Another cup of coffee, another all-night'er…

This will be my final post before the release of my campaign. I will go a little into my personal life, along with recent events.

The days are counting down. Cold Case is currently sitting ready for distribution right on my hard drive, (there is a RC out there that a select few people have). I kinda feel like myself sitting in the studio a few days prior to another big student show at the university. My sculpture is done, and now I just have a few days to reflect on it. I've been taking the last few days off from the massive amount of stress that has come with developing this campaign. 60+ hr works weeks will do that to a man. So why in holy hell am I still awake? Why am I currently drinking yet another coffee at 1:25 AM when I could be in bed with my fiance? Is it insomnia? Is it anxiety?

Actually, I think of it as reflection time. There is still a lot that needs to be done, but being an artist I've always seemed to have this happen right after I finish something. I haven't talked much about my artwork on the site, so not many of you are aware that I am a professional sculpture. My primary mediums are in wood, steel, and clay. I've decided to work more digitally, because as an artist with no support, it is impossible to afford bare essentials. Besides, I never wanted to be like Van Gogh, who was a parasite onto his rich brother, (was it his brother? I know it was a family member). I've always wanted to take care of myself and the people I care about. That is why I decided to pursue a career in video game design. I really see it as the future of our society in the same sense of movies during the 1920's. Video game sales have already beaten movie sales, so the money is out there. I've also been keeping tabs on VALVe, and I can see that they definitely need help with their products.

Lets go back to the start. What mood was I in when I decided to make Cold Case? Well, back in 2008 around Christmas, I was having yet another Charles Dickens Christmas. Having to ask your parents for rent money is never a good thing. I always thought it was ironic that even though I've made Deans List at my university, and won every single major award that was given, and I still was unable to find a means of paying my rent. I started a bit of self-reflection; was this really the future I wanted for myself? My fiance has always been very supportive of me. She is currently going to school to be a Special Education teacher. During those few days after Christmas I started contemplating what I could do with myself. I've been working with video games on a non-profit basis with P1@Y with years now. While it is very rewarding, I felt it was time that I worked for something new. So that's when I decided to go all-out and create what is now called Cold Case.

So where did the campaign come from? What made me set it's time and place? Believe it or not, the idea originated from the abandoned idea for REO2. At first, REO2 was located on an entire island, and the players were able to back-track through the maps. this would revolutionize how Sven CO-OP was played. I scrapped the idea due to time constraints. Not to mention it simply was too much of a pain and time sync to make this stuff for free. So I shelved it, and cut it down to a mansion and overgrown factory. The idea festered in the back of my head for FOUR YEARS. For four whole years I contemplated the island idea. What maps I wanted, (An island which had a prison, an air-strip/oil refinery ,a lab, a military base, a city, a mansion, and a forest to traverse), the storyline, everything. On December 28th, I made a decision. I would make the campaign and use it as a portfolio to finally start my career….. or die trying. And I'm not being dramatic. I was serious. What ensued was some of the most difficult, time consuming, thankless hard work I have ever done. I don't think people grasp the enormity of work I have produced for this campaign, and this is because I have yet to release it. When I say there is 36 maps, that means there are 36 maps. Just because they are near mirror images of one another, (versus and coop), does not mean I didn't spend 2x the amount of time to test and prepare them. Consider this a good comparison. Death Before Dawn, Darth Brushes campaign which will also be released on Halloween, has "technically" been in development for at least 4 years now. Like some parts in Cold Case, his campaign started as work for the mod No More Room In Hell. I actually remember seeing screenies of it way back in the day. Not only this, but Darth Brush has a whole TEAM working on his campaign. I on the other hand have no team. Outside of a few donations, some SDK content, and the help of a select few fantastic people, all the work was done by myself. It's been a lonely road.

So then came GAMEX. I had skipped purchasing my text books for my college classes, and instead got a table. It was 250$. I was promised a lot of promotion, a 6 foot table, and some wireless internet. I can easily say I got none of it. So how was GAMEX you may ask? Well, lets just say it was a huge waste of money, with the occasional golden jem or two. To set the tone, perhaps I should just state my trip TO GAMEX.

And this happened…..

1- I get up very early; 5:30 to be exact. Our goal is to be out the door by 6. It is a 2 hr drive to GAMEX, and I want to have plenty of time to set up, and make sure my campaign is running on the entire LAN center. I am taking my brother, and a kid I mentor who is a friend. Both of which are late getting ready, and we leave at 6:30.

2- We stop at McDonalds. Both of them get mcmeat sandwiches and OJ. I get an egg+cheese bagel since I am a vegetarian.

3- We cross the border into jersey. We are late, but at least we will still be an hour early. All of a sudden I hear my mentor teen making weird noises in the back. I think in my head, "oh my god, he better not be doing what I think he's doing". I pull over

4- I open the back door to see my entire back seat covered in vomit. I sigh with a grit in my teeth. My friend repetitively apologizes to me. With an iron constitution…. and 250$ on the line I tell him to get out and take off his pants, (which are covered in puke), and put them in a bag, while I literally scrape the shit out of the car. That's a reusable bag that won't be reused……..

5- We pull over to a gas station. He goes inside to clean up. I buy a bottle of windex, (since that's all they have), and grab a bunch of paper towels. I reach into my pocket to pull out my debit card only to find my fiance took it last night, and never put it back. What followed was a string of very loud words which made the gas station attendant give me a, "better not fuck with him" look.

6- Very late now, I begin scraping and cleaning out the back seat. My brother is behind the building puking himself because of what happened. At this point I'm in such a murderous rage that I could care less about getting puke chunks on my hands while I scrape it out of my back seat.

7- Arrive at GAMEX EXACTLY at 9:30, (aka 1:30hr late). My friend walks over to a BJ's to buy new clothes. I begin setting up in the corner. While my brother sets up my computer, I walk over to the GXL lan center to pick up my projector, and check up on the campaign.

8- Find out that not only is my campaign on NONE of the PC's, but none of the software is installed on the PCs. The event is officially running for about 15 minutes now. When I ask about my projector the people say, "what projector". When I ask to speak to Kyle, (aka the guy who runs it). I first get "who's Kyle?" Since they were saying, "so where's turkey?" prior to me showing up, (turkey is Kyle's online moniker), I then asked, "Turkey… where is turkey". That responded with a bewildered gaze in his eye. "who is Turkey". I said, "THE GUY YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT TWO SECONDS AGO!". After showing this individual his number in my phone, he said, "OHHH he is not coming in until tomorrow". Long story long, he then told me the computers would not have L4D until tomorrow.

9- I set up my table with everything I brought… like I thought I would have needed to.

What followed was surprisingly a helpful day. I had a lot of game developers frequent my table, along with numerous level designers from various companies. All of which were EXTREMELY impressed with the quality of the campaign. ALL OF WHICH also expressed deep resentment for not being able to play my campaign on the big lan center like they thought they could. I was quite surprised to see exactly how positive of a reaction to my campaign people had. I even had some people take my photo, or sign a flier for them. I had a lot of people take my business cards, (less of which gave me theirs. I only received one card…. and you will be getting an email from me soon!!!). When I told them about my desire to work for VALVe, the universally told me that they are one of the premier game companies…. however this campaign should be enough to get me a job. Hearing this from the head developers at numerous video game companies really made me feel a sense of ungrounded accomplishment. Lets hope I can ground it :). I've also been in contact with Chet over at VALVe about my campaign. I'm currently preparing a special version of Cold Case for just them. Day 2 was more of the same, except more gamers who play console L4D, and less developers. There was also a goddamn DDR game machine set up RIGHT NEXT TO MY BOOTH and I had to scream at the top of my lungs just to say hello to people. So was it worth it?

Erm….. um……. Give me a few weeks to give calls back to these companies. GAMEX themselves were a disaster, but getting my campaign out there and receiving such appraise was really helpful to my spirits.

So now it's 2:21. Let me wrap this up:

A- Your T-Shirts will be sent in the next day or two along with your posters. I was waiting for more pre-reg people, but I haven't gotten a new one in a week, so I'm just going to send em out. GAMEX was a bust in that department.

B- Cold Case will be distributed free of charge this Saturday at 7PM EST. I probably won't update the news here since I will be busy, so I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO JOIN THE STEAM GROUP! . I will be making an announcement where to join the MIRC party there. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE LEFT OUT JOIN THE GROUP AND CHECK THE NEWS OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS!

C- Today, "should" be posting a review of Cold Case. If not today, then tomorrow.

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