E3 2011 Secret Diary: Tuesday

I think IGN are using this same image.

Wednesday 8th June, 10am

Welcome to bus journeys of the poor and a bit famous in the right circles on the Internet. As I zoom my way down Olympic, through Koreatown on the way to the Conference Center, I have a quick moment to update you on yesterday.

E3 is a ridiculous place. The self-importance required to construct a poster the size of a building must be enormous. And pretty much every game has one. Everything has to be BIG. And nothing is bigger this year than Nintendo, Microsoft and Playstation’s “booths”. Each is the size of a small town. They literally have maps.

And the noise. The noise is such that almost no communication is possible on the show floor. EA’s vast screen has its audio bellowed out by speakers larger than God’s own, so loudly that the EA staff all look as though they’re holding off tears.

(This bus is now going at 700mph and I am going to die.)

It’s as if the publishers believe that if their bits and pieces are the biggest and the loudest then people will like them the most. They won’t, publishers. They’ll rock quietly in the corner whole wiping the blood from their ears.

(I’m the only person on this bus who sniggers when the electronic voice says, “Stop requested. Please use rear exit.)

People have often complained in the past that E3 has gotten too big. The thing is, that’s only literally true. If everyone could just use some sense, bring regular screens and not build a city to house something that will eventually be played in someone’s living room, they could probably host it in a village hall. Like a gas, the pomposity of the games industry fills the space it’s given.

Today should be a good day. I’m set to get my hands on the five games I’m most excited about this hear. Beginning with Tomb Raider. I’ll try to give you some impressions of that tonight, or in RCT first thing in the morning.

Hopefully you caught the Battlefield 3 preview, and my interview with CCP in which I try to unravel what on Earth is going on there. And there will be loads more coverage of what I’m seeing in previews that’ll appear next week.

But now my bus draws close to my destination, having gone so fast that we skipped through time, such that this has finished before I started writing it. Love you all.


  1. Manac0r says:

    Yeah don’t call the driver a driver I did that state side and got told he was a public vehicle operator, all I said was thanks driver.

    • nemryn says:

      Maybe he thought you were calling him a drIV3r?

    • Jake says:

      It’s probably best to call them Buslords. And I believe the Buslords like it if you pat their heads on the way out.

    • icupnimpn2 says:

      Here in America, the egalitarian way to greet a mechanical vehicle operator of the public variety is to
      1) Look him or her frankly in the eyes.
      2) Lift your eyebrows slightly and tilt your head a little to the left to soften your look.
      3) Think to yourself “I acknowledge that you and I are different but both equally as excellent, and both of our roles in society serve a great purpose” really strongly like you hope their E.S.P. will pick it up, but don’t let the strain show on your face.
      4) Reach out for their hand, grip it tightly, and shake it vigorously, not letting their gender influence your vigor.
      5) Optionally, tip the driver if they’re willing to help with your luggage.

    • Scandalon says:

      I’m surprised they didn’t go with “Vehicle Operations Technician”. That’s what everyone on the west coast is these days, some sort of technician dental technician, gas-pump technician, burger technician. (Unless you work in retail, then everyone’s an “associate”.)
      Actually, stateside it would sound a bit “off” from the way you tell it. You’d refer to someone as a bus driver, the bus driver very well may call themselves that, but you normally wouldn’t address someone as that. “Driver, I’d like to go to the airport” would sound hopelessly, well, English. ;)

    • adonf says:

      Wow, you got a US bus driver to actually talk??? I thought that the only kind of communication they were capable of was to point to the payment box and look at you like you’re shit^Wdisturbing them.

  2. Xocrates says:

    Looking forward for your opinions on Tomb Raider. Hopefully the hands-on demo won’t be the same they showcased at the MS conference.

    Also, when I went to London I tried very hard not to snigger when the Tube Train announced it was heading to Cockfosters.

    • JonWood says:

      Don’t worry, everyone does that. I spent 2 years catching that train and still sniggered (or, as my ipad would like to think, snogger edited, which sounds much more fun).

    • Thants says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one.

    • Psychochild says:

      I’ve always thought Cockfosters should be in a modernized version of Neverwhere.

    • alice says:

      This! After being unable to fall asleep on a 12 hour flight feeling completely enveloped in a dreamlike state I almost died laughing when I got on the train and the tube lady said “This is a Piccadilly line train to Cockfosters”.

  3. Mike says:

    Dan of Size Five games was talking about an indie-style E3 next year. I can’t help by imagine it as a village fayre, with everyone presenting their games on little stalls and selling jars of pacman-themed Jam.

    I would so go to that.

    • MJS says:

      So would I.

      Someone please, please do this.

    • Chris Evans says:

      I wouldn’t mind seeing something a bit more like that, I think E3 is just a monster that doesn’t allow anyone to breathe and take in what they are seeing and hearing about. John’s comments about the sound make me think it is all becoming -too- much. E3 always needs to be the major event, but I think it is going too far.

      I’ve been comparing it to Twenty20 cricket on The Reticule :D

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      I’ve stopped watching E3 because last year it plunged me into a month long depression. I already know what my E3 experience would have been this year:

      Micrsoft: Hey guys, we’re Microsoft!

      Me: I know…

      Microsoft: Kinect right!

      Me: …games?

      Microsoft: Kinect!!!!!

      Me: Games :'(

      Microsoft: Games for Kinect!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xD

      Me: OHJUSTSHUTTHEFKUPANDDIEALREADY **weeps in a corner**

      Sony: Hey guys we’re sony!

      Me: Stop calling everybody guys, to you I am sir, nothing more, nothing less.

      Sony: New PSP!

      Me: Don’t care.

      Sony: Game?

      Me: Games!!!!!

      Sony: Right… uh… GAMES!!!

      Me: I’ve heard of all of these games already…

      Sony: Oh… new psp?

      Me: OHJUSTSHUTTHEFKUPANDDIEALREADY >.< **small bout of cutting**

      Nintendo: Hey Guys we're Nintendo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Smiles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xDDDDDDD

      Me: **shoots myself**

      That, is why I don't watch E3.

    • Mike says:

      Maybe RPS could co-ordinate it? Rent out a village hall somewhere near Bath…

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      I replied to the wrong comment, I apologise, however an Indie only E3-a-like, would be on a whole new level of awesome. Forget just watching it, I’d pay to be there in person.

    • Kollega says:

      I agree with the people here. Judging from the RPS reports and the frankly insane amounts of hype pouring out of E3, it has become far too big. Everyone, and i mean EVERYONE, is scheduling their announcements to coincide with E3. I know that it does make sense, as everyone’s attention is directed towards it, but come on – this is just ridiculous. We need a few more conventions to spread the hype out more evenly, one of them being the place for indies to shout about their creations.

    • RagingLion says:

      There are already a number of events to spread announcements out in and they do to an extent. Gamescom, PAX (now sometimes twice a year), TGS, publisher/developer specific events and Microsoft has is own event in April/May every year as well. E3 is still the hub for the reasons you (Kollega) intimate. Also E3 is still slightly toned down on what it was 5 years I think after they went through some lower key formats for 2 years before the industry decided the spectacle was useful.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      I can’t comment on the size of E3, what with me never having been even geographically close, but it is hard to keep up with the news flooding out of the place… I’m waiting until this blows over and reading the summaries.

  4. Chris Evans says:

    I had a snigger when I read the comment about leaving the bus via the rear exit

    Looking forward to Tomb Raider, hopefully you can get to judge how heavy the QTEs are in it.

    • gorgol says:

      I also sniggered but only because John prompted me too. I’m not sure I get it, is it really only due to the “rear exit” bit? xD Mind you I probably would have sniggered if I had heard it for real too.

      I really like the diary series, it always puts a smile on my face, not sure why. Perhaps its because it reminds of how wonderfully creative and freeform the writing on this site is. :)

    • Chris Evans says:

      Yeah it was the rear exit bit. I have a bad bad mind :D

    • Scandalon says:

      As a non-Englishman, I must say I don’t get the humor. Yes, it’s an exit, at the rear of the bus. Do you snigger every time someone says BUTton?

      Spotted Dick, now *that’s* funny…

    • futage says:

      Button. lol.

  5. Kirrus says:

    John’s definitely in a timewarp. It’s still yesterday for him, looking at the title ;)

  6. Choca says:

    “It’s as if the publishers believe that if their bits and pieces are the biggest and the loudest then people will like them the most.”

    That’s why I enjoy Gamescom much more than E3 these days. At Gamescom they leave the huge stands and loud speakers to the public areas while the business area stays pretty calm and much more human sized, making it that much easier to actually get some work done.

    • Chris Evans says:

      I too think that events like Gamescom and GDC are much more relevant these days, people can get their fix of new games to play and stuff, whilst journos can attend conferences which contain actual content rather than pure fluff.

  7. Shakermaker says:

    Have fun John. And make pics!

  8. rozpocet1 says:

    Write a book John!!! Everybody will buy it on the spot!!!

  9. Dozer says:

    fine, RPS, don’t publish my comment!

    edit: oh you contrary little ******