Sunday, March 15, 2009

Getting ready for GDC

Well, we're a week away from GDC and life's pretty busy right now. Aside from getting everything together for GDC (as I write, in exactly a week I'll be en route), there's a pile of stuff to sort for our upcoming releases, PR to do, things to discuss business wise and at home a queue of jobs for me to attempt to sort.

I don't actually mind being very busy, although it's kind of got to the point where there's so many little things its pretty difficult to know what to do and in which order, so I kind of peck at them, it's a little bit like those plate-spinning acts. 

Part of my problem is that when I'm in the office, it's so easy to be distracted by passers by, people popping in for chats, messenger pinging every few minutes, the email going at least once a minute that I find it really tough to get into solid thought processes. I know I could turn all that off (and in times of extreme need I do) but a lot of what I do means ensuring that I provide a quick response to all manner of questions and opportunities.

I've struck a nice balance of late by getting into the office around 8am, which tends to give me 1-2hrs of quiet time before the studio (and externally, the industry) is in full flow. At that time, my email is under control since I'll have kept up with it the previous night and tackled most of the overnight ones during the morning over coffee.

We've also had a bit of a change of direction at work in terms of what we're going to be doing and who we're doing it with. It has to be said, I'm pretty confident, bullish and happy about all that - the full detail of that will come out over time, but in many ways I almost feel that our 19yrs in existence at Team17 was all about being here for now and the opportunities there are - despite the mood in the economic climate. This will mean a few subtle changes around the place (and that process has begun) and long-term it will make us stronger and able to deal with whatever is thrown at us.

GDC is going to be hectic. It always is, but always in a good way. This year we've got the added workload of a ton of PR meetings about our titles and whilst it's always fun, doing demos and chatting through the same stuff can sometimes wear thin, so we do try and make each presentation unique so at the very least we can enjoy it. 

Given my liking to cram as many catch ups with contacts and industry friends as possible, it means socially we're almost at the human limit - so it'll be a real test of endurance and I'm not looking forward to how shattered I'll inevitably be on the return journey and a dreaded 4hr layover at Heathrow, but as usual I'll take one (or two) for the Team :)

Incidentally, I really can't believe that it's almost 3yrs since I started the blog. It serves as a reminder as to how fast this life goes by, so I continue to cram a ton in. Fortunately things like Facebook mean I can keep up with everyone quite often. 

That goes for mates like Gordon, who runs R*Leeds (the guys who did the handheld GTA games including the latest DS one) - I was out with him (and coincidentally been good friends long before they became R*) and old mucker Bry Reynolds on Wednesday since he's heading out to run another studio for a while. We inevitably drank far too much and Bryan lost his iPhone (again) - such is the cost of these fairly full-on evenings. That was wrapped by two visits by companies to Team17 which involved a few pints too, so it made for a little 'relaxed' end to what had been a difficult week up to that point.

This week we have a couple of socials, Grant a designer who joined us as a young lad at 16 (and that must have been over 10yrs ago now) gets married next weekend so it's off into Leeds again Wednesday night with a lot of the Team17 folks and then his Wedding do on Saturday, which is the night before we have to be up at 4am to start the long journey to San Francisco and a day that will inevitably end up in Vesuvio Bar, on Columbus in North Beach... but I've got two kids bedrooms to kit out with furniture back in the real world and I better get that done if I don't want to be decorating my dog-house again.

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