K I promised to write a small novel on my whole GDC trip. I guess I'll start by quickly explaining the comic. K I'm surrouned by influential geeks of the video game industry so you would think I would pimp my site out a bit. Well no I NEVER mentioned Snafu once since it's just down right embarassing. So I pimped VG Cats instead. Well one glace at VG Cats' furry characters started up a furry porn conversation. I added the "anymore" in the third frame but other than that the whole thing took place. Needless to say after that I pimped Homestarrunner.com from there on out. And it was a HIT. I was amazed at how NO ONE had heard of Home Star but sure enough I single handedly got the entire lounge addicted to Strong Bad's e-mails. Maybe next year I'll get the balls to mention Snafu... Nah.
Warning: I can't tell a short story so this will be long and boring to most anyone.
Now to start my story from the beging. I drove. Then I drove somemore. Then I kept on driving. I'd have to say that California drivers are the worst drivers possibly ever. No I take that back I've been to Seattle. But seriously there would be easily 10 cars in the fast lane going ungodly slow and they weren't passing anyone. Luckily I have no qualms about passing people on the right side and probably did pass more people that way than the conventional left lane procedure. You bastards. Expecially in Nevada though California drivers pissed me off. I think half the problem is that the California free way speed limit is 65 mph and in Utah it's 75 mph. So naturally they're already going 10 miles an hour too slow plus when they're in Nevada the chances are they're drunk and what not trying to drive back to CA. You bastards. Wow for trying to not swear that isn't working too well... Maybe next post.
Then I finally get to San Jose and I have to find the Convention Center. In the dark. Plus the roads aren't labeled on a number system they have street names. Who in the hell thought street names are an efficent system needs to be strangled, slowly. But I was relatively positive I was within a few blocks radius of the convention center. So I asked a Seven Eleven clerk for directions. He barely spoke English and gave me that blank stare when I mentioned the Conventeion Center. So I went to a McDonalds same situation no one had even HEARD of the place. So I went to a grocery story (Albertsons) They had no clue either. Well finally just by random luck I drove down the street and found it. I mean seriously it's a GIANT building with a flashing sign and it WAS within three blocks of all the locations I asked for directions. IDIOTS. and that's coming from ME so it's really saying something.
So now I have to find a hotel. This is the WAY more difficult than I imagined. For one thing the roads are mostly One Way in San Jose and they have you drive on the Left side once and awhile and there is this trolly that likes to taunt me by making the road system even more hecktic and yeah it's awful. But I finally do find a hotel and crash for the night.
Day 2, Monday. I go to the convention center get my badge. Before it starts I meet some people (literaly the first people I see cuz I'm lonely.) So I start up some small talk you know the standard: "Hi my name is David what's yours? Where are you from? Wow thats a long ways away. Where do you work? etc." Well the four people I met were named Ray, Joe, Kevin and Cornell. Cornell was a tall thin black guy from Chicago who was seriously the funniest coolest guy ever. Joe was also from chicago but he was a bit fater, shyer, and unintelligent. Kevin was from ... I forget where but he had a Masters degree in Computer Science and reminded me of one of my old friends. Ray was from Miami and was severly suffering from Short Man Syndrome. Everything out of Ray's mouth was a complete lie, clearly he was over compensating for something. That something being EVERYTHING. But yeah we'll start with, story 1: Yeah I flew here first class from Miami because my uncle is a CEO for some Airline. I originaly had stand by but they moved me to First class. Story 2: I lived my whole life in Hawaii where I surfed, Snowboarded, and was on a sponsored BMX team. Story 3: There was a sumo guy on my BMX team and I got in a fight with him. I broke his nose. (Ray was a small small guy here and he claimed the Sumo kid was 300+ pounds) Story 4: In my high school everyone had guns and I didn't like guns so I carried a katana (sword). A kid pulled a gun to my head because I bumped him. I cut his wrist with my Katana and he droped the gun.
I could go on.
So yeah this was ALL before lunch Ray had claimed all of this utter crap. I'm not entirely sure but I think the guy was wearing make up as well. Or maybe he just naturally looks like the long lost 6th member of N'sync. I even caught him on a story that didn't match up at all with what he said five minutes ago. Well after lunch I decided I had done my good deed for the century by NOT punching this kid in the nose. But I had had enough and decided to meet new people. Which was sad since Cornell had me laughing all most continuously but it wasn't worth tolerating Ray's company any longer. So I ditched that group as soon as humanly possible and went scotting for another group of people that I deemed to be about my age. I met person after person of cool people but not exactly something I would want to carry out conversations with. Then I met Jeremy who seemed cool enough but it was a short conversation. So I ended Day two with a giant Screw it.
Day 3 Tuesday. Now the Tutorials started. I basically only went to Graphic tutorials of the 3D nature. I wish I would have been better about teaching myself Maya before going to this thing but either way I'm now totally pumped to try out a few new tricks I learned. But I never got past the making a door Tutorial that came with Maya in the first place... Time to get practicing. Which is half the reason the comic is just in sketch form I'm busy trying other things... But yeah tutorials were neat the modeler and animator that did Unreal Tournament was there. He was a way cool guy blah blah blah. Then I watched a guy who was bar none the best digital painter I have ever seen. WOW. He used painter instead of Photoshop so his tutorial didn't totally apply to me but it still sorta helped. The thing I was most amazed at was how his sketches he went off of totally totally sucked and then when they were done it was a work of art. Strange stuff.
This was also the day that I got my first piece of shwag (thats the ultra dumb word they use to call free merchandise.) It was an X-box T-shirt that was sealed away in a tiny TINY container. It was amazing how small it really was and then pop there was a T-shirt. A wrinkled all to hell T-shirt but still it was there. Hoo Ha free stuff. After my first two Tutorials I went back to the lounge and simply by chance I sat by and met who I consider to be my best friend for the rest of the conference, Zach. Zach was from North Carolina and had a thick Southern accent. I was instantly just entertained hearing him talk. We had a LOT in comon as well. for instance we were one of the few who actualy had a hair cut in the last decade (guys with pony tails were all the rage at the conference. Not that that's bad or anything I'm just saying I didn't fit in.) And we were both from small towns blah blah blah. Well I hung out with him for the rest of the day and had a blast. Oh and he was a programer.
Day 4 Wednesday. More Tutorials getting kinda bored with them. OK really board. I met Santiago who actually owned a gaming company in Argentina and was underway with making a Soccor game. Santiago was one of the coolest nicest guys ever. So now I hung out with Zach and Santiago consistently every chance I could get. It was a blast. Zach would tell me about his programing tutorials and I would tell him about my art crap and Santiago would tell us about Argentina. I was actually starting to get really tired by now. I never understood when I heard that people get burned out at conferences but it's true. It's unreal how tiring it is. That night I decided that I had no freaking clue how the bus system works so I asked a group of men near by. We had small chat for awhile and I found out that one of them was at the same hotel as me. So we shared a cab back to the hotel. It turns out he worked on Tron the movie. Wow. He's currently a professor at New York City and yeah he has done some amazing stuff and it was great talking with him.
Day 5 Thursday, the Expo actually starts. Finally we were aloud onto the Expo floor. And the free shit was never ending. I got T-shirt after T-shirt... OK only about 8 T-shirts but still. Then there were other lil nick nacks here and there. I got two game demos from Namco which sucked but oh well. The Sony booth revealed that they were taking a page out of Nintendo's book. They had a Yellow PS2, a Grey one, a Platinum one, a blue one, a red one and the standard Black one. Neat. Then they had the Sony Eye Toy which was way fun but over all a novelty. They had Final Fantasy XI there for play and EverQuest Adventures. I even played them using the Logitech PS2 controler that had the keyboard in the middle. Not surprisingly it still seemed smaller than the standard X-box controler (I kid because I can.) But just as a in my opinion moment I don't want and couldn't stand either game. But I'm the anti online gamer so don't count my opinion towards anything on this issue. Then they had tons of other games but nothing too note worthy. I probably spent the majority of my time playing Amplitude which is the sequel to Frequency. It's in the music genre and was four player, awesome. I consistently got my ass handed to me but meh I had fun. If it was for the Gamecube I would buy Amplitude in a second but since it's PS2 I think I'll pass. Why? because I don't have the PS2 adaptor and two extra controlers to make it four player, thats why. Intel's booth had Unreal Tournament 2003 competitions every half hour and it was awesome. Too bad I suck at that game. Meh I've never played it until then so no biggie. Still way fun. I also had my hand at Halo again (yeah Microsoft is STILL displaying Halo like we haven't seen it before.) and once again I was reminded why I can't stand Halo. I am going to rent Halo some time soon though and see if I can't just push through it and maybe it will get fun later. maybe. But it's somewhat sad that Microsoft is still pushing Halo. That's like Sony pimping out Devil May Cry one or Nintendo saying "Hey look over here we STILL have Smash Brothers." Oh well. Then after Halo I tried Dead of Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball/Porn Studio. It was a dumb game and I want my five minutes back you bastards. By five I mean half an hour... moving on. There were videos of Viewtiful Joe and some Namco fighting game with AWESOME hair for the characters. Both interested me greatly. Nivida was pimping themselves pretty hardcore everywhere. They were up there with Microsoft for out right whore dome of their products. Nivida's main atraction was a demo with a fairt girl named Eve. She was amazing but I was a bit sick of seeing her walk around and then change expressions by the end of the conference. Still Nividia made a fan out of me. Then that night the Expo did a most... od od thing. They called it "Booth Crawl." As far as I could tell it was a get yourself drunk off your ass as quick as possible event. I walked onto the expo floor and Alienware handed me a cup and I thought "Oh Hell yeah more free stuff." Then I realised it was a cup so I could fill it with beer. I just sat the cup down and walked around the Expo like normal but booth after booth after booth had more alcohol and the WHOLE expo area already smelled heavily of alcohol. It was just obscene really. So I left. I'm still amazed at how... drunk the video game industry really is. Perhaps the geeks and nerds are making up for not being invited to all those Keggers back in high school. The only thing is they're making up for it in one day... wow. Nivida even had tour buses outside that would take you around to different bars where there would be more free drinks. Unbelievable. I walked by the bus and they handed me a bottle. I thought it would be alchol but it was a caffinated drink called Bawls. I still didn't want it so I gave it too my roomate when I got back home. That night was the actual Game Developer Awards ceremony. It was awesome. Metroid was moping up like nobodys business. Getting Game of the year and any other category it wanted. All I have to say is it deserved it. Medal of Honor did incredibly well also. They also had a student entry section and I've officially decided I will have something to enter next year... well maybe two years but that is now a goal in my life to get an award for making a capy game all in the name of learning. After the ceremony more free alchol was issued out and once again I just retired early. And thus ended Thursday.
Day something I forget but it's Friday now: More sessions which are basically mini tutorials. The sessions rocked however. I kept hitting the expo floor up for more and more free stuff. Then I went to the Game Developer Awards area where they had the nominated games set up to play. Nintendo and Sony and PC had a large number of nominated games, more so than places to play them so they actually had to swap games for you. X-box however didn't so it's three games just stayed in all the time. I've decided Splinter Cell is an awesome game but I was more than burnt out with the whole sneak around genre a long time ago. Freedom Force for PC looks way fun but I think That one will more than likely slip by me as well. Blinx for X-box intrigued me and probalby will get a rental from me sometime soon. But by far the winner of the "Dave wants to play you" award is Lord of the Rings for PS2. I need to play this game people. It looks simply amazing. If only it were multiplayer co-op. Oh well can't complain... yes yes I can. I'm getting somewhat behind on people I met. Somewhere in there I met a man who worked on Hunter the Reconing for High Voltage Software and I met lots of EA testers who all trouhtly hate EA as they should. Then I met some people at Vicarious Visions who made the Tony hawk and Jet Set Radio Game Boy Advance games. Then I met a billion free lance peps. blah blah blah. One of the booths actually had you take a quiz to see if your worth hiring. They had an artist quiz and a programers quiz. I took the artist one and Zach took the programing one. Well I totally failed the artist quiz (it was mostly 3D studio Max questions and I've only seen Maya.) So I helped Zach with his programing quiz. Well it turns out I'm a better programer than artist which is a depressing thought. Although I guess it makes sense since my schooling is computer science and this art stuff is just my hobby... Oh dear what have I done?
Best day ever. The Expo was old to me by now and I was near dead from exhaustion. I was having a blast hanging out with Zach and Santiago. At 7 o'clock friday night they had a thing called Suite Night which is like a huge party at a nearby hotel. I actaully went with Jeremy and Santiago. I had barely spoken with Jeremy until this night and it was a blast. They had a dance and several other events going on at the same time suring Suite Night. Jeremy and I opted to go to G.A.N.G. which is a brand new video game audio ceremony. It started this year so we witnessed the first GANG awards ever. and it was AWESOME. They went through all sorts of audio awards and had live performances and they played a LOT of old school NES songs. Nostalgia has never been so strong. Jeremy and I talked the whole time as well. Jeremy is one of the most interesting people I have EVER met. And he honestly has an ora about him that just beems "I'm a nice guy." Plus he has a natural look about him that is everything I've ever tried to capture in my doodles. So yeah I'm fairly positive I could spend years with Jeremy, Zach and Satiago and NEVER get board. Well I'll end off this day's journal with that happy note.
Saturday the whole thing winds down. Everyone is dead tired and we all want to go home. They actually have an after Expo party and rafel. I skiped the party but I went to the rafel. I got a copy of Syberia for the PC. I'd rather gnaw off my own leg than play that game. Jeremy knew I wasn't happy with getting that game and then his name got called for the raffel. He got the Lord of the Rings game for the PS2. You know the one Iw as talking about that I want so so so bad. Well Jeremy offered to trade for Syberia but I couldn't do that to him. He was just being nice and it wouldn't have been a fair trade. So I swaped Syberia for Godzilla Destroy All Monster's Melee for the Gamecube to someone else. I still haven't played this Godzilla but I hope four player action doesn't disappoint.
Sunday I drove home. Holy hell was it ever a long drive. Here's the kicker though. One hour away from home I stop off at Jack in the Box for ice cream... I locked my keys in my car. It's a late Sunday night my cell phone is locked in my car I have exactly 2 dollars and 25 cent in quarters in my pocket and that's IT. Luckily Jack in the Box employees are the closest things to angels I'll ever meet... well fat, downsyndrome, smoking, glass eyed angels... But still they called a lock smith for me (65 freaking bucks.) I was at Jack in the Box for 2 hours... Awful. But yeah the employees were so nice and helped me out big time. One of them even offered me a cigarete. I don't smoke but the offer was still a very nice gesture. But yeah the lock smith came luckily he took credit cards I got in my car 65 bucks pourer and drove the rest of the way home. Then I slept and slept and slept and all was well. Which is what I'm going to do now. Sorry for boring you with my story but I warned you.