Monday, October 19th – The Polish office arranged a tour of the city for us. Our tour guide, Joanna, was a psychology student at the university and walked us through Old and New town Warsaw. It’s pretty incredible to realize how much of the city was re-built, and how faithful it is to its pre-war state. We also walked around the university area and headed to one very large park. After the tour, we grabbed some lunch and then headed to the SCE Warsaw office to meet the team there – who were putting last touches on the next day’s event.
We went out that evening for a fantastic meal at a local restaurant that translates to “In the Kitchen” – and very much feels that ways, because you are in the kitchen. The pots are literally brought right to your table and you are served table-side. Very cool! We ate with three Polish journalists who are all on the enthusiast side, and had a fantastic evening discussing games, culture, their work, and Insomniac. We ended the evening at a bar called Paparazzi, which had an entertaining LA Vibe to it, as well as a hilarious sign on the door.
Tuesday, October 20th – On Tuesday, we met up with Nick Robinson from the London office, and a good friend of ours at Insomniac as he was the marketing manager on RFOM and Tools of Destruction. We headed out to the event, which was in a Polish shopping mall (which is pretty much like an American shopping mall, McDonald’s, Sbarro and all).
The event itself was for A Crack in Time, Invizimals, and EyePet. It was at the mall’s playground for kids, so there was a ball-pit, tons of balloons, and we had to take our shoes off. Some of the special guests at the event were a Polish soap opera star and his son, a girl who is the “Polish Hannah Montana” and even some other celebrities. Having the paparazzi at a gaming event was a new experience for us, but we had a lot of fun playing the game with the kids!
We said our goodbyes and headed to the airport to fly on to Helsinki, Finland. At this point though, I got dinged for my ever heavier bag, and had to repack in order to not get charged. We flew on to Finland, and arrived at the hotel around 10:30 in the evening. After settling in, we went in search of a late night dinner before sampling the local brew.
Wednesday, October 21st – The next morning, we met up with Kevin Smyth, the European product marketing manager for the game, and headed to the event. It was in a theatre nearby, and they had changed out all the movie posters to Ratchet and Clank! They even had the Ratchet costume shipped out, and it’ll be appearing at events and malls in Finland over the next few weeks.
Signing posters while talking to Kevin Smyth.
Ratchet is very popular in Finland as well, and after we did a presentation in the theatre, TJ and I were split up for interviews for the rest of the day. Afterwards we had a theatre full of fans from Finland that we were able to present to, and answer questions. We talked about thinking up names for the game, the press tour and our stories from it. It’s always awesome to get to meet our fans, especially when they ask us about our podcast, The Full Moon Show. It’s kind of crazy being on the other side of the world and knowing people listening to our show.
Kevin, TJ and I headed off to the airport (again!) and flew off to Antwerp, Belgium for the last two legs.
Thursday, October 22nd – The event in Belgium was in a GIGANTIC theatre. You can see from the photo what it was like the play the game on the screen – and I only wish I could’ve had a full day to do it. Unbelievably awesome, and it really made A Crack in Time feel like a full-length CG-animated feature. We gave presentations to the Belgian and Dutch press, and then we also spent a bunch of time conducting interviews in the theatre next door while people played the game.
It was so fast and it was over. This was also when the global embargo on reviews for the game lifted, so TJ and I were using up the last bits of our data plan reading various reviews online. We were reading the reviews out loud to each other as we headed to London, for the last day of the tour. It was a quick flight, but due to a protest at the BBC – we ended up in some heavy traffic getting to the hotel. TJ and I had time to go grab grub and have a few pints at the local pub.
Friday, October 23rd – London was the last stop on the tour, and we met back up with all of our SCEE friends in the London office for the day. It was great to hang out, but we also had a bunch of very in-depth forty-five minute interviews with each outlet, which I’m sure you’ve probably seen coverage from online by now. The interviews themselves were somewhat exhausting, but TJ and I were armed with a supply of Coke and some comfy chairs. It was a lot of fun to talk to folks from CVG, Edge and Eurogamer (among others!), and really get into some deep topics about the industry, Insomniac and our games. The best part of the day though was doing an interview with Jem himself, a man I’ve talked a lot with on Twitter (follow me @JamesStevenson), but hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting until now.
That night, Dan Brooke (SCEE producer on Resistance 2), Araceli, Kevin, TJ and I went out for some incredible Indian food (a favorite of mine whenever I visit London). It was a great dinner to close the trip off, and we were right in the middle of the touristy sights, so afterwards, TJ and I walked to Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, and Piccadilly Circus. TJ began cracking Harry Potter jokes again and also noted how it was fun to walk around in the last level of Resistance: Fall of Man.
Saturday, October 24th – We headed out to Heathrow after doing some shopping and having breakfast. It seemed strange to finally be heading home. This was right at the mid-semester holiday, the airport was a zoo, but we arrived well in advance and got to our flight no problem. But the best part of the flight back was that we got upgraded to Upper Class when we boarded. Now that’s the way to travel!
We had an amazing time in Europe, and we really want to thank all the different territory offices that put together such amazing events, the journalists and fans that took time out and travelled to see us, and of course, everyone at the SCEE London office for their hospitality and hanging out with us on the road.
I hope you have as much fun playing Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time as we did making it!