I had the rare opporunity to tour the n-Space video game development studio (they're the group that made games such as Duke Nukem: A Time to Kill, Danger Girl, and Bug Rider) today and I thought I'd share some of the neat things I saw on the tour. The office is in the process of moving, plus there's those nasty nondisclosure agreements that got in the way of me seeing any top secret stuff, but I did get to see a few interesting things.

The first neat thing I saw was a Nintendo GameCube that ran on game paks instead of discs. Yes, it's true! The catch is that they use the game paks to copy games they need to test and that way they can reuse the game paks later, whereas the discs are single-burn items and the game paks contain hard drives. I also saw someone playing The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker which won't be out in the USA until next month.

One room in the studio was loaded with consoles: Nintendo GameCubes, Sony Playstation 2s, Microsoft XBOXes, a Sega Saturn and more. Another room had arcade machines in it, such as Tank Gunner and Street Fighter II: Championship Edition. As for the development teams themselves, each was located in their own rooms. One room handled animation, another did programming, another was the kiddie department (Rugrats et al), and still another was the music room.

Overall it was fascinating to see the inner workings of a game development house, although I wish I'd been able to see some things in active development. Darn secrecy...