Here’s the remainder of my good AGC photos. I got lots of backs of heads and other such. A week later, I just want to get on with everything else in my life, and that is a lot. Had fun, was disturbed by more than a few things, got really down on myself for no one else’s fault but my own, and came out feeling only somewhat OK.
Anyway. Includes the IGDA-Austin shindig at Beerland with Guitar Hero 2. Captions in parentheses.
The Austin chapter of the International Game Developers Association, formerly known as Austin Game Developers and now as IGDA-Austin, sponsored its first developer gathering in half a year at one of Austin’s many famous live-music dive bars, Beerland and hosted by former Beerland bouncer and Ion Storm build engineer Nathan Regener.
On tap was a pre-release version of Guitar Hero 2, the sequel to last year’s PlayStation 2 sleeper hit, currently scheduled for a November release. Developers, students and friends signed up in advance to challenge each other or play on the sequel’s updated cooperative mode, with all-new songs, on Beerland’s stage with a projector screen and monitors.
(Beerland’s interior, with Warren Spector in foreground.)
After a brief scramble to find a PS2 developer kit that would run the GH2 beta (the original Guitar Hero was on hand with the stock PS2,) matches went on into the wee hours of the morning, with such titles as “Shout at the Devil” by Motley Crue, “YYZ” by Rush, “Who Was In My Room Last Night” by The Butthole Surfers, “Madhouse” by Anthrax, “Strutter” by KISS and “Psychobilly Freakout” by The Reverend Horton Heat. Though I wasn’t there to see it, it reportedly went until 2 a.m. Thursday morning.
(The official score in Guitar Hero 1 (not 2) from Breakaway Games artist Tre Zieman (player 1) and his boss, Mike McShaffry, after battling through “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand on Expert. Rock!)
(Game development students from Guildhall Tommy Westerman and Joowon Kim successfully finish “Psychobilly Freakout” on Guitar Hero 2.)
(Jeff Toney, artist for Kingsisle Entertainment, prepares for co-op mode on Guitar Hero 2, without a mohawk.)
Back to the conference:
(Sam Lewis, formerly of Kesmai, SOE Austin and too many other places to mention, now working on Cartoon Network’s MMO. I might’ve done a report on his talk on MMO economies, but I ran out of nerve and time. His slides are here. Short version: Go for the oligarchy. And if you don’t know what that means, hire an economist as a designer.)
(Diner Dash 2, the sequel to my recent nemesis, recently got an exclusive deal to be played on MSN Games. Now there’s families with crying babies that shut up when you get them high-chairs. Yeah, I don’t know if it’s more fun. But it looks nicer and Flo is still a great game character.)
(Booth babes. Yeah. K2 Network was a major sponsor of the con, including the biggest bar party on Thursday. Yes, the banner says “W3 PWN IRL.” I doubt its veracity.)