I got to Moscone North 15 minutes before the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed talk, and saw a long line outside the room. Oh shit, I thought, it’s too late. Star Wars fans have lined up since the night before and I’m not going to get a seat.
It turned out they just weren’t letting anyone in yet – so I got a fantastic seat, four rows from the front and with a clear view of both the speaker (Haden Blackman, LucasArts) and the big projector screen. No photos or video were allowed during the talk, but I kid you not – my jaw dropped and I felt fan-tears in my eyes. I have to have this game. I have to save up for an Xbox 360 and get this game. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is fucking awesome.
And on the way out, they gave away free Star Wars: The Force Unleashed miniatures to everyone.
With that out of the way, I had a pretty awesome day.
I attended Ray Kurzweil’s keynote on the next 20 years of gaming. He’s an inventor / futurist, and he proved to us that technology and innovation can actually be predicted, and the next 20 years is gonna be pretty scary with virtual reality, nanotechnology, and things like that. But that was amazing too. Then I attended a game writers’ roundtable with some really big names just talking about my dream job, and it took me 45 minutes to gather up the courage to raise my hand and ask a question, but I did. I told them I’d done a bit of game writing in the Philippines and I wanted to do more of it, so would they advise me to take my master’s in game writing in the US (is there any?) and if any studio actually hired game writers from other countries (and I said this had no relation to Bioware, as Bioware’s lead writer was there and had just announced they were hiring).
And Bioware’s lead writer raised his hand and said, “Can we please make sure her question is answered, because she may not have this chance again?” And then we were out of time but people came up to me and gave me school suggestions and other tips and the guy from Bioware gave me his card (Daniel Erickson, that’s his name) and said if I ever wanted to e-mail him informally to ask about writing tips or show him my stuff, he would be more than happy to help.
Oh my God.
And then I had lunch with the rest of the Pinoy developers, as well as Chris Avellone (whom you all know is one of my game writing heroes), Andy from Obsidian, Jamie Fristrom (Spider-Man 2) and a man named Tim whom I didn’t get to talk to but apparently he’s working on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
Then I attended Ian Schreiber’s roundtable about breaking into academia, and listened to game professors from different countries, and I realized how much I still have to learn about teaching. Hopefully I can prepare better for my class next term.
– Going to the Activision booth and watching the CoD4 “making of” video
– Playing CoD4 on a PC with a 3D monitor (you had to wear special glasses) and a gun mouse with real triggers
– Playing CoD4 on the Xbox 360, split-screen against our CTO Paul, and kicking his ass (though it wasn’t fair, as I was using my favorite weapons – a G36c and a knife! – and he didn’t play CoD at all)
I ended the day by going to the annual FOG Studios dinner (they represent us) and as we were leaving, FOG’s president Ed Dille told me something that I hope to never forget:
“You’re a loss to the industry. You impressed me even when we didn’t together for very long, because I read your traffic. You’re a small person but you’ve got a really big heart that’s too big for your body. And it shows. And it attracts people. So I hope you come back.”
What a day. What a wonderful day. So no matter what shit you throw at me, Life, and all your Evil Proponents (you know who you are), I am worth something, and I am worth something good.
(GDC photos here.)