E3’s over

Another E3 has come and gone…  This is the first one I haven’t been to in years, and from most reports it’s a very subdued event.  Sounds like I didn’t miss much.

I’m a total game trailer junkie, so when E3 rolls around I completely fill my hard drive with as much footage as possible…  and then spend a week or more getting around to seeing everything.  I also Tivo all the coverage on G4 and zip through it at a rate of probably 10 minutes per hour of footage, which is good since there was like 12 hours of it this year.

After all that watching, however, there weren’t any big reveals, no huge news.  I enjoyed seeing more Super Mario Galaxy, but much of the coverage both on the net and on cable seemed to rehash and revisit the same few titles: Assasin’s Creed, Drake’s Fortune, Ratchet and Clank, Call of Duty 4, Bioshock, and only a handful more.  Perhaps the coverage just skipped over the smaller titles (IGN has a much larger list than GameTrailers), but I hope that despite the size reduction of E3 there will remain to be room for smaller games and smaller publishers. 

One of my professional responsibilities (and something I enjoy) is to scan E3 for existing or emerging trends in games.  Interestingly, while previous years seemed to indicate that open-world games were on the rise, they (thank goodness) didn’t emerge in the everyday GTA mold.  Instead, a number of the new games have a good dose of “player freedom” and “emergent tactics”, which you could call a semantic difference but it feels more meaningful to gameplay.  Bioshock, Burnout, Skate, Mercenaries, Medal of Honor, Turok, Assassin’s Creed, and others are starting to perhaps “get it” in terms of letting the player shape their own gameplay experience…  This is certainly a much more interesting lesson to gain from the success of GTA than to simply attempt to make “yet another thug game in a modern city”. 

Even the games without sprawling cityscapes seemed to have their hands full…  most of these games had some very long development periods.  That sh*t’s hard work, and next-gen is no picnic!

First Introduction

Let me have the honor of being the first to introduce myself.  My name is Patrick Lipo.  I’ve been in the game industry for around 14 years, which makes me approximately a thousand years old. 

My Time at Surreal: 

I’ve been working at Surreal for around 2 years, working primarily on the next-gen project that is yet unannounced.

My Job:

My title is Studio Creative Director, which basically means that I head up a team of talented designers across all the projects underway at Surreal.  I work directly with the Project Creative Director on each project, although right now I’m mostly dedicated to our primary title.  I also am working with the team and with Midway on what our next raft of projects might be, and help conceive of and plan prototypes.

As SCD I also help build the team and mentor the growth of individual designers.  This is partially why this page came into being, to give us yet another outlet and keep us thinking.  Anyway, let’s get started.

–begin–

Let’s get this started and get all that WordPress generic glop out of the way.  This is my website and occaisional blog.  This site will serve as a repository for thoughts that need a home…  but then again isn’t every blog that way.