> Journal Entry 05 (Gamescom 2015 Series)
If I only knew what the day had in stock for me. Oh man. That was a power trip alright!
So, after a long train ride next to a sportsy German girl that I chatted to for an hour or so, I ended up in Cologne, Germany. After finding which train I need to get to arrive at the right spot, I arrived at the Cologne Messe with my super red suitcase. Walked a little bit and I was already feeling the atmosphere of the big video games convention starting to crawl in my skin and waking the nerd inside of me. This is the picture that I was greeted with as soon as I got off the train and made my first turn.
So the journey to get my press pass began. If I only knew it was going to be such a long one…
At first, I went up the huge staircase of the messe just to be told that I have to go all the way around to the press centre east. Then as soon as I arrived at the press centre east, I was told I need to visit the press centre north. So after arriving at the press centre north, I spent a good 10 minutes discussing with the people at the press booth why I “deserve” a press pass for what I do and the position I have at IGN Greece. Shortly after, a person in charge came along and gave me a press pass. Hallelujah. Lovely people though, can’t blame them for doing their job as strictly as possible.
So that was done and now I have in front of me the whole of the convention to explore! The time was already about 11:30, so with a closing time at 19:00 sharp, I had to make sure I get the most out of this day that was, supposedly, less crowded than it would be the days to come. My colleagues at IGN Greece did prepare me with a mental image of how crowded it will be and of how long the lines will be, even on the 2nd day of the event that is less open to the public. What they didn’t prepare me for though was the fact that I would have to waste at least half of my day waiting in just one of those lines in order to play one of those games. Soon enough, I decided not to waste my time like that and actually keep on going, taking photos of as many things, I can in order to report back to IGN Greece, and eventually end up in the Indie Arena Booth so that I can start doing my job as an Indies Press/Journalist.
So, I got the chance to get my hands on games like, Mighty No.9, Paladins (by the creators of Smite) and played a game of Smite too (where I destroyed the enemy team with my undeniably good control of Artemis’s bow shots).
Although I can’t reveal much, Might No.9 had the amazing feel of an old Megaman game with all-new aesthetics and ease of control that a modern game has making it a nostalgic yet unique experience for any gamer, fan or not of the series.
Paladins was in pre-alpha edition but the guys at Hi-Rez were brave enough to reveal the game at Gamescom 2015 and actually have a 5vs5 arena where visitors of the expo can take part in. The game relies on upgrades that you get when you level up and it has the feel of Gigantic in a way with a more “Smite-y” approach I’d say. I played a weird bloodlusted shaman that healed and threw chain lightning at his foes and even though he felt overpowered end-game, I would have preferred to go with the hunter girl that has a cool bow. Oh well, maybe next time. The game is definitely something I’ll be picking up and playing in the near future though since I was satisfied (still am) with Smite and I can only expect better from the company update-wise for their new game.
So…on to the Indie Arena Booth!
As soon as I entered the 10.1 messe building, I knew I was at the right place. Smaller queues, fewer people roaming around like crazy, more people playing games and discussing about them. Yep, I was at the right place. The altar of Indie games for Gamescom 2015. But first, I had to visit my favourite company, Ronimo.
I made a stop at the Awesomenauts booth that was just behind the Indie Arena Booth and met Tim, Jasper and one more German awesomenauts player who was volunteering in order to help with the running of the booth. I had a chat with them, I had a nice interview with the marketing manager, Jasper (co-founder and previously Games Designer at Ronimo) and I will reveal all of these things in an upcoming article after I’ve posted all the interviews and the information on IGN Greece first.
As soon as I was done talking to the guys, I started my journey of interviewing as many of the Indie developers, that were showcasing their games, as possible. I managed to get a lot of great information from some of the upcoming indie developers as well as a couple that have already been in the field for a while now. Those companies include:
- Awesomenauts by Ronimo (NL)
- Jotun by Thunder Lotus Games (CAN)
- Metrico+ by Digital Dreams (NL)
- Treasure Arena by Vennril (GER)
- The Masterplan by Shark Punch (FIN)
- Move or Die by Those Awesome Guys (RUM)
- The Flock by Vogelsap (GER)
- Nova Nukers! by space orange studios (GER)
- SHU by Secret Lunch (UK)
And I got a bunch coming up next with even more exciting games!
So look forward to those interviews as I’ll be posting them one by one after Gamescom here on my blog (right after I write them for IGN). It was quite exciting actually to get to talk to all those indie developers and see how they deal with video game development in the age of AAA titles that reign supreme with tons upon tons of promotion shoved in everyone’s face. We talked about Early Access, we talked about crowdfunding and we talked about the hardships of developing a game as an indie company.
At 7 o’clock I had to go grab my suitcase and start heading to the hotel. Unfortunately, as soon as arrived at the hotel, all tired and dazed from the first day full of experiences at the event, I asked at the reception and they told me that my there was something wrong with my booking. So long story short, I ended up being with my friend Markus at his apartment after all. That was quite cool though since another German guy I met quite recently was here and we got to play King of Tokyo with Markus’s son and then some Netrunner with the guys.
Markus also made something amazing for dinner (which I didn’t even know what it was, it was great though!) and he also prepared some strawberry milkshakes for some more Netrunner mayhem!
I basically just finished uploading all of the photos for IGN Greece and hopefully it won’t be too long before the interviews go up on IGN too so that I can start sharing them with you.
Tomorrow I got a full day of more interviewing indie companies and waiting behind long queues in order to at least experience some of the bigger games a little bit.
So stay tuned to IGN Greece and IGN in general for the latest Gamescom 2015 news and announcement and stay tuned to my blog for more of my adventures!
See ya tomorrow night again!
-Konstantinos “Kelfecil” Christakis