Depends. If you have lots of money, get the Giga Pass. If you do not want to spend that much, get the Audio pass. If you really want to save money, get the Expo pass. Save even more by getting passes early.
Firstly, what do you want to get out of GDC?
- Contacts / Exposure
- Learning more about game industry tools and techniques
- Job Market?
- Allows access to audio sessions and expo floor
- good if you want to meet people both in your field and others
- Can not attend other non-audio sessions.
- Expo floor access - job markets
- get to visit expo floor
- access to job markets
- Expensive but you can pretty much have free roam except the mobile sessions.
- Access to all sessions both mobile and other
- Access to Expo Floor
First 2 years I went on Audio Plus pass. This year I was given a mobile plus.
GDC is back in San Jose this year. Even though it's a bit of a hole, the location is good for GDC. Things are easy to get to, people know where everything is. SanFran GDC I felt it was turned upside down, small rooms for large amounts of people, large rooms for small crowds, things too far from each other.
If you're going, consider sharing a room with someone. Plenty of motels/hotels for all budgets in SJ.