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Game Developers Conference 2008

Our ramblings of the happenings at GDC 2008 in San Francisco.

Author: GDC2008

Contributors: skywisenight,Taera,Stradden,Szark,

The Curse of Stargate: Murphy's Law in Action

Posted by Szark Tuesday February 26 2008 at 10:24AM
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A common occurrence at this type of event is the inevitable missed appointment.  Maybe a previous appointment runs long, maybe there’s a miscommunication, maybe you get stopped on the way by someone else who wants to arrange an impromptu demo or wants get an opinion about the current state of MMOs.  On two occasions I just couldn’t find the booth; once because the booth was tucked away, and the other time it was all me.

Like I said, these things are inevitable, and everyone expects this to happen so they stay flexible and reschedule or find some other way to meet up.  It’s usually not very hard to make things work out for the best.  The one exception on this trip was the comedy of errors surrounding all things involving us and Stargate. 

At this point I’d like to point out that I said Stargate.  Not Stargate: Worlds.  Not Stargate: SG1.  Not Stargate: Atlantis.  But anything with the words star and gate combined in its title.  If it was about Stargate, it didn’t work on the first try.  Actually, it usually didn’t work second or third try either.

We had arranged to meet Kevin Balentine from Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment in the lobby of their hotel, because we were initially planning on recording some video, which we couldn’t do on the show floor.  Initially it was just going to be Evan and myself, but Jon had freed up some time, so he decided to come along as well.  We were all enthusiastic, because we’re all fans of the series.

Then there was the first misstep.  We were heading off to what we thought was the Westin but it turned out to be the Marriot.  Evan took the blame for this one, but luckily we were less than a block away from the convention centre so we went back and got directions from the convention staff.  Turns out there were several Westins in town, two of which were in close proximity to us.  So we set off once more on our quest.  We were looking for the Westin: St Francis, and when we arrived at the first Westin I said, “Here it is guys.” 

I might need new glasses because it turns out that it was the Westin: San Francisco, not the St Francis.  I took the blame for this one, and we quickly moved on.

If it had been the place we would have been on time.  When we finally made our way to the St Francis, we were about 10 or 15 minutes late.  There was no Kevin.  We tried at the desk but they said there was no one there by that name.  I made sure they spelled the name with a B, but still no luck.  We gave a few other Cheyenne Mountain names, no luck.  We gave the company name and game name, but no luck. 

Jon and I then set ourselves to searching our laptops for Kevin’s contact info.  My laptop didn’t really like the wireless options in the lobby, and there were a number of other technical hassles on the way as well.  We were looking for a cell number, but the best we could do was his email address, so I fired off an email, and we returned to the convention for our next appointments. 

Later in the evening we returned to our hotel room, and while checking my email I noticed that my email to Kevin hadn’t actually gone out.  I’m not sure why it didn’t work the first time, but I resent it, and this time it worked.  Kevin responded within 10 minutes, and 10 minutes after that we were back at the St Francis doing the interview, despite the fact that the front desk clerk had told us there was no guest by that name at the hotel. 

Kevin showed us a trailer for SGW that took us across several worlds, and included footage of some early game play, combat, and animations.  We had decided to record the interview, either to use as audio notes, or to chop up into a podcast.  We ended up talking to Kevin for over an hour.  We had the interview, and we were only an hour or so late for CCP’s event that evening.  It was time to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

Or so we thought.  The next day we discovered that the interview had been cut off after 14 minutes.  We had enough for a good two part podcast, and poof, it was gone.  Don’t worry folks, we’ll bring you something on Stargate Worlds in the near future, the nature of which is still to be determined.

The final proof of Murphy’s Law came while we were at the airport.  We’d decided to watch a recent episode of Atlantis to kill some time.  The problem was, the audio didn’t work on my laptop, and the video didn’t work on Jon’s laptop.  We eventually solved these problems, to find that the final insult was that the episode wasn’t that good.  Hilarious at the end, but it was a long 40 minutes getting there. 

My final thought on this is that every time we accomplished a goal, life put up a new problem for us to solve.  Normally this would be good game design, but I just found it frustrating and annoying. 

m240gulf writes:

Haha, not to poke fun at what you guys went through, good job for getting through it btw, but I have to say....welcome to our (all of the mmo community) world!!


Look forward to hearing what you thought about SGW from what you got to see.

Wed Feb 27 2008 8:00AM Report writes:
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