GDC 2011 Day 3 – Ben, books and Belgians

Day three of GDC. I woke up this morning to the sound of prolonged giggling out in the hallway outside my door. The hotel maids were having a little fourth-floor coffee klatch and apparently one of them was tres amusant. Rather than ending within a reasonable timeframe, it went on and on, until eventually I had no choice but to admit defeat and start the day all angry. I’m sorry people, but that early in the morning, nothing is that fuckin’ funny.

I had another full day scheduled and was worried I wouldn’t get through it since this morning it was clear I’d caught a cold from someone. It’s gotta be all that hand-shaking. I really should learn to carry sanitizer or before shaking hands with anyone, stop them and say, “Pardon me while I put on this pair of disposable latex gloves.” Either that, or when they put their hands out, suddenly feign having a bloody nose. All I know is, some no-hand-washing bastard is responsible for me sneezing all day.

The morning started with a view of Conduit 2 which looks to be a notable improvement on the first Conduit. Granted, to me playing a shooter with the Wii remote is tantamount to stirring soup with a ping pong paddle but the game does look broader and more ambitious in scope. After that, I ran over to see some indie titles at the Gamespy booth, then to Deep Silver’s room to see pirate RPG (or as they said, “Arrrrr-PG”) Risen 2 and the new zombie survival game, Dead Island. Like bacon, pirates make everything better but it’s Dead Island that really stole the show. Can’t wait for it to come out so I can retreat to a picturesque tropical idyll and start bashing zombie butt!

After that, I took a short break to suck back a latte and kibbutz a little with my old buddy Ben (who was a comrade during the days of suffering the slings and arrows of QA and even today smilingly takes responsibility for my final ever, epic hangover).

Having recovered a little, I then went to talk to Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye games (Dave’s made a game with a rabbi detective that’s said to be “A rabbinical adventure of mourning and mystery.” How cool is that?) After the chat with Dave, I made it to the mobbed Telltale Games booth (lotsa young kids wanting to work for the Telltale) and saw their new Jurassic Park game, a hilariously crude adventure called Hector: Badge of Carnage by an Irish developer and even more exciting, heard about them making an adventure game adaptation of The Walking Dead.

The day ended with a quick trip to Capcom to see Street Fighter 3D, Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D and Okamiden, which was my favorite of the three. Before leaving, I blew $40 on a book about writing for games that may or may not be of any use, then snapped a picture of this guy, who I think had just been mugged by a group of over-enthusiastic Dickens Faire devotees.

Leaving Moscone, I trekked up to Market to meet my good friend Claire. We took the Muni up to the old ‘hood and made it just in time for happy hour at the brewery on 9th and Irving. They’re currently featuring a series of “strong” beers and we both partook of a delicious Belgian stout called “Good S’Mores”. Yup, it was as amazing as it sounds.

Now, back in the hotel room I’m bracing myself for one last night in the Home for Wayward Murals and one last appointment at Moscone tomorrow afternoon before I fly back to real life again in ABQ. I hear tell while I’ve been gone, that the Orkin man paid a visit and the pups threw up on the bed. Woohoo! I bet everyone out there wishes they were me.

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