I saw some of the strangest things today… Booth babes in body paint, for one. You wouldn’t see that at E3, I can tell you that. Yes, we do have pictures and they’ll be up in the gallery shortly.
With that in mind, I noticed something else that struck me as odd. Not in a bad way, just not the same as it is at home. While they’ve got women running around, well standing around, partially naked, there are some booths that are blocked off and are 18 and up only. Those ones have the violent games in them. Kinda reversed from what you’d see in North America. Other cultures are cool.
I had a number of great interviews today. The first was with Emergent Game Technologies. They make the Gamebryo game Engine, which has been used in a number of MMOs, including Warhammer Online. I opted to do that one as a podcast because he talked about what exactly a game engine was and how they differ from one another. It’s actually quite an interesting listen if you’ve ever wondered what an engine really does.
Sword of the New World was next. We talked about their recent decision to move the game from a subscription / free-to-play model to a fully free-to-play model. I really think the industry as a whole needs to re-think the term free-to-play. It’s still Item Shop based… In any case, K2 Networks seems to be handling the change-over well.
Next, we saw an Age of Conan presentation. Boy howdy that game is looking good. They showed us the standard introduction to the game, but then moved on to telling us about their siege PvP system. I won’t go into great detail myself, as they did a fantastic presentation and you can see it yourself when the video goes live (as soon as we have a chance to process it). We filmed the entire presentation. It’s enough to say though that it really looked cool. I’m really glad these guys pushed back their release. It shows that they’ve learned from other people’s mistakes and want to be sure the game is fully ready before commercial launch. Smart.
CCP… These guys have so much on their plates as far as planned updates go. They’ve got their huge graphics upgrade coming, a continuation of their Revelations updates and they’re still working on that ambulation project that’s going to allow players to move around on stations. They’ve also hired an economist to keep tabs on their economy. How many economists get to work on video games?
Vanguard. They’re trying to finish a game that wasn’t finished at launch. Not an easy thing to do with every decision open to public scrutiny. Say what you want about SOE, but they do have a team of about 40 people working on trying to get the game where they’d like it to be. On the up side, the former Sigil developers that are working on the game are actually getting a chance to finish what they started. We talked about Update Two and the upcoming Update Three.
That brings us to EQII. I think what stands out most to me from that discussion was the way that they’re going to be using combat music in their expansion. It’s going to actually flow with the action in the same way that it does in a movie. When you’re winning, you’ll know it. When you’re losing… well, you get the idea…
Anyway, that’s a long day when all is said and done. I hope you guys will enjoy watching the videos as much as I enjoyed being here.