As you're surely aware, E3 2015 is nearly upon us. (If you're not, welcome to the Internet! We're mostly nice here... mostly.)
Naturally, Team USgamer will be hitting the show in a major way. As loyal Bob Mackey guides the master computer from his home base in Berkeley, Kat Bailey, Mike Williams, Jaz Rignall, and I will be distorting time and space to hit more appointments and demos than four people should actually be able to manage while obeying the laws of physics.
This, of course, makes us no different than dozens — hundreds! — of other websites, YouTubers, and "prosumers" (whatever the heck those are), who will be doing exactly the same thing we are. Rushing around, jockeying for a spot at demo kiosks, hoping to god their interview audio comes through amidst the noise of the show floor, and basically destroying their mental and physical health in the pursuit of interesting scoops and mega-traffic.
As such, we're planning to take a slightly different approach to our E3 coverage this year. Why simply duplicate everyone else's effort? Hopefully, you'll find our perspective both informative and entertaining. Infotainment!
The USG Content Plan
What does this mean? It means that instead of hastily throwing together some loose, on-the-spot impressions of the games we're playing, or posting dozens of two-sentence announcement news blurbs, we're holding on to our in-depth impressions until after the show. We'd like to have time to digest what we see and do, something that's impossible in the context of a 200-word snippet of impressions, and we're banking on the idea that you'd rather read something substantial rather than the same hurried comments that'll be popping up on countless sites, forums, and video streams.
Instead, we'll be writing about the E3 experience this year. That means we'll be talking about lots of games, discussing our meetings with famous developers, and taking the overall temperature of the show from a more holistic perspective. Everyone at USgamer will be filing multiple stories each day about the things that catch our eye, whether it's a great game, an interesting conversation with a game designer, or yet another Conan O'Brien sighting in the media area of Nintendo's booth. We're not writing E3 diaries, exactly — think of them as previews with context.
On top of that, each of us will be approaching the show with a different individual thesis — a personal mission — in mind. As we visit booths, talk to developers, and chat with our peers, each member of Team USG will take with them a single essential question about the games industry, games as the creative medium, or about E3 itself. Here's what you can look forward to:
- Jeremy: E3 at the End of the World
Video games are here to stay, but the kinds of games that make the big bucks these days aren't necessarily the kind of games that E3 exists to promote. As the show evolves to embrace this new reality, will 2015 be the last year for E3 as we've known it?
- Kat: The Year of Refinement
2014 left much to be desired, with unfinished content and broken tech or game mechanics affecting some of the year's biggest releases. How are publishers and developers working to make things better?
- Jaz: Has the Next Gen Truly Arrived?
Last year was a time of transition, with many of the most notable game releases appearing on both new and old platforms. Now that PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have found their legs, are creators making the most of these young platforms?
- Mike: The Search for Unique Interactions
Morpheus! Oculus! Cardboard!? New, immersive ways to play are all the rage at this year's E3, but what about the underlying rules and design of games, the mechanics and combat and conversations that power games — what's new there?
- Bob: I Want to be Surprised!
And finally, Bob voices the frustration of many long-time video game fans in that so much of what he sees at E3 feels like business as usual. While he won't be at the show himself, he'll still be scouring E3 news and feeds in search of revelatory announcements and demos.
We'll each be writing about more topics and concepts than these, of course. But these questions will be at the back of our mind during every appointment we take, with the ultimate objective of creating a "big picture" view of E3 and the games industry as a whole.
We'll also have a fifth member of our team on the show floor this year: Sam Lechteimer, whom you may know from the videos she's been producing for our YouTube channel. Sam will be on the prowl with camera in hand, searching for interesting things to record, but even more importantly she'll be hosting our daily live stream, Good Morning E3.
Like the title suggests, we'll be streaming to our Twitch channel every morning of the show (Monday through Thursday) for an hour each day beginning at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time. Sam will lead the discussion as the USG team talks about their expectations, experiences, and thoughts on the show throughout the week. Good Morning E3 will also feature live demos from some of our favorite indie developers and games! Subscribe to our Twitch channel or keep an eye on the site each morning to kick off your day with us.
We'll all be posting our thoughts to social media on the fly. All day, every day. In olden times, they'd put a mirror under your nose and watch for the condensation of your breath to see if you were still alive; these days, they just check your Twitter feed.Official USgamer accounts to watch:
- Twitter (managed by Jaz and Jeremy)
- Facebook (managed by Bob and Sam)
- Vine (managed by Kat)
- Tumblr (managed by Mike)
- Instagram (managed by Sam)
And staff accounts, obviously:
- Bob on Twitter
- Jaz on Twitter
- Jeremy on Twitter | Tumblr
- Kat on Twitter
- Mike on Twitter
- Sam on Twitter
On top of all of this, we'll also be recording and (hopefully!) posting podcasts throughout the week. Kat's already lined up an AXE OF THE BLOOD GOD session following Square Enix's press conference, which undoubtedly will give us plenty to chew on.
Furthermore, this past week's episode of From US To You! was essentially a dry run for E3, as I experimented with a new format and a new portable mic with the intention of posting small episodes daily throughout the week. The realities of E3 have a tendency to run roughshod over the best of intentions for content like this, but I'll do my best to keep the feed lively all week.
What do you want to see?
Finally, we open the floor to you. What do you want for us to tackle and write about at E3? Our schedules are pretty full, but we'll do our best to accommodate your demands. Just let us know!
As is only proper, we'll keep a community conversation thread open at the top of the page throughout E3 for you all to banter with one another. Yeah, it's not a forum, but you guys always have great conversations anyway, and we want to make it easy for you.