My goodness, last week was insane.
I was fortunate to have a company very close by with a very understanding boss who let me volunteer at the GDC and work my regular work week without taking time off, but this left much less time than I thought to upload the pictures taken and write about them!
As always, I had a fantastic time in the volunteer program. I would highly recommend the GDC Conference Associate program for you folks out there that want to get into the games industry, already work in it, or are just plain interested in games, that like warm, close-knit family atmospheres and occasionally going entire weeks without sleep.
I have uploaded the photos that Bia and I took on our Puzzle Pirates flickr, here. There are photos of the Independent Games Festival (where Bang! Howdy won a $2500 prize for Technical Excellence) and of the big MetaSOY talk that everybody's all a-twitter about.
Actually the talk wasn't that big. They put us in a room that was quite literally half the size of the room that we packed full last year (really, we packed it. we had the fire marshalls coming 'round and speaking to us.) for some reason. Perhaps they ran out of rooms for sessions. Bia and Hermes did a fine job of calming down the angry folks outside that couldn't get in, though!
Since they've rather radically changed E3 lately, we saw a lot of press releases and big announcements being made at GDC this year. Some folks said that the expo floor was much more E3-ish, but it didn't seem too flashy at all, when I went to have a look. There was a stall that had certified booth babes thoough, in the form of lovely young ladies in tight black dresses, full makeup, and very high spiky black heels. I'd never seen that before! But all in all, it was no more decadent than I thought it was last year, when I was serenaded by a dancing white ape who blew kisses and gave me boxer shorts for trying out his casual games. I should call him...
By now you all should have heard the news that our good cap'n released: our third project and game, Whirled is here! I am immensely excited. I'd heard a little bit about the plan a few years ago when I spoke to Cleaver at the Austin Game Conference, and seeing it come to fruition and seeing our small and extremely talented core of pre-alpha testers making all sorts of exciting and wonderful things that surprise me every time I log in has me bubbling in my seat.
We've used a lot of technology from Puzzle Pirates and Bang! Howdy in Whirled, so one of the things I noticed while taking a peek around is that the slash commands and the chat filters are the same! I hope that it will also give our Puzzle Pirates players a familiar and homeish feeling when they join.
Ah, if only I had all of that spare time I had back when I was a university student bored out of my skull instead of spending a lot of my time here at work, eh? ;)
The early press about Whirled (which is going to be MetaSOY in my mind for quite some time; I can't seem to get adjusted to the name) is very positive. We've been slashdotted, written up on GameSpot, quoted on the BBC, and there's a fantastic write-up that the Cap'n linked to in his blog on Wonderland.
Tomorrow I will be uploading and writing about what followed the GDC, namely, the Three Rings post-party bash. It was the stuff of legends. It was fantastic. There will be songs written. They will be drunken songs and probably won't make much sense, but we'll take what we can get. More tomorrow!