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future publishing demo day, 20th august 2004

Chris, Mark and Tom converged on Bath from their homes around the country on Friday 20th August, in order to pay a personal visit to Future Publishing. We took our big laptop and a few disks of Darwinia along to the PC Gamer offices, gathered everyone around, and showed them what we've been up to for the past 3 years.

Which is great, because we've been talking about visiting the Gamer offices for years now, and it gave us a chance to finally meet and thank all the people who've helped us out along the way. We got to meet Kieron Gillen (who originally reviewed Uplink for PC Gamer), Ross Atherton (the Dep. Editor of Gamer and a bloody nice chap), Tim Edwards (who wrote the scoop of Darwinia in PC Gamer and will be writing the preview), and a bunch more from various Future magazines. In the end we had people there from PC Gamer, PC Format, Edge, Gamesmaster, and Windows XP magazine, all taking a look. Chris actually found it slightly surreal, being able to recognise almost everyone in the office from their mugshots in Gamer every month.

The demo seemed to go pretty well...we had Chris playing and explaining the game on Future's Alienware beast PC, and we had our big laptop set up for people to play the game themselves. We didn't experience any nasty crashes except one on exit, which didn't matter at the time because, well, it's shutting down anyway. We got lots of feedback about some glitches in the control and selection mechanism, and we got lots of positive comments about the look and feel of the game, and the ideas and concepts on display. The sound in particular seemed to impress. More people played Darwinia on this day than in the rest of its history until now...this is the first time we've allowed anyone outside Introversion to get their hands on the game, so to say that Chris was shitting his pants beforehand is an understatement of Alienware proportions.

This sort of thing is always a bit difficult, trying to balance the time spent on each part of the game, and on explaining the background story and setting. In the end I think we got it about right...that is to say we spent 3 hours demonstrating and playing the game with Future, then about 8 hours getting drunk with them. Future's offices appear to be in a prime spot, making it possible to step out the front door and get straight into the boozer. So drinks led to more drinks, which led to a curry, which led to more drinks and a nightclub. We had a wicked time.

With both Chris and Tom armed with digital cameras, Introversion is now in possession of some highly embarrasing photos of the PC Gamer team, many of which neither Chris nor Tom can remember taking. But that's another story.

We can't wait to read the previews that come out of this.


Other pics

PC Gamer's offices click
Chris, Ross and Mark getting pissed click
Mark and Kieron at the club click
Mark upset that he's put Ross to sleep click
Tom looking rather sinister next to Tim click
Ross showing us his singing talents click
Kieron and Dan grooving click


PC Gamer's officers at last yay!

Chris shows the game to Ross and Tim

Dan Griliopoulos from PC Format giving Kieron the evil eye

Ross in action. Kudos to whoever adds electricity between his fingers first


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