As an aside: during this morning’s commute, I was introduced to Dokken’s version of Santa Clause is Coming to Town.
It looks like ARG Netcast #42, live from the offices of 42 Entertainment, is out. It’s on my iPhone, but I have yet to listen to it. I’m not sure how much editing jamesi did, but if I sound like a total tard when asking a question, keep in mind that I was put on the spot pretty quickly and probably should have rehearsed a few questions ahead of time. I had a couple of great questions locked away in my head, but translating them to eloquent English with all heads (and microphones) turned my direction seemed to be the problem.
I guess I should talk about the 42 trip itself–or at least, the things that are safe to mention without pulling curtains back too far. Going into this, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. It started with a sudden and surprise email to a half-dozen people, effectively stating “wanna come visit us and take a tour?” Were we Golden Ticket holders? Were each of us going to be hideously deformed in some way by not obeying the posted rules, until only one remained–the person who would inherit the business (including magical glass elevator?) Was it all a trick? An elaborate Rabbit Hole leading to a stealthy game launch? A day or two later there was the press release that several of the founders left to pursue other opportunities. Oh! Could it be spin control? While my left brain still thinks that could be the case (or, at least, a minor part of it), my right brain is still processing all of the coolness of the trip: how great everyone was, how many interesting things we saw, the fun of hanging out with all the folks I haven’t seen since ARGfest (which still seems like it was just yesterday), and the rampant fanboyism of meeting everyone.
Many of the specifics I cannot talk about, for fear of a team of lawyer-ninja-assassins materializing behind me with a piano-wire garrote. The 42 offices are the open and fun style I’ve grown to associate with entertainment and media companies. Lots of couches. Lots of video games. Lots of snacks. Free cake. (I can neither confirm nor deny the allegation that the cake may or may not have contained anything extra.) As mentioned on the netcast, there were a number of paintings around the office, in the same style as the NIN Year Zero billboards, containing many references and nods-of-the-hat to past games. And a whole lot of friendly, entertaining, creative people who were amazing to be around.
Overall, I was impressed by the past, present, and future of the company. They really know their audience. They’re great at telling stories people want to hear in a novel, engaging, and fun way. And most importantly, even with the recent change in staffing, they will continue to make amazing experiences.