We LOVE getting fan email/tweets/posts/etc. It's one of the best parts of the job.
From time to time we get mail from people telling us they love Hydro Thunder Hurricane. Which is no surprise, because we think it's ten kinds of awesome. But we still like hearing it from other people because we also think Blood Wake was awesome, so what do we know?
But every now and then we get a letter that's extra special. After reading it we slowly lean back in our seats with a little smile and just let the warmth from the email window expand out and envelop us. It feels like a Hawaiian sunset.
Such a letter is Parnell Lutz's:
To whom may concern and the entire VU team,
Sorry if this is a long winded story, but I thought I would share my excitement and enjoyment to see a fantastic game brought back and executed so well.
I remember as a young person going into the Arcade and seeing HT for the first time. Blew my mind, and became an obsession to find it at every arcade we stopped at. When the dreamcast was released and HT was available for it, my dream of playing the crap out of the game and beating it could become true! This is one of my favorite games, ever. I was at E3 2010 and got to see the game. My childhood memories and excitement erupted with glee. You know, like when you're a child on Christmas? That sparked my desire to play the original again, in its entirety. I went on a mission, bought a DC w/ HT, and HT for pc. I think I went on a month binge of only talking about HT and had it on a few of my laptops so I could play it, everywhere. Got a few coworkers obsessed too, in the process.
I bought Hurricane very soon after release and I love the freaking hydro out of it. I literally cannot get enough of the game. I have put more time into this single game than any other game I have ever owned on a console. This has been the best $20 (I had to buy the expansion) I have ever spent on a game. My excitement and obsession with this game has made one girl hate me and many friends, and coworkers purchase the game. I'm on a mission to unlock everything, almost there. Recently my coworker and myself have been on a mission to beat each others track times. Even playing the same track 40 times in a row to get .10 seconds ahead of said coworker, still does not bore me with this game. The expansion was great, and has added some life and fun. But I am wondering if VU will release another expansion. I really think more tracks would be perfect addition for 2011. The boat selection is good and vast, so even porting the original HT levels to the game would be fantastic. If you can even give me a hint that more DLC would be out, to hold me over, I would appreciate the tip, but understand if you cannot.
Thank you again for making such a fantastic game, and I hope you keep supporting it with DLC, to keep my addicted.
p.s. How do you feel about h2overdrive? I played it, enjoyed it, but still LOVE Hurricane more, so again thank you for bringing it to console :)
Ahhhh. Feels great to get kudos from (a) a fan of the original, (b) a well-written gentleman of letters, and (c) anybody who likes HTH better than H2O.
Thanks, Parnell! I actually answered him personally. The rest of you will have to guess the answers.
I have to admit: I love getting fan mail.
When you work at a big company like EA you don't really get much correspondence from the people who play your game. I'm sure Spore and Madden fans send plenty of emails, but most of them end up in some PR inbox and rarely trickle out to the team that made the game.
Ever since HTH came out this summer, Vector Unit's received a pretty steady stream of emails. Here's a particularly great one we got today, from Will Smith (I'm assuming not the Fresh Prince):
Just a very short note to say thanks. I have been playing games for so many years and this year have played all the "BIG" hits like Splinter Cell: C and Alan Wake; solid properties for sure.. But I have not enjoyed any game more than Hydro Thunder Hurricane. You guys and that SMALL team you have there have brought gaming back for me to what it once was.. I simply cannot believe how awesome this game looks, plays, and feels.. Ring Master is beyond addictive! Cannot wait to play Tempest Pack tomorrow!!
Thanks again of this great game -- please have more DLC for HTH! You've done wonders with this property!!
Ahh...that feels good. Sometimes a bad review or a negative comment can get you down, and then an email like this makes it feel like all the hard work was worth it.
Most of the emails we get are people like Will who just write to say that they like (or love!) the game. Some suggest ideas for DLC or future updates or games. A few complain about this or that feature.
But we love reading all of them, even the occasional snark. It just feels really good to know that there are people actually playing your game, and that they cared enough about it one way or another to take the time to write an email to us.
So thanks, Will, and the rest of you emailers! You are the wind beneath our wings. Sniff. I'm getting all verklempt.