Developers' Diary, E3 '06

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, a three day orgy of new hardware, software, sensory overload, sights, sounds and milling masses of people. For those in the industry, it is a huge marketing and networking opportunity. For gamers, it is akin to heaven with its games, swag, booth babes, and a chance to mingle with Developers.

For the first time in three years, CCP has a booth at E3. We are located in the West Hall at booth 2100. A pdf floorplan is available for viewing. Over the coming days, various members of the Dev team visiting E3 will be posting their experiences, pictures from the show and keeping a running diary of what's been going on. There won't be any rhyme or reason to what gets posted, just posts made as time permits. To kick things off, here are entries from Hammerhead and Oveur they posted to the diary thread:


Hammerhead (1737 GMT)
Hi from E3. It's 10am right now and I'm in the booth and amazingly enough I'm not hung over, just jet lagged. I'm really impressed with our booth. We're in the corner and our 2 story booth offers a clear view of this hall which is the same hall as Sony and Nintendo. I'm sure there will be incriminating pictures of Oveur and I passed out under a table at the SPACEBAR in the upstairs of our booth. Oveur has Electric Six - Gay Bar blasting at 90db over the show floor.


Oveur (1802 GMT)
We should seriously have had Electric Six do a special version of the song for us.

I WANNA TAKE YOU TO THE SPACEBAAAAAR


Hammerhead (1915 GMT)
Looks like some players already found the new screens we have for the press to download. This level of graphic detail is going to be available to pretty much everyone on their current hardware not just people running crazy new graphics cards and quad core CPUs on Windows Vista.


Hammerhead (0213 GMT)
The last of the Ziff Davis beer is finished and it's almost time to stop setting up the booth, go grab some food and try to get some rest before the first day of the show.


kieron (0700 GMT)
What a day it's been. I got home last night at 0200 PST (0900 GMT) after having dinner and drinks with the Icelanders, and woke up at 1000 PST (1800 GMT) to a phone call from Hellmar. He needed me to track down at least 2 Dell Axim X51v's ASAP, and if I could find a Windows Mobile 5 GSM/cell phone, so much the better. The devices we were supposed to get for the EVE Mobile demonstration got stuck in transit and won't arrive in time.

I want to thank the gentlemen at PPC Techs for the loan of their Axim for the run of E3, and the guys over at Eagle Computer for overnighting us 2 more units. They really helped us out of a bind and the E3 crew is greatly appreciative. T-mobile upgraded my phone to a MDA, so that covers the WinMob5 GSM/Cell requirement.

It's 0000 PST (0700 GMT), I've been 'on the go' since 1200 PST (1900 GMT) and have finally made it home. There are a few more logistical issues to resolve before heading to bed, including the delivery of swag (1,000 issues of E-on #3 and more). I have to get up at 0430 PST (1130 GMT) to make it out on-site by 0730 PST (1430 GMT). Some of the ISD Volunteers are manning the booth with us and I need to get them their badges. More news later and wish us luck with the Uberware deployment later today!


Hammerhead (1440 GMT)
The show is about to start in an hour or so. All the booze for the SPACEBAR just showed up. We're all pretty ready to go and about about to do a briefing. Everyone is still on Icelandic time so last night at dinner we were all zombies. That might not be such a bad thing since it makes waking up at 6am a little easier. At some point during this thing I'll try and take a walk around and give you all some non-EVE news. Anyway, more news to come...


Oveur (14:42 GMT)
OK, it's more like 07:42. Minor setup left and the bar just arrived \o/

The hall is about to open for the press in an hour, followed by tons of interviews during the rest of the day. Now I just have to decide when to flank the bar :)


Hammerhead (1507 GMT)
Oveur, i say we do that now.


kieron (1545 GMT)
15 minutes before the doors open to the media and E3 begins. Doug, the booth coordinator, has just given us a final briefing covering what to do, what not to do and and how to not piss off the media. The last minute prep is under way and things are finally falling into place. Time enough for a beer before dealing with the media and public. :)


Hammerhead (0900 GMT)
It's towards the middle of the first day and my voice is almost gone. I've been non-stop demoing EVE to people who've never seen it or devs who play it and really want to see the new stuff. I had to take a quick break. Hopefully I get a chance to grab a beer from the SPACEBAR soon and have a look around the show floor but somehow I doubt it.


kieron (Day 2, 0000 GMT)
Another long day under our belts and a rather successful one at that. We more than doubled our initial estimates for interviews and demos of the media-types, including a film demo with Mtv and PC Gamer interview. Media coverage has been great and all the team here is estatic with the results of the firzt day.

As the doors opened up, I was able to sneak off for a few minutes before the tide of humanity reached our neck of the woods and take some pictures. Between the interviews and demos, it took me 2 hours to transfer the pics from my phone to laptop, another 2 hours to upload to the server and I never got the opportunity to post them to the blog until just now. I apologize for the quality of the pics, as my phone is capable of only 1.3 mpixels. So, with no further ado, here's a little intro into the West Hall and the EVE booth.

Show your badge to security and walk throug the entrance to West hall, then turn left. See that screen all the way down there? That's the EVE booth. As you get closer, the screen and signage becomes more apparent. Once you get through the milling masses of humanity, you are greeted by Heather, Fanny and Victoria, our hostesses. Continue around to the 'front' of the booth past the Titan banners and you'll come to the 'Nerve Center' where Hammerhead, Halldor and the guys from Vivox are uploading new textures realtime and demo'ing the integrated voice chat.

Head past the Nerve Center and you can see one of the 6 demo areas, followed by another. Make a u-turn and start heading up the stairs to the infamous SPACEBAR. Grab a beer and take a seat. The lines of sight are incredible, as CCP has one of two multi-story booths in the hall.

That will conclude the tour of the EVE booth. More and better images will be uploaded over the weekend. Peace and OUT!


kieron (Day 2, 1500 GMT)
Day 2 of E3 has just commenced, the team is here and everything is ready to go. The hardware upgrade is putting a bit of a kink in the works, but press coverage so far has been nice. We are hoping to see more news on EVE as E3 progresses. Interviews and demos continue, but the SPACEBAR is surprisingly quiet. I expect things to pick up in about 2 hours, as people start thinking about lunch and maybe a beer to wash it down. Paris Hilton is rumored to be dropping by the booth next to us, I expect the SPACEBAR to be packed if she does. I've already got my spot camped with my laptop and might be able to get some pictures. :)


Hammerhead (Day 3 in the morning)
Lets see, Battlefield 2142 looks awesome and I can't wait for it. The next Dawn of War expansion is looking really nice as well. I thought Huxley was going to be really exciting but it just felt like any other FPS deathmatch game with a whole lot of respwaning. BF2142 is where it's at for FPS. I was looking forward to Chromehounds but when I played it it was kind of boring. You were driving towards the enemy for a long time and not getting enough action. I didn't get a chance to play with the Wii yet. I still gotta check out UT2007.

Today is "booth babe photo day". ActiveAlli and I are going to grab some shots of the local wildlife and hopefully have that up somewhere on the Web site. More to come.......


Hammerhead (Day 3 afternoon)
I want to type something interesting here but I've been going non-stop and I'm just burnt out at this point. Alli and I got some shots so those will be up as soon as someone can find the time to upload them.


Hammerhead (Day 3 end)
The show is over, the SPACEBAR did last call, the booth is being deconstructed around me and it's time to put this E3 to rest.

mmmmmmm G&T


kieron (Monday, 0430 GMT)
E3 is over, and I finally got a full night's worth of sleep last night. It has been a long week of 16 hour days, 4 hour drives and 4 hours of sleep. Note to self, the next time I am offered a hotel room and refuse in an attempt to save the company some money, Take The Hotel Room!!! Half-way through Day 2, I was wiped out, at the end of Day 3, I was ready to sleep a week.

As for an after-action report, the booth was a bigger success than we had hoped for, we exceeded the pre-show interview estimate on the second day and the only complaint I heard was that we did not have any EVE swag other than E-ON #3.

The Devs (minus Hammerhead) left for Iceland this morning and should be landing in another 2 hours. What happened to HH is a tale in itself and one that he is going to tell. He is crashed out in my guest room right now.

That's about all I have right now, I hope the other guys are willing to throw some thoughts in here once they recover from a trip crossing 7 time zones. I'm off to troll the forums for a little bit before calling it a night.