Am just back from 2 days at the Game Horizon conference in Newcastle, a city that grows on me every time I visit, although it does help staying in a nice hotel down on the Quays, opposite the Baltic Flour Mill & Sage centre, which is where the conference was.
On the first day, once I'd got there (I almost didn't as I was flagging whilst driving and almost fell asleep at the wheel) I bumped into a ton of friends and eventually got lured out to lunch in the sun with Gareth of Ubi/Reflections Newcastle, Rich Sturgess, Phil Elliot (Gi.Biz) and later Mick Morris. Suffice to say that the rather fantastic lunch at 'La Tasca' rolled on until late in the day, with a few people passing by and we finally finished about 7.30pm... all pretty merry. I, however, was completely shattered, what with the erratic sleeping patterns so not only did I check in at the hotel, but I also fell asleep at about 8.30pm, waking at 3am to find that I'd missed not only the charity poker, but also the main conference party. Still, I'd had a decent sleep - and it was ironic that given a bunch of people had banged on about it 'being a big night' because I was around (to which I'd tried to play down).
The second day was much better, got off to a great start with a fantastic breakfast from a dodgy looking kebab shop that myself and Sturg found, then I went into the conference and attended the sessions, with my own session (part of a panel regarding self publishing) going on from 2-3pm. I think it went ok, I got a few comments, mainly for dissing 3rd party publishing and got a few laughs by suggesting that 'astro-turfing' (some phrase for seeding viral marketing) was 'something you'd expect George Michael to be up to'.
I left promptly at 3pm, giving Jamie Sefton and Craig Albeck a run back down to Leeds, with Craig managing to actually fall asleep in the car, in the back, with the roof down - pretty incredible. I got back to T17 in the nick of time to do a phone interview with Larry Hyrb at Microsoft (more commonly known as Major Nelson). We seemed to spend more time talking about Amiga's and iPhone's rather than Worms and Alien Breed but never mind.
Speaking of Worms, the new game for XBLA ships next Wednesday, July 1st for just 800pts/$10 and judging by the online reactions to date, it should prove very popular. News about the game's release is hitting online game sites now. We were very sensitive about the pricing of the game and at that price, it should be a no-brainer in terms of entertainment.
At Game Horizon, I also showed a video of the new Alien Breed for the first time, we do not plan any other public releases of footage until late July, but it was nice to finally show it, even if the video looked a little choppy on their system.
Well, full, busy day in the office today with a stack of stuff to chase up, then it's AC/DC on Friday. Let's RAWK :)