Today our whole company
went to the GamesCom 2009 in Cologne, a total of 18 people, uff ^^ The GamesCom is the successor of the Games Convention from Leipzig, which is no more. You can see many more Games Convention pictures from 2002-2008 on http://exdream.com/gallery.html
, more will be there about the GamesCom 2009 soon too!
We had to get up pretty early today because we don't have much time for the GamesCom, so we went there early in the morning (at 5) and drove back by train in the evening. It was a long day and I only slept 3-4 hours per day this week, but for some strange reason I'm not tired and writing this blog post instead of sleeping :)
Christoph and me started the day by making fun photographing each other. I was kinda bored after being unable to start any .NET apps on my laptop because of some mess-up due the Windows Vista to Windows 7 upgrade, which I could not fix without internet. So I tried to play some WarCraft3 mods, mostly tower defense maps, which were pretty boring after a while.
After a little over 3 hours in the train we arrived in Cologne.
The entrance of the GamesCom did not look very specular. The wheater was already pretty hot and it was very sunny.
WTF is this? Now "Gosu" is put on ads? Is there nothing sacred anymore?
First look at the Business Center. Sorry, I made no pictures of our meetings, our publisher RTL or anything interesting from our game Fireburst to avoid trouble. Dunno why everyone is trying to keep everything so secret. Not my fault ^^
After being in meetings for the first 5 hours I finally had some time to explore. As you can tell it doesn't look very crowded, but keep in mind this is the trade visitor day. Tomorrow and on the weekend this will be probably much more packed (and even hotter outside)!
First stop was obviously Blizzard in hall 6. Let's check out StarCraft 2 and see what changed since last time I played it. I also saw a lot of videos about StarCraft 2 on YouTube
There were plenty of computers to try out StarCraft 2 for yourself.
You could not play multiplayer, but there were 2 singleplayer campaign missions and a skirmish mode. All races and all units are implemented. The problem with the campaigns was that you could not hear anything, the stupid World Of WarCraft trailer was louder than everything else. For my taste the campaign was also horribly boring and felt way too much like C&C (nothing against C&C, but I was expecting much better).
The Skirmish mode was also pretty useless because the AI is dumb as bread even in hard settings. I could expand 4-5 times with just a few cannons and then killed it with 10+ Colossus's. Graphics is nice, way-find sucks ass IMO, auto-mining sucks, game-speed is too slow and warcraft3 like, but overall still a great game and will definitely be the best RTS game since StarCraft BroodWar. Much more information will be out soon by great StarCraft community sites like TeamLiquid.net
and YouTube channels
about the BlizCon 2009
starting this weekend (they will also have a nice internet stream)!
Next stop at Blizzard was Diablo 3, which had longer lines, but that's probably also because they had way less computers running Diablo 3 (40 instead of 60 maybe).
While I was kinda disappointed about StarCraft 2 (once again), I still liked it. There is still stuff that can get better, but I'm not so sure the game-speed and stupid way-find can still be fixed, probably not. Diablo 3 on the other hand looked very nice, but I suspected already this could be kinda boring after seeing almost the same on every single screen.
After playing Diablo 3 Multiplayer Coop for 3 minutes with a friend after the network code just crashed (seemed to happen to most other guys as well), I continued playing the same in singleplayer. In the demo you started at level 12 with either a Barbarian, a Mage or a Sorcerer. The game mechanics are actually quite different for each character, but killing the creeps was boring as hell. After just playing it for 10 minutes it seems to me that this is exactly the same bore-fest as Diablo 2, just Hack'n'Slay. The inventory just has gotten smaller and more confusing. Fonts are really tiny. But maybe you need more time and the game will make much more sense later on, but this Demo wasn't the best. Well, Diablo 3 is not coming out anytime soon anyway. When it comes out it will be a great game for RPG and Hack'n'Slay fans, but hopefully it will be also fun for people not liking repetitive beating 5000 rats to level up ^^
Other games like this MMO from Capcom (don't even care to remember its name) did not put as much effort as Blizzard into it. But this Guy looked kinda cool and he randomly attacked business people, which was very funny when those ran away.
There was also some green on the fair.
Ok, many cars, as usual. It seems to be that this year more racing games come out than ever before. And most of those like realism, which makes those games totally boring and uninteresting for me.
White cars, black cars, Xboxes, PlayStations, PSPs, all the same for those racing games.
But at least my colleague Felix is enjoying those games. Here he is playing the new Need for Speed Shift! We were discussing what kind of hardware they use for this because it looked better than an Xbox 360 version, which usually does not exceed 30fps. I argued that this is probably just a PC with an Xbox 360 attached to it.
Most racing games had some crazy chairs attached to it, which is kinda strange because no one will have something like this at home.
And here we have the proof that Need for Speed was actually presented on PCs instead of Xboxes with a nice bluescreen. The poor guy driving does not know what hit him.
I did not have enough time to check out every game I would have liked like Assassins Creed 2 because too many people were trying to get in. I heard not so good things about the game anyway (same as before, no innovation, etc.), but I will probably still like it and I want to know what with the other story happens from the prequel.
There were lots of WIIs, DSis and PSPs presented too, plus accessories like this. A bow? I like bows, but I cannot imagine that holding up some plastic and trying to pretend to shoot arrows is as much fun as actually spanning a bow.
The Little Big Planet guy sitting around at Sony. They had a huge area in the hall, but I could not find anything interesting there. PS3 Home is looking ok, but I'm still unsure if many people actually use it. Some might like it.
Some guys posing. I don't know what the deal was, but I quickly made a photo of this scene :)
Lots of red balloons. Still at Sony BTW.
Two worlds collide: EVE, a science fiction universe and dinosaurs.
Oh, I found a booth girl from Razor. Hmm, not too many babes around this year. Maybe they only come out at the weekend.
I played the new Operation Flashpoint game for a long time. I really liked it, finally a good PC game and depth missions, long range vision and fighting, etc. There are still bugs in it and I got stuck several times and the missions are kinda strange: first one was tutorial, second one was pretty fun and third one was very hard. But I give this game thumbs up (wasn't allowed to make any photos from the game).
Next I checked out League of Legends
, which is kinda popular in our team with many people liking Dota. I don't really like those games and the graphics for League of Legends are horribly comic like and mega-colorful, but this game was actually a lot of fun to play. It is extremely complicated and has 10 million items and other stuff in it, but it also helps out the player a lot by keeping things simple. I would still guess that the game will not be picked up by normal players, only some hardcore Dota players might like it. I still with the game the best, it is currently in beta, it will be free to play and it sells some in-game items (like some browser games).
Warhammer Online was right around the corner, but except this character there wasn't much to see.
As usual there was a modding area.
It is hard work to build your custom gear. They apparently had a 24 hour competition right on the fair.
But you might end up with something ridiculous like this :)
I was hungry a little bit and those nice girls gave me some free vegetables, very nice girls, but kinda strange looking :)
Some games like Wolfenstein were hard to find. But I could not find anything about the Rage engine (or game).
The big esport area from Intel was pretty empty, the guy talked about some WarCraft 3 finals, but there were not many people around. Maybe there will be more going on in the next days here.
More booth girls. They look kinda bored, but at least they qualify as babes.
As opposed to this thing, that's not a babe. It looks too much like plastic ^^
Because I do not have any more booth babes (hopefully more will be on http://exdream.com/gallery.html
soon), here are some girls from the exit gate.
Felix even spotted a German TV star "Elton" and I made this quick picture of them side by side :)
Okay, thats it for this GamesCom, we gotta get back to work.
Overall the fair was smaller than the Games Convention in Leipzig and I don't think more people will visit, but only time will tell. The GDC Europe before the GamesCom is also a good thing (just very expensive as usual). I liked the fair overall. However some guys in our team said that the Games Convention was much better in Leipzig.