At some point in your early to mid 30s, hopefully without life altering events, you learn drinking is rubbish. It’s expensive, makes you an idiot and hurts like a bastard the next morning.
You eventually know this.
It’s just, sometimes, you forget.
On Wednesday I travelled south to stay with Dave before heading to EGX the next day. This was exciting for a number of reasons. Despite a lifelong passion for video games of all shapes and sizes I’ve never been to a ‘proper’ video game show. It was genuinely a bucket list thing. Also we’re *almost*, technically, in the strictest sense, game developers now. At some point we want to attend a show, exhibiting a video game we’re working on. It’s an opportunity to get a snapshot of the video game world and, sorry for using this word, network. Make some contacts, get some pointers as we start out.
Months ago when booking our tickets Dave suggested we should get the 10am early entry tickets. Make a day of it. Get all the benefit we can (we’re only there for one day). I don’t like travelling around London but Dave being a native will get me through it quickly. It will be fine. We’ll have plenty of time. We book the early tickets. We discuss the talks we want to see, games we want to check out and questions we should ask developers. We print business cards. We are prepared.
I look forward to this for months. Months.
Fast forward to the night before, it’s approximately 3am and we’ve had wine. Lot’s of wine. I’m not sure if it’s three or four bottles but we have long crossed the sensible-old-friends meeting-up-for-the-first-time-in-ages-and-having-a-drink line. A suggestion is made. Calvados! (French apple brandy). Seems a good idea.
It’s a lovely drink.
At 4am a bolt of sense scorches through the air. We should get some sleep.
At 8:15am either the world has exploded or it’s my phone alarm.
Rise and shine!
One of us is, still, quite clearly, drunk and the other has passed that with a crushing hangover, a subhuman shell. It doesn’t matter who is who, we’re just two idiots on an adventure.
We need to change at Canning Town. We realise this as the train starts moving again. That’s fine we jump off at the next station and onto the train back to Canning Town. In a rush we dash off the train just reaching the next one before the doors close. Few. Made it. At this point I notice a person wearing a massive Pikachu hat. They didn’t get on this train. Off at the next station and onto the train back to Canning Town. We pause. Canning Town is beginning to feel a bit like home. We make damn well sure we get on the correct train. We hold our breath as the train pulls away. Success!
We get to EGX at 11:15am. The first thing that hits me is the size of the ExCeL. It is huuuuuuge. The entrance to EGX is on the opposite side from where we came in so we have a bit of a trek. One of us is bouncing along, the other shambling, drifting on a memory of humanity. Twenty minutes in the queue and we’re in.
EGX is everything I hoped it would be and more. It’s video game magic land and I’m here to be part of it! Except no, I’m not really myself, nowhere near.
We do manage to get a lot of benefit from EGX. We see how things are presented, we attend interesting talks. We see a lot of awesome looking indie games. I even get a quick glance at the new Avengers game. Ok, it’s not why we’re here but come on!
It feels great just to be here.
But everything is happening slowly, the only pace we can manage. We speak to few developers. We don’t play as many games as we could have. We don’t go to after hours. We get tired.
We will look on the positives and we will do better next time.
Probably meet at Canning Town and head in from there.