Stay Off My Lawn Post

Sorry to my handful of daily readers that I haven’t posted in a couple weeks. I took a trip out to GDC two weeks ago for the first time, which I might comment was one of the high points of my career thusfar. And I will detail that experience below. But the day after I returned to Orlando, I contracted what I will now call the GDisease after apparently the entire industry is suffering from some form of it. I lost the last week of my life. I really don’t remember much of it, but it involved a 103 fever and a lot of sleeping. Today is the first day I’ve had the energy to sit up and read Interweb.

One of the items I read today was that CMP is considering limiting the media passes sold next year. I met a ton of awesome people at GDC this year, but probably two-thirds of them were either media of some sort (and usually of publications I’ve never heard of) or students. The theme of the event was”Learn. Network. Inspire.” Now, it’s great that I provide advice and guidance for students and I don’t mind doing it (I met a lot of cool students), but the point of me going was to learn, network with and be inspired by other industry folks. I almost think there should be a separate GDC for students and recruiters.

At the end of Friday, I exited a great series of talks on designing for established IPs and designing unique minigames to see a line that snaked around the entire second floor of the Moscone. It was for the Portal Postmortem. As someone looking to introduce more iterative design and prototyping into my studio, it would have been a great talk to attend. But because the talk was open to everyone, there wasn’t a chance that an industry person that could actually apply the knowledge would get to see it without camping out and missing other sessions because there were a thousand people waiting in line simply because they liked Portal. So a sarcastic thanks to all the students and media hacks who took my space so they could write an article for their little website. Luckily that didn’t happen with the Bioshock postmortem, mostly because it wasn’t open to everyone but also because it had a larger auditorium. I was able to ask a question to Ken Levine that had been bugging me since I first played it.

It was a good idea to limit E3 because E3 was supposed to be a retailer event, not a press event. GDC is supposed to be an industry learning/networking event, not an E3 replacement. If you want a fan celebration, go to PAX.

Ok, time to take some more medicine, lay down and watch some hoops. Here’s a list of things I am going to post about soon, mostly as a reminder to me:

– There were some inspiring indie games on the show floor at GDC. I want to share them with you all because some of them are downloadable right now. Post forthcoming on that.

– Got to meet and talk with a lot of awesome people. Frank from area/code, Clint Hocking again, the guy who designed Puzzle Quest, the guy who wrote the dialogue for Sheogorath in Shivering Isles, former Tiburon exec John Schappert, etc. But there was a fantastic story regarding “Emotioneering” hack/author David Freeman that I simply cannot wait to gossip over. But I will, because I am tired.

– The Microsoft keynote at GDC was a bit surreal, especially the Gears 2 teaser. More on that later.

Bioshock director Ken Levine offered up a distinctively contradictory set of advice when compared to the writers from Oblivion that I haven’t seen compared online yet and I’d like to post that for readers to chew on.

– Lastly, I played a lot of Eternal Sonata while sick and I found something that I feel happens with Eastern developers quite often (especially in RPGs), but almost never happens in games from Western devs. More on that this week.

– Wait. That wasn’t last. Have you played Chocolatier 2? Quite possibly the best hardcasual game of all-time. And if you don’t know what that means, I’ll tell you.

Glad to be back. I plan on zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

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