It was with a mixture of amazement and unease that I watched Kevin Chandler grind through 30 straight hours of programming with just two hours reserved for sleep.
At about midday on Saturday, just moments after he awoke from a much-deserved micro-nap, Kevin sat back down in front of his iron-hot laptop with fresh coding ideas. He programmed for another full day, trying to salvage this farcically ill-considered idea that I had for a video game.
Kevin was one of several young games coders who helped behind the scenes at the inaugural JournoDevSwap event in London this weekend. This was a 48-hour game jam where four games journalists - myself included - took on the role of games designers and four experienced developers covered the event as journalists.
The relationship between devs and journos is often respectful and good-natured. There's a bittersweet understanding that unites both sides - we've all loved games since childhood but now, due to the demands of our occupations, have little spare time to play them.
But we still talk about them all the time; at breakfast on the Sunday we argued about tax breaks, on Friday evening we cheerfully reminded each other how amazing UN Squadron was. At one more poignant moment of group discussion, most of us confessed we would drop everything to work for Valve.
The purpose for the JournoDevSwap was to get a better understanding of the pressures, demands and satisfactions of each others' profession - and for that reason it was a fantastic success.
When the devs-turned-journos were given a two-hour deadline to publish a written review for each game, the sudden anxiety and concentration etched across their faces would have not looked out of place in a newsroom. And yes, some developers found out the hard way that a twenty-minute interview isn't something that can magically pop up online without a painstaking transcription of every single word (yes, even the ones you can't quite hear and all the sentences that don't make sense).
Meanwhile, from a journalist's perspective, I always knew game design was intricate but it never occurred to me how even the most basic ideas will unravel into mercilessly complex rules that will undoubtedly affect everything else.
Game design is like building a congested city with playing cards - I don't think I'll ever complain again if one such construction doesn't include a certain feature.
In truth, I had designed a game that had included too many features. It was too complex and ambitious to be achieved in 48 hours. But it was Kevin and another talented developer called Dave Jones who saved it. A succession of rapid design refinements and last-gasp improvisations meant that, at the forty-seventh hour, our game was playable and finished.
After the deadline for all games and written work had passed, two trophies were presented. Backler won best dev-turned-journo and Keith Stuart from the Guardian won best journo-turned-dev. (More coverage of the results can be found here).
Both were deserved winners who each were given a round of applause. But the biggest cheer went to the coders and artists who helped along the way. People like Kevin; young and startlingly talented programmers and artists who work around the clock and would do anything to get their break in the games business.
Kevin is a young programmer with a fantastic future ahead of him. He patiently listened to all the nonsense I thunderously brainstormed at him, yet also found a way to make my sketched notes logical and playable within a coherent framework.
Before I departed to return home I gave Kevin a big hug. Our careers probably won't cross paths again. The nature of his job and skills means he has every chance of taking a programmer role at a big studio some day. If that happens, he'll be working with hundreds of others, in the background, away from the press.
I've always found it strange that in games development just a few people are given the credit for the work of many. The likes of Cliff Bleszinski and Hideo Kojima may front their studios, but behind them is a collective of extraordinary talent who will sacrifice sleep for success and turn artistic concepts into living interactive worlds.
People like Kevin are the lifeblood of the industry, the true star talent, and I'm delighted that I was lucky enough to see that for myself.