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Short, But Sweet


Mikel Tidwell


It's Friday already? How did that happen? Well, today is the last day for GDC 2008. It's also cut a bit short as the halls close roughly two hours earlier than the previous days. Friday is usually an open day to do some things not always related to RPGs. After all, we're here as gamers as well as reporters.

My first meeting was with the developers behind the upcoming title: The Chronicles of Spellborn. This is a game that's been underway for a few years, but this year should be the year of release. I was joined by another media team, which was fine with me since I was running this one solo. I hope I didn't monopolize the session with all my questions, but they seemed more up-to-date with the game than I was. This is definitely a game you can play with your friends, no matter what level. That's a very important aspect about MMORPGs that most developers miss. If I am level 40 and my friend is level 20, typically I can't play with them in an MMORPG. Spellborn seems a bit different and I am looking forward to it reaching beta status.

From there, I wandered the North Hall again. I found a huge racing simulator with 3 large screens and a strap-in seat. I had to try it out. A lot of the other people were wiping out, so I asked the guy for some tips. He told me that most people floor it, so ease off the gas, or even use the break. That seemed simple enough. I guess most people here haven't played a racing game. The race is three laps long. My first lap was 1:42, which the guy says was good, especially for the first time playing. My second lap was awful because I managed to skid off the road into some shrubs, becoming almost stuck. Finally I ran the third lap for a blistering 1:33. The guy actually looked impressed.

I ran into a friend from Square Enix. We talked for a good half an hour. He mocked me for taking so long to finish Tactics (and not leveling enough, thanks for that too, man), and I grilled him on upcoming things. Nothing new to announce, sadly, but it's always good to catch up in person. So much of the work is done via email that it's always good to have a 'real' conversation.

It was time to get in line for the Final Fantasy related session of the day. This one was about the technology, focusing on The White Engine. Not entirely unexpected, a lot of the session went over my head, especially having to do with data formats and lighting issues. However, a majority of the people attending the session were programmers, so hopefully they got more out of it than I did. I was hoping for some new Final Fantasy XIII footage, but was disappointed in that aspect.

With a full session letting out right when lunch becomes available, there was a mass exodus of people from the room, up the stairs, across the street to West Hall, and up the to the third floor to procure a lunch. My daily routine continued as I headed back to the press room to upload anything I could while I was eating. I was unable to get any pictures from the Final Fantasy panel, so I was left with cleaning up the notes from that and working on this journal. A friend sat next to me while we ate, so we talked a bit. I remember a few years ago I was always too shy to talk to most of the media, but I'm glad to say I've gotten over that. It makes the job a lot more interesting when you run into people you know on all sides of the industry.

Carrie told me the line for the Fable 2 session was longer than usual, which told me that it would be standing room only. Deciding we already had someone there, I headed back to the hotel, thus ending my GDC. For having only two people to cover the event, I think we did rather well. I do feel quite a bit a burnout though, as to be expected. I probably won't leave the hotel room until it's time to leave tomorrow for home.

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"I was hoping for some new Final Fantasy XIII footage, but was disappointed."

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