From Ophelea, "Nearly a year ago, a good friend of mine, David Bowman of Certain Affinity, asked if I'd like to visit the office to see what they were working on. Sure! I couldn't report any of it but this was about seeing the creative efforts of a friend, not work. It hadn't yet been released that the company was doing the 360 port of Valve/Turtle Rock's Left for Dead - Zombies are always cool - but I didn't feel compelled to run out and report about it. Zombies, biogenics...*shrug*. Next Bowman pulled out some hexagonal pieces of paper from a box of markers - oh yeah, game design, I remember this! He talked about sitting in a corner play testing, yadda yadda yadda - then he put a controller in my hand.
The sum total of information I was given: This is a pirate game, you are a pirate; you must take and plunder cities; there are three resources; the resources are used to upgrade your ships and later your cities; your ship upgrades are speed, armor and cannon. Then he sat back. No instructions on UI, control scheme - nada. Yarr.
Ok, my pirate home base is a wicked-looking volcano, the map is hexes, I can view the entire map by scrolling, and there's a city to the southwest. Move cursor, press X, go. Hot damn it works. Two games later he was kicking my booty around the map in multiplayer and an hour later I was holding my own. This is the game I have wanted to play on XBLA since it launched and I can't tell a soul. Gah!"