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Video: 'Hothead developers' rant at GDC 2013
May 6, 2013 | By GDC Vault Staff

May 6, 2013 | By GDC Vault Staff
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, Video

The tradition of developer rants at GDC continues, with 2013's edition including OUYA head of developer relations Kellee Santiago, Eidos turned indie dev Anna Marsh, and Chris Hecker sharing what they feel is wrong with the industry.

Courtesy of the GDC Vault, this free, hour-long panel shows Santiago suggesting a Renaissance-like approach to help better and richer games to be made by people who could otherwise not afford to do so. Lady Shotgun's Marsh encourages more pre-production efforts to avoid crunch and says developers should experience life outside games to avoid otherwise incestuous ideas.

For all the hothead rants, including Chris Hecker's now famous wordless rant, check out the free video above.

Session Name: Mad as Hell: Hothead Developers Rant Back

Speaker(s): Eric Zimmerman, Margaret Robertson, Anna Anthropy, Jason Della Rocca, Kellee Santiago, Anna Marsh, Naomi Clark, Mitu Khandaker, Karen Sideman

Company Name(s): Independent, Hide&Seek, Auntie Pixelante, Execution Labs (Moderator), Independent Developer, Lady Shotgun, Brooklyn Game Ensemble, The Tiniest Shark, GameLike

Track / Format: Design

Overview: Each year the rant session brings together a panel of game developers to b*#%h about whatever the hell they want. In the past, we've heard from angry game publishers and pissed-off game journalists. This year we will blow the doors off the hinges with a panel of the angriest game developer hotheads we could find. So get ready to be schooled in what is truly f@$ked up about our industry. Cutting through the clutter of polite industry chit-chat, the rant session takes on the issues that matter to developers in a no-holds-barred format.

Fasten your seat belts, and prepare for strong opinions from some of the game industry's most distinguished and dissatisfied game developers. The invited panelists will be given free reign. You have been warned. Co-hosted by Jason Della Roca and Eric Zimmerman, the rant session is about identifying solutions as well as problems. The audience will have a chance to respond to the rants and join in the discussion. Topics will address issues of concrete importance to the game industry. And we may catch a glimpse of a better future for us all.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent GDC events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC China already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscriptions via a GDC Vault inquiry form.

Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can find out more here. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins.

Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more new content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from other events like GDC China and GDC 2013. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.

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Ramin Shokrizade
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What do I need to do to be at that table next year? :)

Ramin Shokrizade
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I just spent the weekend evaluating Marvel Superheroes, a game that is a lot of fun, represents one of my all time favorite franchises, and I have a friend that plays it. Right now I have a lot of money thanks to having helped a number of companies recently with their monetization models, so I am just looking for an excuse to spend it on a great game. So I thought maybe this was my opportunity.

The problem is that I self identify as a female gamer ( So I want to play a female superhero, or Dr. Strange if he is available (he is not). Looking at the "Premium Packs" selling for $60 I can't help but notice that of the 101 hero/costume combinations being sold, there are 8 costumes for female heroes and 93 for male heroes. Is this because women are not as into clothes as men? Is it because there are just a handful of women that play games? (47+% of gamers are women). Is it because women don't have money for games? (they do)

Not a single Premium pack for sale that is all female. Is this because Disney controls the Marvel franchise now? Someone please explain to me why this company does not want my money?

My rant for the day.

Dave Breadner
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I came looking for rants from the people responsible for DeathSpank and Penny Arcade 1 & 2.

I left happy, anyways. :D

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Patrick Roeder
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Is it just me or are all the developers on stage women (sans the initial two males presenting them.) Maybe there was a theme after all. Nah women in industry hasn't been a hot topic lately...

Kris Graft
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I haven't seen the session since I was actually at GDC, but Chris Hecker went up there with his wordless rant, so there was at least one guy who I recall (there wasn't enough room on stage).

Aside from that, the topics covered in the session went beyond gender-related issues. The speakers just happened to be mostly women.

Jacek Wesolowski
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I was at that session. Not all speakers were female, but they were in strong majority, yes.

Compare this to the rest of the conference. My schedule was as packed as possible without me being in two places at the same time, and of all the sessions that I attended only three had female speakers. On top of that, none of those spoke alone - in all three cases there was at least one another speaker who was male.
(note: I didn't attend any sessions aimed at gender issues specifically)

For all I know, this could be just a coincidence, but it did feel strange, since there were lots of female participants asking questions during Q&A.

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Your post unwittingly reveals why this is such an issue.

I.e. if there had been a majority male developers and they said "there is no theme to the speakers" I doubt you would even have questioned it. Not saying anything against you, but basically "female developer" is not a category, in the same way "female american novelist" isn't either.