Rebellion recently got offered the opportunity to showcase the multiplayer component of Aliens vs Predator ahead of the February launch date at the SFX Weekender, held at Pontins in Camber Sands. Upon arrival our three volunteers (Andy Dunn (QA), Eric Miller (Assistant Producer) and Oly Scott (QA)) met with a handful of SEGA representatives and set to work making the designated 'Games Zone' look a bit more befitting of our game. Following the delivery of some truly epic posters and after some pretty handy work with some camo nets and spinning amber lights our work was done. We then had a moment to stop and take in the atmosphere of what would be our home for the next three days.
Spread across a number of halls were a collection of stages and trader stalls exhibiting everything that is geek in all its Sci-Fi related flavours. Over the course of the weekend the Rebellionites would find themselves mingling with the masses to the promote the game whilst occasionally nipping out for a bit of hero worshipping of people such as Dave Gibbons, James Marsters and Gerry Anderson.
Over the course of our residency at Pontins hundreds of people came through the Games Zone doors to play AvP. With such a large audience we were dubious as to how well it would be received given the varying degree of prior knowledge and interest people had in the game, but after the first day we had our answer: people loved it, time and time again we received praise and positive comments about the game. Once people had gotten to grips with the controls they were encouraged to explore the combat system and before long we had people blocking, countering and grappling with as much fluidity as our in-house testers! Constant rotation of the maps and game modes kept the game fresh and we found people regularly coming back for a second play.
Its worth noting that while all this was going on SFX approved dance/circus/costume company Area51 were working the crowd with their extensive collection of spectacular costumes and circus performers. Stilt walkers, snake charmers, mad scientists, storm troopers and even the Stay Puft marshmallow man all made an appearance throughout the weekend - top notch entertainment for an already busy weekend full of celebrities, workshops and discussion panels.
The highlight of the weekend, however, came on Saturday evening when we were treated to the audible delights of Pat Sharpe DJing at the masquerade ball. By this point we had already spent a few hours in the pub downstairs chatting with the 2000AD gang as well as artists Leigh Gallagher and Clint Langley (obtaining personalised sketches to boot!) and so we ventured up to the ball en masse to enjoy Pat's cheesy 80s themes, surrounded by people in fancy dress of all shapes and sizes. Never has a room full of costumed convention-goers looked so pleased to be entertained by a long forgotten kids tv presenter. The cherry on top of the Rebellion AvP SFX cake!