Home Events Up close and personal with New York Comic Con 2011

New York City. The Big Apple. The city that never sleeps. This year, the 6th annual New York Comic Con was held in Javits Center, some distance away from the bustling busy streets of downtown proper.

This was the first time I’ve set foot in New York, and although upon my arrival I was jacked for $50 (story for another time), my spirits were high as I approached the convention center.

I didn’t know what to expect apart from plenty of awesomeness… and awesome it was.

As I made my way from Penn Station just a few blocks away, I began to see crowds of people dressed in weird and wonderful costumes, the likes of which I’ve never seen before in real life. Being a comic con rookie I had some idea about the insane levels to which people dress up for them, but I was still stunned as I passed by Batmans, Ezios, Wonderwomen (one of whom was quite hairy with a beer belly) and numerous other comic book and video game characters.

Upon meeting up with WiNG and Kairos, we activated our journalistic vision in search of any gaming news and tidbits that would interest our beloved T3 readers.

We started off with Ubisoft and… wait, what was that game called again… oh that’s right, ASSASSIN’S CREED: REVELATIONS.

But since WiNG will be writing a more detailed account of our discoveries on AC:R, I won’t talk about it just yet. Keep an eye out for his forthcoming article on it!

Dragon Age

After walking around the show floor taking in the sights and sounds, we chose to split up and try to maximize our coverage. Since Bioware had a panel on Dragon Age, I decided to check it out for the latest on this franchise.

The speakers began by promoting the latest Dragon Age 2 DLC “Mark of the Assassin,” which featured the always enamored-over Felicia Day as Tallis, an Elf Rogue who exemplified the new powerful female characters that are popping up in various games in recent times.

John Epler, the Cinematic Designer for the game, talked about some of the challenges and processes behind the direction and animation involved, explaining motion capture in collaboration with Felicia Day as well as the other actors.

Lead writer David Gaider then explained his role in the creative process, again in particular focusing on the character of Tallis and his love of her passionate personality which was demonstrated in the game.

Moving forward, the Dragon Age development team teased the audience with some of the upcoming features in future installments of the series.

In combat, the importance of preparation, position and teamwork were emphasized. No longer can you run into battle hoping to rely on skill alone to take you home. Character positioning in battles and coordination with teammates will be vital if you are to emerge victorious time after time.

With regards to the geographical scope of the game, the team insinuated that they will cover a much larger area in the world of Thedas (see image to right).

Customization will be another focal point, with more options to tailor your character to your likings. In most players’ cases, this will entail modeling their heroine to look exactly like Felicia Day.

In addition, Gaider further explained that the game will examine actions and consequences on a much more in-depth level. Instead of fights, he explains, there will be ‘encounters’ in which the choice not to fight will be a viable option in story progression. Each choice the player makes will have ramifications down the line, and given Bioware’s success with the Mass Effect franchise, this move is not surprising considering their emphasis on story-driven games with memorable characters.

Finally, the team clarified their decisions to allow same-sex relationships in the games, saying that it reflected society’s views in a contemporary context. They hope that more games will implement this possibility and that it should not be a controversial issue that is brought up time and again.

 

Other highlights of NY Comic Con 2011

  • Watching a CS 1.6 Grand Final Match in which SK-Gaming took down Winfakt comfortably for 1st Place and $16,000.*
  • Watching the CS:GO exhibition match between USA and Europe, which featured retired legends such as Ksharp and Volcano on the US side as well as current superstars such as GeT_RiGhT and trace.
  • Getting a CS:GO beta key. That’s right, the beta is opening up soon and when it does, we’ll be sure to report the latest additions and changes right up until the game is released early next year. We might even be able to get some games and commentary recorded for your viewing pleasure!
  • Attending a panel hosted by Intel Futurist Brian David Johnson. It was an extremely insightful look at the future of electronic entertainment across all the mediums of film, TV, games…etc. If and when we get our podcasts running again, we might discuss some of the issues that the industry faces in the future, as well as where gaming is going as a whole.

NY Comic Con 2011 was an awesome experience, and being my first convention, I saw and heard so much that I’d never experienced  before. The T3 crew had an absolute blast and we look forward to the next event where we could bring you even more coverage on the latest in the gaming world!

* Enough for an AWP, full armor, and some grenades. Sweet! ~WiNG

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