Last year had a lot of “firsts” for me. First paid writing job. First retro game convention. First big video game expo. And of course: first time attending E3. This year, I’m lucky enough to attend again. I had a great time last year, but it was chaotic and scattered and I was torn between trying to network and just enjoying myself. So I’m planning on approaching things a little differently.

Attend Indiecade

If you’ve never had the opportunity to see E3, know that it’s both way bigger and also smaller than you might imagine. LA is a huge city and the LA Convention Center is enormous as well. There show is spread out over two expo halls, and there are events and press conferences offsite at the Microsoft Theater and hotels all over downtown. But after a few hours on the show floor, I found that for me, I just wanted to take a look at whatever indie games I could. Way better than standing in line for hours to see Kingdom Hearts III.

My friend Pat asked if I went to Indiecade, and I said that I didn’t. He told me this year, definitely go. That I’ll meet developers and actually get to play some games instead of just standing in line for them. I love seeing people who are passionate about what they’re doing, and Indiecade seems to be the place to do that.

Show Up Early, Stay Later

I had some tomfool idea of working the AM and then going to the show floor after; this year, I’m taking two full days off to just spend as much time down there as I can. This is the industry I want to be a part of, and I can’t half-ass trying to be a part of it all. Either I’m there, or I’m not.

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One of my favorite memories from the show last year was going out to a hotel bar after a few laps around the floor, and see the room completely packed full of industry people. Everyone wearing lanyards and trying to rub shoulders. It was wild, ridiculous and energizing. I’m going to print up some new business cards and really try and talk to people instead of keeping to myself.

Drink

I didn’t find out until the final day of the show that you can, in fact, drink on the floor at E3. There are a few bars set up throughout the expo hall and you know what? After a little networking (or maybe before! or during!), I’m going to kick back and have a couple while thinking about what I’ve seen and played throughout the day.

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It should be a fun show. The main thing for me is to take any pressure off of myself for anything to “happen”. I’m there to have a good time, represent my company well, and maybe make some connections while playing something new and interesting.

Any TAY people showing up this year? Let’s try and meet on the floor!