Please forgive the low brightness on some of these pictures. I guess I'll have to re-scan them one day.
I went to Texas to have a look at Probe's new sister company, Iguana. We are both owned by Acclaim, along with Sculptured Software in Salt Lake City.
I flew to New York on Sunday morning, arriving only at lunch-time due to the wonders of time-zones. On our way over we had a spectacular view of the southern tip of Greenland. It must have been named by a real-estate agent, because it looked a tad white to me! Photographs cannot do the view justice - they just don't have the depth or the colours. When we flew over this pristine land the light was perfect and the sky clear, with rust red mountains poking their heads through the ice-cap. The captain said this was one of the most spectacular views you can see from the air, and he was not exaggerating.
New York, New York
From JFK airport (aka the pits) we were driven in a stretched limosine to our plush hotel on Long Island. The -10 degrees Celcius temperatures were belied by the bright sunshine and calm conditions.
I snuck off to Manhatten to have a drink in the Stonewall pub, where the gay liberation movement started with riots way back in 1969, after police raided the pub, which was mourning the death of Judy Garland.
The next day we saw Acclaim's gleaming new headquarters, surrounded by a beautiful (and dry) layer of snow. Inside is lots of juicy equipment, which should be enough to make any games developer drool.
In the studios I found Two-Face's suit from the Batman Forever movie, and a famous wrestler (Aldo Montoya) being filmed against a bluescreen.
On Tuesday afternoon I flew down to Austin, via Dallas. The week before, there had been ice-storms in Austin. This is somewhat unusual in Texas, so you can imagine this conversation between council workers: "What's that white stuff falling from the sky?" "Dunno - it don't look like fertilizer!" "It says in this book that stuff is snow." "Oh. So what does it say we should do about it?" "It says we should put sand on the roads." "How Much?" "It doesn't say. All of it I guess!" So when I visited Austin the roads were doing good impressions of Waikiki, and you practically needed a dune buggy to get around...
Friday was my free day, so I visited Dr. Cat, a veteran game developer with even louder clothes than mine. After long and interesting discussions about games and his family, we managed to gate-crash a Roller Disco at Origin. Richard Garriot (the boss of Origin) was one of the keenest bladers there, and even I managed to stagger a few yards (it was my first time - I'm no Jason Finch).
By Saturday, after my whirlwind tour of the lone-star state it was time to jet back home. British Airways managed to surprise me by getting a DC10 to fly all the way from Dallas to Gatwick without refuelling - a 14 hour flight.