I'm so glad E3 2009 is over. You might get a general feel for how exhausting this thing is by reading what Dale, Colette, or Brad is writing, but when you're on your feet the entire time, and basically anchored to one spot, it's an entirely different type of tiring.
The exhaustion and the leg fatigue is there, but you've got additional back fatigue and if you happen to be demoing Shiren the Wanderer, you've probably somehow managed to make your head hurt by wearing a kasa for most of the day. You've also got tear-down to get to if you have a booth set-up, and while I wasn't really involved too much with that part of the process, it's still a bit nerve-racking. (Should I be helping more? Am I getting in the way? Do I look like a jerk if I take off at this point? Do I care if I look like a jerk at this point?)
Anyway, here's my little recap of my personal (read: Not an official Atlus recounting of how the show was!) experience with E3 2009.
Monday I headed out to the shindig Destructoid and other companies were throwing. I figured it was going to be some little event, but apparently free booze and free karaoke means people start showing up at 5 for an event that supposedly started at 7. I spent most of the time looking for Dale (seeing as how there was a crapload of people in the place, and people on the internet aren't exactly known for posting accurate pictures of themselves.) and perching at the bar partaking of drinks. I must have waited something like 2 hours for my turn at the karaoke rendition that I had promised Dale and was planning on using as my vehicle to actually find the guy.
As it turned out I ran into him some 3 or 4 songs before he got his turn at the mic, which he was going to use to find me. (Dale actually does look like his profile photo, so I spotted him while he was hovering near the mic.) I met a good portion of the site in one big flurry and everyone was fantastic. I paid my debt to Dale by performing the classic Icicle Works jam "Whisper to a Scream", and by that time it was pretty close to midnight.
Tuesday, I, unlike 75% of Atlus, did not have to work E3. There were less than 10 of us in the office, so we spent the day tormenting the people in our forums. (What will we announce...AREN'T YOU DYING TO KNOW!?) I found out from Robyn later that Sony ran footage of Crimson Gem Saga in their giant montage of PSP games during their conference, basically ensuring that Sony had utterly and completely won the show in my opinion.
Wednesday was my first day of E3. Demoed Shiren the Wanderer for tons of folks. The sections we had for our downloadable titles, Demon's Souls, and the nurses were pretty much jam packed all day. I never really got to see the booth, so I had to find out about everything from people coming by and talking to me. Half of the Atlus crew was too tired to party, so they headed back to their rooms after dinner. That's not how Team Crimson Gem rolls, though! Devin Curry wasn't even working the booth, and he swung by the hotel to show the party-capable members some of the local nightlife. Showing us the local nightlife involved us toasting and exchanging fist-pounds with what looked to be a transient in a wheelchair, certain members of the group having their good looks complimented by drunken patrons, and some of us nearly witnessing a fight, in of all places, a Taco Bell drive-thru.
Thursday was pretty much the same, except I was now playing the role of kasa-wearing Atlus member passing out Atlus bags and brochures like a machine. I had this exchange:
Some Media Guy: "That's an awesome hat. You want to do an interview on-camera?"
Me: "Uh, ok."
I have no idea if it'll actually end up being used anywhere, but maybe you'll see me doing a completely random interview all with my face covered. (Ted Tsung, the Project Lead for Shiren here, did a full Shiren interview for Desctructoid wearing the kasa on Day 1 so maybe you'll get to see that vid.)
That's what E3's like as an exhibitor. Instead of being excited about upcoming games and cool swag, your E3 experience is a whirl of faces, pains, small problems, and some low-impact carousing. Having been on both sides of the equation, I can tell you that in terms of E3, the life of the journalist is definitely the nicer time.
Overall, it was a good show for us. I was a bit disappointed that my new favorite project, Steambot Chronicles Battle Tournament, wasn't getting the attention it deserved (One of the funniest games I've ever worked on.) but all-in-all, we made a very big impact in a spot where we could have very easily been overshadowed (we were surrounded by Sony, Sony Online, Nintendo, and Gamespot). You can even see Aram getting ignored on camera in this clip from the Jimmy Fallon show. (The bit's decently funny, but skip to 1:15 left if you just want to see the Atlus part.)
And in case I came off a tad negative, I can't say working the show is all bad. There are some benefits.
Maybe I'll see you folks in the forum at an E3 down the road!