I loved my first day at Gamescom.
People everywhere. Businessmen acting like Amazon drones, heading straight to where they are supposed to, with no regard for what happens beneath them. Developers, with huge smiles on their faces, maybe knowing that this is the last time for the next 3 days they are able to do so naturally. And then there were others, like me, completely overwhelmed, lost, and confused.
It was my first Gamescom and actually my first convention on a journalistic mission ever (unless you include a little Xbox media event in Vienna about 7 years ago). Going to the biggest gaming convention in the world is in itself a daunting task for a self described misanthrope with social anxiety, but doing it on a (let's pretend) professional basis, with no prior knowledge and experience ...I felt like a medieval science experiment done by a curious idiot. A stone thrown into a rushing river, so he learns to swim. Luckily stones can't drown, but they also can't swim. I needed someone to fish me out of the water, and that someone was TaleWorlds.
You might not have heard of them, but TaleWorlds are the developers of one of the most unique RPGs ever made: Mount & Blade. A game that does not follow a scripted story, but instead allows true role playing in a middle-age-ish world without magic or monsters. You can be a lonesome knight, looking for glory in tournaments. A masterful merchant, shipping cargo all over the continent. A brutal lord, robbing your peasants of their last slice of bread. A foot soldier in the kings army, or even the king himself.
No wonder this game has a cult-like following on the PC, and even inside the Twinstiq team you can find lovers of it. I am one of those and when I encountered the TaleWorlds logo on the Turkish booth at Gamescom, I knew my mission. About a week earlier, I’ve sent them a mail asking for an appointment to see the yet to be seen Mount & Blade 2, but they never replied.
I took a deep breath, stepped in front of (what I believed to be) their counter, smiled ...and, after a kinda awkward, slightly creepy pause, I finally said "Hello!"
I got an appointment 3 hours later, and while I was still inexperienced, overwhelmed and confused afterwards, I was no longer lost in a river of doubt and despair. It would return later on, but that is a story for another day, because this was a good day.