Continuing my series of posts about my visit to Microsoft (Day 1, Day 2 part 1, Day 2 part 2, Day 2 part 3, Day 3 Part 1, Day 3 Part 2), its time to talk about part 2 of day 2 of my visit where I got to visit the 1 vs 100 studios, make an appearance on 1 vs 100 Live, shop at the company store and much more! I was saving the best for last, so here we go!
After more travel to another building, I had the pleasure of meeting with Colin Riley, a Technical Artist on the 1 vs 100 team. I really wish I could share the contents of the meeting, but unfortunately it was pretty much all NDA because most of what I got to see was how the game worked and how everything comes together to make the awesome game that tens of thousands of people get to play. I will say that I always find it interesting to see what the developers see when they are making a game. By that I mean, I love getting to see how they put together various lighting, animations and all kinds of other stuff that come together to make a great game. Anybody who has seen any video game’s making of videos, knows what I am talking about.
After that awesome experience, it was time to shop till we dropped at the company store. As tempted as I was to walk away with some deeply discounted software, I didn’t really need it so instead I came out with a kit of the HD cables and stuff for my Zune HD, a couple of hats (I am a big hat person) and a wall USB charger. After the power brick failure incident, I want to make sure I have a good way of charging all of my USB devices in the future in the event that my computers are out of operation. There is also a really cool computing museum across the hall from the store that I got to browse through. The museum had everything from the old brick phones (still my favorite kind of phones) to the latest laptops and surface tables. If you ever get a chance to check it out, I highly recommend it as you are greeted by this huge globe projection that is really cool. It also makes for a great trip down memory lane.
After our shopping spree, our night continued to get better as we headed over to the 1 vs 100 Live studio for the live airing of the show. Prior to the show, we got to meet all of the crew and take a look around all of the fancy studio equipment. What I wouldn’t give to have that kind of a recording setup for Global Geek News. We were the largest live audience they have ever had for a show so they had to take out the couch that they normally have in the studio and replace it with a bunch of chairs. It got rather cramped in there with all of us. A little before the game started, we got to have some awesome pizza delivered from some place I can’t recall. It was really good though and the slices were HUGE! After the great pizza, it was about time for us to all head back into the studio from the lounge where we were eating to get ready for the show. Having played the game many times before, it was like seeing it for the first time after knowing how it all worked in the background and it was also interesting to see what the guys in the studio see as far as knowing how many people got a question right or wrong ect.
After watching the show for a little bit and getting to see how things are run in the studio, we were asked to come up with a question for the game. Several of us in the studio gathered together to come up with a question and some possible answers. We mistakenly assumed that our question would be apart of the normal game as far as the players selecting the answer out of a series of possible answers. As soon as we realized that wasn’t the case and we wanted something that we thought would be kind of easy for some but challenging for a lot of people, the group chose my question of who was the top selling solo artist of all time (A: Garth Brooks). A couple of minutes later, I was invited into the recording booth with the game’s host, Chris Cashman where I got to see what things were like on his end and then I got to ask the question to all of the people playing across the US and Canada (Around 30,000 or so I believe). That was by far the largest audience I have ever spoken in front of but I was not nervous at all as it really felt no different than when I record the Global Geek News Podcast. It also helps that I have come to enjoy public speaking. After asking the question, I got to stay in the booth with Chris and watch the answers come pouring into the show’s email. I was shocked that it took like 10 minutes for somebody to get the right answer when the answer was fairly big news in music circles just a year ago. Most people thought that it was either Michael Jackson or Mariah Carrey (I’m still not sure why she was such a popular answer). Eventually there was a winner and shortly after I left the booth so others could go in and check out the booth experience.
After that awesome experience, I just hung out in the studio watching the rest of the game and wishing I was a home playing along so I could up my score. After the game and before we headed back to the hotel, I got to spend a bit of time chatting with Chris Cashman. It is amazing how cool and funny he is. Ever since that night, we have been corresponding regularly via email and he even did the new intro for the podcast! I plan on him being on the show very soon! It is really cool to know the guy on the other end of my favorite casual game.
After that, we headed back to the hotel as our amazing time at Microsoft was over. I really look forward to working there in the future and I will definitely be increasing my efforts to get some kind of job there, even if it is just as a contract worker or as an intern. The following day I flew back home on a rather uneventful trip which is nice. I enjoy any trip where I don’t have to wait in a huge line at the TSA only to be hassled about the various electronics or whatever in my bag.
I want to thank everybody from Microsoft that had a part in the trip as it was one of the highlights of my life (assuming we aren’t talking about the dinner from hell) and I am eternally grateful for the experiences I got to have and the amazing people I got to meet.
Now back to your normal Global Geek News Blog posts.