Some of you may already know that recently Lila and I left our current positions with AEG to strike out on our own. It's been a very interesting last few weeks. Friday November 12 was my last day with AEG after 6 1/2 years doing public relations for Microsoft's Games and Xbox divisions. It was a bittersweet last month where my emotions ran the gamut. I was excited about the prospects of starting our own business, but at the same time I was sad to leave some incredible times and fantastic folks at Microsoft. I guess if there was a good way to "leave," it would be after helping to launch one of the biggest video games in history, Halo 2.
When I decided it was time to leave, I made sure that I offered to stay on until Halo 2 shipped. It was amazing to see something that you had a small part in promoting, become so big. I knew it was big when my mother said to me, "Did you work on that Halo game I saw on the news? Wow, that made a lot of money for a video game." Right then I knew that video games had transcended into the mainstream.
It was an awesome 6 1/2 years and I take a lot of memories away from it. Some of the highlights include the launching of Xbox, two large-scale Fanstocks in Redmond and E3 after E3. I've worked with some amazingly talented people at Microsoft, various developers, webmasters, fans and online editors and writers. Hopefully I'll be working with many of these same people with our new business.
So what am I doing up at 6 a.m. and posting on my blog you may ask? Well, I'm staffing a Halo 2 review event for editors down in San Francisco, and it's just insane. We have 10 stations playing a final version of the game that the whole free world (and probably the not-so-free world) is salivating over. Editors came in today around 1 p.m., and many of them stayed until the wee hours, and one of them is still playing right now. I took the first nap shift around 1 a.m. and came back down at 5 a.m. We were down to two editors at that point. Will from GameSpy is just getting ready to go home for a short nap, then come back. We have a fresh crop of about 8 editors coming in at 9 a.m. and playing through until 9 a.m. on Thursday! OY!
This is a game that really needs no PR, but at the same time this has one of the biggest PR budgets, and the most comprehensive PR and promotional campaigns I've ever seen in the games industry. I mean, you've seen Shrek and other movie characters featured on Slurpee cups over the years, but have you ever seen a video game character on them? It was almost surreal driving by my local 7-Eleven here and finding a huge store-length banner for Halo 2 Slurpee Cups and the contest. Also kinda funny knowing that I created and sent out the media advisory about this very same promotion. I knew this game was going to sell a bazillion copies and set huge sales records, but after seeing the game in action....omg...it's not all hype! That's all I can say, or the secret service agents hiding behind the curtain here will immediately rush out and take me down, confiscate my laptop and then delete this post. :P
Ok, so the honeymoon is over. The wedding is long over and I'm back doing my usual stuff. So no more excuses as to why I haven't updated my blog right? Ok...ok!
I've been playing a lot of World of Warcraft lately, and working on getting my guild up to speed as a full-fledged WoW guild. This has taken up a ton of my time lately. My other new hobby lately is poker! Yes, just like you see on TV, I've been playing a lot of Texas Hold'Em with friends and a little bit online. I will not play online for real money though; I sense a real danger doing that. A buddy of mine and I went to the local casino last weekend and I got skunked. I was really intimidated, and my play suffered early. I learned a lot that night though, and played really well in the last hour or so. I missed a couple of really big pots by a single lousy kicker card. Oh well, there will be other times. Also, I think I might be playing with some buddies again this weekend, and I think my experience in the casino might help..
The thing I learned most, I should have known from the Kenny Rogers song. You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and know when to run. Well I didn't need to run, but I sure need to learn how to know when to fold 'em. There's certainly a lot more to this game than I originally thought!
Ahh...day 2 of honemoon bliss. I never thought I'd enjoy doing NOTHING so much! No work, no phone, no computer (well almost no computer...just using this for blogging! We have a no-email rule in effect!)...it's heaven. We have some free wireless access in our hotel room in Banff, so I'm posting this now. I'll post more about day 3 tomorrow morning. Read on for our second post.
After all the wedding festivities and bidding farewell to out of town guests, we finally were able to begin our honeymoon today! Both of us were so anxious to get out of town that we woke up on our own at 6am in the morning, even before the alarm went off! Read on for more on our first honeymoon blog post.
Ok, so I have a good excuse as to why I haven't posted lately....I GOT MARRIED!
So it's not a great excuse, but it was a fabulous event. Lila and I were married on August 7, and we're now on our honeymoon! So what the heck am I doing posting to my blog on my honeymoon? Well, we're logging our vacation as we travel to the Canadian Rockies and camp, fish and hotel along the way. So without further ado, here's the first couple of logs. We'll post pics along the way too :)
What the heck is Gor Dai Lai you ask? Well, I'm not entirely sure if it's spelled that way, but basically it's a pre-wedding engagement type party - the Chinese way of course! Right now I'm typing this on my laptop as we're preparing for the big event. There will probably be about 60 people at my fiance's folks house, and there is going to be a ton of food!
We've taken a bunch of pictures, and will likely be updating it throughout the day (and tomorrow)...mainly because my folks can't be here unfortunately. So hope you enjoy them...and yes..that's a full size suckling pig barbecued to perfection! YUM!
I'm typing this post while sitting on my deck, on my hammock, on my brand spanking new laptop. Our Dell XPS arrived today with much fanfare. Funny thing was that I was not the most excited about it. At about 11:50 PM last night, my fiance was saying to me, "Do you know what tomorrow is?" I was like, "Uhm.....Monday??" And finally after more teasing she blurted out, "The laptop is coming tomorrow!!!!!"
So the machine arrived, and we excitedly took it out of the box, and I was surprised that it actually wasn't as heavy as it looked. Most folks said this thing was huge (which the form factor actually is quite big), but it didn't weigh much more than our old Compaq laptop. The power brick is just that...a BRICK. It's huge and heavy. At least Dell gave us a free uber backpack to lug this thing around. I think I'm gonna take it with me when I go to Edmonton on Wednesday...just so I can play City of Heroes at the airport while waiting for the plane. How cool is that? I'm such a geek.
Ok, let me get this off my chest. I must blog more. I must blog more. I must blog more. There, I feel better!
Summertime is usually a time when gaming is pretty stagnant. Not much usually is coming out until the inevitable "fall season" of gaming goodness. Well, right now I have at least two great games that I'm eager to play more -- Full Spectrum Warrior for Xbox and Thief 3 for PC. Why am I not playing them more? Three little words -- City of Heroes.
That game really has a hold on me (sing it with me)! City of Heroes has some Sopranos-like hold on me that keeps pulling me back in. I know, I probably can never leave and spend time with another game. There's just so much about the game that I like, and it keeps making me come back:
Heroic - It really makes you feel like a superhero. Cool powers, and lots of them - must make "even" level for new power...
Story - For those who bother to read the story arcs, they truly are great fun. I really get into finishing off certain story arcs, and moving on to something new. IMHO, they are much better done than most fantasy-themed MMOs.
Developers - Cryptic actually listens to their players. What a concept! They listen, respond on the forums, and actually implement changes that are needed. Not in a knee-jerk way either. Revolutionary!
Fun - The game is just plain fun to play. No timesinks. No unnecessary busy work. Just fun and great combat. Some have compared the "style" to Diablo.
So as you can see, I'm hopelessly addicted, and I'm sure many others of you are too. Leave me a comment if you're a City of Heroes player and have a similar addiction. Just remember, you can never leave the Family!
(Check out a little movie I put together - The Family - 17 mb zipped WMV file.)
Edited 6/23/04 - Now linked to FilePlanet download
relate \Re*late"\, v. i 1. To have connection, relation, or reference
2. To have or establish a reciprocal relationship; interact
3. To react in response, especially favorably
But why relate? Most successful interactions, especially when conducting PR, revolve around relationships and relating to the people who purchase the product we're promoting. It's all about building relationships with publishers and developers; and especially relationships with webmasters, bloggers and the general community.
NCSoft: City of Heroes One of the best MMOs that I've played in a long time. I'm hooked, and my Supergroup plays on the Pinnacle server. Look for Captain Safety there!
Rurouni Kenshin Working on the second boxed set now. It's my favorite anime so far.