Long before there was a Game Developers Conference, E3, Meltdown, Mojo Days, etc. there was Siggraph. You could expect to see the coolest, latest, and most memorable eye-popping stuff there. Siggraph was where academia, engineering, art, and implementation met in a week long frenzy of tutorials and lectures during the day, and partying, banquets, schmoozing and being schmoozed at night. It was (and remains) a bacchanalian graphics geek love fest where you can’t help but be impressed by some of the stuff folks are doing. My only complaint is that about 10 years ago Hollywood discovered that they could do really cool things with computer graphics and since then there’s been a very noticeable increase in the Hollywood-centric orbit of Siggraph, most notably plunking the thing in LA every other year. This year is slightly different – they managed to slide it down the coast to San Diego so at least there’ll be different things to do in those off-hours. If you’re in the area and you missed GDC, then sign-up for Siggraph this year! The courses are great, the Siggraph steering committee has been very interested in getting some input from and classes for game developers. Siggraph is still the big arena where graphics hardware and software announcements are made. It’s not as loud as E3, it’s less game-centric than GDC, and it’s got the coolest collection of art, demos, software, hardware, geeks and academics. It’s got day-care for the kids and an even ratio of white-haired professors to tattooed/pierced developers/artist to sharks in suits. At $US800 for the full conference pass it’s a relative bargain. Just attending the exhibition is much cheaper if you just want to see the latest from ATI, NVIDIA, 3DLabs, Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Softimage, etc. etc.. Siggraph 2003 – San Diego – July 27-31.
If you attend Siggraph, don’t miss the Game Developers BOF (Birds of a Feather) meeting, Monday, 28 July, 2 pm – 3 pm, Coronado Room @ San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina.