02/25/2011

Game Developers Conference, Giant Robot, Attract Mode, & A Cat Eating A Hamburger

by Matthew Hawkins

So here’s the deal: I’m not going to be in San Francisco next week for GDC after-all. Yup. I know. Lots of folks were either looking forward to an on the scene report, or simply hoping to hang; trust me, the feel is mutual. Needless to say, I’m pretty bummed about the situation; it always sucks having to pass, though the reasons this time around… which are purely related to finances… is what bites the most. Especially since everyone has been quick to point out that flights to San Fran are dirt cheap on Jet Blue at the moment, plus I had a few couches to crash on. Coupled with how I was amongst the first batch of lucky game journalists to get a press pass (they don’t pass them around like candy or anything like that) and it’s all the more frustrating.

Each GDC promises to be awesome (and often turns out to be), but this one especially so since it’s the 25th anniversary. Hence why the guest card is stacked to an ungodly degree; I remember when I first told Simon that I might not be able to make it, he spilled the beans on the headline attraction (who had been yet to be revealed) as a means to motivate me to get my ass out there no matter what. And as everyone knows already by now, that super star is Yu motherf’n Suzuki, a person who is easily up there in my top ten list of influential human beings in my lifetime. To be in the same breathing space as the man that created Virtua Racing and Virtua Fighter would be to touch the hand of God…

Another thing is all the cool stuff that goes down around the conference, all the parties and the like. Aside from hoping to enjoy another debauched evening, courtesy of that collectable card game company whose name escapes me (that was the party at GDC 08 in which you had midgets dressed as Ghostbusters with primary colored booze in their proton packs that they sprayed in party-goers mouths, underaged female GDC volunteers topless and being whipped by some dude in S&M garb, Klingons, some of the best chicken wings ever, and me yelling at some AM radio DJ that wanted to steal my friend’s seat, and whom I totally went off on her when she tried appealing to my group of pals with her “I like to fuck nerd” shtick), mostly wanted to be there for the hottest after-all hour ticket in town. I’m talking about the opening reception of Game Over 4 at Giant Robot San Francisco!

The talent pool assembled will surely impress, and included are some very dear friends of mine. Many of you know already of whom I speak of, and have even seen their handiwork; first over at GameSetWatch, and more recently at Kotaku! But the one thing that most are not aware of (unless you’ve seen me mention it on Tumblr) is how these fine works of art are courtesy of Attract Mode. There’s actually three in total, and they’ll be for sale at the Attract Mode shop shortly after their debut in San Francisco!!!

Adam and I haven’t made the big formal announcement yet simply because, well, Farel Dalrymple is still putting the finishing touches on the third and final piece as I type this. But trust me, it’s gonna be awesome, right up there with the other two. UPDATE: It’s finally arrived, and… oh man… scroll down to bask in its glory.

First, and for those who have yet to check it out another, we have Cory Schmitz‘s heartfelt tribute to my favorite system of all time as well, the Sega Saturn…

Next is Hilary Florido‘s gorgeous Tetris inspired image that’s been making the rounds, which is inspired by the back-story of Korobeiniki, the Russian folk song that everyone knows from the Game Boy game…

And last but not least is Farel’s ode to futuristic cats and the consoles they’ll be enjoying, along with the dangers that they’ll contain…

It really kills Adam and I that we can’t be there for the opening. Sadly, neither will Hilary or Farel be in attendance either. But if you’re in San Fran next week for the big convention, or are just in town for some other form of business or pleasure… or maybe perhaps you simply live in the area… please be sure to stop by. The reception is a week from tonight, March 4th. Actually, one of us will be present: Cory! Make sure you also say hello to the guy and remind him of how awesome he is.

Again, shortly after their debut at Giant Robot, each will be available at the Attract Mode store. UPDATE: Just got word from Adam that prints will actually be available for purchase at the gallery as well!

Oh, so another main reason why I can’t leave NYC is simply due to how I have a ton on my plate, many responsibilities and obligations to full-fill. Hey, when duty calls and all. In addition to orchestrating the next round of prints, the past couple of weeks have seen me trying to keep the Attract Mode blog nice and active again (so Adam can concentrate on some major initiatives and projects that is sure to blow everyone’s minds when they’re finally revealed… get ready). Past posts, again for those who might have missed them, have included a closer look at the Famicar that Adam helped to create for the Giant Robot X Scion event from late last year…

… along with a look at the work of Kyle Fewell

I guess it’s also worth mentioning that Hilary and Dave Mauro‘s custom arcade cabinets have been officially listed in the store as well! But yeah, got some other stuff that I’ll be passing along the AM blog in coming weeks. I’ve also begun to finally increase my presence at other places, which in some instances and respects has been way overdue…

For example, haven’t filed a movie review for GameSetWatch, but trust me, the first of quite a few will be up soon! BTW, apologies to those that have sent me DVD screens over the past couple of months; trust me when I say that I feel pretty shitty about it. Though I did file a new game oriented theater review recently, on something called The Wii Plays. For those of you in NYC that missed out… eh, it was for the best.

I’ve also begun contributing to Mecha Damashii again! I’m working on another review for the site, a retro review to be exact! But while everyone waits for that, here’s a recent post centered on a Macross pachinko featuring some absurdly amazing animation.

Some folks might be shocked to hear that, yes, I still write for Heavy.com. These days, I mostly just pass along YouTube clips; it’s by far my most “mainstream” outlet, and I must treat it as such. Though I’m somewhat able to sneak in the wacky kind of shit that floats my boat; recent favorites include Russian Mortal Kombat, why religion and Pokemon should never mix, some kid who deep fries his PSP and actually eats it, plus the trailer to Akiba Strip.

There’s also my Twitter of course, which is where I do most of ranting and raving these days. Sorry to those who miss my long-winded and excessively verbose anti-subway and Apple zombie rants around these parts. Anyhow, it’s also where I deliver breaking news. New Sega hardware? YES!

And then you have all the Tumblrs I maintain; on the New York Cable Access front, things have actually been rather quiet. Hey, prepping all those screenshots the way I do takes time! Though I’ve also been actively communicating to folks for the past two weeks as a result of my TV Party report, which I reposted here as some might recall. Basically, many luminaries from the world of local cable access have reached out to me, and all of a sudden, I’m thinking of evolving my goofy like side project into something a bit more substantial (as also somewhat hinted in the past as well). While I work on that, keep an eye out for interviews with a few of these personalities, with the very first one up being Zenbock!

Been trying to keep Photo Dump active with a steady mix of past favorites, along with a few choice cuts that I believe have never made the blog. Like the proposed book cover for that game design book I was working on, till the publisher decided to axe the project. Remember that?

Last but not least is the Repository of Random. That one is easily the most active since it’s super easy to find and repost yuks that I came across (I think at this point I’m following about 100 different Tumblrs; to say my Google Reader is out of control is an understatement). For those who haven’t been keeping up, recent standouts in the still images category includes…

… Bonus moving images number one and number two, and number three.

And of course, what rundown of random is complete without a look at the best videos that I’ve stumbled across recently? Recent faves include…

- By far the greatest second coming of Christ flick ever (or at least it appears to be).

- Once again, God bless Ugandan cinema.

- And God bless this unholy union of ketchup and robotics as well!

- Mystery Science Theater 3000 redone in Russia.

- Lightsabers make everything extra awesome, even an argument between two old French farmers.

- Speaking of the French…

- Advice on how to drive up one’s page rank, in the form of a rap.

- Absolutely hypnotic, dare I say even haunting? Kinda helps if you’re familiar with the original, but not really.

- I normally don’t find cutesy vids starring babies the least bit entertaining, but this one made me lol.

- Watch a trained ninja water completely decimate… a bunch of soda bottles filled with water in his backyard.

- No one does comedy quite like the Japanese.

- And no one does Italian food like the Japanese either.

- The ultimate Soulja Boy X Dragon Ball Z mash-up.

- Related: Joe “Bean” Esposito X random mecha as an AMV.

- I am absolutely obsessed with animu dorks that give tours of their living abodes.

- Warning: this clip is either super cute or profoundly depressing depending on your point of view.

- No joke; am legitimately impressed by this weirdo’s VCR collection.

- Another home-run courtesy of Wendy Vanity.

- Want to know what a good time looks like? Here you go.

- I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Though it’s there’s something oddly SNES-like when it comes to the barks?

- Sticking with animals, this one has been making the rounds, and for good reason: pretty much the cutest thing ever.

- And finally, courtesy of the Electric Ant Zine’s Ryan Sands no less; what happens when a couple of bored teenagers get their hands on some VCRs, keyboards, Game Boys, and some John Woo.

… Guess that’s it for now. I’ll be glued to my Macbook like so many others all of next week and will definitely file a GDC-specific report at a certain point. Till then, keep those eyes and ears open, cuz stuff is a happening!

  • billy

    oh man i love your journal. i wanna enter your NMH contest! keep on rockin’, xoxo

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