I spent this past weekend in Boston for PAX East and left feeling especially energized. Beyond the biggest turnout yet at the biggest Behemoth booth ever, I got to have lots of great conversations with NG regulars and fans. It was especially inspiring to see people from NG involved with a number of gaming upstarts represented at PAX. Some examples:
D-Mac-Double - Voice and voice casting for Dust (see gameplay video)
Rete - Design for Guacamelee.
Lefthandedsock - Character animation for Not Without You.
Other NG folks in attendance included Rog from I-Mockery, GoatmanGADs, Kirbopher, KevinButtchin, ImpendingRiot, Manly-Chicken, Nalem, Spanio, Squidly, MysticShinHanKu, XenonMonkey, EhFilms and Starberry.
There's a real network of talent that has evolved over the years. Animators such as Egoraptor, HappyHarry, Oney and Psychicpebble are becoming increasingly famous, while on the gaming front Edmund and Tommy found huge success with Meat Boy and now Glaiel-Gamer and Starogre have released Closure. Musicians such as XKore and Kingbastard are huge and the NG musicians who came together to form Symphony of Specters are producing the soundtracks for tons of games. Now you'll be hearing various NG voice talent in Dust for XBLA, not to mention more Stamper than you could ever imagine in Battleblock Theater.
Talking to people at PAX, I realize a lot of them are feeling the same way I've been feeling this past year. Anxiety over the increasing rate of change and growing number of platforms. Fear of not keeping up, fear of losing relevancy, fear of disappointing, fear of competition. But everyone had such great things to say about their experience with NG and everyone is pushing ahead with their work.
I just think we have something really special going on here. It's true that NG is trying to do a lot of things at once, maybe too many things, but I think we have built a lot of strength by doing so. Being amazing at one thing will only get you so far as the world keeps moving forward; you're gonna need to know people who's talents compliment your own. That's the sort of thing we have going on here, amazing people in every category, coming together to create something bigger than any one part. It's true that a lot of the web has been consolidated between Facebook and YouTube, but we all know where the real heart and soul of the Internet is. It has all been happening here from the beginning and it's going to keep happening here for as long as people are passionate about creating and passionate about what we have going on here.
Thank you everyone who came by to say hi and talk at PAX!