My Day at Insomniac: A Brief Summary
So, just last Friday Insomniac hosted their very first Community Day. So, what was it like at the geniuses’ studio where classic PlayStation franchises are born? Read on to find out.
My day began…at college, as it usually does. I have classes from 9 AM until 3 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and one class Tuesday and Thursday mornings, you see. As I finally got out of my second of three classes, I realized that I had left my camera and swag to be signed on my bed! So sadly, I was also unable to take extra pictures at the event. The tour we took, which would have had the most interesting footage, was a camera-free zone anyway, so really this only hurt me as I couldn’t get a picture taken with the team…Next time!
So I was able to make it to Insomniac’s place by about 11 AM, managing to only skip out on a Calculus lecture. I came in for the last ten minutes of the panel discussion, which yes means that I was unable to ask the questions that were asked by Michael. Sorry! As it turns out, this day would have most if not all of its focus on Resistance 2, and this day turned out to be more of a launch party, great nonetheless!
After that, lunch began. I ended up eating some good pizza at a table with nothing but Insomniacs, in this case the Quality Assurance game testers. They were cracking jokes and generally having a good time, all the while asking me questions such as where I went to college, what I thought about Resistance 2, etc. As I looked around, I saw Ted Price and other key team members mingling in the crowd and line of people waiting for food. They ate the same food we were eating, and wore modest, modern clothing and really didn’t stand out from the crowd.
Once lunch was over with, we headed back into the theater for a behind-the-scenes look at various aspects of Resistance 2, from artwork, to audio, level, and gameplay design and testing. We even got to take an exclusive look at how they made some of the game’s more interesting/gruesome sound effects, to hilarious effect. I would love to see that video made public!
After the behind-the-scenes, the fun started. We were split up into groups and made a short walk to the studio. I was in the blue group and got to go on one of the first tours around the studio. There we saw every department of the team, with a few people still on computers working on other projects despite it being a Friday and a Community Day! Just shows you their undying devotion to make great games. This was the part of the day that did not allow cameras, so I didn’t feel as bad for leaving mine on my bed.
Insomniac Games has the entire fifth floor to themselves, and they use every square inch of the place. This also includes a bunch of LCDs that you may have seen in this PS Blog post. Although the office technically had cubicles, they had wavy lines and nice, cool-colored walls with various game characters plastered everywhere. A certain companion cube also made an appearance on someone’s wall, in plush form! Nary a gray, boring wall to be found in these quarters!
Off to the side were some more traditional offices, where meetings no doubt take place. Today though, these two rooms would be used for the autograph signing, my next destination. I picked a poster out of four choices in total, and it was passed around the table. People from every department left their john hancock, a few with whimsical phrases included as well.
Finally, with swag in hand, I went up to an LCD and began playing Resistance 2. Much of that QA team was here, playing from their desks in the same game us fans were. I was surprised with how well I fared compared to these seasoned vets, but given that I had some experience thanks to the beta I was pleased to see that the practice had paid off.
What I walked away with from this day is that Insomniac is a very down-to-earth, casual company that creates amazing games because every single member of that team is a gamer, first and foremost. I felt as though I knew these people already, despite having just met them a few hours prior. There is a very warm, receptive atmosphere about the place, and I cannot wait to see what more comes out of such a wonderful studio. I hope they do host more of these events in the future, as very few studios do things such as this.