The Novy crew loaded up and headed off to E3 2018, the biggest game show of the year in sunny Los Angeles, California for some serious game time. There was plenty of work to go around, but everyone also had a chance to wander the show floor after spending a hard day’s work promoting Wish Interactive’s new mobile game Wizardlord. After heading home from seeing it all, the team got together to share a poignant look back at the experience and what it meant to them.

“Last year, I went to my very first E3 and had an absolute blast! It’s definitely a nice memory that I’ll never forget. This year’s show was vastly different for many reasons, the most important one being that my older brother EJ and I finally lived out our lifelong dream of going to E3 together. As kids, we would always watch E3 press conferences on G4TV (I miss that channel!) and fantasize about exploring the show floor. After many, many years, we finally made it. 🙂

At E3, I was the press lead for Wish Interactive’s upcoming mobile fantasy RTS game, Wizardlord! Writers from all sorts of media outlets came to the booth to cast spells and summon units in the Wizardlord demo and to chat with Frank Gu, Community Operations & Content Planner of Wish Interactive. Exhibitors, industry influencers, and gamers alike loved playing the game.

The event was massively successful for Wish Interactive. They got over 400+ signups for the upcoming Wizardlord private beta and gave out plenty of swag. The Lich cosplay was a huge hit! I loved working the Wish Interactive booth. It was awesome to not only work with the Novy Unlimited California folks (I met Shane, Joe, Mark, and Jacob for the first time!), but also the Wish Interactive team. All of us had a blast.

As far as the show floor goes, I have to say that the event organizers for E3 really stepped up their game with the event’s overall flow. A general lack of security and large crowds were a huge problem last year. This year, there were proper security checks and different entry times for exhibitors, industry, and gamers, which made my E3 experience far more enjoyable. During my free time, I was able to squeeze in some game time with my brother. Going head to head in Soul Calibur 6 and exploring the vast and beautiful world in Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age were just some of our E3 gaming highlights.

To sum it all up, my second E3 was fantastic :)”

– Brad Crespo (PR Coordinator)

“E3 was amazing this year. There was so much to see, so many games to play, and so many people to talk to. For me, the crown jewel was the fact that I was not only able to go, but actually present a game at E3 for one of our clients. Thank you so much, Wish Interactive, for allowing me to work at the booth this year, and bring Wizardlord to the masses.

For the three days I was there, I spent the majority of my time at the Wish Interactive booth, where I slowly wrangled as many people as I could to try out Wizardlord, a very fun RTS game for mobile devices. I loved seeing everyone’s reactions as they began playing. At first, many of them were reluctant to play, but soon after their faces began to light up. You could tell that within moments, the game had taken hold of them. Nothing feels better than showing off a game that I enjoy playing, then seeing the person that I’m showing it to begin to truly enjoy it as much as I do. I got to enjoy this moment several times over.

I didn’t spend every moment at the booth, though. I was also lucky enough to get on the floor for a couple of hours and see all that E3 had to offer. I tested out so many games at Indiecade. The developers there truly pushed the limits of what a video game is and how immersive they can be. Of course, then we had heavy hitters like Bethesda, Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, with their massive booths showcasing dozens of games. If I had to pick one, I’d say that Nintendo took the show, giving us extended looks at Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go Eevee! and the hotly-anticipated Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

My one regret this year is not being able to play more games coming out later this year. I’d also love to have gotten my hands on Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 remake, but by the time I got in line, it had already been capped for the day, on the last day of the show, at that. Maybe next year I’ll be able to get my hands on more new up-and-coming games and see more of the show, but for now I’m perfectly content with working one of the booths. Perhaps next year I’ll go as a simple consumer and truly bask in the spectacle that is E3.”

– Marcos Montanez (Production Coordinator)

“E3 felt particularly amazing this year! This was the first year I attended as an exhibitor and had a nice preview of the ridiculous amount of people lining up to get in from the other side. It was also great seeing people and games I was already familiar with being showcased.

Of the two games we had at the booth, Wizardlord seemed to get the most traction. I didn’t meet anyone that played that game and didn’t walk away wanting more. Many people even signed up for the upcoming closed beta! There’s plenty of potential for both casual and competitive play, and it looks like both aspects really spoke to players.

As I worked with the Wish representatives at their booth, we started to get along very well. They were a blast to hang out with. On day three, we came in early to go to other portions of the show floor in order to play games and get rewards. I even had some time to walk around and see the various booths arranged on the floor. The cosplay on display was particularly fantastic! There’s definitely some amazing talent out there.

I’m looking forward to the next time we’re able to go.”

– Aaron Goldman (Production Manager)

“E3 2018 marks my fifth year of attending, and every year is always better than the last. This year was a bit different, however, as it was the first time in five years that I wasn’t working the event for a client or in any official capacity. I was able to walk the show floor with friends and really take in everything that E3 has to offer.

The show floor was truly a sight to behold. There were plenty of behemoth booths showcasing some of the most anticipated games of the coming year, which were a highlight to me. Although some lines were too long to wait in, being able to walk through the booths and see everything was a lot of fun. There were also some great off-site locations that hosted indie games and VR experiences that I had a blast with. I was able to really sit and talk with developers about their games without the E3 noise and rush. Being able to see and connect with people working the same space is always an inspiring time. Everyone is there because they love what they do and are proud to show it off alongside fellow developers.

My favorite part of E3 is being able to connect with new and old friends. E3 is the one convention where I know I’ll always be able to see my industry friends all in one place. This once a year meetup is always bittersweet, as we’re so happy to be in each other’s company, but also sad knowing it’ll be an entire year until we meet again. At least we’ll have some great games to tide us over until E3 next year and we get to do it all again!”

– Vanessa Marie (PR Manager)

“Coveted, mysterious, mythical. There are many ways to describe how gamers view E3, but to most, it occupies a hallowed space at the apex of the gaming world. It’s the place where many of gaming’s new titles, both grand and humble, make their appearance. It’s also the place where long-awaited franchise reboots emerge. Even just a few years ago, it was locked off from the public, further bolstering its mystique. And to developers, it’s just another event to show their beloved creations off to the world.

As a newcomer to E3, my initial perception was that I was there to conduct business as usual, despite having finally been granted entry into this elusive realm. But in addition to helping Wish Interactive, our latest client, I would also be performing a special service. More accurately, I would be undergoing a transformation: that of the Lich Minion, a character from Wish Interactive’s upcoming mobile game, Wizardlord.

In short, I donned a dark sorcerer’s robes, ossified myself with some bony limbs and a skeleton mask, and then slipped away from the booth to haunt the E3 show floor. Initially, I was skeptical about how well I’d be able to draw passersby to our booth. Amongst the rest of the convention cosplayers, would a wraith especially stand out? Since I didn’t speak, would I simply scare people away (fellow co-workers helped me out by acting as my voice and handing out flyers)?

It turns out that in an event where most attendees don’t dress up, people are exuberantly receptive to a spooky skeleton shuffling about the convention hall. Within my first hour on the floor, nearly 20 different people stopped to take selfies with me, capture my ghastly essence on their livestreams, and cheer on this grim reaper’s unknown journey. Each day yielded brave new contenders who were willing to stand with what seemed like Death itself, and I soon found myself growing into the role.

If I were to name one reason why the costume was so effective, it’s because most corporate cosplayers actually don’t travel around convention show floors. They’re usually confined to their game’s booths. By traveling around and sneaking up on unsuspecting attendees – or, in most cases, walking up to them and reaching out some devilishly inviting hands – I was able to give my character more dimension. Was this skeleton there to represent a game? If so, which game? Or was he there just to spook people at a video game convention? I believe that enigmatic aura helped the Lich Minion costume stand out in people’s minds, regardless of whether they visited the booth afterward or not.

It also helped that, due to my character’s ambiguous identity, I had the freedom to change up my act. I wasn’t confined to any one particular character personality. Sometimes, I was silent, sinister, and brooding. At other times, I was silly, talkative, and more than happy to play as many games for the camera as my bone-garbed gloves would allow. These exercises help keep the act fresh and fun, an important tip for anyone who finds themselves in a similar position.

A good portion of my E3 experience was spent as a skeleton. When I wasn’t playing Death among the teeming crowds, I helped my Novy coworkers and our Wish Interactive friends at the Wizardlord booth. Big props to all of them for such a successful and fun event. I also managed to try out some choice games in my downtime, but that’s another story.

Happy hauntings!”

– Nile Koegel (Editorial Assistant)

“Although I had come to E3 in prior years, going as an exhibitor this year was a completely different experience. It was a gratifying to help drum up excitement for Wizardlord as we whisked curious passersby off the floor and into our world. It was awesome to come into contact with people from all walks of life as they visited our booth, watching them all with huge grins on their faces. There were even several intense PvP matches between friends that left no prisoners!

It was also a great change of pace to meet some of my colleagues here at Novy in person, so I could put a (3D) face and voice to each name! The team dinner at the end with great sushi was a perfect way to cap off an eventful E3.”

– Shane Rambaran

“My first E3 (finally!) and it did not disappoint! On the days leading up to the event I didn’t really know what to expect, but when I arrived at the Los Angeles Convention Center on that first day, I was shocked at just how massive the conference is.

The West Hall was nothing short of a spectacle. Walking around and among all the booths, my eyes and ears were treated to a constant barrage of flashing lights, ringing sirens, giddy laughter from players running through demos, and “ooh”s and “aah”s from satisfied game connoisseurs. There were battle games, dancing games, zombie games, music games…in short, no one at E3 could say that they couldn’t find something they didn’t like. I know I can’t say that. And I didn’t even have time to make to the South Hall where things were really crazy!

But more than just being a feast to gamers, it was great to see E3 as a place for the development community come together and share ideas. There were always conversations taking place that ended in exchanged business cards, big smiles, and warm handshakes. Collaboration is the key to driving games forward and making them better. This camaraderie was on display just as much as any of the featured games, making E3 a truly unique experience to behold.”

– Jacob Richardson

“Working with Wish Interactive at E3 was great! We were promoting Wizardlord, their upcoming mobile RTS Tower Defense game for iOS and Android, and the crowds were loving it. Besides walking fans through the single player experience, we matched up friends in multiplayer matches for some spellbinding competition.

We signed up hundreds of gamers for the Wizardlord public beta and I know we inspired some dedicated fans. I did see some great cosplay as well, including our our Lich from Wizardlord, and collected some game swag. All in all, I’d say it was a successful E3!”

– Joe Walz

“It had been a little more than a decade since I last attended an E3 event. So when I was invited to meet my new team at E3 2018, I was very much looking forward to it. Games have branched out into much more than just an entertainment medium. Over the years, it’s also become more about the community.

With the accessibility of the internet and social media, video games and the industry have become a virtual world where like-minded people with common interests can gather. As a photographer, I meet with communities like that out in the field. As a sports fan, I meet with them the ballpark. As a gamer, I can pretty much meet that community anywhere in the world as long as I have an internet connection. But at an event like E3, getting to meet people face to face sure is something special.

While on the show floor with the Novy Unlimited team, it was comforting to see so much positivity and friendliness among the gamers in attendance. Casual gamers had the opportunity to chat with executives from major publishers. Community managers from major developers walked the floor and had conversations with just about anyone that either loved or had complaints about their game. Everyone there was simply a part of the community, all equals. Everyone was talking about the thing that they were passionate about: Games.

For me, E3 wasn’t really about seeing all of the latest and greatest games that are due out over the next year or so. Rather, I most enjoyed being among the gaming community and among my peers and fellow enthusiasts. Face to face, shoulder to shoulder, all having fun and sharing positive vibes. And as much as we all love games, I think we all understand that at the end of the day it’s just one great reason to bring us all together. The community is strong and we’re all more connected now than ever before. After hanging with the Novy Team and having random conversations with many of the gamers in attendance, I can honestly say that I’m happy to still be a gamer in this day and age.”

– Mark Esguerra