Sunday, February 17, 2008

I'm Back From My "Business" Trip

For those of you that don't know, since Wednesday, I've unofficially signed off of teh internets in preparation for this trip.

Without doing a full write up here (It's late, I'm still slightly jet-lagged and drained) I'll give you a few of the biggest points. Once I've had a chance to relax (read: recover) from the trip, I'll begin my official travelogue and transcripts of the two interviews I had, which will most likely be posted at Talk Xbox.

The day started with some of the best pancakes I've ever had, and the 13 or so other attendees and I BS-ing with the EA reps. After breakfast we made the short walk to EA, and were given our visitor passes. Shortly, the EA rep came out and said he had a surprise for us. Long story short, minutes later, I was playing a near final build of Army of Two. Shortly after, I found myself in an impromptu interview (digital voice recorder in hand) with one of the game's designers. I was nervous as hell, but I think I did a good job.

Following our preview of Army of Two (I won't post full details here, but I will link you to them once I've finalized everything) we were given the grand tour of what has to be the most awesome office buildings I've ever seen. Again, can't divulge much, but I took lots of pictures.

Finally, we were taken to a room on the second floor, marked "vacant". Inside awaited no less than 15 Xbox 360's and HD monitors running Burnout Paradise. We were all treated to a seat, and invited to play by Craig Sullivan, Lead Designer of the game of the hour. I began playing, linking up with 5 others online and freeburning around the city, which was a load of fun. During this time, we were each given one on one interview time with Mr. Sullivan. Again, nervousness mounted, but thankfully, I prepared a few questions in advance just in case such an opportunity would arise. So, digital voice recorder in hand once again, I walked into the meeting room with the man, nervous as hell and the interview commenced. Again, I won't reveal much, but I have to say, I'm very happy with the results.

During the day, there was a single player contest in which we were all given a half hour to score over a million points on a single stunt run, a feat that hasn't been accomplished by many. Well, yours truly pulled it off, receiving one of only twenty T-Shirts given out thus far signifying the achievement and will possibly be immortalized on the Burnout page, being part of EA's official Millionaire's club.

When the day was over, we retired to the hotel for a brief moment of solace and rest before hitting the restaurant, where I acquired a slightly tipsy condition and many stories were told and toasts were made.

It was one hell of a day and one hell of a trip. Who knew a business trip could be this awesome?

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