ERIC'S BLOG: Crystal Dynamics at E3 (July 16)

The only thing more exciting and exhausting than a press demo is dozens of them, back to back, solid for three days. That's E3 in a nutshell. Every presentation, every interview, every conversation is different, but at the end of the first day, it's all a blur and I can only hope I didn't say anything I wasn't supposed to reveal until next month. I talked to more people than I could count, ran through half a deck of business cards, tried not to make eye contact with the video cameras during interviews, and then went to the 1UP party and just listened for awhile, happy to let everyone else do the talking.

What I remember most are the gasps, the eyebrows going up, the scribbling in notebooks, and going the entire day without eating, except for the chocolate chip cookie I had for lunch. I also remember the unfairness of giving on-camera interviews where if I screw up or mumble it stays in, but if the interviewer flubs they get to do it again. But everyone was very excited about what we were showing, even stone-faced journalists who remained inscrutable to the end and only then cracked a smile and said the game looked fantastic, that they couldn't wait to play it, and when is Tomb Raider: Underworld shipping again? November.

Tomorrow will be an even longer day, with more demos and interviews than today, including two going out live, one in the morning and one in the evening. And damnit, once again I'm showing parts of the game that already look and play better back in the office than they do in the presentations now, because every week more goodness gets dialled in and polished. Oh, well, as problems go, it's a good one to have, for all of us.

Look for the teaser coming out this week -- it's amazing and a guaranteed conversation starter. I'm glad it's coming out after I've left E3, though, because it's hard to refuse to answer questions, and after the teaser airs, there will be plenty of questions that will not be answered until people play the game for themselves.