Advice to New RDC Attendees (RDC2019)

rdc
advice
#1

Hey everyone! It’s that time of the year when invites to Roblox Developers Conference go out. Some of you have been before, some of you have not. I’ve been to RDC 2017 and RDC 2018, and I thought I’d drop a topic with some advice for you RDC noobs. Feel free to listen to this advice (or not) and if you have attended RDC before and think something should be mentioned that I didn’t, feel free to drop it in a reply below! Let’s begin.

DON’T DRINK THE BOTTLE OF WATER IN THE HOTEL ROOM BECAUSE IT’S NOT FREE AND THEY WILL CHARGE YOU FOR IT

Money
A big question whenever you travel is “How much money should I bring?” Well, you’re not going to need too much spending money while you’re at the conference. Roblox provides attendees with a plethora of snacks, food, and drinks all throughout the conference. At both conferences, snacks and food were provided at the welcome party (first night), as well as breakfast the following two mornings, lunch the following two days, and a plethora of snacks throughout the conference. Last year, there was a pizza dinner as well the second night. During the game jam, there’s tons of food provided so don’t fret about that. The only money you’ll use to spend on food would be if you wanted to grab any extra food/drinks or souvenirs during your time at the conference. As far as how much money you should plan on bringing, that’s really all up to you and how long you’ll be staying. Keep in mind it’s the bay area so things will be a tad bit expensive. Bring anywhere from $50-$100 per day you plan on staying (but don’t bring it all in cash) just to err on the side of caution (you never know what’s going to happen).

Electronics
Let’s be honest here, the conference is going to last for a few days - don’t bring your whole setup. If you don’t already own one, invest in a laptop (or even an iPad) so you can jot down some notes, play games, and develop while you’re at the conference. BRING YOUR CHARGERS. Bring/invest in a mouse for your laptop, especially if you plan on participating in the game jam. Unless you want to carry around an entire Best Buy store in your backpack, the only things you’ll really want to have will be the laptop/iPad, mouse, phone, smart watch, and headphones.

BRING A PORTABLE PHONE CHARGER because the last thing you want is a dead phone and no means of transportation, money, information, etc.

Be Social
This is the time to have fun! Everyone at the conference is there for the same reason - to celebrate the platform, see where it’s going, and to connect with other developers. Put yourself out there and make some new friends! At the welcome party, there’s so many things to do and so many games to play! Do you recognize one of your favorite developers? Go up and say hi! I don’t know any developers who don’t like to hear that you enjoy their game. Go to the pool sometimes, there’s bound to be a few developers hanging out there in the evening! Most of the time, groups of people tend to go out for dinner on one of the nights, so try to find some people to go with! You’ll regret not spending more time with people while you were there!

Things to Do Post-Conference
There’s a lot. Google “Things to do in San Francisco”. Get some friends together and make some plans to go sight seeing and whatnot. Last year, a group of us went hiking in Muir Woods (group photo here), some of us visited Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, and I visited a zoo with a friend. Oh, and try to visit the Roblox HQ while you’re in town!!!

I can’t really think of anything more to say, so as I stated above, if you’ve been to RDC in the past please feel free to drop some advice below for the RDC noobs. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you guys at RDC 2019!

41 Likes
#2

I want to see someone actually attempt this, great advice overall. I want to add, bring comfortable shoes, they have seats but any time your out somewhere like this and you do have to walk or want to roam around or plan on doing other things through-out it’s a must.

13 Likes
#3

Didn’t you see the guy who brought his entire setup last year?

6 Likes
#4

I’d like to add to the socializing bit. Feel free to walk up to a favorite developer, and talk to them. Do not however walk up, ask for a selfie / autograph & walk away. We’re all going to RDC for the same reason. To communicate with people and talk about the things we love (namely Roblox). You should never have a moment where you’re just sitting on your phone / laptop doing absolutely nothing, if you actually want to talk to people. There is always someone wanting to talk. And throw yourself into situations. If someone invites you to something, go for it! You never know what you might end up with. (Like for example, how I managed to get into an Uber with Dued1 or wound up at Sharskie’s house.)

At the very least, even if it’s not the best case scenario, you’ll likely make a nice story out of it all. :slight_smile:

4 Likes
#5

Is there a group visit to the HQ or something of the sort?

2 Likes
#6

Last year they had a sign up form for Thursday and Friday HQ tours that you could attend, so yes.

1 Like
#7

One word: talk.

Went the last 3 years and won’t be going this year, but there is a huge difference between you being social and stepping out of your comfort zone for this once-a-year event than you keeping to yourself and your few friends because you might not be comfortable with people. My first year I kept to myself and talked to a few friends I knew, mostly interacting with nobody else other than a few staff members, at least during the party anyway. But the last two years I tried to talk to more people I recognized and more people I didn’t to try and get to know everyone better. I met some amazing people, and definitely had a better time than when I kept to myself. Everyone is there for the same thing you are, you’ll have something to talk about.

12 Likes
#8

Yeah, especially to get to the elevator since there is only 1 in the whole hotel :grimacing:

#9

Some more advice is DO NOT LIVESTREAM DURING THE CONFERENCE, this is coming from someone who the majority of their living comes from live-streaming. I didn’t know this in 2017, especially cause I was only 13, but it is not only really annoying for the majority of developers but also some people don’t want their face to be seen. Now technically anyone who’s at the conference signed a contract to agree that their face could be shown on video and such, but I just wouldn’t do that.

Of course, I can not control what other people do, but I’m just highly advising against it.

15 Likes
#10

First time/nervous flyers out there:
Don’t sweat it. Millions of people fly every single day, it’s nothing to worry about.
Make sure you are 100% sure about your flight number, the gate it’s leaving from, and the time it departs. For international flights you’ll want to arrive at the airport probably at least 2 hours early. Domestic flights at the very least should arrive an hour+ early.
Try to get a window seat if you can pick. Especially if you’re flying during daylight, good pictures are awesome.

Domestic US flyers do NOT need a passport. All you need is a drivers license or other form of state issued ID.
Don’t check bags if you can avoid it. Try to pack everything you’d need in a carryon or two and make sure to check your airline’s policy on bags. Checking bags adds an unnecessary step and extra wait time when you arrive at your destination.

When you arrive in San Fran, there is a shuttle that runs from the airport to the hotel for free. Find it :slight_smile:

5 Likes
#11

The sushi place across from the hotel is amazing, go there, eat your favorite rolls. You’ll thank me later.

9 Likes
#12

I’d like to reiterate about the costs of things when you’re not at the RDC hotel. If you’re planning your budget for doing things outside of RDC, especially eating, prepare to pay at LEAST double what you pay for things normally depending on what state you’re from.

There’s a reason Californians depend on in-n-out so much, it’s one of the only places where the prices aren’t double or triple what food normally costs. Pizza is one of the worst offenders and you’ll easily spend 15-25 dollars on a single large pizza at most places (ESPECIALLY IF YOU DO DELIVERY). Sitting down at a chain restaurant (not fast food)? Be ready to spend at least 25 dollars.

2 Likes
#13

If you plan on using your laptop anywhere other than the tables in the ballroom, bring a mousepad as well.

Some other notes:

  • There is an ice cream place nearby that closes kinda early. The only other one is 20 minutes away. Plan carefully.
  • Bring your own power strip-despite the ones already there, we ran out of room at our table last year. Just… don’t draw too much power while you’re at it.
  • The wi-fi is terrible because there are a thousand devices watching the Twitch stream at any one time. I don’t know how you can prepare for that since using my mobile hotspot wasn’t much better… Just download what you’ll need beforehand, I guess.
#14

Nearby! pfft! haha. That was a walk and a half last year.

Anyway, here are my personal suggestions

Some stuff about Security, for the paranoid of you:

  • Get a spare keycard. The keycards at the Hyatt suck, and you’ll probably lose it at least once if you’re anything like me.

  • Don’t keep your keycard near your phone. This will wipe it as they’re really cheap.

  • USE UBER / LYFT. Don’t try to walk your way from Burlingame (hotel) to San Mateo, and for the love of god don’t hitchhike. Make sure you have Uber / Lyft as I can assure you that those apps will be your saviours.

  • If you aren’t from the US, make sure your SIM will work with at least emergency cell coverage in the US. Mine didn’t by default last year, causing all kinds of conundrums.

  • Travel in groups of 2+ (don’t go out alone) - I know it sounds silly, but if you aren’t from SFO / The US, then the last thing you want is to be without any money or phone battery in the middle of a field somewhere. I was in a situation when I was in a Wendys in a fairly bad part of San Mateo with no signal.

Plus…

  • Remember stuff is real life - Roblox beef isn’t fun IRL, so leave it at the door and just chill with some other like-minded techy folk. Also counts for causing ruckus at the conference. Heckling = kick out.

  • …anyway with the boring stuff over. Bring Nerf Guns! It’s almost a tradition at this point that we have some sort of nerf fight. It’s only fun if a ton of people bring them though.

  • Check out the RDC Discord / this category frequently to look for new opportunities. Last year, we went to Muir Woods, HQ Tours, some people went racing (@GeorgeTheDev) , and all kinds of really fun stuff!

  • Think of as many questions you want to ask before you come. I can promise you, that the best responses you’ll get to any of your questions will be from staff there, either formally in Q&As, or if you want to ask more directly, just go up to an employee!

  • Keep all of your ticket / booking / roblox info with you handy (perhaps on your phone). You don’t know when it’ll come up handy. Example, last year you had to quote your ticket number to get your badge / tag.

Oh, and I forgot to add. Be social. You will waste 3 days of your life if you don’t go out of your way to do everything you possibly can - I can promise you that now. It doesn’t matter if you’re naturally introverted, because so are 90% of the people around you. But you’re there, more than anything, to network and socialise. Don’t shy out of opportunities that come your way - grasp at them, otherwise I can tell you now that you’ll come back from the conference hoping you had done more. Trust me from that on personal experience from my 2017 RDC adventure.

10 Likes
#15

I will say. I’m down to go to K1 again but someone else can bear the hassle of setting up the event. Last year, someone didn’t pay, so as the event organizer I had to pay for them. :sweat:

1 Like
#16

This depends on the state I think. Not sure if I’m affect yet but I know New York was looking into passports mandatory to fly in the US.

#17

There was like 6-8 elevators? What?

#18

That was primarily 2016 I believe

2 Likes
#19

What hotel were you in? I went through quite a lot of different elevators the entire time. (Pretty sure when you enter the little elevator area there were two on each side)

#20

I could only IMAGINE how awkward it would be if you did drink it without knowing its not free and at the end of the trip your charged money for it. It would be even more awkward if you did drink a lot!

1 Like