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12:12pm on Tuesday, 7th February, 2012:

Fast Food


This being Hamburg, with its obvious association with the hamburger, naturally there was only one fast-food item on the menu for lunch: hot dog. Damned good they were, too — among the best I've ever had. Germany is famous for having sausage as one of the cornerstones of its cuisine, but I'm not complaining — mmm!

It's starting to snow outside. Apparently, Hamburg is warm compared to some parts of Germany right now — Munich hit -20C yesterday. I had a quick word with Trip Hawkins about his new FreeGameLeaders organisation ("Free game leaders! Game leaders are innocent!"). He flew here over the weekend from the west coast of the USA. He doesn't like to fly much so it's asomething of a coup for Casual Connect to get him over to Europe. Given that he was trapped for 12 hours at Heathrow on Sunday by the weather on the way over, I don't suppose his opinion of flying will have improved any, either. I wish I'd known his flight had been cancelled, I'd have gone to Heathrow to say hello.

I wasn't expecting to know many people here, but I've spoken at events in Germany enough times that actually I do know some of the people, which is a pleasant surprise. Not as pleasant as finding I was sitting on the same row as Neil Harris, whom I first met in the 1990s when he was at Simutronics. I didn't recognise him at first as he was wearing a hat, and then when I asked what he was doing these days he pointed to the hat which, although I'd noticed it, I hadn't read. It said "hero", as in the Hero Engine, which Simutronics span off as a separate company to extend it beyond its MMO home turf. I wanted to know how much of Star Wars: the Old Republic was using the Hero Engine, as the client is pretty well clearly Knights of the Old Republic 2 in terms of look and feel. The answer is that the server end is very stromngly Hero Engine and the tools used to create the virtual world afre Hero Engine too. I suspected the tools would be, as I saw them a few years ago at an IMGDC event in Las Vegas and they were pretty slick, but I didn't know the extent to which the servers were running Hero Engine code. Given the load that SWTOR has imposed on them, it's holding up very well. I had some more questions for Neil, but there were two seats between us and in a hall with 5,000 seats those were the specific two that a couple of other people decided to sit in. They're probably enemy agents of some kind.

I only had two hot dogs as I ate a large breakfast (on account of how I had to pay €25 for it so I wanted my money's worth). It's a shame hot dogs don't keep or I would have taken a few to scoff for breakfast tomorrow.

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).