out more.
Booth 410, GDC Expo
Tools creator Simplygon will not only be showing Game Developers Conference attendees its optimisation and level of detail middleware on the expo floor, it will also do so as part of the conference. Simplygon has partnered with Telltale and Platinum Games for talks on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
Booth 2024, GDC Expo
Owned by electronics giant IBM, SoftLayer specialises in integrating cloud computing into apps and handling the more complicated aspects of this technology on behalf of developers. Head over to their booth to find out how their services can help your game.
Sony Computer Entertainment America
Booth 1202, GDC Expo
Last year, PlayStation revealed Project Morpheus: its very own virtual reality headset. While the device is sure to be back on the expo floor, giving developers a chance to try out the device for themselves, there’s bound to be a few more surprises from the platform holder.
Booth PL3, GDC Play
One of the UK’s most successful work-for-hire studios, Sumo Digital is heading to San Francisco fresh from the success of LittleBigPlanet 3 and co-developing Forza Horizon 2. The company will be looking for new development opportunities.
Booth 1916, GDC Expo
Trade body UKIE will once again be hosting the UK games industry stand at GDC, which will be the home of numerous British companies seeking new partnerships. Attending firms this year include: Audiomotion, BigBit, Billy Goat Entertainment, Celtic Productions, Centroid 3D, Cubic Motion, deltaDNA, Fat Pebble, Freedman International, GameBench, GLITCHE.RS, Green Man Gaming, Iglu Media, Inlifesize, Italic Pig, Marshmallow Entertainment, MIDAS, Milky Tea, Multiplay, Next Gen Skills Academy, Northern Ireland Screen, Oysterworld, Pineapple Software, Playground Games, Quick Hands Ltd, Rantmedia Games, Stafford Bawler, Sugar Creative Studio, Troll Inc, Vi-Ability Educational Programme, Wales Interactive, Welsh Creative Industries, West Coast Software Ltd, Winged Monkeys, and YoYo Games.
Booth 1402, GDC Expo
With Unity 5 on the way, expect plenty of news from one of the top game engines. As well as showcasing the latest titles to use its tech, Unity will also be hosting a developer day and press conference on Tuesday, March 3rd.
Booths 1602 & 1702, GDC Expo
The mysterious PC developer and creator of Steam has promised it will have a larger-than-usual presence at GDC 2015, not only releasing more details on the long-awaited Steam Machines, but also teaming up with Unity, Epic, EA and Oxide to discuss the next generation of OpenGL.
Booth 731, GDC Expo
The QA firm will be on hand to discuss its comprehensive services, from in-house testing to global beta testing and localisation. VMC is keen to meet any publishers and devs who require support with their games.
Don't forget, the March issue of Develop will be on the show floor all week, giving you the chance to get your company in front of thousands of GDC attendees.
And if you want to meet up with our Deputy Editor Craig Chapple at the show, email email@example.com.