Friday, October 18, 2013

The Gathering

On the morning of May 10, we all gathered for the very first time. Unlike what several had prophesied, this did not bring about the finish of the planet. No, this Tuesday morning turned out to be quite benevolent. The six of us met at Malmö train station proper next to the statue of the knotted gun, which incidentally did no longer exist.
“Good,” stated Thomas, “would have been too easy to discover if we have been able to stick to our directions.”

Thomas and Jens are the founders of Frictional Games. They make an intriguing and powerful pair. Thomas is a force of nature hauling us off to adventure, even though Jens is the a lot more reserved kind who dryly states that we’re going the incorrect way. Together they manage to keep us moving on the correct track.
I had already met them both just before and along with Marcus and Luis, who I had met on the trip to Seattle, there was only a single man left.
Marc turned out to be a cheerful man with subtle gestures. His eyebrows bounced as a silent hello.
“I guess we are all here.”

The Gang

That innocuous Tuesday may possibly look arbitrary, but there was a explanation for us to meet in Malmö that day. The city hosted the Nordic Game Conference and we were to attend and hopefully get some love from the press and our fellow game developers.
“This is going to be enjoyable. And the award ceremony is going to be exiting!”
“Right, about that. We were not nominated for something,” informed Jens.
“Not a single nomination? From the extremely men and women who even helped to fund Amnesia.”
“We got a cost-free booth to show our game.”
“Better than nothing?”
“Not actually, now we have booth to attend to.”

We have been there to attend the conference, to hang out, and get to know every single other. We actually didn’t have something new to show, which sort of explains why our booth was grossly understaffed and consisted of a single personal computer operating Amnesia with a t-shirt strung up above it.

The conference took a slow and smooth begin as we truly didn’t have anything to attend except a minor exposé of games like some casual drinking. That is why we initial headed off in a totally diverse path and ended up going to the “House of Science and Maritime History”, a museum filled with old machines and oddities. Possessing filled our heads with fascinating factoids, it was about time we burned a few braincells with a bit of reckless driving at the go-cart circuit. Marcus stumped us all with his motor skills, leaving us convinced he need to have had a lot of practice. Becoming from the northern wastes, it only seems reasonable he would have to drive quick to get away from polar bears and Santa.

Road Rage!

Wednesday was the day that the conference truly got going. Ed Fries, a game creating legend from Microsoft, launched the day with a wonderful keynote speech about creativity and constraints. Afterwards we all split up and to attend the lectures we located most intriguing, only to meet up by the Street Fighter arcade machine in the course of the breaks, to kick ass, chew pastries, and drink coffee.


During the evening the major gala was held to announce the winners of all the awards. Knowing well we hadn’t been nominated, we chowed down on the scrumptious food we had been served. That is when we all of a sudden noticed that they had been playing a Amnesia-trailer on the big screen.
“We won... some thing!”
“Wait, what? Did we?
No, we didn’t, at least I don’t consider we did, but we had been known as on stage to take a bow in a nice lifetime-achievement sort of way.

The subsequent day when all the hoopla had settled, we had been greeted, by strangers and pals.
“Congratulations on the award!”
“Thanks, we didn’t get a single.”
“Sure you did, you were on the stage and every thing. Must have been some kind of award.”
To this day we do not genuinely know what that was, but it was intriguing mixed with a hint of awkward.

Thursday passed with even more lectures and Street Fighting. As a final farewell, all the participants gathered in the big hall to play a game. Not the digital kind, well nearly, indirectly if you will. The moderator pulled up two game titles and a statement. Then two individuals from the audience got to argue which game fitted the statement. The initial bout? Amnesia v.s. Bioshock – Which one particular is a lot more disturbing.
The initial factor that ran through my head was what if I was picked to defend Amnesia, that would be embarrassing. Then it struck me. What if I decided to defend Bioshock! It was not like anybody genuinely recognized me as the writer. That would be hilarious, to speak smack about our personal game, what if I won that argument? I was laughing inside currently.
Even even though I now and then get some clever concepts, I tend to be slow. When I went to raise my hand, it was currently too late. Two contestants had begun to argue what was a lot more disturbing already. Pride and shame mixed as they argued their sides, but it turned to a heartwarming expertise as the crowd favored Amnesia. Hell yeah, we made a disturbing game.

If you want to slow down, just crash into anything.

On Friday there was no conference, it had ended on Thursday. Nonetheless, there was much more to be completed. Luis and Marcus, the two individuals who in fact had to fly in to be able to attend, had one far more day to spend. Jens and Thomas invited us to come to Helsingborg, exactly where they and Frictional Games officially reside.
Considering that there was no office to go to, we headed out into the city. To do so in style, we jumped on Segways and rode around. It was tremendous exciting and we got to see the surrounding nature in a pleasant way. Some even got to see the dirt road, up close, as they came crashing down. That’s right, no less than Jens, Marcus, and Luis managed to crash their Segways. In increasingly dramatic ways too.

Right after the death defying speed racing with Segways, we slowed down with some care free sightseeing in the city and a visit to the regional tropical zoo.

The evening and the week ended with some fine dining and then some beer at the pub. It is challenging to sum up the expertise and let you in on all the specifics. Let’s just say, a bunch of anonymous web men and women came together in real life... and the globe didn’t finish this weekend, that’s strange, isn’t it?

You are welcome.

Marcus in his organic habitat.

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