So I'm out here at GDC with a ton of other people from Harmonix, and then tens of thousands of developers/artists/manufacturers/venture capitalists/college students/other. Other than it being the rainy season in San Francisco it is going pretty well. Last night was particularly awesome. We went to Valve's party at the Temple nightclub. You may have heard of Valve, they made the game "Portal" which is winning every award at GDC (I think it is going to start winning awards it isn't even up for, like Best Sports Game, or Lifetime Achievement). Anyways they asked us if we would come over and help with a little secret awesomosity at the party. We, obviously, agreed as we not only love Doug Lombardi (the mastermind behind this) but we also unashamedly play a lot of Team Fortress 2.
Temple is a cool nightclub not too far from the Moscone Center which is painted all white (even the speaker stacks). It also has a really killer sound setup as well as a ton of rear projected screens. As far as venues go for parties at GDC it was pretty incredible. Even better than that was it being filled to capacity with other developers from a lot of awesome companies whose games we play. Sometimes it is nice to just hit an open bar and talk shop with people from Valve and Doublefine and Telltale and wherever.
The entertainment at the party was geek troubadour sensation Jonathan Coulton. If you aren't familiar with his songs I want you to go to his website and listen to a few. I suggest "RE Your Brains," "Skullcrusher Mountain," and "The Future Soon" (Creative Commons FTW). He has plenty of other rad tracks but those are some of the ones I like the best.
At around 10:00pm Jonathan took the stage. A bunch of us crowded up front, because we frankly have a bit of a man crush on him, and watched him run through his setlist. Right towards the end he announced he had only one left...
"I'd like to invite a couple of my friends up here to help me with my last song."
That is when we jumped on-stage and pulled out our Rock Band equipment piece by piece. Dan Teasdale (one of our senior designers) started picking a three person band with Jonathan and Alex Rigopulos (co-founder of Harmonix and head honcho). When they got to the song list they scrolled through an almost infinite amount of DLC until eventually they stopped on one-
"Still Alive" by GLaDOS
ALERT- THIS WAS A SPECIAL PREVIEW OF THIS SONG. IT WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE AS DLC AT A FUTURE DATE. WHEN I KNOW WHEN I'LL LET YOU KNOW. I NOW RETURN YOU TO THE NARRATIVE.
Yup. That is the song that Jonathan wrote that is the credits song at the end of Portal. The crowd went nuts. Earlier we had turned the backing vocals all the way down and the microphone vocals all the way up so we could actually hear his voice instead of GLaDOS. Alex was on drums ruling it, and Dan Teasdale held his own on guitar. By the end of the song even the people in the back of the room were screaming. It was an awesome way to debut a song we've been working on.
So awesome that one dude tried to jump onstage and steal the song onto a memory card he had in his pocket (who walks around with a memory card in their pocket at all times, just in case?) That was weird.
At any rate, it went very well, and everyone from Jonathan, to Harmonix, to Valve, to the other developers were stoked. I'd personally like to thank everybody for an incredible night but especially Doug Lombardi, Jonathan Coulton, the amazing staff at Temple, and our audio team for getting the song done in time.