Crispy Gamer

Name dropping and other E3 tidbits

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While E3 is all about the games, it's also about the people. Seen at the show outside the confines of their meeting rooms:

Caught up with Peter Molyneux at the Microsoft gathering last night at The Standard hotel. Maybe he was still recovering from the E3 MS presser earlier Monday, but he looked incredibly tired. The man is usually full of emotion and enthuiasm. We chatted for about 15 minutes and he caught me up one what he was up to, as well as his (off the record) plans. He was cordial as always, but a certain spark appeared to be missing. Here's hoping I just caught him at a bad time ...

Also at the evening MS event was the master of flash, Cliff Bleszinski. Cliffy has toned down quite a bit from his days as a flamboyant dresser, but he still sports a rather large diamond stud in his left ear. He was chatting with press and MS personnel alike, and if he turned just the right way, his earring caught enough Xbox 360 green glow to blind the unsuspecting ...

Passed BioWare's Greg Zeschuk earlier today as he was entertaining a film crew. His hair has gotten a bit longer and he looked a bit relaxed with his shirt untucked. Zeschuk is always friendly and quick with a firm handshake. I'll probably catch up with him later at the show ...

Got a brief glimpse of Gabe Newell of Valve as he was pushing a wheeled briefcase quickly toward his company's meeting room. I was only able to get off a quick "Hey Gabe" as he rushed off. He did respond with a hello, which quickly trailed off as he turned the corner ...

Found the other BioWare doc, Ray Muzyka, enjoying some anonymity of the South Hall show floor. He was wandering around looking at the different booths. We chatted for a few minutes and he indulged my curiosity about Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age Origins. "Our gameplay demos always look better than our trailers," he told me. He didn't need to tease me any further, as those were two games I already wanted to see. He also said they had a great demo already for Star Wars: The Old Republic. The man is a great saleman, but his team always delivers great products ...

Chris Taylor breezed by me on the way to demo Supreme Commander 2 at he Square-Enix booth. As tired as Molyneux looked, Taylor was just the opposite, full of his usual energy. He apologized for not having time to talk, saying he was late for the demo. He said he'd catch up with me later, which he usually does. I wonder if Taylor ever runs out of energy? ...

Conspicuously absent from this year's E3 is Warren Spector. He has been kept under tight wraps by Disney since they acquired his company a few years ago, and a Disney PR rep said it was the first E3 that Spector has missed since the show began. Disney is keeping incredibly tight-lipped about what Spector is working on, so here's hoping we see him next year and that he has a game to talk about.

Other E3 morsels:

While it is good to have E3 back in its familiar confines of the LA Convention Center, it is definitely smaller. In years past, South and West halls were wall-to-wall exhibits, and Concourse Hall had its share of displays. This year, part of South and West halls were blocked off and unused, while Concourse Hall is vacant. And Kentia Hall, everyone's favorite whipping boy as the place for small developers, foreign publishers and unusual peripherals, is no more. Not only is the hall not in use this year, the original hall is now a indoor parking garage. The new hall has been moved to a different location, but still downstairs and out of the way. We'll miss those great grilled cheese sandwiches ...

Booth babes are back in a very limited capacity. The Nyko girls were dressed in their usual bright red outfits and bright red wigs. LucasArts employed a stormtrooper to guard their meeting room. There were pirates wandering around touting Disney's new Pirates of the Caribbean game. There was also the usual assortment of girls in short shorts, high heels and school girl skirts, not to mention an array of well endowed men and women looking as if they stepped off the set for a new Conan movie. Definitely more subdued than E3s past, but enough for the gawkers with cameras to stay busy ...

One huge change in this year's E3: The decibel level is substantially lower. You can actually hear yourself talk and carry on a conversation. It's not a morgue by any stretch, but when you can hear your phone ring, it is definitely an improvement.