That new game is the massive (in every way!) Total War: Rome 2.
I've come full circle: nearly thirteen years ago, when I first got a job with Creative Assembly, it was to work on the original Rome game.
The world's gaming media were there for the Rome 2 preview event that was held earlier this month in Cinecitta Film Studios in Rome. Within a huge marquee in the middle of the vast set of HBO's Rome, journalists were given the first taste of the new game, playing through the Prologue Campaign.
I was very lucky to be one of the developers attending, ready to give help when needed, and I thought I'd share some pictures of the event to whet your appetite. No spoilers, mind you - you'll have to wait until the likes of Gamespot, IGN and Eurogamer give their take on what they saw.
It was a great day. Incredibly hot, and our nerves were going as the temperature in the marquee soared, but even though some of the PCs got hot enough to melt lead, we had surprisingly few failures, thanks to the top notch IT support we'd brought with us. All those sacrificial offerings had paid off!
Arriving in Italy, we soon learned that Sega (who own Creative Assembly) also happens to be an Italian slang word for, er, masturbation. A quick change of T-shirt was in order for some, who'd been wandering through the airport and the hotel lobby, oblivious that they were wearing shirts with WANK on 'em. Luckily I'd been wearing my REVIVER shirt. Shameless self-promotion never did anyone any harm...
Here I am, just to prove I was actually there:
Sprawling back streets with genuine Roman graffiti...
Note the authentic ancient Roman fire extinguisher, the Romans being famous for their insistence on Health and Safety. You can never be too careful when there are pigs around...
The game awaits...
The troops assemble outside ready to drill. "Ctrl-A attack, lads!"
Night falls, and the traditional Ancient Pink Lighting kicks in. Ale from all conquered lands is summoned!
Total War Devs, ogling genuine old stuff in the actual real world. WHAT! GET BACK TO HORSHAM AND WORK!
The Colosseum part of the set, very impressive. Hang on...
Pantheon-like temple on set... and how everything looks from inside, when you fall through what you thought was stone.
The actual Pantheon. Bigger, and more made-of-actual-stone.
Well, that's it for my Preview of the, um, Total War: Rome 2 Preview. I have to go and work on my book, now. More coffee!