To say I’ve always wanted to go to E3 would be an understatement. Video games aren’t just a casual hobby: I grew up reading the latest gaming news (remember Nintendo Power?) and was always eager to hear news about the latest and greatest games and hardware. Seeing all the great holiday announcements for upcoming games in June was great, but I wished I could go out and see everything the press did firsthand.
For those who don’t know, E3 stands for the Electronic Entertainment Expo—I like to describe it as “the Super Bowl for video games” to my non-gamer friends. During the big three day trade-show in Los Angeles, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft turn up the hype for games coming to their consoles and reveal brand-new hardware and technology innovations. The gaming press are able to get their hands on early, pre-release versionsof hotly anticipated games coming later in the year and interview developers and big-name industry pundits.
I was extremely fortunate to go to E3. Although it’s a very large event, it’s generally reserved for people closely involved in the gaming industry, like journalists, developers, publishers, and hardware/peripheral manufacturers. As luck would have it, Deric Ortiz of One Nation of Gamers, was able to get me a ticket. Be sure to check out his site (www.onenationofgamers.com) and reward him for all of his awesomeness.
So What’s E3 Like?
E3 is excitingly stressful and the whole event is like a giant amusement park. Even before the doors opened at 10 AM, people were lined up past the convention center just waiting to inch onto the show floor. Once inside, there was something to see in every direction: one half of the enormous venue was comprised of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo areas, and the other hall was split off into the publisher zones. Both halves had an incredible wealth of events and activities to see and participate in, which was overwhelming in the best sense of the word.
The companies exhibiting spared no expense creating fantastic exhibits to display and demo their games and hardware. If you’re an ordinary visitor and don’t get to experience the private showcases that major media publications get, expect to wait in line. Waiting, though, isn’t really that bad; the anticipation makes the final moment of getting your hands onto the next game or hardware system that much better.
One of the challenges was trying to figure out which booths and events I wanted to see first. As an E3 amateur, three days flew by quickly, but each progressive day helped me strategize a better battle plan for what order I wanted to tackle each event and activity.
E3 wasn’t an event that made me a better designer in an obvious or concrete way. Instead, this awesome conference reminded me of all the reasons I design: because I love being involved in a community of creative people, seeing their drive, and striving to make the best art they can. As a web designer at WDG, striving to create the best art I can is something I do everyday.
What was the Coolest Stuff You Saw?
Oculus is the greatest achievement in consumer-targeted, virtual reality technology. It’s a head-mounted display with zero latency, meaning that when you move your head or turn your body it reflects what you see in the game world in real-time. You know those euphoric feelings you get when experiencing something that you know will be completely revolutionary? That was what Oculus Rift was like. It was cool.
Dragon Age Inquisition
Although I’m a diehard lover of the original Dragon Age, I was one of the many fans who didn’t think the sequel delivered on the same grandeur of the first game. At E3, I had an opportunity to see Inquisition’s director guide us through a 40-minute demo highlighting every beloved element of the original game that was improved for the third installment. Now combat scenes are more strategic and fluid, character customization is more robust, the Frostbite3 engine makes the world look amazing while moving at a steady clip, and we even had a hint of what player choices will do to alter the storyline. If it succeeds in being better than the original, there’s definitely an RPG of the Year award in Inquisition’s future.
Destiny is a brand new franchise from the veteran game studio, Bungie, whose work on the popular series, Halo, you might be familiar with. Destiny is an ambitious game and will feature dynamic environments, cooperative and competitive play, and robust customization of the play experience. Destiny has been compared to having the breadth of an MMO—a large-scale game with persistent, yet highly interactive worlds like World of Warcraft—but as a first person shooter. Publisher Activision has already spent $500 million bringing Destiny to life and I think it’s definitely going to pay off.
- Smash Brothers Wii U
- Bayonetta 2
- Sunset Overdrive
- Fantasia: Music Evolved
Want to tweet at me about video games or questions I didn’t cover? Let’s be Twitter buds: follow me @randallallday.