Day 2 of AGDC
Saturday proved to be a dissappointment for AGDC. There were very few booths/stalls. Alias|Wavefront, Discrete and Intel were the prominent ones. Other companies include Auran, Infogrames, AIE, Mad Academy and a couple of others.
Gaming giants such as Sony, Microsoft, EA, SEGA were not present. To me this was a sign that the Australian gaming industry has yet to prove itself to the world. The lack of booths from local developers such as Ratbag, Chrome Studios, Evolution Games, Torus and Microforte, makes me wonder just how they supportive they are of AGDC. Without a doubt the Australian Gaming Industry needs all the support they can get and the lack of booths from local developers does nothing to attract the interest of international investors, nor does it raise the prestige of AGDC and the local gaming industry as a whole. This is purely my opinion and I hope I wrong.
Regardless, they were some interesting events during Saturday. One of the most highly anticipated event of AGDC was the Lanfest Party. This means 500 computers networked to run several tournaments during all day saturday, and night, and half day sunday. There were prizes and its open to the public though registration was required.
The other event of note was Bruce Shelley's introduction and demo of The Age Of Mythologies. It was stunning both visually and technically. Ensemble Studios has been working on the 3D engine for the game for some years now - I cannot remember exactly how long :(. Bruce explained the game and its ideas, and refered constantly to the ideas he presented the previous day during his presentation. To me the game looked very nearly finished, yet Bruce firmly announced that they are not quite ready to ship and that it will take roughly another year before it hits the stores. I was amazed and shocked at this statement. The amount of testing and tweaking the game will undergo during the next year will mean that what we saw might not make it into the final game. But in the end, it makes for a better game.
Tom Harper from Alias|Wavefront, presented with the help of Japanese Alias|Wavefront employee Ken Taki. Other presententations included "The Essential Element in Game Design - FLOW" by Daniel Johnson from the University of Queensland, "Playstation 2 Fundamentals" by Mike Dean from Sony Computer Entertainment, "Computer Games Design Education" by Dr Manolya Kavakii and Jason Thorne from Charles Sturt University, and "Character Animation, Modelling and Rigging in PS2 Game Production" by Gareth White and Steve Connrad from Ratbag.
To finish of AGDC for today, Todd Hollenshead from ID Software presented "A Look At Return to Castle Wolfenstein - What It's All About". It was dark, bloody and full of action. It comes out this Christmas. And I am sure Wolfenstein fans will not be dissappointed. In closing, Todd showed an FMV of Wolfenstein 3. Like the in-game graphics, the FMV was dark and full of action. It was a nicely produced and finished piece of 3d animation.
With the official AGDC presentations for today completed, most of the delegates attended Infogrames Suite Party. Free drinks and snacks were served till 11pm. Everyone there mingled and socialised. Walking through the crowd I heard many mention Wolfenstein 3, Age of Mythologies, the state of the Australian Gaming Indusrty etc. It was a long day. Some might not find it a dissappointment. I, however, had higher hopes in the showcase department. Oh well.