Hey everyone. With God of War: Origins Collection due to hit stores next week (September 13th!), I thought it would be fun to share my recollection of what went down at the Game Directors Live round table discussion last year prior to the launch of God of War: Ghost of Sparta, but before I do, here’s a quick teaser trailer of the event. Remember the full video is part of the bonus content that is included in God of War: Origins Collection, along with a Legionnaire Kratos skin and the Forest of the Forgotten combat arena, all on the same Blu-ray Disc.
Now back to the event…it was September 1st and we were deep into the final stages of completing Ghost of Sparta when the taping occurred. Do they even use tape anymore? Anyway, it was apparently the only time when all five of us could be in the same place at the same time. So, Ru and I drove up to the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood from the Ready At Dawn office, tired and battered, but ready for what would be an interesting evening. When we pulled up to the theater, there were already fans lined up outside waiting for the doors to open. That was a cool sight and it gave me the first clue that this was going to be memorable for all of us. We snuck in through the side entrance and went down to the green room so that they could throw some HD-compliant makeup on us and make sure we were fit for filming. While that was going on, Cory (who I hadn’t seen for quite some time) strolled in and we caught up a bit before David arrived. I had never met him before that night, so I was really looking forward to it. He was cool and we all kinda sat around and got acquainted before we moved up to the stage area where preparations for filming were still underway.
Several media outlets were shooting before-and-after coverage of the event and each of the directors had an opportunity to answer some quick questions. I saw Stig being interviewed and made my way over to him after he wrapped to say hello. Since God of War III and Ghost of Sparta had overlapping production schedules, it hadn’t been very long since we last spoke or saw each other. Once all of the directors were accounted for, we were bounced from camera to camera doing interviews while the crew worked on the lighting, sound checks, video playback, and final stage dressing. By the way, the stage was crazy looking, but what I remember most of all is that they pointed out several fake stone tiles that we should avoid stepping on because they were made of thin, flimsy plastic that we could fall through. How very God of War…where are the spinning saw blades flying across the floor? I’m feeling real good about this now. Rehearsal is about to start.
None of us knew exactly what was going to transpire. I mean, we had an idea because a rough outline of the show had been sent to us, but until we got on stage and started running the plays, I don’t think we had a good idea of what the show entailed. Alison Haislip was hosting the show and I think she did a great job. I had met her briefly at E3 while I was giving press demos of Ghost of Sparta in the PlayStation booth. She seemed into our game and the whole God of War franchise so I think it was a good fit. Practicing the director intros took forever. Seriously. Alison would say a little bit about each game/director, a screen would drop from the ceiling, a short video for the relevant game/director would play, and then we’d walk from stage-left onto the set and take our seats. Of course, there were numerous issues that required a full reset and we’d have to start all over again. Practice makes perfect. I remember the first questions were directed to David as they were about the beginning of everything. He basically said he wasn’t going to answer the questions during rehearsal because he was saving the good stuff for the actual show. I’m glad he did because it made the discussions more interesting and real. Some of the answers were really interesting and made me look at God of War from completely different angles. That’s what I really enjoyed about this night. Each of us attacked this game from a different perspective. We are in these games. Five different people guided incredibly talented teams towards a unified goal. And we talked about how that was made possible.
Finally, it’s show time. The crowd was excited. We came out and did our thing. Check out the final cut and see for yourself. There was actually quite a good deal of content not included because of time, but I think they edited it down to what was important. The Q&A session at the end was really fun. One of my favorite things is fielding questions from people in the audience. You never know what they’ll ask and sometimes they can catch you off guard. It probably also makes for good television.
After the show, Cory and Stig had to head out, but Ru, David, myself, and some great folks from PlayStation stopped over at a little restaurant for some relaxation and more conversation. We ate, drank, and talked about the past and the future. You know… standard industry stuff. Actually, the discussions we had after the show were just as entertaining as those we had on stage. I had a great time and I’m excited that more people will get to share this experience when they get their copies of God of War: Origins Collection. Until next time, I’m out.