Just a Quickie

February 20, 2009

Not to sound too much like I’m justifying the fortnight since my last post, but I’ve been working a lot on trying to craft the newest expansion of quest lines for www.DomainofHeroes.com. We’re having an overhaul of gear and tying in lore pieces, so the work is a bit extensive. Along with that, I’ve been grinding out character bios and thinking of story lines for a casual game we (www.TandemGames.com) hope to release in May. All that to say that though I’ve been less than diligent with my blog posts, I have been writing…which is the goal, right? Oh, and that reminds me! My newest Smallville blog should be up by noon today.

As for actual gaming, I’ve been sneaking a few hours of RockBand 2 (PS3) in whenever possible. The truth is, I have very little actual musical ability (although I’ve been applauded for my karaoke skillz) and this is even more apparent on RockBand. I’m addicted to drumming on those plastic/rubber pads, but as of now, I’m a Medium drummer at best. The song that will probably be the death of me is Lazy Eye by Silversun Pickups. I can 95% it on Medium, but I step up to Hard and the syncopated notes jump out of the screen with¬†billy clubs and beat me into submission. Here’s to you, real-life drummers. You deserve the women! ūüôā

Drew as The Real Slim Shady

Drew as The Real Slim Shady

From new friends to slammin’ parties and everything in between, the AGDC was everything I hoped it would be. Maybe more. I will try to be brief but invite all of you to ask any specific questions you may have about the goings-on of the conference.

Sunday night: The writers gang met at the Gingerman¬†around 8:00pm and I met who would turn out to be the usual suspects: Jeff Spock, Rhianna Pratchett, Andy Walsh, Ron Toland, Susan O’Connor*, Haris Orkin, Richard Dansky, Tom Abernathy and others (sorry to any I may have left off…there was alcohol involved). Without missing a beat, Andy launched himself into several rants that were informative and entertaining all at once; not a bad skill for someone who would later be giving a lecture about OnDemand Dialogue.

*Meeting Susan will be forever memorable as I made a giant fool of myself by asking her husband if Susan was married. As a writer, this was a moment of poor word choice.

Me, Rhianna Pratchett, Andy Walsh & Richard Dansky

Me, Rhianna Pratchett, Andy Walsh & Richard Dansky

Monday:I arrived early to the convention center and brought two dozen donuts along with sign-up sheets, coupons and an easel. Registration was quick and painless and I got a shirt, a schwag bag and a water bottle. I met Kristy Bowden who brought boxes full of literature and books for our table. I set everything up with some help from Ron and things looked good!

Celtx guys watch Andy dance the Robot

Celtx guys watch Andy dance the Robot

I spent the day going to a few panels (including a brilliant session with Shana Merlin¬†on improv storytelling and a critic-al workshop hosted by Richard Dansky) and manning the booth. I¬†met Tim Langdell and we¬†had a couple of drinks before leaving the center and making our way to the ArtHouse for music, art and drinks. There, Tim and I met with John Canning and left to eat dinner at Thai Passion. After this, the three of us went to the Sky Lounge for the Heatwave Interactive party. Open bar, food, cookies and Rock Band 2 competition – ‘Nuff said.

Tuesday: Waking up was a little difficult on Tuesday, but I still managed to arrive early with some donuts and kolaches. Interestingly, the booth, books, literature, poster¬†and drapes were all gone! Mix up with CMP, but things got fixed while I attended Andy’s panel on the Prince of Persia and OnDemand Dialogue. Kudos to Andy on what seems like a very interesting way of handling story through dialogue in an open world. I had a chance to walk the Expo floor (pretty small and packed) and later attended the Writers’ SIG meeting to put many more faces¬†withnames. The night was devoted to Valve’s party (I met Marc Laidlaw – the man behind the story behind the game of Half-Life) and the Gingerman.

Daniel Greenberg & Haris Orkin @ the Gingerman

Daniel Greenberg & Haris Orkin @ the Gingerman

Wednesday: The last day was slow for the first half, perhaps because Andy had left us. I manned the booth and then went to lunch (leaving the booth in the very able hands of Jeff Spock). Upon returning, I attended Adrian Hon’s panel of We Tell Stories and finished with an excellent presentation (or conversation speech) by Ground Zero Productions’ Flint Dille covering the necessary practices of writers wanting to break into the industry. A group of the writers ate at P.F. Chang’s and then split to attend different parties (most heading straight to the Gingerman).

P.F. Chang's FTW!

P.F. Chang's FTW

I was sad to say goodbye to so many of the writers and even though I’ve already read emails from a few, I hope to see them again before next AGDC. Call me a pushover, but the 3 days and 4 nights of the conference have made me feel that a lot of the¬†writers are more than just names on an email list now. They feel¬†more like friends. ¬†¬†

Again, if you have any specific questions about the conference (I know I was pretty vague here), please ask. I’d be more than happy to talk about this some more! Also, join the IGDA Writers’ SIG¬†email list!