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E3 Requests?
After being in the video game industry for nearly 6 years, I'm finally getting the chance to attend my first E3 this week. I'll be there all three days, so if anyone has any games they're particularly excited or curious about, post them here and I'll do my best to get info/impressions/pics/vids of them from the show floor.

Watch Dogs

Battlefront 3 (If there's anything more than that fucking teaser)

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Battlefront teaser was one of the highlights of the day for me, as bullshitty as it was.
If you want to hit up lunch I work in Downtown ( and live )
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abecx Wrote:If you want to hit up lunch I work in Downtown ( and live )

I've got lunch and dinner plans today but I'm free tomorrow and potentially Thursday. Will that work?
"Uhh is it cool if my old guild leader joins us for some burgers?"

"Nah i swear hes cool"
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I could see abe grabbing a cafeteria tray and using it as a shield.
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Naughty Dog's next project.
The following is an incredibly thorough and long-winded recount of all the highlights of my first-ever E3 experience. It's really long, so I won't get butthurt if you don't read it.

Tuesday Highlights:

Project Spark: The first game I saw and also the longest line I waited in (for something game related). I ended up getting a demo from the lead designer of the entire project, and when he found out that I was a designer, too, we hijacked the standard demo and turned it into a transparent and insightful discussion on design theory and the internal process for making a game like this. Spark is way more than what M$ chose to show off at E3, which is disappointing. This game is a combination of Spore and RPG Maker, but on crack. You can literally build entire games out of thin air with this system, and not just 3D adventure games, but 2D sidescrollers, Angry Bird style games, turn based isometric RPGs, card and gambling games, and just about anything else you can imagine. What else was already imagined? Oh I dunno, how about ROCK BAND?!

Insanely excited about this game, and I look forward to using its game-building tools to rapid prototype my own games. I found out that it's free to play, will feature time lapse-style video uploads of people's creations, and all the DLC comes in the form of monetized 'packs' that include various world themes, like summer beach and sci-fi.

Transistor: From the people who made Bastion. I had high hopes for this, but when I spoke to the producer about this being a 'spiritual sequel' he was very firm in his retort that it is a whole new game and any similarities are due to the same team working on it. I actually found that kind of disappointing, and quite frankly not even true. The art style is the same, the isometric view and basic game play is the same, and the game even features a narrator. It just so happens that the narrator is that crazy-ass sci-fi sword, who has a spirit of the main character's (a girl named Red) friend trapped inside. The game had some cool blink/teleport gameplay and a pseudo steampunk scifi vibe, but overall I wasn't too impressed.

Reggie: I wasn't in the Nintendo booth for more than 2 minutes before I saw the President of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils Aime, patrolling down one of the hallways with his escort of insanely cute Nintendo Booth Babes flanking him on either side. I instinctively called out to him, extending my hand. We shook, I told him how big of a fan I was and that it was great to meet him, he thanked me and patted me on the shoulder, and went about on his mission to spread Nintendo joy to the masses. My heart was pounding afterward. I considered myself starstruck on that one. One of the highlight's highlights, no doubt.

Super Smash Brothers: I may as well throw my hat into the ring on this one, too. The announcement and subsequent trailer was absolutely top notch. The Mega Man portion in particular was simply epic and I truly believe it will go down in VG history as one of the best game reveals of all time. When I have people who don't even follow Nintendo IMing me to ask me if I've seen the Mega Man trailer, you know Nintendo did something right.

I adore the inclusion of the Villager and feel like his troll-like, emotionless facade is a perfect fit for my mindgame-y play style. He looks very much like a G&W style character. At first I was as horrified as most at the inclusion of the Wii Fit Trainer, but the more I watch the video and hear Sakurai's explanation as to why she is being included, the more I'm starting to like it. It's wacky, it's unexpected and it's kind of hilarious. I give Sakurai a tip of my aforementioned hat for giving a big "FUCKA YOO, DOLPHINS" to the fanboys. It serves as a reminder that this is still HIS game, not ours, and he can include whoever the hell he wants. All that aside, I still like the character as a whole. She seems very Zero Suit Samus-y.

The physics/hit stun/fall speed all look to be a fair bit tighter than Brawl's, but not nearly at the Melee level. Honestly that's kind of the perfect sweet spot for my own particular interests. My doubts have definitely been put to bed, for the most part, and replaced with a lot more optimistic excitement and enthusiasm. The 3DS version also looks beautiful and adding the black outlines on all the characters was a slick and smart art direction choice.

Pikmin 3: No surprises here, the game looks and plays great. One of the biggest improvements I found was being able to aim the Wiimote at the screen to change the trajectory and distance you can throw Pikmin; it's way beyond what was possible before and opens up a lot of new gameplay possibilities (for example, whistling Pikmin under their Onion from over half the map away). Seems like if you can see them, there's a way to call out to them. Confirmed System Seller for Lutzy.

Hiphop Gamer: I got to meet a Youtube celebrity named Hiphop Gamer. He is most famous for carrying around his championship wrestling belt. He was a super passionate and knowledgeable guy, if a bit eccentric. Incredibly high energy and joyously friendly. I actually ended up seeing him on Thursday, too, and his demeanor and attitude hadn't wavered one bit. Really cool guy.

Team Solo Mid Meet 'n Greet: I ended Tuesday standing in an insanely long line (the longest line I stood in) to meet with the players from one of America's best LoL teams, Team Solo Mid. I got pictures and autographs from the team and got to talk about jungle changes and favorite champs with all the members. Very cool. TheOddOne is about 4 feet tall. It was adorable.

Marriott Hotel: The VP of business/strategy at my company invited me to an after-party at the Marriott Hotel for drinks. In addition to meeting a handful of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, I also had the pleasure of meeting the President of Square Enix's American branch. At least I believe he was the President... sensory overload had sort of taken over at that point and the names/titles are kind of starting to blur.

Wednesday Highlights:

PvZ: Garden Warfare: The surprise hit of the show for me, without question. I was skeptical when I saw it announced, but I managed to somehow get into a press-only private showing of the game behind closed doors. They demoed the game and talked in depth about the classes and the fact that they each have several unique abilities, including a 'root ability' that immobilizes them. The art style and game play impressed me (think Left4Dead meets TF2), but it was actually the sound design that really blew me away. Hats off to Popcap for making such sickeningly satisfying noises whenever the Cactus fires one of his quills.

Command and Conquer: I managed to get into another behind-closed-doors VIP showing of C&C. In fact, when talking with the producers, they were so impressed with my knowledge and fandom of the franchise that they chose me to participate in an on-stage 1v1 duel against one of the developers, completed with my own commentators/shoutcasters. I was telling some of the other viewers in private that I kind of wanted to try a rush build where I build a barracks and defensive tower, sell the tower and my Construction Yard, and then use an engineer to take him by surprise, but then I realized that this is a Generals game and none of those tactics exist. I ended up countering this guy's infantry spam with flame turrets and managed to hold on for a full 20 minutes before they had to declare the game a draw and kick us out.

The game itself plays fine and well, I suppose. I mean, it's Generals. They are using Frostbite 3 as the engine, so lots of physics and stuff. It was actually kind of distracting because debris was piling up on the battlefield and it was hard to maneuver. Plus it was difficult to distinguish between the husk of a destroyed tank and the real ones currently attacking me. Overall it was kinda meh... I mean, it's definitely an RTS in the Generals universe, sure... but is that something I even want to play anymore? I have my doubts.

Tear Away: I got my hands on a Vita finally (not that I was eagerly awaiting my chance or anything) and the system feels good. Tear Away is one of those games that I respect for really pushing the envelope and trying new things. It reminded me f Magic Pengel for the old Play Station 2, in a sense. The mechanics are so crazy out there and novel that you overlook how boring and generic the actual core game play loop is once the novelty wears off. The game world is made of paper machete, pop up books and origami. You use the touch pad on the back of the Vita to literally burst your fingers through the paper floors to attack enemies and clear obstacles. The coolest part is that they modeled the in-game fingers to be as life-like as possible, and even asked me questions about what I looked like ahead of time to get the most realistic fingers possible. So you really feel like you, yourself as a human being, are tearing through this game world. Very very neat.

There was also a construction paper cut out sequence where I designed a crown for a little gopher... it was a really neat idea but it made me wish for a stylus, desperately. Ton of cool concepts but at the end of the day, the gameplay was a little drab. Kind of reminded me of Psychonauts, too.

Killer Instinct: First of all, Rare isn't even making this game. M$ outsourced it to some random ass studio that I've never heard of. I got some hands-on time with this game and was pleasantly surprised with how beautiful and fluid the graphics are (especially the fireball spark effects), how responsive the controls were and how easy it was to pull off combos. The game is fast and fluid and I actually left feeling a lot better about the game than my gut instinct had originally led me to believe. They only had the two playable characters from the conference demo, though, so I didn't get to try my OP Glacius strategy.

Kingdom Crown: I'm not even sure if that was the name of the game. It's the Atlas one that was giving away the crowns. I played it during some off-time I had between games that actually mattered, just so I could score the sweet crown swag. The game was clunky, I didn't really like the art style and it relied very heavily on the 'high fantasy' theme, which I am personally sick to death of. Not impressed, but I recognize that there is a large audience for this kind of game.

Ducktales: Oh my God, Ducktales. This game is effing gorgeous. It feels like Walt Disney himself is ejaculating into your eyeballs at 120 frames per second. The animations are SO smooth and fluid, it's like you're watching it happen in real life. The game play is brutally unforgiving and more complex than I gave it credit for, especially considering there are only two buttons' worth of moves. That said, it controls beautifully. Like, Mega Man X beautifully. The biggest disappointment of the show for me was the fact that the life size money pool was actually off-site, at some sort of art gallery 20 minutes away. So lame. I call false advertizing on that one, Capcom.

Phoenix Wright: I got to play this on the 3DS, and the demo was classic Phoenix Wright. It broke the fourth wall almost immediately, with the judge pressuring Wright to get a verdict of innocent within 10 minutes, because 'game demos shouldn't last longer than that.' The dialogue was charming and witty as always. What's new are the 3D anime-style animations when characters react to things during dialogue scenes, like gasp or do their classic mannerisms based on the character. They all looked slick.

The new mechanic in this game comes from Wright's new partner, Athena. She has an iPad looking hologram that helps her determine a person's 'true testimony.' What this means in a nutshell is that she has a lie detector app that lets you see individual lines of witness' testimony, accompanied by emotional lights that blink with increasing intensity based on the emotion felt while testifying that particular piece of information. In the demo, Wright used the device to suss out a girl's repressed memory of the event at hand, wherein she thought she felt scared but there was something triggering a 'relieved' emotion that turned out to be a vital piece of evidence in the case; something the girl hadn't consciously remembered on her own. I'm interested to see how much more complicated and clever this system can get. For the purpose of the demo, it was fun but a bit gimmicky. If they can expand on it, I'm sold.

Lunch with Rioters: I happened to be standing in line with a Rioter (she had a shirt that said "RiotHavoc" on it), so I turned on the charm and managed to secure a spot at their hang-out spot at a bar'/restaurant inside the convention center. We talked for almost an hour about the game, and the industry as a whole. They are very excited for the Marvel MOBA and say they want it to succeed so they can learn from it. Evidently they now have over 1,000 employees in the Santa Monica studio alone. I also managed to snag 2 Riot Graves and 2 Arcade Sona skin codes. If you have read this far, perhaps you deserve one? We shall see. I managed to trade contact info and they encouraged me to give them a call to chat sometime.

Mario and Luigi Meet 'n Greet: One of the biggest booths on the show floor was Nintendo's 3DS game wheel, in which players sat around a wheel and played the new 3DS games, and after their 10 minute session, the wheel would be spun and each player would receive some really epic Nintendo swag based on what the wheel displayed. The lines were 3+ hours the whole time, so I counted myself out of that one. However, to alleviate the lines, Nintendo had a vertical TV with a 3D model of Mario (and sometimes Luigi) that spoke to the audience. They did this with a microphone for the audience member and then web cams that I'm sure led to a secret room where Charles Martinet was hiding. He talked to individual audience members all day all three days, the poor guy. What made it even cooler is that the Mario avatar moved and animated in a way that perfectly synced up with what Mario was actually saying. I remember someone at one point wanted to take a picture of Luigi, who ended up getting bashful as a result. He dug his toes into the ground and squirmed a bit, his nose turning bright red. It was adorable.

The best part is that I was chosen from the crowd around the wheel to talk to Mario and Luigi! In fact, Luigi saw me standing there engaging the crowd and having a good time, so he called out to me and asked me to step up and chat. I asked him about Year of Luigi, which he's very excited about. We agreed there needed to be a Year of Yoshi and a Year of Wario/Waluigi. He said he'd "ask his pappa about it" for me. I asked him if he was jealous of Mario getting a solo appearance in Super Mario RPG and he replied with, "No, my pappa helped make that game and he knows best. He knows which brother is best for which game, and I love him so much!" Finally, I asked him if he was going to be in the next Smash Brothers, to which he worryingly stated, "Oh no, pappa warned me about this! He said people would ask about Super Smash Brothers and he told me I had to make sure I didn't say anything about it!" After being egged on a bit by the crowd, he did tell us this story, which could be real or fictional; not sure. Apparently Sakurai was playing the game with Miyamoto recently. Sakurai was Mega Man and Miyamoto was Mario, and Mega Man kicked Mario's ass. Evidently Miyamoto said something like, "I'll get you next time, Mega Man!"

DKC: Tropical Freeze: I was disappointed when I found out that Retro Studios was making this sequel, and not, say, a Wii U F-Zero in HD where the game pad acts as a 3D cockpit with dials and levers and you can actually see Captain Falcon and the like adjusting controls and steering their cars. However, when I actually saw down to play it, I was surprised at the cool new stuff they're doing. IT feels very much like a Mario Galaxy 2 style game- they have a really great engine and tight controls, and now they want to create content for it and have a little fun. The new 3D levels with rotating camera angles were surprisingly engaging and fun to watch and navigate. They may have won me over after the demo.

Thursday Highlights:

Wonderful 101: I was probably more intrigued and interested in trying this game above all overs. The game play and style OOZE Viewtiful Joe. There's also a healthy dose of Pikmin in there. The combat is chaotic and fluid and offers a lot of variety. I can't say I really know how to explain WHAT the game is, but what I can tell you is it's very polished and a true gamer's game. It's on my list, for sure.

Mario Kart: This stole the show for a lot of people, myself somewhat included. I've been pretty against the last few Mario Karts, with Double Dash being the last one I really enjoyed. 8 is gorgeous, fluid and has the tightest controls I've felt in a long time. The new anti-grav stuff is simple but visually exciting and fun. Also, no blue shells? Yes, please. I'm not sure if they were just off for the demo, but they were mysteriously absent from the three separate times I got to play it. No crazy bullet bills or golden mushrooms, either. The fireball was fun, though.

Super Mario 3D World: Another game that I was skeptical about going in but was proven a cynnical asshat moments later. The cat power-up is amazingly cute and fun and engaging and I won't apolgoize for it. All the changes are small in their own way, but add up to once again taking the Mario formula and finding ways to make it fresh and new. The best part was the 4 player co-op level with the lochness Monster-looking Yoshi. All four players had a hand in controlling it. When we all moved to the left, she really moved left. If we went in different directions, she controlled more sluggishly. If we jumped at different times, she barely got out of the water. When my team learned to time our jumps together, we soared through the sky and through rings and up wateralls. It was a pure, innocent kind of joy playing that level with 3 other people. I had a ton of fun.

Pixel Press: I closed out my E3 experience finding Robin Rath, the STL native who has been working on Pixel Press. He was nice enough to meet up with me near the Nintendo Lounge, where he and his colleague Josh walked me and my coworkers through the process. The promise his Kickstarter made totally delivers in astonishing fashion. I watched Josh take a picture of a map they had just made that morning, sscribbly lines and all, and Pixel Press converted into a living, breathing game world in literally FOUR SECONDS. I couldn't believe how fast it was able to process the physical paper image.

From there, I got to customize the look of the level, from the walls to the character to the coin art. Then I got t play it. Totally cool. Josh showed me a map they were working on that appeared to be a replica of the opening stages of Metroid for the NES. He said they plan on including a feature where you can link different pages together in the editor to create entire game worlds, simlar to a Metroid or Castlevania game. They also have plans to include an in-engine editor that lets you tweak your maps after uploading them. It was an honor to get a personal look at the project first-hand from its creator and I am greatly looking forward to the finished product.


Overall, my first E3 experience was everything I could have hoped for, dreamed of and desired to experience. It was a true sensory overload, but I shared the experience with a lot of new friends, which made it even better. I networked with some industry juggernauts, made new friends and finally got to live out a dream over 15 years in the making. Best week ever? Yeah, probably.
Riot graves/arcade sona send one my way theenx.
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