GDC 2011 Day 2 – Shooters and Showgirls

Hardest hotel mattress…ever.

Last night was less than restful, what with the loonies screaming outside my window until 3 am and a mattress I’m convinced (by the sound it made every time I moved on it) is made of recycled styrofoam cups. I woke this morning groggy and hurting all over, but with the help of a large cup of coffee, made it to my first appointment by 10am.

Today was a busy one—I started things with a look-see at the Sims Medieval, which in its goofy Princess Brideyness looks good enough to actually make me want to play another Sims game. I was also shown a Sims game on the 3DS but was definitely not sold on it. That’s more a factor though of what I see as immature 3D technology rather than a problem with the game. I then saw a funny little puzzle game called Okabu by HandCircus, one of the most hilarious and vaguely naughty-sounding developer names I’ve ever heard.

It drizzled steadily most of the day and I spent hours bouncing soggily back and forth between the W hotel and the St. Regis hotel like Hugh Hefner between two bottle blondes. At Disney I saw a new LEGO game, Pirates of the Caribbean, which looks to be one of my new favorites, as well as some less compelling mobile titles. The afternoon was taken up by a 3D demo of Uncharted 3, Hybrid, a new post-apocalyptic shooter by the guys who made Scribblenauts (I still say that’s weird) and the latest entry in the Mortal Kombat franchise. The highlights of the day however, were Batman: Arkham City (which looks awesome!!) and this woman, who was strangely enough, on the street trying to give away free burritos.

Interesting premise, right? Not many marketing folks would have the vision to look at a Vegas showgirl and think “burrito”.

The evening was as full as the afternoon, with trying to hork down a burrito (hey, that Vegas show girl thing really works!), rushing to the Independent Game Festival awards, then hoofing it over to the Metreon to see a pre-screening of ILM’s new animated film, Rango, complete with free popcorn and coke. Ugh…I don’t feel so well.

(Btw, Rango is really entertaining and contains homages to Raising Arizona, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and features an inspired banjo-centric rendition of Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries and a great surprise cameo.)

I walked back to the hotel after twelve solid hours of movement and am minutes away from crashing out on my firm, comfy bed of squeaky polystyrene. Ooh wait—I nearly forgot the other highlight of the day—walking within a mere few steps of John Romero’s long and lustrous mane.

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