The Wild Hunt
So you might remember that just before I left for last week's Gamescom, Justin set me a little challenge. In between my various appointments, demos, interviews and desperate, screaming bids to secure good WiFi, I was to find and photograph ten pre-designated sights. The targets set covered everything from game developers and cosplayers to drunken antics and odd German words. I like to think I did pretty well, and you can find the result over the next few pages.
Admittedly not all of them 100% fulfill the exact criteria set, but where necessary I've explained my reasons for subverting the initial brief. And I reckon my versions came out better anyway. Onward!
A selfe with a famous game developer
Day one, appointment one. Me and Peter Molyneux after a one-to-one Godus demo.
A photo with at least 200 people in it
Damnably easy, this one. While Gamescom is a (relatively) sparsely populated place on the first, press-only day, once the public arrive the main corridor becomes a throbbing pit of flesh and nerd-sweat.
Using the escalators to gain a bit of elevation, squeezing a crapload of them into one shot is no great challenge.
A cosplay picture that could be a screenshot from Dead Rising
To evoke that authentic Dead Rising feel, this shot needed a few basic criteria. Namely gore, a big crowd, and a general sense of panic. Despite the sporadic appearances of cosplayers around the show, all three elements came together in a perfect storm as I found myself trapped in the unmoving crowd around the Nintendo booth on the last day of the show.
If we're judging this one on Dead Rising's in-game photo scoring criteria, it gets PP points for gore, horror, and proximity to the zombies. And probably a bonus point for the unintentional zombie method-acting by the dazed looking guy on the right.
A picture of the hardware running a next-gen game
While there's no photo for this one (all the machines running the next-gen games were hidden away in little wooden prisons, shielded from the prying eyes of public and journalist alike), I did see an actual PS4 debug machine at one point. But while a sneaky, clandestine, anonymous viewing of said machine would have allowed the opportunity for furtive snapping, in this case the machine was quite openly (but very unofficially) shown to me when I was chatting to a dev after a game demo.
Thus, ironically, the ease with which I saw it actually made it impossible to get a pic, lest I drop said dev in a huge great pit of poop. For the record, the debug machine looked a bit like a small, chunky-but-sleek black PC. It was quite pretty.
A drunk or hungover PR rep
Behold, a PR from Ubisoft. Also, the Tony Stark of video games. He posed for this photo quite voluntarily when we were in the pub on the second night of the show.
The lack of a morning-after hangover shot is absolutely nothing to do with the fresh, alert, utterly organised state that I found myself in the next day.
An outlandish-looking gaming peripheral
Slight problem with this one. You see unfortunately, press conference and video production commitments (as well as an apocalyptic fit of tiredness) on the first evening of the show meant that I didn't make it to the after-hours Mad Catz party. That's where all the really crazy peripherals would have been on show.
I did however, manage to snap the insane mouse that I got to use during the Elder Scrolls Online demo. Alas, while I thought I'd nailed this entry with that pic, it turned out when I got back that said mouse is the same one that Justin used to illustrate this entry in the original scavenger hunt article. So I Photoshopped it up in the style of Ubisoft's atmospheric Metroidvania platformer Outland. It's now really, really outlandish, and I think that gives it a pass.
A picture of someone in a Sonic Suit
Justin may have made a bit of an error of judgement in setting this one. You see Sega had barely any presence at Gamescom this year, so there was hardly any sign of Sega-themed cosplayers, and not a single person to be found in official costume.
So I took a picture of this cute Mario and Luigi couple. I mean Mario and Luigi are way better than Sonic anyway, right Justin?
A piece of gaming merchandise on sale for more than 100 Euros
Another forced subversion, this one. I trawled the merchandise/cosplay hall as well as I could given the crowds and available time, but didn't find much at all in the way of excessively high-end merchandise. And most of the stuff on show wasn't even priced up.
I did however, get a photo of this super-sized Titanfall 'action-figure'. It might not have been openly on sale, but I'm sure you could have bought it if you'd offered EA enough money. And I'm almost positive that if you'd offered less that 100 Euros they'd have laughed in your silly face.
A German word that sounds rude in English
This is what happens when you ban me from using the more obvious 'fahrt' when setting the challenges. It's German for 'art'.
So a very lovely word, really, in context.
A photo of someone genuinely enjoying a motion-sensing game
Ignore the conspicuously over-enthusiastic Nintendo rep being paid to have a great time on the right. The guys in the middle were real, actual people, having fun waving their arms around entirely of their own accord. Look at the smile on that guy's face. That's utter, inexplicable joy right there.
Alas I couldn't get any closer due to the one-in, one-out policy on Nintendo's booth, but I assure you that they played whatever demo they were playing multiple times over. They even laughed on a few occasions.
BONUS ENTRY: Giant ice-cream sandwich
Okay, I'll admit that after the first couple of days of the show my mind was swiss-cheesed. Knowing that we'd initially discussed adding a giant but notoriously rare ice-cream sandwich to the list of targets, I then completely forgot that we'd eventually taken it off the list. Thus, I spent all week trying to find one.
I finally did, on the last day, when I discovered it being vended at one tiny, out-of-the-way dairy mongering station. I bought one. It tasted like crap. So I grabbed a bratwurst bun and a maple-walnut cone and made a better one.
Same time next year?
So that's the Gamescom scaveger hunt done for 2013. We reckon we might well revisit it next year though. Let us know of any suggestions you have for photo targets for the next one, and tell us if you'd like to see it done for other events, like PAX and E3.
And while you're here, check out some of our other content from Gamescom. We'd definitely recommend 19 things we did in the first two hours of The Elder Scrolls Online, as well as our Titanfall hands-on report. Believe us when we say it's exactly as good as it looks.