SPIRAL GAME STUDIOS @ PAX SEATTLE 2010
Post-Mortem Update, Impressions, Thoughts and more!
Talk about a long week! We just got back from the craziness that is the PAX gaming expo in Seattle, WA. I really do love Seattle, probably my favorite city in the states that I've been to. I haven't been able to get back out there in the last 7 years so it was really nice to be able to see it all again - for a game convention none-the-less. We had good weather and I really recommend for anyone to go check out the city itself.
Spiral Game Studios attended PAX Seattle 2010 privately - no booth or anything at this PAX, but we did have a private tech demo available and were mostly there for marketing and networking as well as meetings - which turned out extremely well.
PRE-ALPHA TECH DEMO
You can enjoy the small pre-alpha TECH DEMO of ORION: Prelude. This is a very hack and slash version. We only had 30 days (and no budget) to create everything for this, including:
-The water shaders.
-The character models.
-The dinosaur model.
-Hand crafted animations for everything.
-Sound effect development.
-2 of the 7 filmed scenes.
So this convention was bound to be interesting from the get-go. This would be the first time that many of the SGS developers had the opportunity to meet in person, it was personally my first gaming convention ever, and various other factors. However, I did not realize how endless and exhausting the next 3 days would be... here we go!
PAX - DAY 01 (FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 3RD, 2010)
Day 1 started off with a nice team meeting / breakfast. We were still doing some work to the Tech Demo and had some solid food to go with the production. From here we dispersed and made our way to the PAX convention. I had another meeting to attend in the early afternoon and then we all mostly remained on the PAX expo floor mingling and trying out some of the new games and technology.
PAX Seattle was the first time I was able to get my tryout session on NVIDIA's 3D technology. It truly is amazing technology. I tried Mafia 2, Dead Rising 2, Trine 2 (I think it was) and another game that is escaping my memory. NVIDIA also had the world's largest 3D TV being showcased at there booth - a whopping 133" HD 3D Screen - was quite incredible. They were playing mostly Guild Wars 2 in 3D on it.
PAX - DAY 02 (SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4TH, 2010)
Day 2 started off with a bang. Not only was I still battling some jet lag, but I was doing some good ‘ol fashion walking to and from the convention. Day 1 had destroyed me - but Day 1 was also the least productive and the least enjoyable - so it was only going to get harder.
Luckily for me - Day 2 started off with me bumping into Ed Boon - the creator of the Mortal Kombat game series. This was a pretty amazing moment for me (personally) as I was a BIG fan of MK back in the day and its literally one of three games that my girlfriend will play with me (the others being Little Big Planet and Mario Kart). After that meeting with him - me and Kyle (Lead Level Designer) played some of the new Mortal Kombat - which is incredible, by the way. I of course wiped the floor with him and won that match.
Shortly after that I met up with Marcus (Lead Audio Engineer / Composer) and we hit up a few booths, met up with NVIDIA and did some business and then moved our way over to Microsoft's Xbox Kinect. I was pretty judgmental about Kinect at first. Sure, it looked cool from all the press it has been getting - but how did it feel? The answer - surprisingly very good.
We played Kinect Boxing twice - and I had lost both times. However, the viewers and readers should know that Marcus is a black belt and knows a variety of fighting styles - all of which I believe attributed to his wins.
We also had the chance to talk to a fellow from RARE, his name was Niel and he was definitely one cool dude. He let us play quite a few games per each time and talked to us about the technology and its operations. Kinect is something everyone should definitely try - I have never seen so many genuine smiles on people's faces - something that will truly help sell the unit.
The night ended by us having to go to some crazy bar in downtown Seattle in the Capital Hill area. We had a few people to meet from various companies and ran into a few others as well. It was definitely one of the more "interesting" places I have ever been - something straight out of The Matrix Revolution when Trinity, Morpheus and Seraph walk into the vampire bar to approach the Merovingian.
PAX - DAY 03 (SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 5TH, 2010)
Day 3 was very unique. I say unique because it was the only day of the convention that I had planned on going as a "civilian" - no business in mind, wearing more casual clothes and hoping to just get the opportunity to game all day as I went with my friend Jon (who I was staying with). Turns out that isn't how it works out. The third day ended up being the most significant day.
I woke up to a phone call from Annie (animator, 3d artist, 2d artist) telling me she got us into (another) V.I.P breakfast party. Mind you, this was right after I just got breakfast with my buddy. This was a V.I.P party with Warner Bros and Lord of the Rings studio people. It took place at a very nice hotel and they covered everyone's breakfast, drinks whatever. They showcased some very private and awesome technology there. There were only 80 people at this party - and 80,000 people attended PAX.
There are a lot of details that happened afterwards with people we met - but we can't really talk about that right now - so we'll skip it and go straight to one of the coolest rooms at PAX.
THE LAN ROOM (400+)
The LAN room was awesome. Completely sponsored by Intel - this room powered over 400 computers allowing gamers and attendees to play any game of their choice with friends on a LAN or online. I grabbed a nice picture showing off just some of the units:
Friday and Saturday definitely hosted the most people dressed in costumes - some of which were simply awesome. My personal favorites were the Plants vs. Zombies people and the TF2 Engineer & Sentry:
PAX was awesome, to put it simply. There was tons of games, everyone was awesome and nice - fans and developers alike. The best part was that there were tons of awesome games to try out. The floors were crazy packed, there were games, people, stands and anything between scattered everywhere. The lines for most games were reasonable (save for Duke Nukem: Forever) and we were able to try whatever we wanted at least quite a few times.
PERSONAL GAMES / FEATURES OF PAX:
-Mortal Kombat 9
-3D Technology from NVIDIA
VIEW A FIRST PERSON VIDEO TOUR OF PAX
Here is a neat little video showing the craziness that is the PAX gaming floor. Recorded on my iPhone. Sorry about the video quality / blurryness towards the end - my hard drive became full and it started affecting the video.
Great for fans and gamers who weren't able to attend! Enjoy it for what it is!
TEASER TRAILER & ANNOUNCEMENT @ EUROGAMER 2010
We are striving to finish the first legitimate Teaser Trailer for ORION: Prelude and premiering it on our website during EuroGamer (Oct 1st - 3rd). This will be roughly 2 minutes in length and showcase some of the first bits of technology behind ORION: Prelude and what to expect (and more!).
On top of this we will also be making a rather large announcement regarding ORION: Prelude - so wait patiently and we look forward to releasing some new details!
The SGS Developers