The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 3 Review – No rest for the wicked

Note: If anyone was wondering where I’ve been the last two weeks (if you don’t follow me on Twitter), I was at the Develop conference in Brighton, so between meetings, award ceremonies, parties and after parties that didn’t leave a lot of time to write a post. Then last week… well it’s a long story, but I’m back now!

 

Or the good. Or anyone really. I recently finished Season 2 Episode 3 of Telltale’s massively popular zombie adventure game, which was based on the comic books of the same name. And you should probably know by now that there are few developers I trust as much as these guys to put out quality content every time. They definitely did not disappoint this time. Once again, please don’t read this until you’ve played the previous episodes, because there will be spoilers – huge ones!

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Why you might want to skip trade shows like E3

photo 5 photo 4Having been to a few trade shows like E3 and GDC the thing that really struck me was the number of consumers or at least people only loosely tied to the industry there were in attendance. I usually found this out from either talking to people or… to be honest, it’s pretty obvious. The few people in cosplay or getting really rowdy are probably not necessarily there for work. I have no issue with this of course. I mean, if you want to go and enjoy yourself, then go for it! In fact I kind of miss going to consumer conventions like the MCM Expo in London, which I used to attend twice a year, because of the atmosphere and amazing people who would turn up. Trade shows aren’t like that. Yet I’ve heard a lot of non-industry people talking about how they would do anything to go to E3 and I’m not sure if they’re just setting themselves up for disappointment. I’m not saying don’t go, but I’d like to explain some of my experiences of shows like E3 and you can make up your own mind if it’s something you want to spend your cash on. My focus here is mainly on E3 as that seems to be the one that most people want to attend, but it applies equally to other trade shows. Continue reading

UWG ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION: DO WE NEED E3?

Originally posted on UWG here. This week I wanted to post an interesting round table discussion we had over at UWG regarding the necessity of E3. Obviously my perspective was a little different from most, as I work in the games industry and attending conferences is a large part of my job, so hopefully I added something unique to the discussion. But I want to know, what do you guys think? Do you have aspirations to attend E3? As a consumer are you even excited by it anymore? Let me know! As mentioned, I’ll be writing on a related topic soon – what are trade shows actually like and should consumers try to attend them? 

With E3 done and over with, we at UWG decided now would be a good time to take a hard look at shows like E3 and ask a tough question:

“In the digital age we now reside in, are these big media shows like E3 really warranted anymore? If all the information we need is now easily consumable on the internet, what purpose do these shows serve anymore?”

Joining us in our discussion are Niall of Niall’s Ramblings, Derek ofGamerCrash, and Sam of CheeseToastie And Video Games. If you like what they have to say here, there’s much more where that came from at each of their sites! Do yourself a favor and take a look! Continue reading

E3 Highlights from the Show Floor

photo 2 photo 5 photo 4 photo 3 photo 1I know, I know, no post last week. I had fully intended to, but E3 was very very busy. I barely had time to sleep, let alone write a blog post (I’m not even kidding, between jet lag and a busy schedule I barely slept that whole week)! Luckily I’ve just about recovered now, so it’s about time I wrote something about my E3 experiences.

Well, my experience was this – mostly meetings and night-time networking/work events. In fact, I probably only spent about a total of 2 hours on the actual expo floor and I was mainly zipping in and out of there between meetings (which mostly took place at the hotel bar across the road), I didn’t really get to try anything as the lines were pretty much all incredibly long. So, to be honest, you guys checking out the news and watching the conferences online were probably caught up on all the highlights before I was. However, I did go to the Sony and Ubisoft press conferences and did see a bunch of cool stuff on the floor that I can share with you. Apologies about not having too many great pics – I’m no photographer and during the conferences I was more focused on listening than snapping blurry images of trailers and people walking around on stage as I’m sure you can understand.

photo 2Same as always, I have to watch what I say about the big publishers, but I can talk to you guys about the games I’m most excited about from the conferences I attended and the ones I didn’t and had to look up afterwards. First of all, I was genuinely and absolutely blown away by the Ubisoft press conference. And no, not just because it was awesomely flashy with all the smoke, lights, flashing bracelets and all the stuff that good press conferences have. That side of the conference was definitely fun and being around so many like-minded people who are all as excited is you is an amazing experience that I think you really have to experience to get. It definitely beats watching it from home, although there’s of course nothing wrong with doing that either. But really, it was all about the games. The Ubisoft line-up is possibly the strongest I’ve ever seen from them and got me seriously excited about some of their upcoming games.

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The Cheeese is in LA for E3!

Yup, that’s right, I’ve arrived! Weeee! Actually I arrived last night and have been trying not to let jet lag kick my butt. Ouch, is all I can say. So unfortunately, since the run up to E3 has been so busy, I haven’t really had time to blog this week, but next week I’ll be writing up an extra special post about some of the happenings at E3. Admittedly many of my experiences will be meetings, meetings, meetings and Microsoft/Sony parties and the like, which will probably be of little interest to you, but I will be attending the Sony and Ubisoft press conferences and will of course will be patrolling the Expo floor at least a bit, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to report back to you. So you’ll hear from me very soon! For now, have a great Sunday!

Gaming Can Save Your Life

Image by sean dreilinger

Image by sean dreilinger

I’ve mentioned this briefly on here before, but one of the least talked about and from my perspective one of the most important aspects of gaming is the psychological and emotional benefits that it offers. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that gaming in general, but a few games in particular have gotten me through many of the most difficult times in my life and in some cases, has deeply affected the way I view the world. In all honesty, this truly transformative and healing effect is what made me want to get into the industry in the first place – so that I could be part of the process of making games that people can get lost in. It’s easy to focus on the negativity both surrounding the industry and coming from within it and there are no shortage of politicians eager to jump on the ‘video games are violent and bad for children’ argument, but often people seem to gloss over the benefits that games can provide to your life if consumed in moderation (just like everything else).

Like everyone else, I’ve had some difficult times in my life. There have been periods of extreme stress, especially during my undergrad and postgrad years (because there are few things quite as masochistic as a law degree) and in the prolonged and stressful period of job searching afterwards, things got tough. I’m sure everyone goes through times where stress levels seem to exceed themselves day by day and when problems sometime seem insurmountable. It’s just part of the human condition. Sure, some people seem breeze through life without a single hitch or any crushing disappointment, but I’m pretty sure they’re robots or at the very least not being completely open about some of the obstacles they’ve faced. During times like these it’s important to have an outlet. Writing or drawing or making music or any other of the thousands upon thousands of creative pursuits work very well as forms of cathartic self expression, but sometimes you just want to sit down and consume something. Sometimes you just need to switch off and get lost in another world. And that’s where games come in. Continue reading