Hey All! I know it's been a little while since I posted, but I promise I have a good reason: we're in escrow! It's wild and crazy process, but it's exciting and I can't wait to have a gaming palace...I mean house...
In the meantime, enjoy my E3 photos below. This was my first (official) time attending, and I really enjoyed myself. I do have to say that after talking with Amos about his experience over the years, it seems like the overall atmosphere was more similar to a con this year, rather than an industry event. This doesn't surprise me since this is also the first year they've opened it up to the general public. I have somewhat mixed feelings about that. On one hand, I admit that the massive crowds felt overwhelming at times, and I barely got my hands on any games given the size of the lines. On the other hand, I took three days off work to immerse myself in gaming. First world problems?
My favorite part had to be the Coliseum talks. In the comfy, though somewhat frigid, seats of the Coliseum, E3 rolled out their series of panelists. By far, watching Neil deGrasse Tyson ascend to his throne as High Lord of Science during the World Builders talk was amazing - being broadcast in from lord knows where, his brilliant (and somewhat beleaguered) visage popped up on the screen behind the other panelists. He had quite the time cackling and looking down at them from his rightful throne as Overlord. James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), Chris Hardwick (Actor/Comedian/TV Host), Randy Pitchford (Gearbox), and Kiki Wolfkill (Microsoft) all joined Neil in painted an amazing picture of how they approach world-building in their various professions. Not to crush too hard on Neil, but hearing him talk about how rooting your game in science doesn't weigh you down; rather, it frees you to explore the impossibilities and fantastic wonders that science can accomplish. I had a recent experience with this when writing a new section of my novel: in toying with the idea of a more phenotypically varied human population, I was exploring environmental changes that would have caused these phenotypes to evolve. One of the ideas I had was to have either two suns or a much larger moon constantly bathe the planet in light. This would cause different populations to evolve varied skin tones (just like on our actual planet) but with some fantasy twists. However, I did a little research and found that circumbinary planets, rare themselves, are very unlikely to maintain enough stability to support life. Sorry George! For me personally as a writer, I find that the more I root myself in the real, the more I can expand into the unknown and fantastical in a believable way. It's not for everyone, but Neil's way definitely speaks to me.
The game I'm most excited about really took me by surprise: Assassin's Creed Origins. For some reason, while I love the artwork and design of the AC series, I've never been drawn to play them. Having watched some of my friends play, I always felt like the game was trying to force you into stealthy gameplay. As a gamer who like to wreak havoc every now and then, it just never held much appeal. But then Origins came along and WOW! With a release date just before Halloween this year, Origins explores the rich backstory that drives the series. With enjoyable looking stealth, intense (and sufficiently havoc-wreaking) battles, and an INCREDIBLY vast world to explore, I'll admit that I will be pre-ordering that gorgeous triumph of a game. What's more, the demo was being played live and even for an unfinished game, it is so far above and beyond most games in terms of design, art, and innovation. Will I credit the anthropologists/archaeologists/historians who informed the design of the game? Damn right. I mean, a guy should be allowed some nepotism every now and then.
Anywhoozle, enjoy my photos. More to come soon!