Intrinsic Algorithm will once again be prowling the expansive halls of the LA Convention Center for E3. (Has someone made an RPG level out of that place?) For a wonder this year, we still have openings for meetings about game AI consulting. If you are looking to get a little help on your game and will be at the show, please contact us so we can chat! If not, no worries… it will actually be nice to see the expo floor for a change!
After dealing with delays in LA, stand-by flight bookings, and a late-night sprint through concourse B in Denver, I have returned from E3.
People keep asking me what I thought of the show and I realize I have no answer for them. After enough E3’s, they all just blend together. I didn’t see any of the keynotes yet – I’ll see them online or read about them. I didn’t wait in line to do demos of all the hot technologies – my time is too valuable for that. To be honest, I didn’t play a single game.
However, I did lurk and watch a lot. My goal at E3 is to take the temperature of the industry. What’s going on? What are companies doing or not doing? And then, I talk to people. It’s amazing how many studios are showing off smoke and mirrors at E3 and passing it off as gameplay. That’s unfortunate, but it is also what the consumer wants. They want to dream and salivate (mostly salivate). It’s also necessary as part of the business model that thrives on pre-release “buzz”.
“Sometimes, the result is a final product that is still smoke and mirrors.”
Anyway, it is also a good time for me, after observing what they are showing, to quietly and discreetly ask them what they really need going forward. And often, assistance with AI is high on the list. After all, placeholder AI for a demo is more smokey and mirrory than anything else. Unfortunately, unlike gameplay and building more levels, which can be planned out to some extent, most of the companies don’t really seem to know where they are going with AI. Sometimes, the result is a final product that is still smoke and mirrors.
On that note, it’s time to do all my follow-up communication. Hopefully in the next few weeks we can announce who we are going to be working with. There’s plenty of companies we are talking to. And we’re excited about every single one!
Intrinsic Algorithm will be at E3 in Los Angeles. Once again this year, we are meeting with studios, individuals, and recruiters to discuss potential AI consulting contracts. (To learn more about Intrinsic Algorithm’s AI consulting work, go here.)
If you or your studio needs a little help (or a big push) with your game AI, we still have some time slots available during the week. Please contact us so we can meet!
Oh… and maybe we will get to actually see some of the show floor this year. But we would rather meet with you instead!
Dave Mark will be heading out to SoCal once again for E3.
Much like last year, actually attending the conference (as in seeing the show floor) is a bit of a misrepresentation. In fact, there were rumors going around that there was some sort of show where you could play all sorts of new games. There was no time to see if any of that was true, however. Too many meetings!
So, like last year, Intrinsic Algorithm is actively meeting with studios, outsourcing companies, and recruiters regarding their need for AI consulting. If you would like to set up and appointment, feel free to contact us.
Otherwise, if you are one of our many colleagues and will be trolling around the Staples Center, make sure you say “hi”… if you manage to pick Dave out of a crowd of 50,000. (Giving me a call might be easier.)
I have finally returned from E3 in LA. Mom Nature didn’t seem to want me to get out of Denver last night, but I made it back.
Thanks to all of you who I met with during the course of the week. As is always the case, there were a few of you whom I didn’t get a chance to speak with – such is the way of conferences like these. Please shoot me an email so we can discuss business.
I finally did manage to look at some of the stuff on the show floor on Thursday (which usually ended up with a discussion about business). I have to say there are certainly interesting things happening in the game industry. However, I was somewhat dismayed by the wide array of genericy (is that a word?) still on display. Some have asked if we have too many titles on the shelf. I would contend that we have too many titles that all do the same thing.
Anyway, it is nice to see E3 back the way it needs to be – but without all the excess that was there in 2002-2003 when I last attended. There were only a few areas of the floor where I could not hold a decent conversation with people. I especially liked how many companies had headphones attached to their demo systems – some with a link so that the demo person could talk to them through the headphones as well. Very nicely done. It cuts down on all the ambient noise on the floor and lets you hear what’s going on in the game. For some games that’s actually important, ya know!
One thing that was somewhat depressing was knowing that people playing a game for 5 or 10 minutes really have no way of grasping any AI other than the surface issues. They can’t “engage” with the game to feel things out. At that point, it’s only a slightly more interactive version of the “back of the box” mentality… it’s really difficult to hype AI in the promo posters and trailers. A 5 or 10-minute demo isn’t going to change all that much.
Anyway, back to going through my massive stack of business cards. Keep checking back for more news on some of the interesting conversations that took place during the course of the week.
I will, indeed, be going to E3 this year. I will be speaking with a number of companies regarding AI consulting. If you are going to be (or are based) in town and would like to meet to discuss business, feel free to contact me so we can set something up.
I’ve already received my confirmation of free admission to the return of E3. I’m not sure if I’m going to be heading out there or not. Despite the travel being significantly cheaper than going to GDC, I would like to have a little business justification for my trip. I have a couple of potential clients to visit and definitely a few colleagues who will buy me dinner. I will be deciding in the next few days.
If you have a suggestion of how to make it worth my while (e.g. want to meet me for a potential consulting contract), contact me soon!
Ok… this is a blast from the past. I upgraded my Flickr account just so I could flood it with all these pictures from the GDCs and E3s that I went to. I plan on uploading tons of GDC pics when Laurie and I are out there next week to go along with blog posts on our activities. In the mean time, feel free to pore over hundreds of pictures of past Game Developers Conferences and Electronic Entertainment Expos!