So many fun things to share with you from the last few days, but so sleepy this 1am and currently in the Côte d’Azur… so, silly things first. While visiting the Mercedes-Benz factory in Bremen, i couldn’t help but admire their Gran Turismo 5 + PS3 + Logitech circle of racing fun set up in the lobby. The design details of the racing pod are great ~ but even better is the Nürburgring mat it sits on, complete with each twist and turn labeled. The PS3 mount even resembles an engine! See all of the details on the next page!
Entries tagged with: video game
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We ended up at an unexpected oasis amongst the madness of Monterey Auto Week when we drove up into Monterra Woods to join friends at the Aston Martin Estate. They took over a beautiful house and filled it with a brilliant mix of lifestyle brands from Far Niente Wines and Louis Roederer Champagne, to Emanuel Andren’s Chocolates from Sweden… Vizio 3D tvs and CxC Driving Simulators, to Flexjet by Bombardier and Worth magazine… There was even a tailor, diamonds, non-alcoholic cocktails (test drives happening!), and of course Aston Martins ~ from the V12 Zagato and One-77 to Virage Coupés, Vantage S Roadster, and Rapide. They created a beautiful space with relaxing indoor and outdoor areas, and endless things to do. Favorite? While waiting for test drives, the garage had two 3-large-screen simulators with racing seats that throw you around almost as hard as a real F1 car. (Of course, had we planned a bit better ~ i’m sure test driving the Astons would have been the favorite!) All in all, there was so much to see and do, and it was the perfect way to get a feel for the lifestyle they imagine around the marque. There were even herds of deer and flocks of turkeys roaming nearby! Take a peek and explore the estate and details on the next page!
Yay! Portal 2. (Boo PSN has been down though, and for days?!?!) Reddit thread about guy turning the in-game posters into high res images… lead to this gallery of images from the game… and really, the writers and designers had far too much fun with Portal 2. The details are so fun, here’s a peek at some of my favorites!
p.s. and if you’ve missed them, the Investment Opportunity videos are so fun!
Just touched down in Milan ~ on things to look forward to upon arrival home next next week ~ Portal 2! Finally! But first to keep us going, while waiting a bit longer… three awesome videos of “Investment Opportunities” ~ looking at Panels, Bots, and Turrets! I’m conflicted as to whether to wish for more videos, or for the game to FINALLY arrive… So fun, so pretty, watch them all on the next page!
Here’s a sneak peek at the show opening tomorrow at the newest Gallery 1988: Venice! (Bittersweet that SF is closing, but awesome to have one on the westside!) “Multiplayer” opens tomorrow night and is filled with video game inspired art! I can’t wait to see what else is unveiled tomorrow night! Take a look at a few of the pieces on the next page… but be warned, you’ll be overcome with a nostalgic desire to go play tetris and zelda and more though!
Save the date! Jan 15th. Gallery 1988 : Venice (Grand Opening!) presents MULTIPLAYER: Limited Edition Posters Inspired By Video Games! And curated by the super awesome OMG Posters. As they say - “Opening January 15th at their new Venice gallery, Multiplayer will feature over 30 limited edition prints based on classic video games. You can see most of the artists on the list below, but there will also be a surprise or two.” Can’t wait!
PORTAL 2 is coming!!! I’m a little excited. The trailer is gorgeous (check it out on the next page), and looks incredibly fun! Valve’s Portal was not only stunning visually, but conceptually innovative (part FPS part puzzle game), gave us “the cake is a lie”, and Still Alive still gets stuck in my head… So, can they do it again? Take it further? We’ll find out soon… but how awesome is the trailer? See the trailer and more pics on the next page!
Its striking how similar in SIZE the real Rickenbacker 325 and the Beatles Rock Band Controller are. In fact, they are so similar, i couldn't resist visiting the Rickenbacker factory in Santa Ana to check them out side by side in person! Funny coincidence ~ on 09/09/09 when Beatles Rock Band launched, the factory happened to start working on a run of the Rickenbacker 325! They claim it really wasn't planned! So luckily when i visited a few days later, i not only got to take a peek at the controller and its real life counterpart in person, but also had an opportunity to see exactly how the real guitars are made! (and it is truly an amazing process, so many more steps of skilled craftsmen than i ever imagined, but more to come on that soon!)
Take a peek at the next page to see lots of pics of the Rickenbacker 325 alongside the Beatles Rock Band Controller ~ as well as peeks into the factory and renderings of the controller!
Happy 9/9/9 ~ it's been quite a day! On awesome launches that are hard to miss, The Beatles Rock Band came out today, and it was impossible not to share an unboxing of the goods with you! For starters the imagery is stunning (gorgeous intro video on the next page!) ~ and the custom guitars are adorable mini-plasticized simplified versions of their normal forms... The front of the kick-drum is like those frisbees or carshades where you can twist it up into a smaller disc when not in use (you know the type, it pops open instantly?)... and the pedal is beautifully detailed with Beatles-ness. There is also a set of postcards included... so anyhow, take a peek at it all! I picked up the full kit for PS3 and the Rickenbacker...
Just got home and ended up playing way too much Rock Band tonight ~ so as tired as my body might be, my mind was inspired to show you this awesome limited edition MWM Graphics Rock Band Guitar that i've been meaning to post! Before we get into looking at how sweet this guitar is... lets get all the complicated collaborations and brands out of the way ~ this Geometric Funk XBOX 360 Rock Band Guitar was created by MWM Graphics, which is Matt W. Moore, for Pepsi Rock Band 2009 to promote the Pepsi/Yahoo/Harmonix/MTV Drink Up, Rock Out promotion! Basically, gamers can submit their own Rock Band music videos for a chance to win a MTV Video Music Award Moonman, as well as other great Rock Band prizes under the caps of Pepsi bottles everywhere! I just got distracted midway through post writing while watching a bunch of the videos, some are pretty hilarious - here, check this one out.
ANYHOW, beyond the pretty fun campaign going on (i think you have till Sept to rock out and make a fun music video!) ~ stepping back and checking it out ~ i just love that this is art + video games + music + UGC + ad campaign. It's so fun to see the graphic stylings of favorites like MWM Graphics on a Rock Band fender guitar! I must say the number of brands you can tie into this whole endeavor is hurting my head slightly ~ but that aside ~ could the rock band guitar be the new tshirt/skateboard to customize for artists? Check out more pics of this gorgeous collaboration on the next page ~ as well as some screenshots of the campaign (i'm liking the site design!).
Tetris Tiles!!! Thank you Tomas, who just emailed this in, and i've been giddy since first laying eyes on them... what game room, kitchen, bathroom, etc, can't use some tetris tiling? Although of course, every row had better have some random hole, so the rows don't disappear? And in imagining covering a wall or floor with these, i can't help but wonder whether it really is better to buy the pre-made sheets, or to place each tile one by one, by simply reaching into a bucket randomly... sure it may take ages, but then every tile has a story, and perhaps some rationale behind its placement? They are custom made in the UK from the finest italian ceramics, and while they are already available in quite the range of colors, may also become available in any pantone color of your choice....
Ooooh can you imagine Tetris Tiles in your pool??? My head is spinning with ideas of where/how to use these, see more images on the next page!
I Am 8-Bit #4 had its opening last night at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery in Hollywood... and although larger venue, the crowd was even MORE insane than last time, the press tables even more chaotic, and the crowd control and speed of getting people in and out was a bit lacking, however the bouncers were incredibly nice... that said, once you got in, the music was thumping, few were dancing, but many were guzzling, as the floor was pretty much coated in spilt beer... and there was much crowding around the incredible array of gamer inspired art work! But my favorite moment of the whole night... the guy who was taking pictures with his PSP! And the window displays, they made great use of the large storefront windows - from random installations with old controllers, to that couple playing arcade games in their underwear, and the street fighter bricks and more... anyhow, i tried to streamline the pics i took to give you an overview of the experience on the next page, and you can view the full unphotoshopped selection in the gallery.
Yes, Game Libratory = Library + Laboratory. And yes, games - meaning everything from those historical ancient emulated DOS PC games to low cost edu-tainment products to the latest PS3, XBOX 360, and Wii games... It's really something that all our current libraries are missing, and there aren't nearly enough (if any) great labs organizing the history of gaming as it flies by us - in such a way that people could someday check them out like microfiche and catch up on some games of the past that are no longer accessible other than to a few who snatch them up from ebay or at a garage sale! Also, imagine how much history there is in simply watching people play these various games, and seeing how the usability and interactions have evolved over time... and when you someday tell your kids, "back in my day, we used a JOYSTICK"... well you can drag them down to the Game Libratory to experience some historical gaming first hand.
So, when this brainchild of NOTCOT friends (from the pre-notcot the site even existing days), Daniel Rehn, Derek Lomas, and Jeremy Douglass, who hooked up with the Software Studies Initiative, Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA) at Calit2, UC San Diego, launched, it was literally just an idea that is quickly growing out of the tiny lounge space they received from CRCA. They have been accumulating some incredible collections from donors (and shopping on ebay) and contributing their own gaming resources... and students and researchers internationally have been eagerly joining in to explore previously unavailable research opportunities! So while the space is quickly filling up, and they're hopefully expanding to a new home soon - i convinced Daniel to let me take a few shots of things that intrigued me, from their set up, to some of the many crazy gadgets i'd never seen before! So take a peek on the next page ~ and if you're not sure what to do with all your games and systems, but don't want to simply sell them off to anyone... the Game Libratory is a good home for them to take their place in gaming history!
things to look forward to? How about across game comparisons of the ways characters die? Or comparisons of the evolution of button mashing across controllers? And don't you think the future Game Libratory needs to have Toledano's Video Game Faces mixed with gorgeous screenshots framed on their walls?
SPORE! SPORN [nsfw]! And all the madness that has flown around the internets over the launch of the Spore Creature Creator. Since the Spore folks asked us to make a creature for the Spore Vote site - no, i'm no Sporelebrity, just a mere More Spore if i ever get my creatures sorted out and sent in to them. On a side note, how funny are their Sporelebrities? You have the webby kids from Digg, Arrington, iJustine, Scoble, Veronica Belmont - and then tv actors like the OC guy, Alias guy, Sabrina the teenage witch, old saved by the bell guy... and stan lee and emeril... Yes yes, i know they have names, but just surveying the group made me laugh this lazy Saturday.
SO, back to the Spore Creatures ~ dan started challenging me to make "cute" ones that weren't what nightmares were made of... and then creatures with "fewest vertebrae possible" (turns out that is 2)... and other silly tasks, so in trying out the high res picture taking and video capturing... check out a few of my silly creatures (and vid!) on the next page... i've also added the video of the f*ck slug, which is a great example of Spore Typography!
"In his former life as a tracker of dangerous game in the unforgiving Australian outback, the Sniper would spend months by himself. Prolonged isolation taught him a valuable lesson: You don't have to rely on other people if you never miss."
On gorgeous video games, and teaser vids ~ loving this one of The Sniper for Valve's Team Fortress 2! Nothing like this rational animated aussie sniper... Watch it on the next page...
This is definitely the week of driving. The sites have been insanely quiet today because i have spent over 8 hours cruising down the 101 (the historic El Camino Real - slowly passing many of the california missions) - at no more than 60 mph behind a uhaul towing a car that i spent all day/night packing yesterday... and yesterday between packing (moving the NOTCOT norcal office back to socal - so dan and i are both back in LA for good now), i was also a bit slow yesterday (and sunday and monday) because in between packing i couldn't stop playing MarioKart for the Wii!!! It's terribly addictive, and so adorable, and as silly as it feels to be holding a plastic toddler feeling fake steering wheel, i love it.
So MarioKart for Wii as one extreme... on the other end of the gaming/driving spectrum... getting back to my house after midnight (and the xbox still being in a box in the uhaul somewhere) i was thrilled to be greeted by a large amazon box with the GTA IV Special Edition set for XBOX (also available for PS3)... seriously, no one does schwag like Rockstar - beyond innovative gameplay and gorgeous graphics, their packaging and schwag always manage to blow my mind. So although i haven't played the game yet, the unboxing of the Security Deposit Box, Art Book, Duffle Bag and more is not to be missed... see it all on the next page!
So - MarioKart or GTA? Which will you be driving this week?
WiiWare!!! Coming in June ~ Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People! As you can tell, i'm pretty excited about this one... can you believe Home Star Runner has been running for 8 years now?!?! Here's an excerpt from the press release:
SAN RAFAEL, CA, April 10, 2008 - Interactive entertainment pioneer Telltale, Inc. is pleased to announce Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People (SBCG4AP), a new series of episodic games for WiiWare™, in partnership with Videlectrix. Starring Strong Bad, the self-proclaimed coolest person ever, the series is based on Matt and Mike Chapman's online animated series, which has been running at Homestarrunner.com since 2000. SBCG4AP will launch on WiiWare this June.
As the very first episodic series for connected consoles, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People has been designed specifically for WiiWare, with easy-to-use controls and WiiConnect24™ features. Like Telltale's popular Sam & Max series, SBCG4AP will be released as a five-episode "season" akin to a season of television. The episodes will come out on a monthly schedule. Release dates and pricing details will be revealed in a future announcement.
ARGH, does anyone else still get the Portal song stuck in their head? If not, feel free to see the video after the jump and see if it buries itself in there for you too. Game play, addictive music, the awesomeness of portals to pop in and out of... put that all aside. Kotaku pointed out this insightful analysis (and imagery!) over at Game-ism... where he (with the enlightening assistance of his wife) visually analyzes GlaDOS in Portal, and as even you can see in the images, she's pretty much tied up and hanging upside down taunting you endless throughout the game... until you "free" her... and he ventures into theories that you are being trained to accomplish her assisted suicide?
The second time I played through I turned the director commentary on, and got confirmation by way of a description of the things they attempted to make GlaDOS look like as they were making the game. What turned the light bulb on was the line "Botticelli's Venus hanging upside down, but we decided to go with something else and use some feminine lines within the structure." I'm paraphrasing; it's late and I don't feel like booting up the game again to get the quote exactly right. The spirit is there in the paraphrase, though, because I think they went for something much more sinister than a Venus.
In a follow up post, he even completely dissects the SONG lyrics! Using this to further back up the assisted suicide concept. I feel silly, but beyond gameplay, its fascinating to see the artists rendering of how he views her, as well as reading all of this analysis of what is so easy to just play and ignore.
Portal ending credits and closing song by Jonathan Coulton embedded after the jump for your viewing pleasure.
This is an odd silly post, i know, but i couldn't resist. These Ben Sherman slip ons are super cheap ($40 on sale!)... and they were just so cute, they made me laugh when i saw them. They are Ben Sherman. They are black and white (with the ONE red ghosty). They are covered in Pacman Blinkies! (or is it Blinkys?). And some silly part of me half wants them. They are just too cute and silly. More pics below.
Grand Theft Auto IV Special Edition comes with lots of fun schwag - Special Edition is presented in a customized Grand Theft Auto metal safety deposit box and contains Grand Theft Auto IV in special packaging, The Grand Theft Auto IV Art Book with never-before-seen production artwork, Selected Soundtrack CD with exclusive material to this release, Rockstar Keychain for the safety deposit box keys, and a Limited Edition Rockstar Duffel Bag And Amazon pre-orders also get a free Liberty City GTA License Plate as well. Retailing at $89 and releasing on April 29, 2008 for the PS3 (and the 360). I impulse bought my PS2 specifically for GTA back in college... and now i'm extremely tempted to impulse buy another PS3 (the first one i bought i left for my ex)... although perhaps its worth holding out for the super slim PS3 to come? Trailer videos below!
Ok perhaps chair wasn't quite the right word for the Slacker... its really Fredrik Olsson and and Sam Sihvonen's Slacker 'throne'... part throwback to viking times... part wide comfy lounger... and part gamer etchings? With wooden engraved skulls and "Game Over" messaging along the side, there's no mistaking this for an ancient relic. Fredrik Olsson and Sam Sihvonen are currently attending the master program at the School of Design and Crafts at Göteborg University in Sweden, and this piece was just exhibited at the Stockholm Furniture Fair... "Our aim was to try pushing the usual design furniture aesthetics to a more personalized look and load it with sentimental value. We have based the design on how we as teenagers sat while playing video games or acting as slackers. The chair is low with a stretched out upholstered seat. The design mix the styles of Scandinavian crafted woodwork with video games aesthetics resembling an Egyptian pharaoh throne." Only thing i think is missing? Perhaps some fabric options and a side table with engraved cheat codes and holsters for your various controllers (and your beer?). See close ups after the jump!
Wow thanksgiving was a bit different this year. Apparently technology = bonding? Was this true for you too? Did your wii, xbox 360, and cell phones change the social dynamic of the feasting?
I haven't done a big family one (or been in the states for it) much the last decade... so it was funny to see everyone all grown up and out of college at my aunts, and we had a new set of young ones (twins 7 and 4) and all of us 20 somethings to entertain them. Just thinking back on what we did as kids at thanksgiving... we probably ran around outside - pool/basketball/tennis/etc, built forts, board games? movies? played lots of mortal kombat, sonic, etc? Well it certainly feels like times have changed... i brought down a plate of cookies and a basket of wii games as my contribution... the cousins had the wii projected on the wall ~ and hours were spent introducing newbies (who quickly got competitive!) to wii golf, tennis, and guitar hero... (fascinating watching how quickly even the 4 year olds would pick up mii making and game playing - not to mention how impressive the 7 year olds were at guitar hero)... the older generation was singing along... and when the little ones got bored early at dinner ~ their instant amusement? Borrowing camera phones and running around taking pictures and asking to keep them (i was slightly surprised they weren't emailing them to themselves)...
Anyhow, i wasn't the only one... Dan flew out to see family in Virginia and brought the wii and everything to go with it... and over at Joystiq, Ross has a great post on bringing Rock Band to his family feast (love checking out the images and the full family review of the new game)... and my old boss was even going to throw a Rock Band Party for Black Friday (momentarily postponed!)... Anyhow, just a quick post to reminisce... and ponder what we did back in the day?!?! So i guess i should have really added Rock Band and Guitar Hero to the Thanksgiving survival gift guide, but at least i had the wii!
Oh and on guitar hero ~ quite possibly the best Will It Blend to date is the one below of the GUITAR being blended. Must watch.
Rayman's Raving Rabbids 2 is here! (like literally in my hand) Finally! Anyhow, i've been over worked and under slept all week, and its been sheer insanity, so i'm taking a breather to play this ridiculousness for now! See more silliness at their awesome blog.
The Rabbids have returned! Almost... Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 coming in Nov! They are back and better than ever for wii ~ more mini games ~ and you can even customize not only rayman but the rabbids too with over 110 items! And the theme is world travel (makes sense since they've been launching all of the "around the world" videos on their blog)... also noteworthy and silly exciting thing for this strangely dreary halloween day ~ seeing my Rabbid toy on their faux desktop. And as always their desktops, screensavers, videos, and graphic design are top notch ~ so see below for screenshots, etc.
Mmmmm crazy gamer art that inspired the actual games. Into The Pixel "is an exploration and celebration of the art of the video game, curated by interactive industry veterans and experts from the art establishment." This year it showed at E3 in santa monica, then the Toronto Film Festival, and its currently showing at E for All in LA. I went through the last few years, and even out of those these three still amuse/inspire me the most. Then again... i do have a thing for the crazy artsy games (i.e. Rabbids! Dewey! Viva Piñata! Katamari! etc...). What's really interesting about these piece are that they are often pre-video game (or during) development, and are made my the art directors and designers working on the games. For example this Rabbids one is by Florent Sacre, the Art Director for Rayman Raving Rabbids. Dewey one is by Shigechy. And the Viva Piñata piece is by Ryan Stevenson - "a veteran of Rare projects like It's Mister Pants! and Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge, [he] made his name as the concept artist behind the vibrant and unmistakable Viva Piñata."
On a sidenote: while researching i discovered the IGN Raving Rabbids blog from before the game came out, with some incredible behinds the scenes imagery and hilarious shots of the game makers and their rabbids... so some peeks at that below as well as full sized images of the crops above.