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Mon Jun 30, 2014Favorite Moments from our First E3

By Site Administrator

The Civilization series is one steeped in tradition. Each game and expansion is based on iterating on and refining gameplay – focusing on the fun aspects of the previous entry as well as adding new systems, features and gameplay twists. Civilization: Beyond Earth follows in these footsteps and introduces a lot of “firsts” for the series. It’s the first time the Civ series has left the bonds of history. It’s the first time in the series where the player can lead and change their people based on their personal moral compass. At this year’s E3, fans got to see footage of Beyond Earth’s gameplay for the first time! You would think we would be E3 pros at this point, but for many of us on the team, it was our first time going to the show. Some of us didn’t even make it to our first E3 because there was another very important “first” happening.

Needless to say, it was an amazing event for Firaxis and 2K. A lesson we all learned is to never put a booth for a massively awesome game (read: Evolve) anywhere near an entrance/exit due to the sea of fans causing a massive fire hazard. I suppose 2K could try making less stellar games in the name of fire safety, but what’s E3 without a little sense of danger? Well, the team’s first E3 is over, and we’ve all had a chance to breathe again. The recovery period has begun as we are all back to diligently working on Beyond Earth. It’s easy to find ourselves drifting back to the exciting memories, towering statues, and the endless supply of soft pretzels from whoever catered the 2K booth. Everyone on the team was off doing different things at the show and got to experience it in their own way. Here are just a few favorite moments from the Beyond Earth team’s first E3. Enjoy!

Anton Strenger – Game and Systems Designer

One of my favorite moments in E3 was when I discussed Beyond Earth with a journalist from Korea.  He didn’t speak English, and I didn’t speak Korean, but with the help of a translator we were able to talk in detail about the game.  The translator would listen to the entire question, translate it to English for me, listen to my entire answer, and translate that back into Korean.  For one of the journalist’s first questions though, I launched into a pretty long answer, and the translator had to interrupt me - chuckling slightly - so that he could translate the first part before he forgot it. Having only done interviews in English before, it was humbling and humorous to be reminded of the language barrier in this way.  Still, it was one of the best and most in depth interviews I did at E3.  And it was fun to hear English words like “Civilization” and “Sid Meier” sprinkled in amongst the Korean language in his questions.

David McDonough – Co-Lead Designer

When I imagined going to E3 this year, I never would have expected that my first visit to the conference would be so exciting – especially since I did not actually attend E3. When I boarded the plane to fly to Los Angeles, my wife was eight months pregnant with our first child. She wasn’t due for twenty-nine more days, and I expected to go and enjoy the conference with plenty of peace of mind. But as soon as I landed and called her to check up, I discovered that she was on her way to the midwife with signs of early labor. Not sure if it was false or true, I could only proceed with my group to the hotel while I anxiously waited for more news. One hour later, the call came in to confirm: our baby was on the way!

I turned to my companions and said, “Friends, I have to go home! Right now!” They were astonished, delighted, and leapt into action clearing hotels and booking flights as I raced back to the airport. In the late evening as our plane sat on the tarmac, I made one more call to my wife and listened as she was wheeled into the L&D ward, all alone but brave and confident. Thirty minutes later, after we took off and had reached safe altitude for computers, I jumped on Skype and called in for an update. In moments I was face to face with my new baby son, Peter, born less than an hour ago – right at the time we were lifting off, as it turned out. Everyone was safe, happy, and well – a friend of ours had arrived with minutes to spare and seen my wife through the birth, and all of them were beaming. I made it in by early the next morning, and while I did not get to enjoy any of the actual events, the press, the attention, or the spectacle of E3, I think getting to spend it with my brand-new family was the most wonderful experience anyone could wish for!

Pete Murray – Marketing Associate, E3 Pro

It’s really hard to conceive of an event the scale of E3, and being inside of it generally does not give you a great perspective on what’s happening around you. I spent most of this show in the 2K booth giving demos of Beyond Earth. The rest of the time was a whirl of interviews, informal meetings, discussions with the 2K team, coffee, the occasional foray out on the show floor to see games on my bucket list or people I know at other booths. My favorite part of the show, however, was getting to do an interview with Le Monde, which is the newspaper of record for the Francophone world. For me, Le Monde always represented the best aspects of Continental European culture, and the opportunity to appear within it was an amazing opportunity.

Kevin Schultz – Community Associate

At E3 I was tasked with tag-teaming live presentations of Beyond Earth with Pete Murray to rooms of hungry fans. I’ve been in this industry for only a short while now, but I’ve been a fan of videogames my whole life. At this point, I have a pretty good grasp of who’s who in the biz. Despite all that, I was not prepared when those people started showing up at my presentations. From popular Youtubers who convinced me to buy certain games to influential industry changing individuals whose words leave me in awe, these people were in our seats and listening to me. Some even laughed at my jokes. Not many people, but some. When these same people told me they were fans of the Civ series and excited for Beyond Earth… well, I just about died.