My Trip to Prima Games
Prima Games in Roseville, CA
Roseville, CA just outside the capital is an interesting town. It’s hard to describe, it has that Sacramento heat, the feeling of a suburb (although not quite), and it’s very open while being very compact at the same time. The easiest way to describe it would be a south-western town, very reminiscent of New Mexico or Arizona, except with more of trees. While I was somewhat confined to about two or so miles of Roseville, from the locals I figured out that the city is somewhat oblong. Prima and our hotels were on the eastern side of i80, which leaves the other 75% of the city to the west.
As such we seemed to be in business part of Roseville, numerous office buildings and eateries for as far as the eye can see. There really was no shortage of places to eat, if you could think it up, it probably existed in a 5 mile radius. High-end burger joints, all the major fast food places, all you can eat pizza buffets, pizza by the slice places, high-end pizzerias, steak dinners, Japanese, high-end Chinese, cheap-greasy Chinese, Thai, pitas; the place was ridiculous.
Even with all those choices, the hotel food was actually pretty good.
Time was somewhat scarce so we’d often forgo lunch and when we would take a lunch, they were usually productive and we would brainstorm over the meal.
One of our pow-wows, was there anything that we didn’t order?
I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn while the later arriving team stayed across the street at the Courtyard. We were to stay in a single hotel but our trip to Roseville unfortunately coincided with nearby fires and there were a ton of firefighters staying at the Roseville hotels.
This section is just so I can show-off this bad ass picture
We could work at the hotel or work at the Prima offices, but luckily they were fairly close to each other so it was never a burden. The hotel had the expected amenities: cable TV, free internet/wi-fi, small gym, an outdoor pool, laundry room, and unfortunately a house keeper that was always seemed to mess with me, but that’s a story for another day.
Roseville “SunSplash” Golfland
Right across the street was a Golfland with a water park and a go-karting ring. The arcade was decent sized (it even had a Subway inside, never seen that before) and had a SoulCalibur II machine, although there was no Tekken to be found. Down the street were two movie theatres and we got a chance to watch Batman on the opening night. What’s funny is even despite Roseville’s openness, the parking lot was filled to the brim, 500+ spaces, all of them taken. It felt almost like every single person in Roseville was there that night, “where did all these people come from?"
Prima Games located at 3000 Lava Ridge Ct.
Prima Games was up the hill from the hotels and was in the heart of the business area of Roseville. We were given 24/7 access to the building and Prima’s office, so if we were inspired to do a 3 a.m. TTT2 session, we’d just have to drive over, no questions asked. The rules were pretty clear, no copies outside of the office and no unauthorized pictures/videos of the games, otherwise we were given free rein.
This was true for the entire team and we would often work at different times, whatever would be most conducive of getting work done. Hoa would often work late into the early morning and would otherwise sleep in, Aris would work early and often take a siesta and go back in later, while I would prefer to work early but not stay too late. While not “typical”, it worked and luckily we were given the freedom from Prima to work on our terms. It was literally a case of “just get the work done,” whatever is needed, they’ll do their best to provide.
Even though schedules may sometimes differ, we would tend to work in teams that way testing was as accurate as possible. Even with the numerous additions and changes to the practice mode settings, almost nothing is better than testing with someone who’s familiar with the game. We’d frequently bounce ideas off each other. What works, what doesn’t, what might work, and what might work for other characters. It was a collaborative effort and despite the chaos of the last few days, we still functioned as a unit.
The Prima Games offices
Prima overall was divided into logical sections, design and layout, publicity and advertising, legal, and authoring. On the left side of the photo one can see bookshelves with a large selection of Prima guides. I’m not positive if that’s their entire collection on display, but it’s quite a sight to see up close. They also had the standard break room faire with a fridge, microwave, sink, a couple of tables, and a good selection of coffees, teas, and other hot drinks. It was funny because I lived on hot chocolate the first week and by the next week they were gone which makes me think I was inadvertently stealing someone’s personal hot chocolate collection, so if you’re reading this, sorry about that. It’s not pictured here, but the TTT2 guide team worked in a back room of Prima’s with PS3 test kits and received new builds of the game periodically while working on the project. I’d love to have pictures to show but I didn’t take any for fear of being sued into oblivion.
Post Roseville life included cleaning up our text and submitting final revisions of our writing. We then got a sneak peak at the pre-print copies of the text where could then critique and find any errors that may have slipped past the Prima editors. Once that was done, it was off to print and now we wait for the official release of TTT2 and the official Prima guide.
The finished product, the TTT2 guide