The annual Games Developers Conference (GDC) in California gives me rather mixed feelings these days. Essentially it has become two entirely different events that occur at the same time.

At the front we have the strident, chaotic E3-like whirlwind of PR people, demos, announcements and interviews – everything that the GDC was created to avoid.

At the back, we’ve got the actual games developers actually talking about games development. That’s actually really the interesting stuff.

Paradoxically, it’s also the stuff you’ll hear the least about. In fact, the games developers could move out of GDC and go get their own conference (again), and few people would really notice, and it wouldn’t even affect the increasingly-visible parts of the show.

That the stars and namesakes of GDC could seem to be taking last place at their own event is sad, but given the nature of the games industry and games publishers is hardly surprising.