I’ve had the entire week off work but I returned to the office this evening for our company’s open house. We moved offices in late February so the bigwigs wanted to show off where we are and what we do. There was a smaller open house about a month ago for close friends and family but this one was open to industry friends, schools, and the media. I probably would have not attended tonight but I had invited my friend Garrett to come check out the place. I also have not seen Garrett in months so I looked forward to the evening.
GK and I go way back to my early days of testing at EA. We’ve since escaped those chains of labour and the experience has left an indelible bond. I got there a bit early and every other person was asking me, “What the hell are you doing here? Aren’t you on vacation?”
After Garrett arrived, I managed to lead him to a somewhat satisfactory spread of appetizer and finger foods. Just as we were about to leave the stiffling crush of people in the lobby we got caught by the start of the studio head’s presentation. After that was over, I led Garrett upstairs where I gave him a personal demo of Shadow-Born, the game I’ve been working on since last June. Garrett was brought up right so if he doesn’t have anything nice to say, he won’t say anything, which is why he sat pretty much silent as he played the game.
I also brought Garrett around to Taylor, a producer at my company. Those two had worked together before and greeted each other warmly. After the ass-slapping was done, I led Garrett around for a quick tour of the office. It was there, that I ran into Yuko Shinyashiki, whom I went to elementary school with. She was there representing The Art Institute of Vancouver. This was the second time I’ve run into Yuko in three weeks as she was at office for an earlier visit. I took her business card and returned my attention to GK.
The tour got quite boring for Garrett afterwards and I kinda felt bad about that. He did, however, point out that Maestro Fresh Wes was at the open house. It’s been years since I’ve seen the rapper in the media but Garrett, the young whippersnapper that he is, noticed him immediately. I am sure that “brush with greatness” was the highlight of the evening for the both of us. It is weird though that his most famous song was “Let Your Backbone Slide” and the company name is Backbone Entertainment.
Garrett and I then ate a significant amount of vegetables and dip while discussing plans to go hiking together in the near future. After a bit more chit-chat it was time to put an end to the fun-filled evening. I walked Garrett to the door so he could salvage the night.
If you want a slightly alternate take on the evening, feel free to read Garrett’s account at his blog. It’s like watching the Zapruder film taken from a different angle.