I SPENT LESS TIME IN LINE FOR HALL H!:
THE SDCC 2014 ASSASSIN’S CREED EXPERIENCE
Greetings! Alanna here and yes the gods showed favor on me and granted me access through the antagonizing lottery for SDCC 2014. It was my first time going to SDCC and I was lucky enough to meet up with Sam and the rest of the Nerdophiles camp in San Diego. Sam asked me if I’d be interested in writing about my experience on the course, and I thought, “Sure, why not?” So here it is: My Assassin’s Creed Experience.
Judging by the title, you can probably guess what it was like waiting for the Assassin’s Creed obstacle course across the street from the convention center. Originally I planned on titling this, “I Waited In Line For 4 FUCKING HOURS FOR THIS SHIT!?” but I figured I’d better edit myself on my first post here at Nerdophiles. My internal monologue while waiting in line went something like: WES, (my friend I waited in line with) I REALLY FUCKING HATE YOU RIGHT NOW, I think the judge would be lenient if I murdered these people in front of me. Are you kidding me!? NO! NOT ANOTHER “DEMONSTRATION!”JUST LET ME RUN THIS COURSE! I could go on but I think you get my point.
After a few days’ worth of sleep and looking back at the pictures, I’ll have to admit, the course itself was pretty freakin’ cool. Running up the incline then darting across the slanted platforms made me feel like I was running towards Mt. Midoriyama (Sasuke “Ninja Warrior” reference!). Next, you swung yourself around the platform to where the swinging cannon balls threatened to knock you off the balance beam. Once you made it past, you had to catch the rope that was thrown to you and Tarzan across to the ultimate test from your childhood: Monkey Bar Rings (Is that what they’re called? I don’t know all I know is that I kicked butt at them when I was little. Here’s looking at you Ethan Jantz!). You then needed to hoof yourself up the tower, dart across the log and slam you hand down on the button of sweet, sweet victory. Your prize? Getting a fast pass to the 25 foot Leap of Faith and a poster (they ran out of T-shirts).
Would I do it again? Maybe.
It was run horribly. First off, we couldn’t tell where the line was since it bled into the benches for the audience. There was no “the line ends here” signs, or any signs whatsoever. We asked three different people with course worker shirts before someone who was in the line piped up. After the first five people, the course was shut down for FORTY minutes for a safety check. The course opened Saturday at 10am. Plenty of time to have checked and rechecked the course to make sure it was ready to go. Okay, so maybe the crew didn’t account for the amount of clumsiness the participants would have. And I can appreciate the concern for our safety, but you did make us sign a waiver before participating, and we all knew fully well going into this that most of us aren’t Hard Core Parkour champs. But they didn’t even tell us why they stopped letting people go through for almost a half hour!
Once they did get things going again, the announcers would wait between each contestant to tell us how “cool” and “exciting” the course was and for them to demonstrate how “hard” the obstacles were. I’m sorry, you’re getting PAID to be here, I am not, so move your asses and start firing that cannon so I can get out of this FREAKIN’ LINE! Hurry up and get as many people through before you have to start the Costumed Parkour show.
Yes, that’s right, they stopped the line SEVERAL times so that they could do “demonstrations.” I couldn’t see any of them since I was STILL WAITING IN LINE but the announcers were keen on informing us that these were the parkour specialists that helped with the game play design, and look what they can do on the course! Not to mention how many times they stopped the line for the celebrity free runners and other VIPs and their guests (I’m looking at you Felicia Day).
Once I did get through to the course, I was so exhausted, hungry, and dehydrated from standing in line, I just wanted to get it over with so that I could go bathe in deliciously cool air conditioning while waiting in line for Ballroom 20 and the True Blood panel. Yeah, I didn’t look as cool as I had pictured when we first got in line for the course. At about half way up the incline my body just noped out and it took all my will power to get through the course and to still wait in line for the Leap of Faith. My fear of heights didn’t hit me till I looked down onto the blow up landing pad, and by then all I could think of was “Fuck it, I’m already up here, might as well.”
In conclusion: the course itself was great but my experience was tarnished due to the poor organization.
I mean, at SDCC you need to be prepared to wait in line for everything. EVERYTHING. There are no “off times” since all those people who don’t have badges to get into the convention center will be doing all the free things around the Gas Lamp district instead. My advice? Pick the two or three things that you absolutely HAVE to do and set aside a good chunk of time to do those. I would have much rather waited in line for Game of Thrones’ Survive the Realm.
P.S. If anyone from Ubisoft happens to come across this article, I had plenty of time in line to identify and come up with several solutions to increase the efficiency in organizing any future obstacle courses at SDCC.
Thank you for taking pictures, Aerin!
Guest post by Alanna Gallaty