Wednesday, the big day. I've got a bit of blood in my alcohol as I type this so please bear with me. It was a huge huge day...which started with us at the teency tiny Dyson booth on the expo floor.
Rudolf and Alex were already there, completely overwhelmed by people coming over and asking about Dyson every 2 seconds. I stacked up a modest pile of my sampler discs and business cards there for them to dole out as needed, and Sophia and I decided to start around the expo on our own after sitting next to them for a while, feeling sort of like a third and fourth wheel (we didn't actually make the game so we were just kinda caught staring off when someone had a question). Unfortunately for me, there weren't many audio people on the floor today - mostly programming-type stuff, and so it became a bit redundant to stay there and hand the occasional card out to anyone who spoke to me, especially as insincere as that comes off. It sorta bothered me after I did it a few times. Sarah later told me a good rule of thumb is to not try to hand anyone a card unless they've had a discussion with you for ten minutes.
We took a break and Soph discovered she had really horrible blisters on her feet from all the walking we had done, and that even worse, they were bleeding. We decided it was best to split from the scene and head back to the hotel to regroup until the awards ceremony at 5:30. Upon arriving, we almost immediately passed out, including myself in my dress pants, dress shirt and tie, which if you have never done this it is not recommended for being extremely uncomfortable. I managed to set my cell phone alarm for an hour before the ceremony just to be sure, and thankfully we got up and out in perfect time. We walked halfway there in search of some food, gave up on that and grabbed a taxi to the center where we caught Rudolf and Alex on their way out. They had not yet changed into their formalwear for the ceremony and we were already sorted on that end, so they went back to their hotel while we anxiously shoved down some low-grade turkey sandwiches and bottled water at the expo stand (ridiculously overpriced, but when you're starving and only have 15 minutes, that's what you do!).
Upon arriving at the entrance for the ceremony, there was a reception hall of sorts with a red carpet down the middle and a desk of people with an RSVP list sort of eyeing everyone. No sooner than 3 minutes after setting foot in the place do they announce "Everyone who is a finalist please line up on the red carpet, everyone else please form a line to the side"...the funny part is we were two of about five people in the entire room who stayed on the carpet. We felt so leet. Haha. Struck up a conversation with the lad behind us who asked what game we were a part of, and when we said it was Dyson, he immediately complimented us with "Fucking awesome game!". We said our names and our game, and were promptly escorted to table 12, which was right next to a table marked "Valve", and seeing this gave me some chills. Then, turning to see how close to the stage we were gave me even more chills, as I knew Tim Schaefer and Hideo Kojima were going to take the stage tonight.
So for a good while there was just a lot of oohing and aahing at all the people who we knew were going to be in the same 20 feet as us, and I grabbed a mini-quiche lorraine and a glass of cab before things got too hectic - had to stay mellow. I started to freak out a little when I realized the OTHER table right next to us was for Little Big Planet. Finally Rudolf and Alex arrived and we all got settled in for what was sure to be an exciting night.
After this, it was a blur of very interesting commentaries and introductions, some really funny moments involving people's award speeches and a cropping error on one of the big screens (which made every clip they showed of a figure speaking in a game look like they were zooming in on their chests). It doesn't even need to be said how rad the little vignettes Mega64 did were, including one music video for "If You're Not Indie Fuck You" which was totally brilliant, and their final vignette which involved them spoofing MGS4 a la their normal antics, only to run into Hideo Kojima on the street, with him shaking his head in disgust for a minute, calling his agent to cancel all his appointments, then lurking around the streets with the Mega64 guys imitating Solid Snake. Genius! Beyond this, Tim Schaefer's entrance was insane - they ran a short 8bit video game mockup of Tim in the back room behind the stage, out of jokes to tell to the audience. So he had to search the room to find some, and ended up leaving with one joke out of a "potential 22" he could've found. On stage, the man could work a crowd more than just about anyone I've seen, totally unassuming and really genuinely hilarious. My kinda guy to be sure, as if I didn't already respect him enough! Kojima kept his spot very short and sweet, and promised to make video games until the day he dies, which is reassuring to lots of us who were aware of him not wanting to do any more titles in the Metal Gear series, and pretty sad about it.
I know, I know, what all of you who even read this want to know is - did Dyson win? Well, I'm sorry to say no, we didn't win any of the three awards we were nominated for. To be honest though, as sad as that seems on paper to say right here, you can't possibly believe how positive all of us are about everything. We are having a blast, we've all made friends with so many really great talented people, and we're getting offers and publicity just the same. Besides, like I wrote before, just being considered as one of the FIVE games out of over TWO HUNDRED for the grand prize was surreal enough. The voice over lady for all the nominee bits before they announced who won even said my name, which was kinda funny. I've been telling every I speak to that I'm just shocked still that this was my very first video game ever and to have it even get this far is crazy.
The good news (or part of it at least) is that Valve has picked up Dyson to sell via their online distribution company Steam, which is a giant step forward for us. The game has already been announced on the Steam site if you'd like to check it out, and we're all collectively hoping to have the game completed and fully released by the end of Summer. In addition to this, I'll be working very closely with Alex and Rudolf to make possible a hardcopy proper release of the music I've done for the game, for those of you who are into it. It may turn out to be a bigger deal than some of my other records, considering the publicity Dyson has received, even now!
Anyway, after the awards show, we banded together with the super-awesome Cletus Clay crew, of Alex, Alex and Sarah along with our own Alex, Rudolf and myself and Sophia, as well as two other folks from Cletus Clay from New Zealand (I actually did not get their names) who were equally rad and are going thrift shopping with us tomorrow! We all ended up in a Jillians, buying each other round after round and having a fantastic time. We decided to break it off to another bar called XYZ and upon arriving realized how insane it really was. Sophia and I were pretty beat, so I downed a shot of tequila with Alex and Sarah and said goodnight. Gave everyone a big hug as we made our way to the cab back to the hotel, where I sit now typing with heavy fingers and a fried brain, ready to shower, have some water, play some Warcraft, and sleep...