Well, the E3 crunch is over. We shipped a very solid demo of our game (which I’ll be able to tell you all about once E3 actually starts). I worked about 80 hours last week, which is the longest work week I’ve had in years.

Here’s the thing about crunch. Yes, it sucks…except…well…

You get to put yourself into the Zone Cubed. Everything else fades away. You don’t spend enough time away from your work to forget what you were doing, which means you never really get out of the Zone. Thus, despite the Common Knowledge that Crunch Never Helps, I found myself incredibly productive last week. I worked about 80 hours. Did I get 80 hours of work actually DONE? I’d say…yeah, damn near.

You get to know everybody better. You work together, you eat together, you spend what little free time you have together (our crunch was at one point suspended while we all made a run to Wal-Mart to buy Nerf guns). And these guys are great – real gamers, really passionate about making great games. The sense of camaraderie is wonderful.

When you come out the other side and you’ve shipped and you know you did a good job and everything is going to be all right now…it’s like shipping high times a hundred. I have never been prouder of what I’ve been working on.

Note: The rest of this post is rated PG-13.

I’ve witnessed how usage of the term “porn” has branched out away from sex to mean “anything that gives you a vicarious thrill”. We’ve got food porn, gun porn, aircraft porn, etc. I’ve actually done this myself; I typically describe the game Command & Conquer: Generals to friends as “explosion porn” (which it is).

If you know me, you also know that I like to watch game development presentations, and I love listening to good movie commentary tracks. I’ve watched the “Making of Spirited Away” special that comes on the DVD about fifty times. I bought the special editions of both Age of Mythology and World of Warcraft because they both came with “making of” DVD specials. I’ve come to realize that in its way, that stuff was my porn. Call it “accomplishment porn”. I was vicariously living through these people who had accomplished the kind of thing I wanted to accomplish.

Well, now I’ve accomplished, at least in a minor sense. In the end, real sex is always better than porn…is real accomplishment better than accomplishment porn?

Bet your ass it is.