Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Köln and Gamescom

And I'm back.

I have spent the past week in Cologne (Köln) Germany for Gamescom with a large group of ArenaNet employees. We were debuting Guild Wars 2 for public, hands-on consumption, and it was a zoo. The consumer booth was mobbed for most of the time, and worse when we were giving a public demo of the game. We all did Q&A sessions and threw T-shirts out into the crowd. And apparently the top-rated news show in Germany gave us a shout-out, and everyone decided to check out what the deal was. It was madness, I tell you, madness!

Oh, and we won the best MMO of the show as well.

My main task was doing demos and interviews up in the business office (a separate hall for press and business people), and signing copies of the german translation of Ghosts of Ascalon (Die Geister von Ascalon) on the show floor. And so from the former my voice is now shot, and from the latter I have a twinge in my right hand (we signed a LOT of books, and shook a LOT of hands). I also dropped in on my German translator, Panini, who had a booth there, and signed a bunch of books for him (and he sold out - three times - over the course of the show - he gave me a beer, which was nice). Oh. and answering questions from fans and throwing out t-shirts.

The show itself was amazing. People expected great things from us - it has been a year since we were last at the show, talking about lore and showing off our art pieces. I think we exceeded all expectations, and showed people what we were actually talking about with the game. The end result is that everyone (including the folk back here in Seattle, whose work-hours shifted to match Cologne time) is both incredibly pumped up and completely exhausted at this point.

I would have told you about this in real-time, but I was very busy with everything during the day, and in the evening, the Internet service sucked. I mean really, really, serious sucked rocks. The hotel staff (Hotel Barcelo, where their wake-up call software had to have worked off an old atari 800) was apologetic, but it left most of us without communication capacity.

So in the wake of all the news and excitement, I am a little achey and jet-lagged, and going to spend a day or two getting both my voice and mind back. But I have to tell you, it was very, very cool.

More later,