It was awesome as always. A couple things that weren't there this year (Elevator Action -- one of my absolute favorite games), Tapper in Cocktail form, The Irritating Maze and Beatmania come to mind), but a couple of things that weren't there last year (Lunar Lander, The Empire Strikes Back, and Tutankhamen to wit). I didn't get *nearly* enough time on Propcycle -- I didn't beat Story mode this year, but I *did* get video of it. I'll post that in the not-so-horribly-far-flung future.
An interesting bit -- the gender ratio was much nearer to 1 than usual. Not that it makes much of a difference -- I never manage to interact with many people while at CAX.
gemlikeflame, contrary to previous suspicions, didn't flake on us, so we shared a room. That turned out to be a bit dicey -- The room we reserved was supposed to have two double beds and a fridge. It turned out that there was no fridge and only a single queen bed. While I smooch and grope gemlikeflame on a fairly regular basis, it may have been a bit uncomfortable given her rather odd sleep conditions to have slept in the same bed as me.
Incidentally, the Crowne Plaza Hotel remodelled since last year and their computers still reported our room as having a double bed! A rollaway bed solved the problem in any event.
gemlikeflame spent most of the time playing DDR and served to introduce us to a few people which was nice.
In addition to the games we played, we saw a few films. One was called High Score and was about this one poor bastard -- Bill Carlton -- who was trying to beat the current marathon high score on Missile Command. It's an excellently done documentary and Bill was in person for Q & A.
King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters was also a well done film on the tournament high score for King Kong, but very biased. I really question the truthfulness of the account based on how they quote people. An opposite viewpoint is available here.
There was an arcade game trivia challenge as well that was fun to watch.
On Sunday (today as I write this), zweeb -- after three years of constant nagging -- and his brother (J-) showed up. They were in the area looking for housing -- J- is going to SFSU. We hung out and played several games of four-person Warlords between the five of us. I did remarkably well despite a number of attempts by zweeb's brother to defeat me. I even managed to put up one hell of a fight (albeit an unsuccessful one) to a team attempt by the other three people at the table.
There was an auction of arcade games next door. On a whim, I got a number and bid on a few things -- two Pole Positions, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and X-Men. The others got a bit higher than I really wanted to pay, but X-Men became mine for a cool $100 -- an excellent price for a cabinet, let alone a fully functioning bit of your teenage years. It's the 4-person, not the 6-person version. I'm looking into what I'd have to do to convert it at the moment, but sadly, it doesn't seem like a trivial project.
It fit in the shuttle with some difficulty -- quickly remedied by a few people with more experience with cabinets than I -- and now the fun begins! We'll need to clear sufficient space for it and move it up two flights of steps. But this does begin a new era for me -- arcade cabinets were the sorts of things that only the Very Wealthy owned, not *me*.
(I was so pleased by it fitting in the van that I called my dad to thank him for having gotten an extended body Aerostar instead of the short one. He mentioned that he thought the short one was one of the ugliest things on four wheels and that the extended body had a prettier line than the Econoline, and similar enough performance. I'm inclined to agree -- it's nice driving an Earthbound Starfleet shuttle!)
I'll need to maintain it -- but this may be just the thing I need to kick my butt into making a MAME cocktail table and getting all the electronics that I used to have when I still lived with my parents. There's no excuse for me not to have an oscilloscope and a multimeter handy -- let alone a small assortment of gates, fuses, and the like.
All good things, however, must come to an end. Now we begin another year long wait -- I oughta start looking up some of those other conventions, really!
There was one minor negative to all this -- caramelbean neglected to come by and take care of Meg & Tera. =/ They were OK, but quite happy on our return and the refill of their food dish. Fortunately, they still had water.
And now, I get to go sleep for a few hours and transition from game playing to writing stuff. Hearing and experiencing what I did about old programming never fails to inspire me a bit.
Interesting bit: Programmers at Atari were encouraged to throw in easter eggs as a form of copyright protection. If you jump 128 times in the lower right hand corner of the first level of Crystal Castles, you warp to a level full of Atari logos. Maybe I can push for something like that in my current endeavors!