Nerd Immersion Complete

I’m back from NYCC and had a great time. The panel on 38 Studios went well, even though there have been a few complaints about us not talking about the game–this despite the very first slide and the panel intro making extremely clear that we would not be talking about the game. Most people attending understood what we were trying to accomplish, and our discussion of studio process and answers to the fan questions actually hinted at quite a lot of what we’re doing, if you knew what to listen for.

NYCC is great. It is smaller than the San Diego version, but in a good way. The crowds are still huge but you can actually make your way down the aisles reasonably well and interesting things can stand out rather than get lost in the crowd. I would recommend the show to everyone, but then NYCC will keep growing in size and soon it will be just as unruly as SDCC.

I didn’t see as many costume tragedies as last year. Sure, there were a few Slave Leias that shouldn’t have left the house, but on the whole there were few attrocities. The best costume was one I saw on Sunday: a young woman bravely dressed as Poison Ivy wearing only some carefully placed leaf appliques and a flesh-colored thong. I don’t think she had an ounce of fat on her body, and needless to say she drew quite a crowd.

Not that I was leering, mind you.

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Steve Danuser, also known as Moorgard, is a a writer, editor, and game designer.

9 thoughts on “Nerd Immersion Complete”

  1. As a game designer, its probably important that you closely look at good RL models and costumes so you can learn to more easily convey your future NPC design vision to your art department….

  2. Ryan –

    As this pattern continues, you may experience more and more upset and disappointment by fans at these presentations. I’ve attended 38 Studios presentations myself, and actually had one of my writers walk out after about 20 minutes, muttering “this is a waste of time”. Gamers, fans, and the press want to hear about the game. They don’t want to hear developers talk about themselves, bro.

    Last year’s NYCC panel was also really disappointing. That panel talked about the building they worked in, Curt’s tattoo, and the cakes they’ve eaten throughout the year. I think this kind of thing comes across really badly, as really self-absorbed. I don’t know of another game company that does anything similar to this.

    Of course, this is just my 2 cents. Please understand, I’m not trying to be a jerk. I’ve even shared this concern with Curt himself, and the concept of this being inconsiderate of the gamers who attend these public events isn’t even on his radar. He doesn’t see this as disrespectful of them, or of their time, at all.


  3. Pig – If you attended the panel and didn’t find it useful, that’s your prerogative. However, plenty of folks did, and this time around we actually said a fair amount about our art style and our production philosophies.

    Based on the kind words I received from many attending, I don’t think we were disrespectful toward anyone. As for their time, well, the doors at the back of the room were unlocked and there were plenty of other cool things going on for them to check out.

    I find it rather odd to imply that we’re wasting your time by talking when you’re not being forced to listen.

  4. Steve –

    According to your own original write-up about the panel, there were complaints. That’s also occurred with other 38 Studios presentations thus far. However, this seemed to catch you off guard. I was trying to explain to you why those complaints occur.

    Look at it this way: NYCC runs a limited number of days, and attendees can only attend a limited number of sessions. Most attendees make some hard choices about which panels they do and don’t want to see. If they pick the 38 Studios session, they are missing out on others that occur at that same time. They sacrificed time to listen to you, and by the time they realize you guys are only talking about your inner corporate policies or studio process, it’s too late to attend another session at that hour.

    If the session had been advertised as “38 Studios Discusses Their Own Corporate Policy, Studio Process, Managerial Techniques, and Business Model”, do you think anyone would have attended? In my experience, 38 promotes these things with a vague “come and learn more about our company and the development of our upcoming MMO, Copernicus”. (38’s press releases about this panel do exactly that in this case, too.) When they get there, only the first half of that turns out to be true.

    In a sense, you are correct, no one is forced to listen. However, 38 kept them from attending another, presumably more interesting session at NYCC, and instead presented them a session on internal policy. Some folks are going to complain, Steve. That’s not what they came to see.

    Consider this journalist’s take on it;

    “38 Studios set up a panel after two years of development on their self-proclaimed masterpiece to describe to us a business model….However, we didn’t come to Comic Con to hear a business model. We showed up in hopes that we would find out something about this game that is supposed to change gaming.”(Link:

    Obviously, he wasn’t happy, and pointed out that not only did people attend the hour-long session, they lined up an hour prior to attend. That’s not considerate of their time, bro.

    I hope you can see what I’m trying to say. This kind of thing just doesn’t come across well, IMO.

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