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Dementium: The Launch (filed from Austin, TX)

While we were putting the finishing touches on our Portal Halloween costumes, friend of the site – and games business journalist – N. Evan Van Zelfden made his way to Gamecock's Halloween-themed Dementium launch and filed this report:

An art-house theater in Austin, Texas was the location of last night's launch party for Dementium: The Ward, a survival horror game for Nintendo's DS which goes on sale today. Made by three guys in a garage – each had over a decade of development experience – Renegade Kid signed with Gamecock in May of this year, and the game was gold by the end of October.

"The game technically releases tomorrow," Gamecock's Jason Livergood told the audience of developers, adding that this hadn't kept some retailers from releasing it a few days early. Not only have people started buying the game, they've started writing the publisher.

Gallery: Dementium: The Launch | 8 Photos

Livergood read a series of amusing emails from gamers, some who contrasted the game's quality with other DS titles (it tied with Zelda, one arm-chair reviewer felt), or taking potshots at GameStop employees, or lauding mature content for the DS platform. The highlight was the email from a 52-year-old housewife in Michigan, who couldn't wait to get Dementium for her DS, and reserved it from GameStop. "Just a note to say: awesome ... it's bone-chilling, and leaves me with goosebumps."

After the development team thanked their families, Gamecock's chief executive, Mike Wilson, noted that in his long, storied career in the game industry-going back to the days of Doom – never have they gotten six or eight letters over the weekend, for a game that's not even out yet. "So, I think it's going to be pretty good, y'all."

During dinner and drinks, the theater's screen was used to show a thirteen-minute short, God's Work, which starred Gamecock's CEO and CFO-one as a mad doctor, the other a priest who apposed the gruesome medical experiments. It was executive produced by J. Todd Coleman, most known for driving the Shadowbane MMO.

After more shorts and video reels from the game, the evening concluded with a performance by The Unbearables, an Austin Dixieland-indierock band best known for their album "Just One Bite: Selections from 'Bitten!: a Zombie Rock Odyssey'". The Unbearables are a nine-piece band. Besides the regular guitar/bass/drums you'd expect, they make use of the Farfisa, Trumpet, Clarinet, Flute, and Moog synthesizer-much to the delight of an audience of geeks, zombies, and game developers.

Despite the early and positive feedback about Dementium: The Ward, the developers at Renegade Kid failed to mention what their next project will be.

Gallery: Dementium: The Ward (DS) | 8 Photos

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