I’ve been home for almost a week from one of the most incredible experiences in my career as an actor so far; a very affirming and exciting time… and something that I will never forget.
I really didn’t know what to expect at the Nordic Game Conference, but what I encountered was completely wonderful and very exciting in so many ways.
It all began with a steak dinner at Jory’s favorite place. Dave and Eric arrived and we all met to talk and realize that yes, this was really happening! Another fun thing about that night was meeting a lot of Norwegians and some other really cool Nords and non-Nords too. Good dinner, great company.
I was there and it was real!
Wednesday was Indie Game Night at the Conference, so people were sharing their games; there was lots to drink and many business cards exchanged. It was especially fun because I spent most of the night hanging out with Tim Schafer, and that’s when I felt the magnitude of this business for someone who is truly admired by the masses. He couldn’t even walk a centimeter without someone wanting to chat him up- and he is amazing and present with everyone- being goofy and real. I walked back to my hotel that night in the rain and wind with a huge smile on my face… I knew the next few days were going to be epic!
Tim Schafer opened the Conference with his brilliant keynote about being true to yourself and having creative people around who you like- who understand about being real and getting things done- because then everyone thrives, feels inspired, and laughs a whole lot too. Doublefine is evidence of that, and I think that Tim has a real good thing going over there.
Eric and I walked in and saw how big the theater was- and how full it got. Over 850 people came to watch him! How will we ever fill it up? The butterflies were starting to flutter.
We had a day full of interviews and lots of pictures taken. We talked about being a part of the game and what it has meant in all of our lives… it has been a very special time, and listening to interviewers talk about what it meant to them too- that was really cool. In hindsight, it was very good practice for the Keynote, so I was feeling better about things- and just getting more excited.
That night was the Indie Game Awards with a fancy dinner and a party. I wasn’t going to go to the party- I wanted to get to the hotel and sleep so I could be coherent in the morning… alas. I was talked into going to the party by some friends, and even though I didn’t fall asleep until after 3, it was so much fun and I met even more amazing people. Very cool to be appreciated for what you do, and for people to unabashedly tell you so.
The next morning… oooo I was weary. Tired, still had a dumb cold from a week before… but holy crap, we are doing a keynote at 10 am!
Luckily, all that fluttering was unfounded- as it mostly is, it seems. We didn’t fill up the theater, but it sure was close. Jory was instrumental in the planning of it- and our timing from start to finish was right on. We talked about how the game was constructed and how we record, develop our characters. It went so well, and I’m still very proud of us. The audience seemed to really enjoy it; I guess I giggled a lot because afterward, I was really hearing about it. Not a bad way to be remembered, not at all!
My favorite part was meeting so many new friends- and people who brought “Psychonauts” for me to sign! It was really something.
Throughout the conference I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I was to be there, and how thankful I am for the opportunities I’ve had while doing something I love so much. I loved meeting all these intelligent, creative, really inspiring artists who are designing brilliant games and work their booties off to make that magic happen. I have never felt so affirmed for what I do- so validated for all the years of really struggling. I’ve always known I’m doing what I’m meant to- but hearing it from others is pretty special. It meant so much when people would just come up and talk with me, telling me why they loved the game and what it meant in their lives. My character in “The Walking Dead: The Game” isn’t exactly a crowd favorite, but she really got to people- and that makes me feel pretty awesome.
My time in Malmo was short, but very eventful. I’ve come home with incredible memories and a new buzz about what I do… I hope to go back again someday, perhaps even next year. Who knows what will happen, but I do feel the anticipation for whatever comes next… I’m excited to see where it takes me.