It’s the final day of E3. Most attendees have died exhausted and alone, with only XXXL shirts and fliers for NOS energy drinks as bartering chips in their bid to enter the pearly gates of the great beyond. I shuffle into a tiny booth cubicle – technically for an appointment, but mostly in vain hope of discovering some hidden developer pillow mountain. Inside, I instead find Quantum Conundrum mastermind Kim Swift… excitedly chatting with Square Enix PR about Left 4 Dead, energized as someone who just woke up from being frozen in a block of ice for thousands of years.
It was pretty surprising at the time – given that she was coming off not only a grueling E3 but also an entire development cycle. But then, I suppose there’s a sort of giddy limit-defying elation in finally crossing the finish line. And, as Swift went on to tell me, she got to do it her way – even with a titan as large as Square Enix looming over the production. Which is kind of incredible, when you think about it. So then, how did all of this come about?