Doing The Shanghai Cologne Shuffle

drgrordWell, it’s been a little while yet again – so I thought I’d post quickly in between trips which seem to have piled up in recent weeks, and list some of the fun stuff I’ve been doing workwise.

Myself and a number of us at the UBM TechWeb Game Network are recently back from Shanghai on a trip to check out ChinaJoy (the big consumer video game show in China) and have the GDC China Advisory Board meeting for this year – lots of great business done there, and looking forward to the show this December.

Other recent – only semi-work related – jaunts have included a trip my first-ever San Diego Comic-Con with Holly, where we took lots of pictures, of course, checked out W00tstock with Wil Wheaton, Adam Savage and friends, greatly enjoyed the Rifftrax panel, and I went on a bit of a tear at the Weta booth.

Those New Zealand wizards behind effects for The Lord Of The Rings and District 9 make some amazing steampunk guns under the Dr. Grordbort’s line (booth pictured, Cliff Bleszinski is also a fan, apparently), and at the show, I picked up the super-custom Iron Tiger gun, as featured on Wired.com recently. It’s got anti-magnetic paint like the German tank it was modeled after, and, uh, camouflage foliage. Don’t ask.

In a couple of days I’m off to GDC Europe in Cologne, Germany alongside the Gamescom consumer event. As you’ll note in our news blog, we’ve been adding a plethora of high-profile lectures, including talks on Microsoft’s new Kinect motion control device from some of the third-party devs working on it, plus a talk on acclaimed XBLA game Limbo (previously a winner at our own Independent Games Festival) and a keynote from seminal Deus Ex and Epic Mickey designer Warren Spector. Can’t wait.

In other news, we recently hired our first in-house staff member for Game Advertising Online, our free-to-play B2C game ad network, and he just started (hi, Fabian!) We have other notable hires coming, and we’re currently working on test or full campaigns with companies like BigPoint, Ubisoft, Turbine, Gameforge, Nexon, and Jagex. We think serving developers of _all_ sizes by finding them new players for their games will be a key part of our job going forward. 

We’re still ramping up on our other events like GDC Online, but we already have an (unannounced!) keynote lined up for the Austin event in October, as well as Summits on hot topics like 3D stereoscopic gaming and the iPad, and we’re very heartened by the buzz around the event’s renaming from GDC Austin. We’re also feeling well positioned for GDC China – and, indeed, GDC 2011 in San Francisco, the 25th anniversary, for which you’ll see some awesome visual stylings revealed soon.

So that’s where we are right now – and I never even mentioned E3 (fun, although I had to sneak out to Boston for a corporate meeting halfway through the show!), the holiday with Holly and parents to Yosemite/Sequoia National Parks (wow, cold!), GDC Canada (Vancouver is a really nice place), and various other sundries. Catch up later in the year!

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