E3 09 Diary: Award Show!

You’ll have to imagine a catchy award logo, since I’m writing this in the closing minutes before my journey home begins. Here are the totally official RPS E3 Awards, unquestionably the most prestigious prize any developer or publisher can hope to receive at the conference.

Best Free Coffee: Without doubt, this award goes to Eidos. Not only did their booth have any at all, but they had decaf – something I couldn’t find anywhere else. Congratulations, Eidos.

Smelliest T-Shirt: This goes to LucasArts, for their Star Wars: The Old Republic t-shirt. I really cannot stress enough how disgustingly it smells. It’s scampi. The t-shirt reeks of scampi. I’ve had to wrap it in a plastic bag to bring it home, lest it touch anything else. I will wash it forty or fifty times, and then it will be a compo prize.

Loudest Bass: This is slightly ambiguous, but it goes to whoever had their bass speakers pointing at the Homefront chamber. It was a wonder people’s bowels weren’t emptying everywhere, so deep and rumbling was the all-destroying booming sound in there. Quite astonishing.

Best Private Booth Design: Has to be LucasArts again, for their Jedi temple in which SW:TOR was shown. It seems a bit sad that it was only seen by tired journalists, and not throngs of Star Wars enthusiasts. Runners up include 2K for their Mafia II room, with half a classic car sticking out the wall, but they lose out for giving us park benches to sit on. Park benches aren’t comfy. And Bethesda for their Brink room, which was undecorated in every way, but had the most comfortable chairs ever.

Most Wearable T-Shirt: EA and APB take this honour, for a t-shirt that somehow boasts the name of the game twice, but remains pretty decent-looking, and doesn’t have an URL on it anywhere. Again, in the compo prize bag. And it doesn’t stink of fish!

Coldest Room: One of the most important awards goes to Valve, for providing a refuge from the sweltering heat in a room that was close to refrigerated. Worth retreating to, just to dry off for a few minutes.

Most Ludicrous Game: There was tough competition, but it goes to Just Cause 2. And it’s no insult at all. It looks like it’s going to be one of the most idiotically fun toys to play with, even before you start following the story.

Best Game That Wasn’t On PC: Obviously I was focusing on PC games, and even then didn’t manage to see everything. But a few quick trips around the show floor revealed some fun stuff. By far the best, and I really mean the BEST, was Warner Bros’ Scribblenauts. I’d heard much about it, but never seen it running. It’s a DS game in which you’re tasked with reaching each level’s star by typing in the nouns and seeing them appear in the game. It sounds like a nice idea that will never work. Bloody hell, it works. I never saw it beaten. And these created objects don’t just appear, uniquely drawn, but also animated to match their real-world behaviour. A panda I asked for could be ridden around on. The rocket blew up the tree containing the star, letting me get it out the remaining ditch. I saw someone type in “LONGCAT”, and see a cat with a stretchy neck appear on screen. His next go: “ROFLCOPTER”. One appeared. It’s going to be incredible, and I heard at least three people call it their “game of the show”. Seriously incredible, and out this Autumn.

Worst Game That Wasn’t On PC: This also goes to Warner Bros. Immediately opposite Scribblenauts was another DS pod for a game called “How To Get A Hideous Teenage Complex” or something. A game in which you played a teenage girl who had to learn to fit in at a new school, the game immediately informing you that your choice of clothes was crucial if you wanted to be popular. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

And finally, the most important award of all:

Best Sandwich: This most prestigious of all the awards goes to The Pantry – a diner/restaurant on Figueroa and 8th that serves the strongest-flavoured pulled pork sandwich you’ve ever eaten, along with a vat of coleslaw, french fries and for some reason, a loaf of bread. So good it was all I ate for two days.

Oh, okay, here’s a more sensible award:

Favourite Game: It’s all potential at this point, because of course these are games a way from completion. But of all I saw, the game I most desperately want to play is Star Wars: The Old Republic. The potential for that enormous creation is incredible – it’s the MMO as I’ve always wanted the MMO to be. Also there’s APB, which I’ll write more about soon – truly incredible stuff. And as mentioned above, I’m dying to get my hands on Just Cause 2. Oh, and Borderlands! First time I’ve ever thought co-op would be more fun than soloing. Mass Effect 2! Homefront! Global Agenda!… It’s a good year for games, people.

And that’s me done. Bye bye E3.

(Oh, and as promised, here’s a picture of some Ghostbusters having trouble with their car:)

Try putting it in a trap.


  1. Acosta says:

    My heart is fullfied of happiness because your blessing of Scribbblenauts. It´s really a thing of wonder.

  2. Markoff Chaney says:

    My man! Scribblenauts mentioned! That is the one non PC game I am really looking forward to. It’s one of those games that seems to promise too much, so I’m really interested in how it all pans out and everything I’ve heard from E3 is stellar.

    I was expecting a “Worst shoe model” award though. Oh well. Maybe next year we can have a “Most improved comfort zone” award.

  3. James G says:

    Wow, if Scribblenauts does indeed work as you say then that is somewhat amazing. Unfortunately, I know that if I played the game, I’d have the main goal of finding its limits.

  4. Markoff Chaney says:

    I usually despise crossposting but, since I didn’t post this originally, I’ll just copy paste it here from where I stole it. This is from NeoGAF’s Scribbleanuts thread located here. This is post 217, if you care. :)

    “I had played all the big titles at E3. Private showings of God of War III, Heavy Rain, Alan Wake. But at 4:00 on Thursday, I was wandering around the show floor, wondering what else I had to see. I saw a small little booth for “Scribblenauts!” in the Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment section. I mean, who goes to that booth? But I remember hearing about it on GAF, and so I decided to check it out.

    Best game of E3? Without a fucking doubt. Anyone who says otherwise did not play Scribblenauts. Best game of all time? Jesus Christ, I don’t know, maybe. It’s a game that challenges your IMAGINATION. No other game has ever done that.

    So listen to this story. I was in the early levels; I didn’t quite have an idea of how ridiculously in-depth the database was. I was summoning things like ladders, glasses of water, rayguns, what have you. But I reached a level with zombie robots, and the zombie robots kept killing me. Rayguns didn’t work, a torch didn’t work, a pickaxe didn’t work. In my frustration, I wrote in “Time Machine”. And one popped up. What the fuck? A smile dawned on my face. I hopped in, and the option was given to me to either travel to the past or the future. I chose past. When I hopped out, there were fucking dinosaurs walking around. I clicked one, and realized I could RIDE THEM. So I hopped on a fucking DINOSAUR, traveled back to the present, and stomped the shit out of robot zombies. Did you just read that sentence? Did you really? I FUCKING TRAVELED THROUGH TIME AND JUMPED ON A DINOSAUR AND USED IT TO KILL MOTHERFUCKING ROBOT ZOMBIES. This game is unbelievable. Impossible. There’s nothing you can’t do.

    Holy fucking shit.”


  5. poita says:

    Ha ha. Google adds are funny.

    There is a big ad for a steele pipe company called Cojo valves. I guess the software detected the name valve on the rps page and matched up an actual industrial valve manufacturer.

    link to kojocn.com

  6. Jayteh says:

    I want to test out this scribblenauts…

  7. Shnyker says:

    What does a ROFLCOPTER even look like? Also, glad you got to see the press only thingsies, otherwise I’d have learned nothing useful. Worst game also, gave em a good laugh.

  8. Frans Coehoorn says:

    Hahahhahaa. Good stuff :-).

  9. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    @ Shnyker: I hear tell that they look, and sound, a little like this.

  10. Norskov says:

    I’m now considering buying a DS, just for that game.

  11. Carra says:

    All I can think now is “I want scribblenauts, I want scribblenauts, I want…”.


  12. Ian says:

    I’ve never had pulled pork. :(

  13. TheSombreroKid says:

    Decaf is not coffee, also it’ll give you prostate cancer.

  14. John Walker says:

    It’ll do less damage than caffeine was, Sombrero. I’m three and a half years on the wagon. If it’s a wagon that lets you have about five or six real coffees a year when you’ve got a terrible headache.

  15. DSX says:

    re: scribblenauts

    If it’s successful enough, perhaps we can convince them to offer it online for PC users. Surely it would be easy to pop it in a shell like I’ve seen other DS games, some even play in-browser. I’d love to try this but am not going to get a DS :/

  16. Fumarole says:

    Scribblenauts sounds amazing. Do want.

  17. TheSombreroKid says:

    @John Walker
    i am so genuinly sorry for you, i literally look like a zombie when i’ve not had any coffee and i act like the hulk unfortunatly.

  18. Dozer says:

    My mother got taken to hospital in 1989 in an Australian ambulance which looked a lot like that Ghostbusters car. I think. I was three at the time.

  19. EyeMessiah says:

    John did you see anyone entering bad swears into scribblenauts?

    You know what word I’m talking about John.

  20. negativedge says:

    God, star wars sounds so bad. Get better taste.

    I wonder about Scribblenauts, myself. I mean, does the gimmick hold, when all you’re doing is looking for one of X amount of keys for Y keyhole ad infinum? The game has to be hopelessly generic in order to even function.

  21. qrter says:

    John did you see anyone entering bad swears into scribblenauts?

    According to podcasts I heard that’s just about the only thing people did..

    Yikes, I’d rather completely forego the taste of coffee then drink decaf, I think. It’s not as awful as non-alcoholic beer, where alcohol is integral to the taste, but it’s still pretty bad. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty bad..

  22. Zyrxil says:

    Gdamnit, you had me hooked on Roflcopter actually working as a noun. I don’t have a DS though, and the only other DS I actually want to play is New Super Mario Brothers.

  23. Vinraith says:

    To those of you freshly considering the merits of a DS, let me gently urge you to have a look at Etrian Odyssey 1 & 2 as well as The Dark Spire. I mention them because they’re Wizardry-like dungeon crawlers, a genre that belongs to PC but has sadly died off on its home platform. The Etrian games even give you digital graph paper to map out the dungeons, just like you had to do in the old days.

  24. qrter says:

    Well.. that L4D2 announcement shook things up nicely.

    Oooooh I went there! OOOOOOHH!! ;)

  25. MrBejeebus says:

    i might buy a ds just for scribblenauts…

    game im most looking forward to after E3 is probably ME2, playing through the 1st again..

    and i want to try 1 of those sandwiches mr walker, any chance of an E-sandwich?

  26. Alex says:

    Was this the same coleslaw that lured those ants to their doom? How can you look back fondly at that meal without the slightest bit of remorse? >:I

  27. Kris says:

    Adding to the DS love with a PC connection. Broken Sword Diretors Cut helped to pass the time I spent at home recovering from an operation (and NSMB is deliciously new-old school).
    Scribblenauts sounds fantastic, tempted to pre-order, lack of guidance from reviews be damned.

  28. Morningoil says:

    Do want Scribblenauts. Yes I might buy a DS just to play it.

    Can I be the first to say that I – hitherto a staunch PC-only kinda guy – except when one of my flatmates got a Gamecube and I lost myself in Wind Waker, Resi 4, and NHL Hitz for a bit – was totally, totally, totally, totally, totally blown away by the trailer for The Last Guardian? And might get a PS3 just to play that?


    But it’s true.

    /logs into WoW for a stiff dose of corrective grinding

  29. sfury says:



    I’m buying/stealing a DS asap!!!

    (also first thing I’ll try in it is to summon Samuel L. Jackson)

  30. negativedge says:

    I’m going to doubt proper nouns work. people, especially.

  31. Piispa says:

    You forgot
    The Best Game Not Shown But Everyone Wants That Will Undo All Other Games: John Walker – The E3 Experience!

  32. Tei says:

    Potential is the simple WORST word you can use for a MMO.

    Vanguard has potential, Tabula Rasa and Hellgate London has potential.

    Potential is a empty glass. A page with nothing written in it. a novel in blank. You will feel cheated if you buy a botle of wine, and is full of potential (empty).

  33. Neut says:

    Fuck! I just gave my DS away as a present a week ago!

  34. Gnarl says:

    Assuming this is your last direct post on the subject, I would thank Mr. Walker for his efforts, and the rest at home for their sterling work. That your time could have been more profitably (financially) spent this past week is appreciated.

    Even Mr. Gillen, although I have slight concerns that if he had gone to a featureless plane for a week we would now be reading about them, and how they underpin most virtual space design.

  35. Rei Onryou says:

    @Piispa: You sir, have won this thread (excluding Scribblenauts!).

    Thank you John for your hard work and impressive awards. I look forward to next years “Cleanest Toilet” and “Best Side Order of Fries” awards.

  36. Funky Badger says:

    Vinraith: I can’t bloody get hold of The Dark Spire in this god forsaken country. *grumble* Nor Etrian Odyssey 2.

    I’m not sure Disgaea would allow me time off to play them at the moment though.

  37. Psychopomp says:

    Funky, Amazon is your friend

  38. Soobe says:

    I smell something strange going on here.

    Get this. I was listening to the IGN game Scoop E3 wrap up podcast earlier today and at 16:25 Hillary Goldstein tells the EXACT same story that Markoff Chaney quotes in the fourth post down on this page. That somehow, completely randomly and out of the blue they both decide to try ‘time-machine’ to see what it would do.

    I’m not saying it’s impossible that two people couldn’t think of the same thing, clearly, but it’s strikes me as incredibly strange that people are so INCREDIBLY UNBELIEVEABLY AMPED TO HELL AND BACK that you can think of some shoddily animated dinosaur stomping on other shoddily animated things as being somehow cool and AWESOME.

    In short, this tale of ‘time-machines’ is beginning to sound like the end result of some viral technique. Thoughts?

  39. Richard Beer says:

    Sombrero, if you’re like that without a cup of coffee, then I’m afraid it’s because you’re an addict! Trust me on this: after a week of cold-turkey you’ll suddenly realise that getting up in the morning is EASY and you’re just not tired all the time, it’s caffeine-induced lows.

    Scribblenauts sounds like the perfect game for a word-junkie like me, so it’s a good thing I’ve just bought my girlfriend a DS Lite for her birthday tomorrow! Shhh don’t tell yet. The Nintendogs should stave off getting a real puppy for a little bit longer. Only downside is that it’s pink, so I won’t be playing Scribblenauts in public.

  40. superking208 says:

    >Write. Anything.
    OH HO HO we’ll see about THAT good sir…
    How will it respond to “Galactus’ Phallus, Impaler Of Worlds”

  41. WonderKingOnline says:

    I so gonna get scribblenauts next week at the release :D been waiting for it since the first video got released.