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GC-Germany 2007 Blog

Latest Entries from the GC-Germany 2007 Blog

Day Two Recap
Posted by Stradden Friday August 24 2007 at 4:57PM

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.

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Emergent Technology
Posted by skywisenight Friday August 24 2007 at 5:26AM

Today we have started the day out with an interesting interview with Emergent Technologies, the guys who give us the Gamebro middleware engine.  I have to say for me, this is pretty interesting stuff, because a few years ago when working on Wish for now closed studio Mutable Realms, this was our engine.

One thing I notice is how much this engine has changed in the last few years and how relaxed the interview was.  Interesting stuff for sure.  We are working on getting the interview up on the site as soon as possible (probably in the next few hours).

Unfortunatly now I'm sitting in the press lounge baby sitting the computer while it processes stuff, not exactly the most interesting part of an event like this, but someone has to do it, and since I'm not an interviewer (it's a good thing) and the only other guy here, I guess I get elected by default... I think I'll post more in the next few hours.

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Day Two... Less Tired
Posted by Stradden Thursday August 23 2007 at 4:15PM

Well, today was a great day. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Yesterday told me that the venue was huge. A quick look at the convention’s website tells me that last year, something around 160,000 people attended the convention, so I knew it was going to be busy. I knew I’d be talking to six different game companies: Warhammer Online, Aion, Tabula Rasa, Guild Wars, The Chronicles of Spellborn, Bounty Bay Online and Dreamlords. I also knew that we would be doing these interviews on camera for the first time. It’s not that I was nervous about being public speaking, as a theatre major in college I did that kind of thing all the time. It’s just the fact that doing interviews and then writing articles is one thing, while actually getting on camera and interviewing someone is quite another. In the end, I think it went pretty well… but I’ll let you guys be the judge of that.

 A couple of things about the day really stood out for me:

 The first is that Aion is absolutely visually stunning. Not just in specially chosen screenshots, but the general gameplay. Likewise, the cut scenes that are interspersed throughout the game are just… well, not what you see in your average MMORPG.

 The second is that Tabula Rasa is a genuinely different kind of MMORPG, so for those of you who complain about everything being “more of the same” or that “WoW clone” phrase that I’m not a huge fan of, there are definitely alternatives out there.

 The third is that Paul Barnett and Jeff Hickman from EA Mythic can still be both funny and informative after having had what I can only assume would be an extremely busy day of speaking in front of people. We got a great video presentation on the Warhammer elves (both High and Dark) that made me laugh. It’s kind of like watching an Abbot and Costello routine… if those two guy talked about WAR and Abbot spoke with an English accent.

 Well, that’s about it for today folks, big day tomorrow. Today, we’re going to bring you that Warhammer video, so keep an eye out!

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Yeah, I'm tired too!
Posted by skywisenight Wednesday August 22 2007 at 3:49PM

Indeed as Jon has written in the post before this, we are a tired, travel weary duo, and shall keep todays entries short.

While we arrived here late in the afternoon we did manage to check out the end of todays segment of the show and it's pretty darn cool!  I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and tagging along with Jon doing the interviews... this time we shall be having video versions of many of the interviews, which will be a nice change, although hopefully the hardware we brought will do the job.

Leipzig is a beautiul city and I wish I could live here.... except without the cost of stuff... I like the cost of living back home in Canada, but Leipzig is certainly awesome!

So, tomorrow Jon and I will be going around all over the show, and by the freak chance that people reading this are there, come up to us and say hi, and let me take your picture!  (I'll be wearing red and hauling around a tripod, and two cameras, naturally with a press badge).

On the topic of pictures, I got around to uploading some preliminary shots I took to day in my drunk-like stuppor  (from travelling, I promise!) and there is certainly a lot of cool stuff going on here.  Check the photos out here at gc-germany's page.

If anyone has requests of things they want us to find or see at the event, let us know and I'll try to hunt them down for you.  I know one stop I will definatly make is the playable demo of Starcraft II at the Blizzard booth.  Bosses: Don't fire me because it's not a MMO, it's just so darn awesome that it can't be overlooked!)

Anyway, I'm not of sound mind now, and need to rest so we can bring you more cohernt stuff tomorrow... and maybe with good spelling, because I know there's some rough stuff in here, and anyone who give me flack is going to.... well, really nothing, but come-ahn!  I've been up for almost 30 hours, give a guy a break.

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Tired Rambling
Posted by Stradden Wednesday August 22 2007 at 3:00PM

Well, here I am in Leipzig, Germany for the big Game Convention. It’s been a very long day. I’m always a bit weirded out when I wake up in one country and go to bed in another. It’s an odd feeling, but still great.

We started off in Halifax, leaving at around 2:00pm. As I write this, it’s 9:44 pm in Germany. Without going into time zones, that’s about 26 hours of being awake.

When we finally arrived here in Leipzig, Evan and I headed down to the Convention Center. I was absolutely stunned by the size of the place, it’s just enormous. We took a quick look around and Evan got some great pictures that should be up on the site as you’re reading this.

Tomorrow is the day the convention really gets started for us, as we have a number of interviews scheduled with some of the MMOs that are here, and this time around we’ve got a video camera with us, so you’ll be getting some video interviews to watch and probably a few of the more traditional text versions as well.

Okay, my tired state is resulting in a lack of good sentences, so I’m going to cut this short. Tomorrow’s update will be far more coherent, I promise…

Jon

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The rundown on GCG
Posted by gc-germany Wednesday August 22 2007 at 2:17PM

This blog will be our story of events that comprise of Game Convention Germany 2007.  Representing MMORPG.com at this convention will be Managing Editor Jon Wood and helping him out with media will be Evan Wilkinson, on of the guys who works behind the scenes on the site.  They will both be posting here as events happen, and photos,news,videos, and these blogs will be visible on our GC-Germany page all in one place.

Check out our coverage on our GC-Germany page!

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