It's occasionally been mooted that my reputation can precede me, but this is perhaps the first time I've really noticed it. I lost count of the amount of times on the recent trip to Nordic Game in Malmo, Sweden, that people who'd I not met (there are some, it seems) said to me "Oh, that's you, I've been warned about you". I took it as a compliment and most folks said it with a glint in their eye as they avoided being anywhere near a bar with me...
I had a good time out there and saw many friends and industry colleagues - I was part of the advisory board (mad fools!) and also spent some time on a discussion panel at the Game Conference which debated the "art behind the deal" regarding the game pitch process. I knew all the other panel members (some better than others) and it was fun sharing the stage with Adam Boyes (Capcom), Jeff Hilbert (DDM Agency), Pete Zetterberg (Microsoft Game Studios) and Mark Rein (Epic).
As usual there were the out of hours frolicking following a reception at "Turning Torso" ,Tuesday night a group of us were led to Sushi by Mark Rein (we'd all got our eyes on Steak) and I must admit that it's the first time I've really tried it - I usually sneer at it. I wasn't overly keen and to me, I'd have preferred the whole shrimp/prawn, not some blob of rice with a prawn-skin jacket on it. Summary for me; Sushi not great. I did try "Japanese Gin & Tonic" and enjoyed that - although I had a killer headache all day Wednesday probably because of it (and the lack of food intake due to the pretty boring Sushi).
I spent a fair bit of time with old mucker Rico Holmes who'd driven down from Karlsham and we chatted until late, a bit like old days. Wednesday night was the official party at "Hipp" in Malmo and this was a very typical developer party; packed to the rafters, loud, noisy and in the end a bunch of us stayed in the pub opposite all night until the pub closed and the party thinned out enough.
As can happen, it got a bit crazy with Sambuca and Tameem from Ninja Theory showed everyone how you really do Flaming Sambuca (holding it in the mouth whilst someone lights it... it wasn't for me just a few days prior to a family holiday...). I did do a few Sambuca's and a number of G&T's and after the party closed, a group of us headed back to the hotel until the very early hours (6am or something) listening to music and putting the world to rights. It was a good night - thanks in no particular order to Michael Wiesmuller, Kish Hirani, Dave Edery, Jim Sink, Rich Sturgess, Rupert Loman, Johnny Minkley and Nina Cliff - as well as all the myriad of other people we had a good time with. And I didn't get robbed, bonus.
Well, that was yesterday and today I'm packing again - off to a pal's stag do weekend in Nottingham before dashing back Sunday lunchtime for Harry's 7th birthday party. It's off on holiday on Tuesday and I can't bloody wait, although there's a bunch of stuff going off at work which I'll need to get moving on Monday.
The Malmo sunset panorama at the top was taken by myself on Wednesday evening and then processed to give it a little more punch. I only had my 24mm lens so it's a little wide/long, but I was quite pleased with the result. The tower is "Turning Torso" and there was a speaker reception up on the top floor of that on Tuesday night - I wish I'd had the camera there, it's an awesome building.