2011 – what a year

Light, I have reached you. *collapses*

As you will have seen by now, most of the VG247 CNT (Core News Team) have finished for the year, myself included.

This year has been utterly brilliant and, dare I say it without sounding like a saddo, the best year ever. I’ve met some awesome people, seen some awesome people for the first time in ages, been on great trips. I couldn’t ask for a better year.

Too many awesome people to name, so I won’t, but it was lovely to meet/see you again this year. Can’t wait to see you all again next year (and meet some of you too).

Workwise, I’m proud of the work I’ve put in. I’ve broken some huge news this year – one key story springs to mind was the GTA V announce (I couldn’t believe it – even when it was first tweeted by Rockstar, I was still not sure. Was it hacked, etc?). But this year, I’ve been able to dab into the features space.

My speciality is news. Always has been, always will be. But I’m utterly proud of some of the features I’ve done this year.

Stuff like my interview with Pete Hines of Bethesda, a full feature on Deus Ex with Eidos Montreal, speaking to Splash Damage’s Paul Wedgwood on Brink, my interviews with Sega’s Gary Dunn and Mike Hayes (the latter I am more proud of because it was, really, my first interview with a top brass exec), Playdead’s Dino Patti, talking to IO about Hitman Absolution, Gearbox on Borderlands 2, Tim Willits about RAGE, Volition and Saints Row: The Third, Yoshinori Kitase about FFXIII-2 and, with a little help from good friend Alex Donaldson, Yoshinori Ono and Katsuhiro Harada on Street Fighter x Tekken.

I also did some opinion pieces, which even at GOONL!NE I was a bit of a mess with. This year, at the risk of tooting my own horn, I think I found a balance for it. I’m proud of the pieces I did on Assassin’s Creed, the anti-online in single-play-based games piece, the VGAs (which, as it was due to be originally posted here in the first place rather than VG247, I must be republish here in its entirety at some point) and the maturity of Rockstar this gen. The final one I have a special place for. Loved doing that.

But if there is one piece I look back with absolute fondness, it’s an interview I did at Eurogamer Expo with Richard Lemarchand of Naughty Dog and Nolan North on Uncharted 3. I had just seen the game the previous month at gamescom and spoke to comms head Arne Meyer about it. More recently, I did a piece on the studio’s 25th anniversary, which you can read here.

But I had the biggest load of fun not just conducting the interview, but transcribing it, writing up the piece and thensome. So enlightening, so open, so funny. It was not only my favorite piece I did this year or my favorite interview this year, but it was my favorite interview ever. Rich Lem is definitely passionate about the work he does, but so is Nolan. You can’t ask for a better hard-working dude like him in the industry. Plus, he’s one of the most nicest, down to earth people I’ve ever met in my life.

Utterly brilliant.

So that was this year. I had my first visit to the US, first (three) trip (s) to London and going back to Cologne. And I didn’t lose my passport! If 2012 is anything like this year, I can’t wait. And I’ve met some awesome people, so again, thank you awesome people. You know who you are.

All I can say now is have a great Christmas. :)

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