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Archive for September 16th, 2011


   
 

SEGA @ TGS 2011 – Day 2

SEGA Show Guide

Updates from the Tokyo Game Show! Today is the official start of the consumer days from the Japanese show, but for the last two days the SEGA team has been on site demoing for press and business alike. Unlike most shows where it’s either a consumer focus or a business focus (like E3, for example) – TGS merges the two for a full featured show. Today’s blog is a wrap up from the last two days of floor time, including photos, updates, and more food!

The TGS Show Floor

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from the Tokyo Game Show in presentation and layout. I’ve done a fair amount of shows, most of the big ones, and the TGS show floor definitely a bit different. The show is in a massive hall spread out amongst two large hangar style areas, featuring massive booths from the top publishers, and smaller booths peppered in from smaller devs and companies.

I had a chance to walk the floor a bit before the show started and get some shots of the SEGA space before anyone came into play. The layout is very clean and leads you quickly from one game to the next, with queues for each. Each game also features a special gift at the end of play, a reward or a thank you for the time spent. Check the end of the blog for the full merch photo!

Pre-TGS - Binary Domain

Binary Domain was a big focus of the show for SEGA, with a massive booth that had both upstairs play areas, and secluded downstairs rooms for the voice recognition features. In the game, you can direct your team to execute on tactics entirely through voice commands. Of course this is not required, you can use the controller as well, but in the heat of battle it’s far more efficient to call out tactics rather than stop and direct – it works quite well!

Special Gift – A Binary Domain pen was given out to players who played the demo. Part mechanical, part not, naturally…

Pre-TGS - Anarchy Reigns, Puyo, and Sonic

Anarchy Reigns, or Max Anarchy as it’s known in Japan, was a drawing quite a crowd during the show and for good reason – it’s PlatinumGames after all. The demo was similar to the E3 code, with a timed four player brawl and multiple characters to choose from. Having wrecked folks at the E3 show with Zero, I thought I’d have another go with Jack and see how I did – not so good this time haha. I didn’t do the worst, but had fun and enjoyed seeing player’s eyes light up with big, signature moves from the characters.

Special Gift – Jack’s Golden Chainsaw was passed out in the form of a thin metal book mark – but it also includes a code to unlock this golden edition within the final game!

Pre-TGS - SEGA Booth

This panoramic shot from the booth gives you a sense of the hallway that goes through the middle. Next to Anarchy Reigns is Puyo-pop, Sonic Generations, Shinobi. It eventually leads back out to Phantasy Star Online 2 and the front area of the SEGA booth.

TGS - Shinobi

Shinobi was quite popular on the floor as well, and I couldn’t help but jump in and play a bit myself. I know this game and play it regularly, so the rep was a bit surprised when they started to tell me how to play, I realized I was actually a bit better than they expected. The gameplay is tight and fluid, it’s fun to pick up and have a go, it was excellent to have another pass at it.

Special Gift – Shinobi featured a glossy sticker from some of the high res art for the game.

TGS - Rhythm Thief

Recently announced Rhythm Thief was on display and was massively fun. The booth area was really slick as well, with many differnet stations set up to play the game, maybe 20 in total. I can’t stop gushing about how much fun the demo was, the only thing I didn’t like was the fact that I couldn’t understand any of the dialog.

The game is a Rhythm game, as the title suggests, but with excellent story told through cutscenes as well as exploration around town. Once you explore the town, you can jump into missions which feature different Rhythm based games. For example, the first section featured dancing with timed swipes of the touch pad for moves. Depending on how well you did, the ranking would go up and you’d be rewarded with a slick animation transition. Another section was almost steath style, as you moved in a museum area after hours and dodged guards. Statues would appear on a side scrolling path and you’d match pose of the statue to evade the guard’s gaze. Really fun and very stylized, it’s a big game on my list for the 3DS.

Special Gift – A tote bag that is amazing and a special gift for Kellie when I return to the office. Check the end of the blog for a photo; so cool! These bags were carried around everywhere on the show floor.

TGS - Phantasy Star Online 2

Phantasy Star Online 2 was packed and for good reason – it’s awesome. As a huge Phantasy Star fan myself, it was great to see the game being played and loved by so many. My roots with the SEGA office are tied to the Phantasy Star Series, so I had a chance to meet a lot of the folks I’ve worked with over the years and watch the game from afar. Really loving the look and feel of the game so far, and as a fanboy, will be watching this title for every update.

Special Gift
– No clue! I regret to say that I spent time with the folks at the booth and didn’t walk away with a giveaway, but did pick of a fantastic shirt from the SEGA on site store, so that evened it out a bit for me…

TGS - Black Panther 2

Black Panther 2 was shown on the floor, as well as the ladies from the game across a fairly extravagant seating area. I’m afraid I didn’t get a chance to play with the game, but the booth was quite crowded and seemed very popular.

Special Gift – Axe Body wipes. No really. They feature a fantastic image of a guy on a subway with a swooning girl on the seat next to him. Photos of this will be postes as soon as I get this back from my friend.

TGS - Nigoshi-san's presentation

Each of the larger companies at TGS had a stage for presentations. Featured above is Nagoshi-san, discussing all elements from the upcoming Binary Domain. There was also a live demo of the voice commands for your squad from the demo on the floor and a longer trailer outlinging the story of the game. Really good presentation, Binary Domain is looking like a fantastic title. The pace of the game is slower, and while I’ve seen comparisons to Vanquish, you’ll find it’s more tactical and team focused, than the PlatinumGames release. The more I see of the game, the more I like it.

The ladies of SEGA TGS

At the end of the show, the girls that were on staff for all of the booths line up for a photo opportunity with media and consumers. I honestly thought this was a joke when someone told me it was going to happen, but sure enough, here it is. As random as this was, it seems the best way to end on the overall show coverage from the SEGA booth!

Special Gifts and Collectibles!

Collectibles and other fun purchased items from the show
So what did we walk away with? So. Much. Amazing. Stuff. Many of these are gifts for friends back in the office, a mix of stuff acquired from demos or purchased from the SEGA store. Not featured in the picture are Sonic stickers, Anarchy Reigns Golden Chainsaws, or Shinobi stickers.

Behind Closed Doors

SEGA Behind Closed Doors / Interview Rooms
Off the floor is actually where I spent the bulk of my time. Working with our overseas business teams, PR teams, and development teams – interviews were performed for various outlets across titles such as Binary Domain, Super Monkey Ball Vita, and of course Sonic Generations.

I asked if I could take photos or blog the stuff behind the scenes, see Wouter’s response below:

No filming, no photos - Wouter says no!
So yea, that’s a no. However, we did bring through a ton of journalists, so expect coverage from the show and the behind closed doors updates from around the web!

Food blog!

Even though this blog is massive already, I’m still going to post food from the past two days – it’s just too delicious out here. Seriously, if nothing else, go to Japan for the food, everything I’ve had has been great.

Dinner - Izakaya - Sashimi

More Izakaya - so so good!

More Izakaya - so so good!

We’ve managed to eat Izakaya twice now on the trip and looking at the photos above, you should have a clear understanding why. The style is a mix of different types of foods, from Sashimi, to sushi, to gyoza, to … well to everything honestly. This is the perfect end of day meal, as we can sit around and relax at a slower pace and order food to share amongst the table. Lots of different things to taste and try.

Wouter and Tokuhara-san

This is a shot from lunch at TGS with Wouter and Tokuhara-san, the producer on Super Monkey Ball Vita. They are both eating shake chicken, or chicken shake … or … Ok, so you get a cup with battered and fried chicken inside and the spice / flavor in as well. Shake the chicken in the cup to mix it all up and eat from there. It’s pretty interesting presentation and both confirmed, quite good as well.

Vending Machine Apple Juice

Vending machines in Japan are everywhere, with all sorts of of flavors and styles. I bought this solely because it was adorable and I’m not even that big of a apple juice! It was still quite good and still many more things to try!

More to come!

If you’ve made it this far – thank you! It’s been really fun to write these updates and I hope you’ve been enjoying them. I’m planning to one more based on today’s activities and general city exploration – we’ll see how that turns out!

If you’ve got questions on anything, do let me know – can’t promise I can answer all, but I’ll be happy to try!

 
   
   
 

Last Chance to Enter our Brick People Contest!

Brick People - iPad

This contest is open to residents of the United States and Canada (excluding Puerto Rico and Quebec) aged 13 years old or older. See below for official contest rules. There is no purchase necessary to enter or to win a prize.

We’re excited to announce a contest for the upcoming iOS game Brick People! At the beginning of Brick People, there is a short introduction video (you can see it below). Your job is to write a story that you feel best matches the video and would be an appropriate storyline for it! Get your creative writing skills flowing and tell us your Brick People story!

YouTube Preview Image

Here are the story submission requirements:

  • If you use names in your story, they must be fictitious; do not use the real/actual name(s) of any person(s) in your story.
  • Do not use brand names, other than the SEGA brand name.
  • Your story must be no shorter than 25 words and no longer than 125 words in length.
  • Your story must be in a written (English language) format and should be prepared in a manner that would be suitable for use as a subtitle treatment for the video.
  • You story (a) must be totally original, not have been previously published or appear anywhere else and CANNOT contain any third party copyrighted or proprietary material; (b) must be suitable for general audiences.

Please see the official rules below for a complete listing of the story submission requirements.

To submit your story, send an e-mail, using the words “Brick People Contest” in the subject line to communityteam@sega.com. You must start the e-mail with the following five points of information about yourself, and then follow this information in the body of the e-mail with your story.

  • First/Last Name
  • Age
  • State/Province
  • E-mail address
  • Phone Number

There is a limit of one Story Submission per person. You must submit your story no later than 10:00 AM US Pacific Time on September 17, 2011.

All of the story submissions will be reviews by a panel of SEGA staff and will be judged equally on 3 points — humor, creativity, and storytelling/composition value. The panel will determine one grand prize winner and two first prize winners.

The grand prize winner will receive a $50 iTunes gift card and will have their story added to the introductory Brick People video via subtitles, and the subtitled video will be published on YouTube and on the SEGA Blog. The two first prize winners will each receive a $25 iTunes gift card.

 

OFFICIAL RULES

Sega of America, Inc.

Tell Us Your Brick People Story

Official Rules

 

There is no purchase necessary to enter or to win a prize.

1) Promotion Description: SEGA® of America, Inc. (“Sponsor”) is offering “Tell Us Your Brick People Story” (“Promotion”) and will award prizes based on judging all eligible entries against the criteria established in these Official Promotion Rules. The Promotion begins at 9:00:00 AM US Pacific Time (“PT”) on September 2, 2011 and the deadline for submission of entries is 10:00:00 AM PT September 17, 2011, (“Submission Entry Period”).

2) Eligibility: Promotion is open to all legal residents of the fifty (50) United States, the District of Columbia (excluding Puerto Rico) and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 13 years of age or older (“Entrants”). Employees, officers and directors of the Sponsor, its parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, advertising, promotional, fulfillment and marketing agencies, (collectively “Promotion Entities”) their immediate families (parent, child, sibling & spouse) and persons living in the same households of such individuals (whether related or not), are not eligible to participate in the Promotion. Void in Puerto Rico, all other US territories and where prohibited by law, rule or regulation. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.

 

3) Creating Your Story – Visit blogs.sega.com or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMVceC-a6Q and view the introductory video for the game Brick People. Compose a story of which you feel best matches the video and would be appropriate as a story line for the video (your “Story Submission”).

Story Submission requirements:

  • If you use names in your Story Submission they must be fictitious; do not use the real/actual name(s) of any person(s) in your Story Submission.
  • Do not use brand names, other than the SEGA brand name.
  • Your Story Submission must be no shorter than twenty-five (25) words and no longer than one hundred twenty-five (125) words in length.
  • Your Story Submission must be a written (English language) format and should be prepared in a manner that would be suitable for use as a subtitle treatment for the video.
  • You Story Submission (a) must be totally original, not have been previously published or appear anywhere else and CANNOT contain any third party copyrighted or proprietary material or otherwise infringe on the intellectual, property or other rights of a third party; (b) must be suitable for general audiences (i.e., may not be obscene, indecent or offensive in any manner to any audience, including but not limited to pornographic, violent, profane or cruel depictions to humans or animals); and (c) must not depict or in any way violate either the spirit or letter of any law or regulation. In Sponsor’s sole opinion, Story Submissions, which do not meet any of these requirements, will be disqualified.

4) How to Enter Your Story Submission – Send an e-mail, using the words “Brick People Contest” in the subject line to: communityteam@sega.com. Start the e-mail with the following five (5) points of information about yourself, and then follow this information in the body of the e-mail with your Story Submission.

First/Last Name

Age

State/Province

E-mail address

Phone Number

There is a limit of one (1) Story Submission per person. By entering, you agree that you are giving Sponsor the right to post your Story Submission on its website and/or public websites where it maintains accounts and you are assigning all ownership and usage rights to your Story Submission to Sponsor in exchange for no compensation of any kind.

5) Judging and Winner Determination: Story Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of Sponsor’s staff (“Judging Panel”) and will be judged equally on the following three (3) points: (a) Humor, (b) creativity, and (c) story-telling/composition value. The Judging Panel will determine one (1) Grand Prize Winner and two (2) First Prize Winners. The decisions of the Judging Panel in all matters relating to this Promotion are final. Judging will be completed on or about September 27, 2011. At Sponsor’s sole discretion, if an inadequate number of entries or entries of inadequate quality are received, Sponsor reserves the right NOT to determine any entries as Grand Prize or First Place Winners or to determine any number of winners fewer than three (3).

6) Prizes: One (1) Grand Prize Winner will receive one (1) $50 iTunes® Gift Card and will have his/her Story Submission added to the introductory Brick People video via subtitle; the subtitled video will be released/published for a limited time on the Sega blog (blogs.sega.com), (“Grand Prize”), Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) $50 USD. Two (2) First Prize Winners will each receive one (1) $25 iTunes Gift Card (“First Prize”), ARV $25. There are a total of three (3) prizes available with a total ARV of $100 USD.

7) Prize Awarding – Potential winners will be contacted within (2) business days of the conclusion of judging by the e-mail address and/or phone number associated with their Story Submission, (“Prize Notification”). Potential winners will be asked to respond within three (3) days with confirmation of prize acceptance and a mailing address for the purposes of prize fulfillment. Failure to respond to the Prize Notification within the state time period or without the requested information will be result in disqualification and forfeiture of the prize. Unclaimed prizes will not be awarded. Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for Sponsor to use winner’s name and likeness for advertising and promotional purposes as Sponsor so determines without notice or further compensation, except where prohibited by law. Prize recipient shall not be permitted to (a) replace his/her designated prize with another prize or item, (b) transfer or assign his/her designated prize to another person or (c) substitute any prize or prize component for cash. In the event of unavailability, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All federal, state, local, and other taxes on prizes, (including any applicable import taxes on prizes) are the sole responsibility of the person accepting the prize.

8 ) General: If, during any period of the Promotion, for reasons beyond the Sponsor’s control (including, but not limited to, tampering or computer virus infection), the Promotion is not capable of running as originally planned, the Sponsor, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to cancel or modify the Promotion, without liability and to the extent feasible, will determine winners and award prizes among entries received prior to cancellation or modification. Sponsor is not responsible for Internet, computer hardware and software, phone, and other technical errors, malfunctions, and delays. Entries, which are incomplete, inaccurate, irregular, or otherwise not in compliance with these Official Rules, are void. All Entrants agree to comply fully with each provision in these Official Rules. Any person attempting to defraud or in any way tamper with this Promotion and any person who does not comply with these Official Rules, will be ineligible for any prize(s) and may be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Without in any way limiting, expanding or amending the Terms of Service at http://www.sega.com/legal/terms.php which Terms of Service policy shall remain in full force and effect, if Sponsor is duly notified that any element of an Entrant’s Story Submission infringes upon the rights of another person and/or receives a legally valid request to remove the affected Story Submission because of such infringement, such Story Submission may be removed and disqualified from the Promotion, as Sponsor may determine in its sole discretion. Further, no Entrant will be eligible to receive a prize unless Sponsor determines, in its sole and absolute discretion, that such entrant’s Story Submission has been or can be sufficiently cleared for legal purposes and such Entrant has complied with the terms of these Official Rules.

Past experience has shown a promotion such as this one may generate similar submissions which closely resemble concepts and ideas developed by the Promotion Entities whether before, during or after the Promotion. Entrants may see a presentation, which seemingly incorporates an idea or concept or includes materials similar to that contained in their entry (e.g., Story Submission). Any similarity may be purely coincidental and is always unavoidable in light of the volume of ideas, which the Promotion Entities routinely consider in the course of their content development. Consequently, the Promotion Entities must, and have adopted policies and procedures to protect themselves from potential liability and claims and as part of these Official Rules requires all Entrants (and, if eligible minors, their parents or legal guardians) to agree that: (a) the Promotion Entities may use any and all ideas, concepts, material and expression, in whole or in part, submitted or contained in a Promotion entry, or other material you submit, including, without limitation, the Story Submissions and all copyrights and other intellectual property rights therein; and (b) all entries and entry materials become the property of Sponsor and will not be returned.

9) Right to Use Your Work and Information About You: By participating, you: (a) represent and warrant that your Story Submission is wholly original, not previously published, and does not incorporate or include anything that is owned by any third party or would require the consent of any third party and your Entry does not violate any copyright, trademark, publicity right, privacy right or any other right of any third party; (b) automatically grant to Sponsor a non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty-free, irrevocable license to use, reproduce, create derivative works from, modify, publish, edit, translate, distribute and display your Story Submission; (c) agree that upon selection as a winner of any prize, you agree that your Story Submission shall legally be considered a “work made for hire,” with all rights therein, including, without limitation, the exclusive copyright, transferred to and being the property of Sponsor; (d) in the event your Story Submission is considered not to be a “work made for hire,” you irrevocably assign to Sponsor, all right, title, and interest in and to your Story Submission (including, without limitation, the copyright) in any and all media whether now known or hereafter devised, in perpetuity, anywhere in the world, with the right to make any and all uses thereof, including, without limitation, for purposes of advertising or trade; and (e) agree that by entering your Story Submission, you grant to Sponsor the right to sell and otherwise distribute your Story Submission on any of its websites or in any of its products without any compensation. The rights granted under this paragraph shall extend to Sponsor and its indirect and direct parent companies and their respective affiliated companies with respect to all entries and all other submitted materials related to the Promotion, including those submitted by non-winners and winners.

By submitting a Story Submission, you grant to Sponsor, its parent and affiliated companies the right, except where prohibited by law, to use your name, likeness, picture, address (city and state), voice, biographical information, the Story Submission in your entry and written or oral statements, for advertising and promotional purposes in promoting or publicizing Sponsor, its products or services, without compensation unless required by law. You shall have no right of approval, no claim to compensation, and no claim (including, without limitation, claims based on invasion of privacy, defamation, or right of publicity) arising out of any use, blurring, alteration, or use in composite form of your name, picture, likeness, address (city and state), e‑mail address, biographical information, or entry. The rights granted under this paragraph shall extend to Sponsor, its parent, and affiliated companies with respect to all Entrants in the Promotion, including non-winners and winners. Sponsor, however, does not have any obligation to use the winning or non-winning entries for any purpose.

10) Release of Liability and Issues of Law: By participating in the Promotion, all Entrants release Sponsor and its indirect and direct parent companies and their respective affiliates, partners, subsidiaries, officers, directors, agents, employees and all entities associated with the development and execution of this Promotion from any and all liability with respect to and in any way arising from (i) participating in this Promotion, (ii) acceptance or use of prizes, (iii) any injury or damage to an Entrant’s or third person’s computer related to or resulting from the Promotion, the Entries and/or its prizes, and (iv) damage to a user’s computer system (including, without limitation, any server failure or lost, delayed or corrupted data or other malfunction) due, either directly or indirectly, to an Entrant’s participation in the Promotion or downloading of information in connection with the Promotion. The Sponsor reserves the right to modify or cancel the Promotion in the event that any portion of any website used to administer any aspect of the Promotion becomes technically corrupted.

All Federal, state and local laws and regulations are applicable. THE CALIFORNIA COURTS (STATE AND FEDERAL) SHALL HAVE SOLE JURISDICTION OF ANY CONTROVERSIES REGARDING THE PROMOTION AND THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA SHALL GOVERN THE PROMOTION. EACH ENTRANT WAIVES ANY AND ALL OBJECTIONS TO JURISDICTION AND VENUE IN THOSE COURTS AND HEREBY SUBMITS TO THE JURISDICTION OF THOSE COURTS. The Promotion is void where restricted or prohibited by law.

11) Winners List: Winners will be announced at blogs.sega.com on or about October 3, 2011.

12) Sponsor: SEGA of America, Inc., 350 Rhode Island Street, STE 400, San Francisco, CA 94103.

Promotion Administrator: Extra Mile Marketing, 16611 N. 91st Street, STE 106, Scottsdale, AZ 85260-1523.

 
   
   
 

Ron Fish Brings Rise of Nightmares to Life with a Haunting Musical Score

Rise of Nightmares Logo

Rise of Nightmares is out now, and we’ve seen comments from so many of you that you are enjoying it. If you liked the music you heard while playing, you have  Ron Fish to thank for it. Fish, who has worked on a number of blockbuster videogame titles during his career, created music that evokes unprecedented levels of tension and terror in our  Kinect-exclusive horror title.

“Rise of Nightmares is designed to be a very intense, visceral and memorable experience,” said Darren Williams, Senior Director  of Marketing at SEGA of America . “It takes a certain type of musical score to capture the ambiance necessary to bring this world to life. After hearing it for the first time we knew immediately that we had something special. Ron’s talent is widely recognized in the industry, and he has created a fantastic piece of art for Rise of Nightmares.”

Rise of Nightmares E3 Screens

Ron Fish has spent a number of years creating sound designs and scores for a wide variety of films and video games. He brought his award-winning musical composition skills to a number of incredibly popular and successful videogame titles, such as the God of War franchise, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and other blockbuster titles. His work on God of War earned him a number of accolades including an award from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. He finished his work scoring Rise of Nightmares earlier this summer, helping to create a revolutionary horror experience on Kinect for the Xbox 360.

“It soon became clear that this game would require a score that would meld the style of old horror films while invoking modern writing styles,” said Ron Fish. “The result is a blend of sound design and orchestra, creating a powerful musical statement that immerses the player in the intense and dark world of Rise of Nightmares.”

Rise of Nightmares E3 Screens

Rise of Nightmares creates a cinematic, story-driven world filled with buckets of blood and copious amounts of gore. Through a unique experience using Kinect for Xbox 360 players must survive a hellish night as they fight to survive against undead enemies, deadly traps, and one mind-warped madman. With over 40 weapons to choose from, including chainsaws, meat hammers, acid pumps, hedge shears, power saws and their bare hands, players must rip their foes limb from limb in order to save their kidnapped wife and make it out alive. Rise of Nightmares allows players to experience the game like all horror games should be played: in the dark, with only the glow of their television to light their path. While accurate motion controls and unique contextual gestures that allow players to use their whole bodies to fight off the undead horde with physical brutality, creates an intensely immersive experience that brings the genre to a whole new level.

Rise of Nightmares is available exclusively on Kinect for Xbox 360 and is in stores now.

 
   
   
 


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