In case you wanted to reread all my blog posts, or just because I hate digging through everything:
Anyway. The last day! I woke up excited to be done with the program.
We got on the subway after breakfast and headed for the Computerspiele museum of computer gaming.
We were welcomed and given a talk about the importance of computer gaming history and preserving old games. It’s interesting to think of how electronics “rot” over time – or as Prof. Jacobs called it, “bit rot”? Nothing lasts forever, it seems.
There were really interesting fan artworks all over the place. My favorite was of Katamari (I love Katamari Damacy).
My next favorite artwork there was the Lara Croft / Lara Croft display of the original Tomb Raider vs. the newest Tomb Raider. I love Tomb Raider, and I absolutely loved what they did with the newest game and especially the character. As an advocate for girl power, the new Lara Croft sets a great example of a realistic tough-as-nails female heroine.
I’d have to say that despite the great discussions at the museum, my favorite thing there was Zork. I’d never played it that much, but damn, is it fun! In fact, I shall have to go download it right now. Who knew that a text-based adventure could be so clever, adventurous, and tounge-in-cheek?
Afterwards, we broke for lunch and free time. One group went to a nice restaurant near Alexanderplatz. Besides it taking forever to get our food, it was actually amazing. I think around 6 people got the salmon special – well, it was delicious!
Afterwards, we headed over to Wargaming, the studio who made World of Tanks. Now, I had never played it, and I didn’t rush to download it the night before or anything like a complete brown-nosed faker, but it actually looks cool. In fact, if I had ever seen it being played before, I might have tried it.
It’s more like a MOBA than I’d thought. It seems very well-made, but in the end it’s not my cup of tea. I like a fantasy setting as opposed to a real-life historically accurate one. But it’s perfect for Europeans and Russians, I suppose, because I think a lot of young men there are into the war history stuff. Not so much a game for girls. Bleh. Where’s my magic and humor? I like League of Legends better. Which is interesting, because Wargaming is trying to look to Riot, the creators of LoL, for inspiration into the free-to-play MOBA business model, which was mentioned quite a few times.
I didn’t know that the Wargaming folks were originally from Russia. Now they have offices all over the world. I’ve never really looked into them ever, but they’re quite a large group. The office we visited, however, was small – we only met 4 people, I think. Not the most exciting game studio, mostly because of the size factor, but something can be learned everywhere and experience can always be gleaned.
I really enjoyed the visit. The folks we met all seemed very down-to-earth and friendly. It’s good to know that the games industry isn’t all 20-somethings with giant egos. Phew.
Afterwards, we went back to the hotel for a bit to freshen up, and then all went out to dinner. It was a nice time besides waiting two hours for my food and then discovering it hadn’t been ordered yet. But! When it came, it was delicious.
Tona graciously decided to pay for our meals. Thank you Tona! That was an excellent parting gift. If you’re reading this, I hope you’re having a great time on your vacation and see you next spring!
Afterwards, the program was “offically over” and us party animals slunk away to tear up the night. Aaand that’s all I have to tell you because the program was over. Ha!
Overall: great experience. Prof. Jorg, Prof. Jacobs, Prof. Henderson: Thank you so much for putting together so much for us to do in two weeks. I’m surprised we got to do so many cool things – especially visiting what, four games studios?! That’s fantastic and – I feel – a necessary experience for all of us. I feel like I got a lot out of it.