The calm before the storm

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Above is an image I took this morning at the Gaylord Texan Convention Center — home of this year’s QuakeCon. Overnight, thousands of folks set for the event’s BYOC (that’s “bring your own computer”).

Down below is a similar picture I took while setting up the Bethesda Softworks’ booth late in the afternoon yesterday — so you can see how quickly things get in gear.

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In short time (about one hour from now),the BYOC will be open for everyone for the largest LAN event in North America. Stay tuned for more from QuakeCon!

Live-blogging from IGDA

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This week in San Francicso, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is hosting a leadership forum for advancing game production and management. In addition to having a keynote speech from Red-Sox-Pitcher-turned- MMO-Guy, Curt Schilling, our very own senior programmer, Brett Douville, is at the forum and will be live-blogging the following sessions today:

2:45pm – Myths of Scrum
4:15pm – Managing an Engineering Community
5:30pm – Being a Pioneer: Staying Passionate

Keep in mind the event is on the west coast, so those times are PST. Have fun Brett!

More Penny Arcade Goodness

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It’s Wednesday again, and while I probably don’t need to remind you there’s a new Penny Arcade comic on the Fallout 3 Official Site, I want to make sure it’s etched in your brain. 

Speaking of Penny Arcade, PAX is this week, and we’re helping put together a Post-Apocalyptic movie night. If you plan on attending, it’s not too late to vote for the movies that will be screened on Saturday night. Currently 12 Monkeys and The Road Warrior are the front runners. Voting will continue through today.

Stay tuned for more PAX details…

Vault Boy keychain from Game Crazy

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Greetings from Las Vegas! Before heading off to PAX, I’m here at the Game Crazy 2008 National Sales Conference at Mandalay Bay. I always get a kick out of conventions in this town because you get a mix of different crowds from different industries all in Sin City for their respective jobs. Last time I was here it was all about weddings and crazy outfits for pets. This time I’m seeing a good mix of gamers, golfers, and ummm…adult entertainers.

Anyways, I’m here showing the game to managers from all the different Game Crazy stores. So far, it’s been fun to see how enthusiastic and excited they are about the game. It’s starting to hit me how how close we are to releasing the game. Exciting times.

Speaking of Game Crazy, I thought I’d share this pic of the Vault Boy keychain that you can get when you pre-order the game. It’s an in-store promotion, and you’ll get the keychain when you pick up the game.

What we’re playing: Off to GDC!

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Starting on Monday, the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) kicks off in San Francisco. The week-long event is a chance for game development industry to get together and attend meetings, panels and keynote speeches. Since a lot of guys in the biz know each other, it’s also an opportunity for catching up and having fun. Thus far, I know two of our Ryans, Ashford and Salvatore, will be attending the event…as you’ll see they’re already planning the DS games they’ll be packing. For more info on GDC, take a look at the official website.

On with the list…

Ryan Ashford, QA Engineer: Playing Phantom Hourglass on my flight to San Fran for GDC!

Ryan Salvatore, GDC-bound: Advance Wars DS, LoZ Phantom Hourglass, New Super Mario Bros.

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On the Road…again

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So I’m back out on the road for the first of two trips over the next three weeks following up with folks who didn’t get a chance to see Fallout 3 at E3 or Leipzig. We really aren’t doing it for more coverage, but to make sure folks at different sites and publications have had a chance to see it. Often times a given publication may only have one or two folks come by to see the demo during a trade show like E3, which is fine for the purpose of a particular preview or article. However, as you go forward you work with a variety of folks on feature articles, stories, and so forth, and it’s important for them to have seen the game for themselves. So this week I’m in San Fran to see a number of folks.

James Mielke over at 1Up put up a post on his blog talking about seeing the Fallout demo for the first time. Here’s an excerpt from his post:

Being the busy bee that I am, I don’t usually get to play too many games at E3, and that being the case, I definitely didn’t get to see Bethesda‘s stunning Fallout 3 in action. Well, today Bethesda’s VP of PR came through the offices and gave us a very articulate walkthrough of the new game’s features and mechanics. I asked a lot of questions and got a lot of answers, and as someone who has had a hard time getting into Oblivion, I have to say, Fallout 3 really blew me away.

Read the rest of James’ thoughts at his blog at 1Up. In addition, I did a podcast session with the boys at IGN this afternoon that is now available should you have any desire to listen to that sort of thing. You can find it here.

What I learned going to TGS

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So I’m back from a weeklong trip to Tokyo and the Tokyo Game Show, my first trip there. Folks have been asking how the trip was so I thought I’d recap. I went down to meet with a few different folks and mostly to talk to the press about Oblivion, as it just came out there not too long ago for 360 and comes out on PS3 this Thursday.

The press folks were extremely nice and all went out of their way to talk about how much they liked Oblivion, how different it was than Japanese RPGs, asked lots of “how did you do this” questions, it was fun. Doing interviews via a translator (my Japanese is limited to anything mentioned in a Styx song) is always a bit trying as every question and answer gets repeated in both languages and can be pretty time-consuming, but Tetsu (our guy from Oblivion’s publisher in Japan, Spike) and I have done this a couple times now so I’m getting comfortable with it. Plus, when you get asked the same questions over and over, it gets to a point where he could pretty much give the answer without even asking me. We did a live interview on the show floor with Famitsu on Saturday, the first day the public can show up.

And let me tell you, show up they do. It’s like a big concert just got out and ran smack into Halloween. People crammed in everywhere, waiting in long lines for a chance to have a hands-on experience with their favorite upcoming game. The image at the top, which I borrowed from the boys at Kotaku, gives a pretty good idea of what the show floor looks like. Not everywhere mind you, but in enough places that it’s still pretty impressive, and daunting.

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Going GameCrazy in Vegas

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You may have noticed that I hadn’t posted anything new on the blog for a few days. I was out in Las Vegas for a GameCrazy retail event. The event pulls together folks from their stores around the country, and gives them an opportunity to take a look at what game companies have coming out.

Above is our booth from the event. There was some initial panic on my end because it took awhile for our monitors to arrive, and when they did, I realized they didn’t have any speakers. Thankfully, everything came together before the show started.

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