Thursday Jul 19, 2012
Last week, a bunch of us from team SEGA were in San Diego for Comic Con. We had an arcade set up across the street from the convention, where Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and Aliens Colonial Marines were both playable.
One entire wall of the arcade was Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, where players got to sit in special racing chairs while they played.
Many people stopped to get their photo taken with the Sonic statue outside the arcade.
There was always a line to play Aliens Colonial Marines multiplayer with the SEGA and Gearbox teams.
We also had the Alien queen prop make her return to our event space.
We saw several people in SEGA costumes, including this dashing Rhythm Thief costume.
Although not a SEGA costume, I thought this Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man costume was very well done. When Sonic stood next to him, it totally made my day.
We also had a special signing in our arcade! Acclaimed futurist Syd Mead was there on Friday to sign limited edition prints of the Sulaco from Aliens.
We work very hard at these events, but we also like to hang out and have fun. This is (bottom to top): Matt (producer for The Cave and Aliens Colonial Marines multiplayer), Carl (video editor), Mia (digital marketing coordinator), and Ken (digital brand manager) hanging out on the steps outside the arcade.
Some of the team working on Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed enjoying a glass of wine (we were at the San Diego Wine and Culinary Center, after all) once the SEGA Arcade closed on Sunday. This is (L-R) Derrek (brand manager), Aaron (associate brand manager), and Kellie (community manager).
One of the things we spent the first few days of Comic Con doing was putting together all the gift bags for Sonic Boom attendees. Each bag got a t-shirt, a comic, and a Sonic hat. Assembly was a major operation that never would have happened without everyone pitching in to organize, stuff, tape, and pack all the bags into boxes to be taken to House of Blues.
We started by dumping about 30 boxes of Sonic hats out. It’s a lot of hats.
This is just some of the bags we worked on. You might be able to see a whole other pile in the upper right corner of the photo. There were bags EVERYWHERE in our arcade storage area.
A close-up view of some of the many bags that would soon be given away.
While I was running around inside trying to make sure we were ready for all of our guests, Julian (aka ClumsyOrchid) was outside handing out gift bags to eager fans.
Once fans were inside and had their gift bags, they could play some Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and grab some dinner. One of the more popular items was the pizza, although we also had burgers and tacos available. Later in the night we had cookies and cheesecake. (Aaron and I saw that cheesecake was an option, and we just had to have it!)
Sonic Boom kicked off with an amazing concert from Crush 40 with special guests JP and Alex from Cash Cash. This is Jun Senoue rocking out.
Johnny Gioeli sang to the crowd, and the crowd sang along back.
JP and Alex rocked out some of their Sonic songs as well as some of their Cash Cash songs.
Toward the end of the concert, one lucky fan dressed as Amy was invited to come up on stage and sing with the band.
Later in the night, we had our costume contest. As you can see, there were a bunch of people in all different types of costumes!
Iizuka-san and Jun Senoue were some of the judges for the costume contest, along with Steve Lycett, Executive Producer of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed from Sumo Digital.
Steve announced the winners of the contest.
This amazing Mecha Sonic took 1st place.
This Eggman won 2nd. I think introducing himself in Japanese really helped sway the crowd and judges.
All of our hearts were stolen by this baby Tails, who took 3rd place.
6 lucky fans were drawn randomly to come on stage and answer trivia. The two trivia teams were led by Ken Balough (digital brand manager) and Steve Lycett. There were 15 questions from all over the Sonic universe. (Take the quiz yourself to see how you would have done!) Ultimately, it was Steve’s team that took home the trophies.
After the trivia contest, we got down to the exciting announcements. We showed a trailer of the NiGHTS into dreams level of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, including NiGHTS as a playable character. We were honored to have Lynne Triplett (better known as TRiPPY) from the NiGHTSIntoDreams site at Sonic Boom to get on stage with Steve Lycett to show this footage. Some of you may remember the “Don’t Forget NiGHTS” campaign she and DiGi waged for the Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing game… well it only felt right to have her at our event to talk about it finally happening.
We also showed off the latest trailer for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, which included the US release date.
After that, we were excited to have Rich Moore, the director of the upcoming Disney film “Wreck-It Ralph”, on stage to show clips from the movie. We got to see Eggman as well as Sonic make cameos! Rich was then joined by Steve Lycett to announce that Wreck-It Ralph would be a playable character in Sonic & All-Stars Racing. We showed a clip of Ralph and his vehicles in the game.
The final announcement of the night was not so much an announcement, as it was a confirmation. Ken Balough got on stage to show a tongue-in-cheek trailer confirming that Sonic Adventure 2 was “leaking” on to consoles this fall. You have to be able to laugh at yourself, and that’s exactly what we did.
Thanks again to all the fans who came to Sonic Boom and made it an incredible success!
It all started with cheesecake. But it’s now tradition for us to end our event wrap-ups with some food photos (and sometimes, we post them just for fun). You guys seem to really like them, so here’s some of the things we ate while we were in San Diego.
This is the peanut butter and banana stuffed french toast from Cafe 222 in downtown San Diego. It was basically around the corner from our arcade, and it’s a place I try to go to every year. This particular batch was TRiPPY’s, who wholeheartedly approved of it.
San Diego has some great Mexican food, and these street tacos from Las Hadas were no exception. They have $2 tacos on Tuesday nights (aka “Taco Tuesday”), so we were happy to take some off their hands. My friend that lives in San Diego raved about these, and she was right on.
Last year, we went to a different Mexican place, called Fred’s, where Aaron did their ice cream challenge. If you eat 8 scoops of ice cream, 8 churros, and the bunch of toppings that come on it all by yourself, you get it for free. Aaron ate the whole thing! However, there was no repeat performance this year. But since we didn’t show you the photos last year, and it’s a “pix or it didn’t happen” moment, here’s some (slightly dark, sorry) photos to prove it.
Pretty impressive, huh?
We also found a great Italian restaurant called De’Medici, where this seafood pasta was enjoyed by a few of us. Sean, one of our Aliens Colonial Marines cosplayers, also had an espresso martini here that he proclaimed to be “truly fantastic”.
Julian has some family in the area, and found these incredible-looking strawberry granola pancakes while out to breakfast with them. He says they tasted as good as they look.
Thanks to everyone who came to our arcade, to Sonic Boom, or were there with us in spirit. We love meeting you guys. Until next time!
Special thanks to Andrew Wong and Christian Gausin (aka SuperSonicX01) for taking so many great photos at the events. If you’d like to see the rest of our photos, check out our Comic Con and Sonic Boom sets on Flickr. If you have photos you’d like to send us, we’d love to see them! You can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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