GDC 2006

187 wins - 2 losses

I am sitting on the plane working on my GDC wrap up. You would assume that I am flying back home after GDC working on my show wrap up like everyone else. Nope. It has been weeks since I flew home from GDC. I am on the plane flying home from Belize. We are en route to LA from Houston, Texas. Even though I could only take two days off from work I decided that it would be now or never (4th of July weekend) to take the opportunity to travel somewhere. Belize was a unique and interesting experience. We left LA at midnight on Thursday and now it is Monday afternoon, time to go home.

Yes, another GDC had cone and gone. My first GDC was back in 1997. The show in 1997 marked the start of my gaming career. The game of choice back then was the new and revolutionary game called Quake 1, by a small company in Texas called id. A long extinct company called TEN hosted the finals of their online tournament during GDC. You had to be ranked top eight to make it into the finals. The setup of the finals was quite unique. (People making rules that are not really involved with gaming) The winner of the tournament was going to be decided by a single 20 minute free for all match on DM3… I was trailing a few frags behind the top two players (who were coworkers) but towards the end I got a few solid frags and I started to pull ahead and establishing a lead. The end of the twenty minute mark had me in a distinctive enough lead. It was my first “serious” tournament win. It was the first time that I have ever played anywhere other than home. The experience was quite unique. I have traveled to many gaming tournaments and expo matches since, but that first tournament was the sweetest in many ways. There were no expectations, no pressure and it was my first win. It felt great.

Enough with reminiscing about (way) old times… GDC 2006. San Jose… I am sporting S3 Graphics colors for the show. The Quake IV Kornelia Challenge took place in the S3 booth on March 12, 13 and 14. I once again was taking on all attendees in a 1 on 1 match. The game of choice was Quake 4. The map was fragging yard 1 on 1. Time limit and the frag limit were set at 5. Once again my partner in crime, Elizabeth was doing the announcing for the challenge. There was a misunderstanding on my part so I did not book our flight and I did not make reservations for a hotel room. Of course a few weeks before the show you are not going to find a hotel room anywhere near the convention center. Indeed we called about twenty hotels and they were all booked. The closest student hostel was over five miles away. Hmm… Interesting start. We got on a few waiting lists, but I knew that the chance of someone canceling were relatively slim. We figured we’ll hope for the best once we’ll arrive and worse case scenario we sleep under a bridge. (Not really) We jumped on our plane when it was time to go. We landed in San Jose and Elizabeth called a few hotels and shockingly enough someone cancelled their room at the Fairmont… Perfect. We had a room. It was time to get to the convention center as my first day of Quake 4 mayhem was about to begin in less than two hours. We get our badges and we head inside to set up. The booth setup was good, S3 head three stations set up with overhead screens. The show doors swung open to the public… The matches began. Day 1 went well. I played 66 matches throughout the day. I managed to win every match and I only gave away a few frags in the process. Day two… I set up my gear, doors open to the public, more Quake 4 matches. Elizabeth managed to get a microphone instead of the twelve pound bull horn she had to announce with on day 1. One guy who kept coming back since GDC 2005 managed to beat me in a match. It was a good suspenseful match. Since the fraglimit and timelimit is set at such a low number (5) matches have the potential to go either way especially since this map has a rail gun. My opponent and I were dueling it out with the railgun. His aim was good. He managed the first win of the show. That was my only loss for the day. I was hoping to end the day without another defeat on day 3. Another player with strong rail aim showed up. (I have played him on day 1 and day 2 so I was prepared) He won this match 5 to 4. I did not give away any more matches after this point. During the three day event I played 187 matches and I lost two matches. Overall the event was fun. I ran into old pals from the industry and I met new people as well. I am glad to have made it up to the show this year. Hope to repeat it again next year that will mark my tenth year of GDC. (: