My Night with Beefy Media

My Night with Beefy Media: How I Swindled My Way Into Something Awesome


So sometime around six o'clock last night I was sitting at a table in the heart of Hollywood, eating some expensive looking food. On my right was Phil Sinnott, Beefy Media producer, and to my left was Sony biz dev Carter Lipscomb. Across the way was Beefy president Adam Boyes, who himself was between Juli Wood, who's working with MGM to try to expand into the game space, and the man himself, John Vignocchi. As I sat there, enthralled in the conversations going on around me, I couldn't help but think "I have no right to be here".

I'm just a college kid. A college kid who currently isn't in college. I took a semester off without a solid reason and have wasted a lot of time on the Internet since. It just so happened that friend of Giant Bomb Adam Boyes also seems to be into this Internet thing and posted on our message boards, asking for volunteers to help him run an event for a game he's launching. I figured I live close enough and have nothing going on, might as well meet the man. So I did.

The Game Event

Beefy Media is producing an iOS game for Scream 4, and this event was set up to demo the game to press. This is what I was there to do. Unfortunately only about a dozen people showed up and Adam and Phil were able to address them all. Juli was also there with the same job as me, also not really doing anything. So I pretty much sat there for two hours watching other people play on iPads while the Beefy team chatted with them. At this point I felt pretty underwhelmed and useless, and while it was cool to meet Adam, the whole thing seemed to be a bit of a waste. I also did get to play an unreleased game, but that's significantly less exciting when it's for iOS. Not a slight against the game, but I'm not really into those, so it was pretty "meh" for me, but the press seemed to like it.

Downtime and Dinner

This is when things got more interesting. Despite the fact that I had done next to no work, Adam offered me a chance to watch the world premier of Scream 4 to thank me for volunteering. (He obviously having a relationship to the studio and all.) Of course I accepted. The movie didn't start for a few hours, and going home and coming back would have taken longer than the wait, given the time (LA rush hour is as bad as you've heard), so I got to hang out with the guys, even though I felt intimidated to be with industry vets who already know each other. I'd like to think I'm knowledgeable about video games and have intelligent things to say on the subject, but I'm still just a kid tossing around the idea of actually entering that line of work after I finish the college education I've barely started. I mean they were all really nice, and in truth are just normal guys who've made games there job, but still. I'm 18, hanging out with proper adults is strange enough, let alone adults who have jobs I'd like. Lots of interesting talk about stuff I can't repeat going on though, so that was cool. This is also when Carter (The Sony guy. Old, but cool as hell.) and Johnny showed up.

Oh, and another thing to add to the intimidation factor. I'm six foot four. That's not huge, but I'm used to being able to look at down people, and have found the the height makes it easier to feel comfortable with those who would otherwise be unsettling figures. Adam and Johnny are tall. I had know them to be big and have seen them on video, but had never registered how tall they were, and it was a surprise to see them match me. I also believe that our very own Jeff is around the same height. Therefor I've concluded being ~6'4'' is an important skill needed for working in the video game industry. Sorry guys, it's science.

  You can't tell, but we're all pretty tall dudes.

   When JV calls you "pimp", you know you've won. 
Anyway, we were off to dinner, and the surreal experience that I opened with, soon enough. First off, nice Japanese restaurant. Lot of seafood, something I don't usually like, but what I tried I enjoyed, and there was enough land meat to keep me fed. At this point I realized how quiet I had been the whole time, which had me a bit embarrassed, which made it harder to speak out, but I think I managed to make some decent conversation. Johnny seemed happy to include me in questions and I think I impressed Carter with my knowledge of Bungie's early days. (Being a Halo fanboy had it's advantages.) In spite of my shyness, we all seemed to have a good time.



SCRE4M

 I'm on the Tee-Vee!
So then we got to see a movie. The world premier of Scream 4. Yeah, that was pretty cool. After a bit of walking and then squeezing into a single cab, we got to the Chinese Theater and went down the red carpet. (Pictured: Me on the walkway for not important people, managing to get in a shot with actress Anna Paquin.) They had free popcorn and soda so that was also pretty cool. As for the movie, I had fun. It not like it's trying to be anything groundbreaking, it's a Scream movie. Incredibly self-aware and silly, but at the same time, lots of blood. At first I was trying to decide whether I found the absurd amount of meta humor clever or trite, but then I remembered the condition that I was watching it under, told myself to stop being a snob, and I enjoyed it. It moved well and had a fair amount of both amusing and tense moments. If you liked the other films in the series, I see no reason you wouldn't like this.


Conclusion

That was my day. The others got to go to an after party for the movie that sounded like even more fun if Adam's twitter is to be believed, but I already got as much as I could handle anyway. I had a great time and met some awesome people. I just want to thank Giant Bomb for being awesome, and thus allowing me this opportunity to find me. Thanks again to Adam Boyes and Beefy Media for actually providing the opportunity. You guys are great.


My takeaways from the evening:

  • Mobile Games Matter- So, I am, as I assume most here are, what is considered a "core" gamer. I like meaty games. I buy big AAA console releases. I'm not really into playing on my smart phone besides some picross every now and again. Part of me would like to dismiss that market all together. I know many here do. Well, like it or not, it's big and only going to get bigger. While I don't think it will make lager game experiences obsolete like Rovio has said, it is growing in importance every day. All we can do is hope companies like Beefy can get it right.
  • Johnny V is Really Like That All the Time- He just is. And it's great. Heard stories he probably shouldn't have told, got to see him act both smooth and foolish, pretty much all the impressions you've got of him from podcasts are actuate. The man has a larger than life personality and is tons of fun. One thing that doesn't come across as well though is just how friendly he is. A really nice dude all around and instantly likeable.
  • Industry Dudes Like to Drink- Ok, so I already knew this from talk on the Bombcast, but got to confirm it independently.
  • Get Shoes That Fit- We only had to walk a few blocks and my shoes were only slightly too large, but I still somehow got blisters. Didn't even feel them then, but they are definitely here now.


Paper Souvenirs

--
tl;dr- I met Adam Boyes and John Vignocchi. Fear me.
29 Comments
30 Comments
Edited by Slaker117

My Night with Beefy Media: How I Swindled My Way Into Something Awesome


So sometime around six o'clock last night I was sitting at a table in the heart of Hollywood, eating some expensive looking food. On my right was Phil Sinnott, Beefy Media producer, and to my left was Sony biz dev Carter Lipscomb. Across the way was Beefy president Adam Boyes, who himself was between Juli Wood, who's working with MGM to try to expand into the game space, and the man himself, John Vignocchi. As I sat there, enthralled in the conversations going on around me, I couldn't help but think "I have no right to be here".

I'm just a college kid. A college kid who currently isn't in college. I took a semester off without a solid reason and have wasted a lot of time on the Internet since. It just so happened that friend of Giant Bomb Adam Boyes also seems to be into this Internet thing and posted on our message boards, asking for volunteers to help him run an event for a game he's launching. I figured I live close enough and have nothing going on, might as well meet the man. So I did.

The Game Event

Beefy Media is producing an iOS game for Scream 4, and this event was set up to demo the game to press. This is what I was there to do. Unfortunately only about a dozen people showed up and Adam and Phil were able to address them all. Juli was also there with the same job as me, also not really doing anything. So I pretty much sat there for two hours watching other people play on iPads while the Beefy team chatted with them. At this point I felt pretty underwhelmed and useless, and while it was cool to meet Adam, the whole thing seemed to be a bit of a waste. I also did get to play an unreleased game, but that's significantly less exciting when it's for iOS. Not a slight against the game, but I'm not really into those, so it was pretty "meh" for me, but the press seemed to like it.

Downtime and Dinner

This is when things got more interesting. Despite the fact that I had done next to no work, Adam offered me a chance to watch the world premier of Scream 4 to thank me for volunteering. (He obviously having a relationship to the studio and all.) Of course I accepted. The movie didn't start for a few hours, and going home and coming back would have taken longer than the wait, given the time (LA rush hour is as bad as you've heard), so I got to hang out with the guys, even though I felt intimidated to be with industry vets who already know each other. I'd like to think I'm knowledgeable about video games and have intelligent things to say on the subject, but I'm still just a kid tossing around the idea of actually entering that line of work after I finish the college education I've barely started. I mean they were all really nice, and in truth are just normal guys who've made games there job, but still. I'm 18, hanging out with proper adults is strange enough, let alone adults who have jobs I'd like. Lots of interesting talk about stuff I can't repeat going on though, so that was cool. This is also when Carter (The Sony guy. Old, but cool as hell.) and Johnny showed up.

Oh, and another thing to add to the intimidation factor. I'm six foot four. That's not huge, but I'm used to being able to look at down people, and have found the the height makes it easier to feel comfortable with those who would otherwise be unsettling figures. Adam and Johnny are tall. I had know them to be big and have seen them on video, but had never registered how tall they were, and it was a surprise to see them match me. I also believe that our very own Jeff is around the same height. Therefor I've concluded being ~6'4'' is an important skill needed for working in the video game industry. Sorry guys, it's science.

  You can't tell, but we're all pretty tall dudes.

   When JV calls you "pimp", you know you've won. 
Anyway, we were off to dinner, and the surreal experience that I opened with, soon enough. First off, nice Japanese restaurant. Lot of seafood, something I don't usually like, but what I tried I enjoyed, and there was enough land meat to keep me fed. At this point I realized how quiet I had been the whole time, which had me a bit embarrassed, which made it harder to speak out, but I think I managed to make some decent conversation. Johnny seemed happy to include me in questions and I think I impressed Carter with my knowledge of Bungie's early days. (Being a Halo fanboy had it's advantages.) In spite of my shyness, we all seemed to have a good time.



SCRE4M

 I'm on the Tee-Vee!
So then we got to see a movie. The world premier of Scream 4. Yeah, that was pretty cool. After a bit of walking and then squeezing into a single cab, we got to the Chinese Theater and went down the red carpet. (Pictured: Me on the walkway for not important people, managing to get in a shot with actress Anna Paquin.) They had free popcorn and soda so that was also pretty cool. As for the movie, I had fun. It not like it's trying to be anything groundbreaking, it's a Scream movie. Incredibly self-aware and silly, but at the same time, lots of blood. At first I was trying to decide whether I found the absurd amount of meta humor clever or trite, but then I remembered the condition that I was watching it under, told myself to stop being a snob, and I enjoyed it. It moved well and had a fair amount of both amusing and tense moments. If you liked the other films in the series, I see no reason you wouldn't like this.


Conclusion

That was my day. The others got to go to an after party for the movie that sounded like even more fun if Adam's twitter is to be believed, but I already got as much as I could handle anyway. I had a great time and met some awesome people. I just want to thank Giant Bomb for being awesome, and thus allowing me this opportunity to find me. Thanks again to Adam Boyes and Beefy Media for actually providing the opportunity. You guys are great.


My takeaways from the evening:

  • Mobile Games Matter- So, I am, as I assume most here are, what is considered a "core" gamer. I like meaty games. I buy big AAA console releases. I'm not really into playing on my smart phone besides some picross every now and again. Part of me would like to dismiss that market all together. I know many here do. Well, like it or not, it's big and only going to get bigger. While I don't think it will make lager game experiences obsolete like Rovio has said, it is growing in importance every day. All we can do is hope companies like Beefy can get it right.
  • Johnny V is Really Like That All the Time- He just is. And it's great. Heard stories he probably shouldn't have told, got to see him act both smooth and foolish, pretty much all the impressions you've got of him from podcasts are actuate. The man has a larger than life personality and is tons of fun. One thing that doesn't come across as well though is just how friendly he is. A really nice dude all around and instantly likeable.
  • Industry Dudes Like to Drink- Ok, so I already knew this from talk on the Bombcast, but got to confirm it independently.
  • Get Shoes That Fit- We only had to walk a few blocks and my shoes were only slightly too large, but I still somehow got blisters. Didn't even feel them then, but they are definitely here now.


Paper Souvenirs

--
tl;dr- I met Adam Boyes and John Vignocchi. Fear me.
Posted by crusader8463

Grats, but ios games still suck.

Posted by Slaker117
@crusader8463: I don't disagree, but that was almost incidental to evening. And at least I got the impression that Beefy wants to figure out how to make them not suck and has people who can do it. It's a huge market, but currently they mostly get crap. It would be great if someone actually makes something worthwhile. For their first time developing on the platform I think they did pretty good job. Also they included a small Giant Bomb/Deadly Premonition reference, so that was fun.
Posted by MattyFTM

Sounds awesome dude. It must have been a totally surreal experience. 

Moderator Online
Edited by Underachiever007
@Slaker117 said: 

"


Is it wrong that the first thought that came into my head when I saw this picture was "threesome"? Just look at Johnny's face!
Posted by SSully

Sounds like a great time. Although a Scream ios game sounds horrible, the rest of the night sounds like something you will remember for the rest of your life. Also that picture of you behind the actress is some hardcore photobombing, well done. 

Posted by Slaker117
@MattyFTM: It was. So much cognitive dissonance the whole night.
@Underachiever007: If only...
@SSully: That was actually completely unintentional. I had gotten ahead of the group and was looking for them in the crowd.
Posted by OwnlyUzinWonHan

I now know Adam Boyes' number, mwahahahaha!

Posted by evildeadron

glad you had a great time, i can indeed confirm as well that Adam, Johnny and Phil are 3 of the nicest and coolest people in the video game industry, i just hope Adam doesn't go all Holywood now, ha ha just kidding
Posted by bonbolapti

man, that's the right kind of mingling I could go for. congrats!

Posted by TurboMan

holy shit awesome blog post. I really would have loved to volunteer as well, but I'm no where near LA. It sucks that not many people came and checked out the game, any place I can find info on it? I'd love to support Beefy if the game is relatively cool.

Edited by Kyreo

Lucky bastard. 

Posted by Death_Unicorn

I'M SIX FOOT FOUR!
THANK YOU SCIENCE!

Posted by GalacticPunt

Congrats on a great college experience.  Now get back in college, you slacker!!  I'm kidding, but really, you are only 18.  It's only going to get more expensive as you put off your education.

I had the flexibility to take a day off of work, but talked myself out of applying.  I'm a bit old for PR intern for a day, and money's getting tight here. 

Even over the internet, Adam and Johnny have always come across as extremely affable dudes.  I think the two main talents anyone needs in the game business are people skills and a strong liver. 

Online
Posted by Slaker117
@OwnlyUzinWonHan: Call him and ask about his favorite scary movie.
@TurboMan: I'm actually not sure how much I'm allowed to say. Look for it on the app store around Friday if you're interested. $0.99 on iPhone, $3.99 iPad.
@GalacticPunt: Don't worry, I'm planning on returning next semester, and I had taken enough AP classes to start off essentially as a sophomore. And even though I wouldn't call the reasons solid, I wasn't leaving just because I felt like it. There were circumstances out of my control that made continuing at this time non-ideal.
Posted by DeeGee

So how awkward did you feel being in casual clothes while they were all in fancy suits? =P

Edited by Wrighteous86

Thanks for the impressions, man. Sounds like you had a blast. Might want to do something about Boyes' number in that pic, though.


EDIT: Oops, it's on his website anyway. Thought that was a private business number.
Posted by EuanDewar

I envy you, not just because of your awesome experience but also because of your hair.

Edited by Mikemcn

Dude, thats absolutely awesome. Im also not 6 foot 4, but I wasn't planning on being in the games industry so, it works out, and only furthers your point. 

Posted by snake911

nice

Posted by Yanngc33

Player!

Posted by Slaker117
@EuanDewar: I've actually had complete strangers stop me and tell me they like my hair. I don't get what's so special about it. I hardly do anything with it passed washing it.
@Mikemcn: I'm starting to think I should publish my findings.
Posted by TheBooya

Andrew - You are a great dude, and thanks again for coming out to hang out with Johnny V, Phil and I and helping us out "demoing" the game. I wish we could have snuck you into the afterparty... incredible stuff. Although you were quiet, I could tell you were soaking it all in!


To the rest of you, thanks for being part of a great community where crazy shit like this can happen. I'm so proud of what Jeff, Ryan, Brad, Vinny, and the rest of the guys have built here. Awesome stuff.


Posted by Hockeymask27

Awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Tonic7

Good stuff man, congratulations on the evening. I can only imagine that being 21 would have contributed to your enjoyment significantly. Regardless, noice.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

I can't say I'm not envious that I didn't meet Adam or Johnny V, but it will suffice for me to say that you are a lucky bastard.

Posted by Lunar_Aura

Adam almost picked me for this and I am being 100% sincere when I say I'm glad you went instead. Things didn't fall through for me at the time and after reading your blog there was great reason. You enjoyed it more than I would have.

Congratulations on being young and getting a taste of the insider joys the game industry has to offer. I hope you achieve your passion of working in the game industry because you'll have an absolute blast at things like CES, E3, and the associated after parties!

Posted by Slaker117
@Lunar_Aura: Thanks! It definitely was a lot of fun and a great little peek at a possible future, but I still have to go through a lot of school...
 
Also, why are you commenting on this, six months later?
Posted by Lunar_Aura
Posted by Slaker117
@Lunar_Aura: It's cool, just seemed super random.