Blade Edge

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VGExpo initial thoughts

November 5th, 2007 · No Comments ·

Transposed from Gaiiden’s Scroll

So I was in Philly this past weekend attending the VideoGameExpo (VGX) Breaking In conference. Philly is only about 1.5 hours from me, so I drove in both days. I’ve never driven into the city before, so of course when I got off the highway on Saturday I was of course instantly stuck in gridlocked traffic as they had closed off the street I was hoping to use to get to the convention center for some reason. I had to sit in traffic for 15 minutes to travel the 1 mile to the convention center and find some parking. I happened past a parking garage and just pulled in since it was already just turning 10am and the conference was supposed to begin. Luckily though they were running late and the first session didn’t start until almost 10:30.

The first day was pretty light, and there was only one really good session which was a Breaking In panel headed up by some recruiters and studio executives. I was also surprised by the number of people in attendance, which wasn’t much at all. In a room that could easily hold 300 people there were about 30-50. To give you an idea, this is about as many people as my local NJ chapter pulls in for meetings. And that’s just Jersey. Tickets for the event were $100, which is pretty standard for a conference of this size, even for college students that’s not entirely bank-breaking. I guess most people just don’t realize the value of getting out to these events and meeting people face to face, which is unfortunate – while at the same time fortunate for those who did make it out, as they got top dibs on chatting with Tommy Tallarico, who’s a game industry vet and Coray Seifert from Kaos Studios, who’s been a very successful industry breaking inner. Not to mention other developers from Red Storm, High Voltage, and a few more.

The Expo they had set up was a gamers mecca, they had all kinds of video games set up for free play, it was hard not to spend my entire time in there playing classics like Paperboy (the arcade version!), Defender, Mario Bros/Duck Hunt or some of the newest titles like Guitar Hero III, Rock Band and Crysis. They actually had a GH III PC version set up that I tried out, which was nice because I was debating whether I should wait for the PC version and after playing it and checking out the controller (which looks flimsier than the console versions but is actually still solid) I’m definetly waiting so I can fill up that Downloaded Songs section of the play list that I saw. They also had a tournament for Expert players I participated in. I came in 2nd of 4 people, but I do argue that it was slightly unfair in that I had to do a completely cold read of the song because I didn’t have GH III yet, and the guy that beat me (~249k pts to my ~198k pts) of course had the game already. Tho the guy that came in third was rather embarrassed to learn I had never played the song before and he had several times. Take that Junior.

Anyways the second day was filled with better content, as Tommy entertained a small crowd (now there was only about 20-30 people showing up) with ways to break into the industry like he had, a panel of game designers sharing their views on games as art, and Coray Seifert pitching his three easy steps to industry success. By then the Expo had grown rather stale for me, so I left early.

I hope to have my full write up posted on Wednesday. GDNet sent me the company RebelXT so I’ll have plenty of nice photos in the gallery as well. If you were at VGExpo as well, sorry I missed you!

Shucks – 4am already and no time to write. That means tomorrow I’ll be 5,450 words behind on my NaNoWriMo book. D’oh!!

Oh yea, new external article added to the Resources section: MegaTexture in Quake Wars

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