Our wrap party was last nite, we had a good time, got to saran wrap our lead designer and make a clown outta him while destroying the open bar. I've got my first VG title under my belt, and dammit if the game ain't too bad either. I've never cared about game reviews 'til now, but it's all in good fun. We know we hauled ass on it, and reading what some people say on GameFAQs.com can be anything from hilarious to depressing. In the end, we just want to put out something that kids have a lot of fun with, but without sacrificing our families and sanity to do it. I think we struck that balance very well.
Tony Hawk 9: Proving Grounds for the PS2 has passed first submission! Hooray! Yeah yeah Halo 3 blah blah… Meanwhiles, I've been moved onto the next unannounced project, and was brought on full-time. Finally, I get a chance to be in game design from pre-production, and there's a heck of a lot of work to be wrassled.
While I did get a small breather, I realize that game designers are essentially busiest at the beginning and the end of the development cycle. First to make the stack of rules and concepts that will be made… then later on to corral the shards leftover by artists and engineers into a seemly, playable, lump of broken dreams. I'm just kidding, but you get the idea. In fact, it's extremely exciting to wrangle ideas to appeal both to our client, who's given us their IP, their baby, and our internal machinations for such games as go-for-broke developers. Learning exec speak, crafting proposals that we won't hate ourselves for later, "prototyping" UI ideas, and just trying to capture the essence of an IP I don't fully understand, these are the challenges I'm learning from everyday.
Meanwhiles in the rest of the world, you've probably seen the froth in the stock market when the Fed announced an interest rate cut of half a point. I was careful to avoid trying to jump in recklessly when I saw how that day rose on such weak volume, and since the rally it seems like the traders have lost much steam. Chances are, we'll see another rate cut by the end of the year. Helicopter Ben's strategy will be to pre-empt recessionary talk with offensive injections of liquidity. Stock markets will rally until the weight of a collapsing housing market pulls it down. I will try to profit from it all.
As Tokyo Game Show raged into the land of the rising yen, I tried to skim off of the abundant Dualshock 3's rumble rumors by buying Immersion Corp. (NYSE:IMMR) stock. It didn't pan out. I got in and got out with a 4% gain, never looked back. These kinds of speculative plays, while fun, are dangerous even for people who think they know everything in their own industry. Caveat investor.
Being under assault by a month-long cold, working extra late to scale that Mt. Doom that is alpha, "enjoying" the three hours of commute book-ending days of overtime, and then spending the last addicted breaths of my R&R time late at nite huffing the Puzzle Quest demo, I can safely say that it hasn't been healthy nor synergistic.
We're currently working on versions of the next Tony Hawk game, and we've got just the summer left. And there is so much work left to do, it's scary. I seriously think, however, that this next Tony Hawk game will be one of the best in years. Anyways, I've decided to make my addiction more portable by switching to Planet Puzzle League, which is fantastic btw. I haven't had such intense games in years, and it was a pleasure to demolish daring players from Japan. I've only met my equal once, and we ended a 4-4 tie. My neck is killing me. Shall I compromise the productivity of my co-workers by introducing them to this wonderous game?
Evil cackle and fear of karma are battling it out in my mind's Octagon.
This weekend, I finally got a chance to get our Washington D.C. photo album up. Visiting our nation's capital on Memorial Day really helped rejuvenate my patriotism, and the trip was just the greatest vacation I've ever taken. I'll let the pictures do the talking, but one thing sums it all up: fresh Maine lobster roll.