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E3 Day Zero Writeup *IMG*

by UnrealCh13f @, San Luis Obispo, CA, Friday, July 12, 2013, 15:19 (3022 days ago)
edited by UnrealCh13f, Friday, July 12, 2013, 16:19

Up to the weekend before E3, I was planning to kick back, relax, and watch all of the streams from Microsoft, Sony, EA and Ubisoft.

All of that changed when I get an email confirming my registration to attend the Microsoft Media Briefing. Thanks to Major Nelson’s blog, it turns out that I was one of the 250 that won a free ticket to attend. Yay!


On the road to the Xbox Media Briefing...

Running on 1.5 hours of sleep, @TehEmoPenguin (A local Halo fan) and I drove over to the USC Galen Center and arrived at 7 in the morning. By that time, almost everything outside was set up. We dropped off our car at valet and proceeded to go to the “priority seating” line.

It took us about an hour, but by around 8:30, we were seated and ready to go!

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Wait, is that @lauralollip0p on the right?

While we waited for the briefing to start, we both decided to browse the Internet on our phones. As it turns out, as everyone was being seated, our Internet connection on both 3G/4G and complimentary wireless network jumped off a cliff. Note to self, bring a wireless hotspot next time.

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The invite told us to NOT do this!

The media briefing finally started at around 9:35AM.

If there was anything to point out, they absolutely BLASTED the sound system. Heck, my stomach couldn’t even adapt to the sheer amount of bass that the World of Tanks trailer was putting out.

There were also some memorable parts to this briefing as well...

Remember the BF4 audio mishap? The audience was definitely having fun at the expense of EA’s pride. I remember hearing one woman behind me ask, “So, Audio is DLC huh?”

Too soon.

Anyway, at least EA recovered and managed to show gameplay.

Another memorable part of the event was with the announcement of the Xbox One prices. That had to be the most awkward silence I have ever heard in a public event. It was literally the price the audience was expecting, but not the price that they wanted. Ouch.

Console wars aside, Microsoft did have a pretty strong showing in my opinion. Most of the presentation was about the games. Bravo Microsoft.

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Unexpected Master Chief was unexpected.


Lunch with Bungie.org (or, lack thereof)

Following the presentation, I received a tweet from ncsuDuncan that they were having lunch at Freebirds World Burrito right across the street. Awesome! We’ll see you there!

Easier said than done.

The first thing we had to do before getting there was to get our car out of valet parking. This took FOREVER. While waiting, we met mastrbiggy who took his lunch to-go and also waited to get his car from valet. He got his car before us.

What. The. Hell.

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At least we got to take a look at some pretty cool cars while we wait.

After what seemed like an eternity, we get our car back and made a mad dash to a parking lot across the street. We arrive and ordered our food just as the group finished their lunch. Luckily, just about everyone was willing to stick around for a bit longer, despite their extremely tight schedule and proceeded to discuss thoughts on the media briefing and what everyone’s plans were.

We also got to meet Tex and Naked Eli in person for the first time. It was great seeing you guys!

ncsuDuncan also gave us this awesome DBO pin that would prove useful later on in the day.

Time for some sight seeing!

With Penguin and I having nothing to do for the afternoon, Naked Eli was nice enough to let us tag along with him to pick up his E3 badge.

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Wait, I’m actually HERE?!

Even at less than 24 hours before the show floor opened, crews are still scrambling to get their respective areas set up. Gotta hand it to them, the planning and setup of the event is no easy feat. Way to go guys! You’re awesome!

With Eli’s E3 Badge in hand, and with Penguin and I seeing a sneak peek of what could have been if we had badges, we all decide to call it an afternoon and chill watching movies at Naked Eli’s place.


Now the real fun begins...

While the DBO admins and various B.org members were having fun at the Sony Pre-Party / Media Briefing while hanging out with Bungie, Eli, Penguin, and I had different plans.

Prior to E3, bs angel invited all three of us to a very small E3 community party at the ESPN Zone right next to the convention center that mainly revolved around Halo: Spartan Assault.

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You know what time it is. GAME TIME.

With 8 MIcrosoft Surface Pros running the demo, and a Surface Pro up for grabs, all three of us got on a Surface device and put our game faces on.

The objective of the level was to stop the covenant from destroying an important device.

I took an early lead, at ~40,000 points for level B-1. That did not last long as Naked Eli and Tashi quickly put me to shame by effortlessly obtaining six-figure scores. Since we all played the same level over and over again, we found out a lot of key factors to be successful.

At this point, the main three keys to obtain a high score for this particular level was to...

While not playing Halo: Spartan Assault, I got to finally meet bs angel. We’ve known each other online since the days of Halo 3, but we were never able to meet in person. She’s a great and joyful person and it was a delight to finally meet her! Jessica, you rock!

I also got to chat to some of 343i’s producers and developers about both “Halo: Spartan Assault” as well as “Halo Xbox One”. As a computer science major, it was pretty nice to hear their perspectives in getting their career started as well as how it feels like to work at 343i.

I also naturally tried to get as much information on Halo 5 Halo Xbox One as possible. The best I got was from bs angel was something along the lines of “Your experience with Halo on Xbox One begins in 2014.” Fair enough.

As the party came to a close, we found that the winner of the Surface Pro went to Naked Eli with a score of ~261,000 points. Is this really a surprise to anyone? Haha

None of us left empty handed however. Everyone was handed a swag bag with contained various Halo swag. In my case, I was handed a Halo: Spartan Assault T-Shirt, Halo-themed wallet, Halo Avatar Figures, as well as minimates’ figurines of Halo: Reach characters Carter and Kat.

As Eli, Penguin, and I say goodbye to 343i, it was time to go back to Eli’s place and part ways...

...or so we thought.


Unexpected stop

While the group was leaving ESPN Zone, we meet up with Bryan Newman and we find that he was headed to a Bungie party at a bar right next to the Galen Center. Newman suggested that we all should go, despite the event being invite only. We all decided to give it a shot and headed back to where our day started.

As we got to check-in, we were all greeted by DeeJ and told us that we were all good to go to enter, since everyone was wearing a Bungie shirt, or in my case, possessing the official DBO pin.

We also get to meet up with a few of the DBO admins (Thank you ncsuDuncan for introducing me to DeeJ!) and got to meet up with Tex and Bryan Newman once again. From there we were able to talk about our day and what our thoughts were while drinking.

After catching up with most of the DBO admins/members (Didn’t get to see Mid7night, sorry!), Eli, Penguin, Newman and I decided to go get some fresh air and meet up with Luke Timmins. From there, we (along with a few other invitees) join in on a very good discussion regarding his past experiences. It gave good insight on what happens “behind the scenes” while developing and supporting their games.


I wish we could have stayed (awake) longer...

As 12am approached and last calls being announced, we knew we had to call it a night somewhere. With Eli sleep deprived (running on nearly 2 days without sleep), Penguin and I doing no better (running on less than 3 hours of sleep the night before), and considering the fact that we all carpooled to LA, we were definitely needing to get some rest.

We all decided to call it a night and shook hands with Timmins as well as the remaining DBO members and left the bar.

Naked Eli was more than nice enough to let us sleep at his place for the night.

We arrive at Eli’s and immediately crashed, and the next morning we got up and said goodbye to Eli as he went off to the Convention Center for E3. Penguin and I left the LA area to go back home which is about three hours north.


There are a lot of people I’d like to thank...

TehEmoPenguin for allowing me to carpool with him!
The DBO admins for allowing us to join their lunch meetup!
Naked Eli for allowing us to hang with him for the afternoon and letting us have a place to sleep!
bs angel for inviting us to the 343i Community Party!
DeeJ for letting us in the Bungie party without an invite!
And finally, Major Nelson for hooking me up with the tickets to the Xbox Media Briefing. This day wouldn't have happened without him!

Also, to everyone else I met, 343i, Bungie, B.org, or otherwise, it was great to meet you guys! :)

This was an amazing experience. Let’s do this next year, yeah?


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