The E3 Blitz...
E3 and GDC are two important conferences for me every year. They recharge me (in completely different ways) and keep me driven even after over a decade of the crazy schedules that are game development.
GDC time and time again has me leaving excited to work. I see what people have done, what people are doing, and I feel inspired. The flood of ideas come every year, and it's usually when new ideas get pitched most around the office. E3 on the other hand isn't about inspiration, but about the love. It's where I see the sights and sounds and craziness that is this HUGE game industry we're a part of (even as indies), and reminds me what I do what I do: I love games.
Now, this being my 9th E3 (give or take one...) I've seen quite a bit...numerous console announcements and releases, and endless (truly endless) hordes of gamers rushing to see what's coming soon. The almost celebrity status of certain companies (and being ANYONE in that company endows a portion of that status on you as well), and just the pure love of it all.
So all of that being said...what was this year like?
Oh god the lines...the LINES!!! They were everywhere. 3 hours to see (or in my case, told you couldn't see) Battlefield 3. Then 4 hours to see (and spend 10 minutes with) the Wii U. Lines were everywhere this year, and I wasn't the only person to notice.
The Wii U: Too soon
Really that's about all I can think to say about it...the demos were nothing that were mind-blowing or impossible. That's not to say the potential isn't there but I don't think it was ready-enough to really show. The games all looked like Wii games (with the only exceptions being the slightly controllable tech demos where you could just change camera angle a bit) and there just wasn't enough there. I have high hopes for Nintendo and really want it to work out (they seem to make money regardless though...)
This was the highlight of my show I think. The guys (and gals) at IndieCade setup a great booth where not only did they show off some cool indie titles, but they brought some to life in the form of live-action games being played right on the show floor. I left with some battle wounds (a first in my 9 years of E3) but it was worth it. I wish them all the best and hope they keep ideas like this coming back to E3. Taking rules from the game world and bringing them out to the real world and acting them out was a blast (and a blast to watch obviously, from the huge crowds that gathered).
And the work part...
And of course there was the self-promotion. We @mutekicorp showed off 3 things this year:
- Game Studio: Our (still in-progress) development environment that runs entirely on the iPad, allowing you to create a full game with nothing else. It's half experiment, half prototyping tool, and by the time we're finished with it we think it will be a lot of fun. We'll likely do a post about this as it shapes up more (the UI is terrible...as it was done by me).
- Super Jetpack Dragon IV Challenge Mode: A new action-platformer mode being added to Super Jetpack Dragon IV. It will be a free update for those with the HD version (the free non HD version is something we're still trying to figure out what to do with) and it includes 20 new challenge levels for people to play through - with a lot more content planned!
- Our 8-bit retro NES-style RPG. From the palette (based on the NES palette), to the music (chip-tune all the way), we've made this our love-letter to our childhoods. Some of us @mutekicorp have been working here and there on trying to make this RPG for...well literally over half our lives. It's finally being made, and we think once it gets out, people will love it as much as we do. More on this in the future!
So there we go...a short bit about E3, how it differs from GDC (in my opinion), and a bit about what we're up to. To everyone we saw (@hodapp, @crashfaster, @notch, @indiecade) - we had a blast and hope to see you all again next year!
E3 was crazy this year, with hitting up the show all day, and working on projects all night, but it's a blast (and FREE for those with industry credentials, you almost can't afford NOT to go)! And on that note...I think it's finally time to rest. See you all in two weeks - this time with my completed tech blog - a bit about graphics engine design and cross platform compatibility.