- Probably the least reported-on event by the media at this year's Game Developer's Conference was the 'Gangs Of GDC' real-life game, created by NY game developer Gamelab (Diner Dash, Arcadia), and described by them as "the world’s first... massively multiplayer mobile phone fighting game or MMMPFG" - so we got them to write a postmortem of it for Gamasutra.

Co-creators Gregory Trefry and Mattia Romeo explain the general notion in the intro: "The theme was that rival gangs such as the Match Three Boyz and the MMOFOs are vying for control of the GDC by fighting over three neighborhoods scattered throughout the conference center. Each neighborhood consisted of a large flat-screen display set up in a high traffic area of the conference showing a grid of nine blocks."

Continuing: "Players would dial up a number [using their cellphone] displayed on the TV, and be immediately placed on one of the blocks where they would either fight any rivals that were on the block or else flip the block over to their gang’s control. When fights occurred players resolved them through a simple rock-paper-scissors game... every five minutes each neighborhood would be scored and the gang that controlled the most blocks in a neighborhood would gain points for each block they controlled."

It's a really neat idea, and as always, I definitely appreciate the effort the Gamelab folks put in, in order to "...provide our fellow developers with a chance to interact with each other while diverting themselves from the whirlwind of activity that is the GDC." A lot of people are likely too busy to even play, but I know that those who do really get into it, and it's another part of the slightly eclectic GDC flavor, I reckon.