1- When I started working here, it was a bit of a awestruck moment for me. The big time. One of the most popular studios in the world (unless you only gauge enthusiast opinion). I would meet people – people who got things done – and try to commit their names and faces to memory. I eventually knew a lot of people, yet few people knew me.
Three years later, I am periodically reminded that the situation is now reversed. I do what I can to help lots of teams, so I have great visibility in a large company. As it is, I run into people in the halls that say “Hey, Zack” and I have no idea who they are. I’ve never had to deal with that before. Is that inevitable?
2 – I got GTA4 working last night (inexplicably) and played about two and a half hours – long enough to get to the first plot point. You may heard of Tom Chick; he is one of the best games journalists out there. His points on GTA resonate with me perfectly and I am frankly shocked that he is alone outside the GTA4 lovefest.
I suppose I need to stop approaching critically acclaimed games as if they would be my new “favorite thing ever”. I did it with Halo 3 and was disappointed. I did it with Bioshock and was disappointed (although in time, I’ve grown on it). I did it with Assassin’s Creed and was disappointed. I did it with Mass Effect and was super disappointed. Actually, the only oh-my-God-this-is-gonna-be-the-best-thing-ever product that panned out was Rock Band.
I blame reviewers for setting my expectations so high. It’s certainly in the publishers best interests for that to happen, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the media works for the publisher’s best interests rather than the consumer’s. If GTA4 had been getting 8.5-9.0s which is what the first few hours deserve (it may get better, I hope), then perhaps my expectations would have been tempered.