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CGDC Observations

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johnhattan

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Well, I actually got some good feedback from the last entry. A couple of folks said that they shared my observations about the CGDC. A couple other people suggested that John Romero, the angry egotistical dwarf, be nominated for next year's People magazine awards. Still another person suggested that I should've just dwarf-tossed him and continued my conversation. I'll reserve further dwarf-comments for another time.

Also, I didn't mention my adventures in the puzzle-gaming roundtable. Alexy Pajitnov, the guy who invented Tetris, was hosting a 3-part roundtable about puzzle game design, and I got to attend two of 'em. Alexy acted more like a moderator, constantly asking if we wanted to talk about 3D puzzle games. The answer was a continuous "no", so he finally gave up on that discussion.

There was an interesting moment at the first conference. Shortly before it began, a character entered the room, and the rest of the room lit up with murmurs. Apparently this person was the lead designer of Obsidian, a fine-looking multi-CD adventure game. About an hour later, it occurred to me, "Wait a minute. My games have sold better than Obsidian, why was the room not abuzz when I entered?". Of course, Obsidian does look quite good, and Rocket Science might still be around today if they didn't release a bunch of crap early on, so it's not his fault that Obsidian faded rather quickly. He actually seemed like a decent guy, so I just kept my big egotistical wannabe mouth shut :)

The guys who designed Smart Games and a few other packs were also there. At one point we were talking about how to give hints without making it too easy on the user. I mentioned that 7th Guest had this quiet ambient voice that gave vague hints, becoming more demonstrative over time. When asked if I thought it was a good idea, I gave an ambiguous reply. I wanted to reply that the puzzles in 7th Guest were ambiguous and had nothing to do with the story, so the voice was needed just to connect the game to the plot. Unfortunately, the 7th Guest guys were in the room, so I didn't press it. Maybe roundtables should be done via IRC :)

Fixed a few of outstanding bugs in my main menu and in a couple of games (right after handing out sampler CD's at the CGDC, good work). I also started on a new game. I was always attracted to those Yachtzee-type games that you play with funny dice, so I'm working on my own version. Hopefully it'll be different enough from the stuff currently out there to be interesting. We'll see.

On a completely different note, I've become addicted to the little wheel on my mouse. I've got two of 'em now on the machines, the Microsoft and the Logitech. Of the two, I prefer the Logitech because the software is better and the wheel is a bit looser.
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