Montreal International Games Summit

Writing this in Montreal in my hotel room. Trying to stay awake. I have to say MIGS aka Montreal International Games Summit has been a great event. The development scene in Montreal is amazing – there’s about 20 000 people working in the games industry here. You got Ubisoft Montreal that really kicked things off here in the late 1990’s and now there’s EA Montreal, BioWare Montreal, Eidos Montreal, THQ Montreal and many others. The scene here is superb.

MIGS is about 1200 people, something like that. So just big enough to attract the right people, but small enough that you can actually meet up with people and so some business. I got to hang out a bit with David Hego, the art director at Rocksteady, who held a presentation about the art direction in Batman: Arkham City. More about that in a bit…

I’ve been talking to developers about Umbra and done a bit of press stuff in the way of interviews that will be in Pelaaja. So most of my days are about trying to find tech directors via various people and talk to them about our rendering optimization software. Its frustrating for me that as I’m no coder, I cannot discuss the finer details of the tech or answer too many questions. That is really frustrating.

I also got to meet up with Richard from Naughty Dog, who is the co-lead game director on Uncharted 3. Great dude and off on this vacation, deservedly so.

What I really like in MIGS is the friendly athmospere and excellent organization. Plus the event is at the Hilton hotel and I’m staying at the hotelas are most visitors to the event, so it’s very easy to get things done and it’s just much more comfortable this way instead of having to taxi it from somewhere. You end up meeting a lot of people at the lobby bar!

Batman: Arkham City

I’ve played Arkham City almost to the end. The beginning is superb then the first hour sags a bit, but once it picks up the game becomes amazing and really is able to top Arkham Asylum, which I didn’t think was possible. I really like how you as Batman really do dominate the city…you always have the advantage as you can look at events from high up and have that tactical superioty against your enemies. Still, the enemies pack guns, which kill you fast, so you have to be careful.

The one area that really blew my mind was the underground city, which David talked about in his presentation. It’s like BioShock inside the Batman universe, it’s really awesome.

Grand Theft Auto V trailer

I dig it. I love the lighting, I wonder if it’s Geomerics Enlighten or some Rockstar custom shit. I like California as a setting, but gameplay wise Rockstar is gonna have to really innovate now. They surely will again have the best vibe and open world out there, but they gotta bring it on the gameplay front. I dont doubt that they wont, they will.

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