Denise McDonald Dorman

Posts Tagged ‘Videogame’

Our Version of a Secret Society: The S.H.I.T.S.

In Life Observations on June 4, 2010 at 5:28 pm

One night I was on Ooovoo.com, doing a live Webcast on the topic of  “What I’d Do Differently” with 5 other women. My business phone rang in the background, so I ducked out of the Webcam shot for a moment to answer it. Reporting in were my Kotex Mafia, BFF Christina Bouvier, and our old Texan tennis drinkin’ buddy, Misty. They two of them had been imbibing–which is usually when they came up with these rock solid ideas–and decided we needed to start our own secret society.  In the meantime, my image online looked like the opening graphic to The Brady Bunch, with my talking head missing in action.

I ducked back into the Webcam shot, while still trying to speak to them out the side of my mouth like a ventriloquist. The electronic feedback gave me away,  disrupting the Webcast. In 30 seconds’ time, I helped them “brand” the club, which is what I do regularly for clients, so the hard part was done. I christened us the S.H.I.T.S.  (Shenanigans, Hijinks, Immaturity and Tomfoolery Society).  It was official. (I was never asked again to do a Webcast with that group of 5 woman, so my disappearing act must have created some discord.)

The first S.H.I.T. Tuesday meeting was just us…three kindred spirits. We jammed out to a competitive game of Rock Band and we wrote our S.H.I.T. S. Magna Carta.  That evening, as part of her hazing, Misty shared a personally embarrassing story. It certainly made me rethink any desire I once might have had to take up running. You see, Misty runs long distance every morning before sun up. Invariably, this agitates her bowels like gym shoes in a dryer. One morning she was just two houses away from home when she realized she could no longer hold it. She pulled one ass cheek of her silky micro running shorts aside and let that steaming missile drop like a WWII bomb over Dresden. Within a day, her husband was reporting that the neighborhood was abuzz with rumors of a potential coyote, wolf or bear who left its calling card in the neighbor’s front lawn.

So…lesson learned. If  my flat feet are preventing me from plopping biohazardous material in my neighbors’ yards, it’s likely for the best.

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Unbound Saga’s Creator on His New Game & Eating Pasta Salad with Steven Spielberg in the Hamptons

In Entertainment, Uncategorized, WriteBrain Media on July 5, 2009 at 4:35 pm

One of the hottest games to come out of this year’s Comic-Con will be “Unbound Saga.” WriteBrain Media interviewed The Devil’s Candy Store member Mike Kennedy on his new comic (through Dark Horse Comics) and videogame (through Vogster Entertainment).

Denise Dorman: Mike, can you tell us what this graphic novel and videogame are about?

Mike Kennedy: UNBOUND SAGA, the video game, is an old-school, arcade-style, side-scrolling brawler like Streets of Rage or Final Fight from back in the good old 16-bit days. In it, you play as RICK AJAX, a typical comic book tough guy wandering the streets of Toxopolis, a typical comic book dystopia. The thing is, Rick knows he’s a comic book character, and is fully aware of the fact that his daily life is dictated by the whims of “The Maker,” the mysterious, omniscient giant hand that constantly draws him into ridiculous adventure after ridiculous adventure. And after 30 years of this nonsense, he has had enough. So you take him on an twisted Wizard of Oz journey through 10 episodes of bizarre adventures and oddball enemies in an effort to meet The Maker and square off once and for all.

DD: I’m told it’s a lot of “insider” humor for those who really know the comic book industry?

MK: Yeah, it’s totally tongue-in-cheek, satirizing comics and video games equally. The fictional history is that “Unbound Saga”, the comic Rick inhabits, has been around since the 70’s, and has seen its fair share of reinventions over the years, from black and white indie status, to talking animal zoo-crew versions, to foil-covered Jim Lee variants and Manga versions… Now after 30 years, they are making yet another come back with a brand new reinvention from the fine folks at Dark Horse Comics and Vogster Entertainment, and hey –! Now they got a video game to boot!

DD: Are these the first pieces in a continuing series? Are there plans for the next book and game?

MK: We sure hope so! With 30 years of bogus history to these characters and this brand, there are a ton of misadventures to tell. While this initial launch will provide a fun gaming experience on the Sony PSP, and a fun first-issue comic to read, we’re hopeful that it will click with the market so we can keep playing with these action figures in the sandbox. There’s no end to the hijinx these characters can rustle up, be it in comic form, game form, cartoon form, shrinky-dink form, whatever…

DD: How does it feel to have a property that is completely your fingerprint?

MK: Well, in all fairness, it has taken a ton of talented people to get this thing where it’s at. There’s a whole team of brilliant programmers and artists behind the package, not to mention amazing voice actors and musicians, etc. Beyond the cutting edge code and dazzling graphics, I just made sure the game design fit a fun story and script. As producer, I was able to coach the team and, in many cases, select who’s on the team and what kind of contractors would best fit the brand. And we got some great talent attached to the title: Cliff Richards’s providing comic art, David Lodge bringing Rick’s voice to life, Jason Novak’s music setting the mood and tone… all of those things came together in complete harmony. As writer, I also made sure the script and storyline were as fun and colorful as possible. (And being both writer AND producer made it easier to drive all those pieces towards the same vision and goal…)

DD: How did you come up with the concept for “Unbound Saga”? Was it a single incident, or series of incidents that made you think of it? Do you recall where you were when you came up with the idea?

MK: The concept grew out of the tech demo the team had put together, with a bit of our love of comics thrown in to make it complete. The core game engine was in place, with some fun arcade-style brawling in place, but the characters and storyline came out of some outside-the-box brainstorming mixed with a heaping load of 4-color nostalgia. We came up with a half-dozen different concepts we could shoehorn into this solid brawling engine, and this self-aware comic-tough-guy concept just floated to the top of the list.

DD: Will we see your game and graphic novel at San Diego Comic-Con this year?

MK: Absolutely! The comic hits the shelves July 1st, released by the good guys at Dark Horse Comics, so we’ll be showcasing it at their booth in San Diego with banners, graphics, and most likely a couple of signings. The comic features some pretty heavy hitters in the biz, including Joseph Michael Linser and Leinil Yu, so we’re hoping to have them available for signings as well. The game is released July 16th on the PlayStation Network, so it will be brand-spankin’-new for the big show the week after. We’ll also have a number of exciting giveaways and presentations going on, although at the moment I’m not 100% sure what. (Note: Become a fan of the Unbound Saga Facebook page for news and updates!)

DD: What kinds of collectibles can the fans look forward to?

MK: In addition to the comic, we’re producing a GORGEOUS collectable statuette of the two main characters, RICK AJAX and LORI MACHETE. Coldcast polystone, handpainted, they’re NICE. The limited run is initially being considered for sales incentives, contest giveaways, and collectability. We should have them on display at San Diego as well (or check the Facebook page for more info).

DD: Aside from “Unbound Saga,” do you have any other books coming out?

MK: Unbound Saga has taken a pretty good chunk of mindshare this past year, but I’m turning attention to a couple of other projects that went dormant in the meantime. I’m hoping to do more Aliens vs Predator (negotiations in the works), as well as one or two personal projects that have been underway for a while. If all goes well, one or two of these should be on the shelves by 2010.

DD: When you’re not creating, what do you do for fun?

MK: You mean when I’m not ‘working’?  Probably playing video games. But frankly, for me, creating IS fun. If I can spend a Saturday working on a personal comic project, I’m a happy camper.

DD: Which other videogame properties have you worked on?

MK: The list goes back quite a ways… back before Playstation, before 3D GI, back before CD-ROM even! Some of the most recognizable titles (for game geeks and aficionados) would include MIGHT AND MAGIC, FLASHBACK, LEMMINGS, LODE RUNNER, ARMY MEN, DEAD TO RIGHTS, and most recently DEF JAM: ICON.

DD: What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened to you while producing a videogame?

MK: Ya know, directing voice talent has always been the most fun part of the job, and I’ve been privileged to work with some amazing names. But one memory I will take to my grave is eating pasta salad in Steven Spielberg’s kitchen at his home in the Hamptons after pitching him a video game idea. (He loved the pitch and greenlit the project, but the title was never released, sadly enough…) Yeah, those fleeting few hours make the other 99.9% of the hard work somehow worthwhile…

Stan Bush, Who Wrote “The Touch”, the Transformer Fans Anthem, Now in Guitar Hero

In Uncategorized on May 28, 2009 at 6:32 pm

For Information, Contact:
Kelvin Liu
Publicist
Activision, Inc.
310-255-2213
kelvin.liu@activision.com

ACTIVISION UNLEASHES THE
TRANSFORMERS™: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN GAME AT BOTCON 2009

Santa Monica, CA – May 28, 2009 – Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) announced today that the Transformers™: Revenge of the Fallen video game will be showcased at BotCon 2009, the official TRANSFORMERS fan convention, which is being held at the Pasadena Convention Center from May 28 – 31. Consumers can visit the Activision booth and be among the first to play the highly anticipated video game, which was developed under license from Hasbro, Inc., and participate in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen multiplayer challenges for prizing. In addition, consumers will have the chance to jam to the latest downloadable track for Guitar Hero® World Tour, “The Touch” from Stan Bush, which is available now for free from Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®Store for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and as a single for Wii™.

“We are thrilled to bring the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen video game to the thousands of fervent Transformer fans attending BotCon,” said Rob Kostich, head of marketing for licensed properties, Activision Publishing, Inc. “It’s the perfect opportunity for us to give them a chance to experience massive multiplayer battles as their favorite robots before the game launches on June 23.”
In support of the new Guitar Hero® track release, Stan Bush will make an appearance in the Activision booth on Saturday, May 30 from 2:00-3:00pm and Sunday, May 31 from 11:00am-12:00pm PDT to rock out to the new DLC with fans.

“I’m very excited that “The Touch” will be available as Guitar Hero DLC and I really appreciate all of the fan support,” said Stan Bush. “I hope people enjoy playing the single and keep on rockin!”

For more information and to receive exclusive updates on the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen video game, visit http://www.TransformersGame.com. For more information on BotCon 2009, please visit http://www.BotCon.com.

About HASBRO
Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children’s and family leisure time products and services with a rich portfolio of brands and entertainment properties that provides some of the highest quality and most recognizable play and recreational experiences in the world. As a brand-driven, consumer-focused global company, Hasbro brings to market a range of toys, games and licensed products, from traditional to high-tech and digital, under such powerful brand names as TRANSFORMERS, PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, CRANIUM and WIZARDS OF THE COAST. Come see how we inspire play through our brands at http://www.hasbro.com. (C) 2009 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

About Activision Publishing, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.

Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands and Australia. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company’s website, http://www.activision.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Publishing’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Activision Publishing generally uses words such as “outlook,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “might,” “remains,” “to be,” “plans,” “believes,” “may,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “estimate,” future,” “plan,” “positioned,” “potential,” “project,” “remain,” “scheduled,” “set to,” “subject to,” “upcoming” and similar expressions to help identify forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause Activision Publishing’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include, but are not limited to, sales levels of Activision Publishing’s titles, shifts in consumer spending trends, the impact of the current macroeconomic environment, the seasonal and cyclical nature of the interactive game market, Activision Publishing’s ability to predict consumer preferences among competing hardware platforms (including next-generation hardware), declines in software pricing, product returns and price protection, product delays, retail acceptance of Activision Publishing’s products, adoption rate and availability of new hardware and related software, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, litigation against Activision Publishing, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers, vendors and third-party developers, domestic and international economic, financial and political conditions and policies, foreign exchange rates, integration of recent acquisitions and the identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities, Activision Blizzard’s success in integrating the operations of Activision Publishing and Vivendi Games in a timely manner, or at all, and the combined company’s ability to realize the anticipated benefits and synergies of the transaction to the extent, or in the timeframe, anticipated, and the other factors identified in Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Activision Publishing and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Activision Publishing nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision Publishing or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.

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HASBRO and its logo, TRANSFORMERS and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2009 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. © 2009 Dreamworks, L.L.C. and Paramount Pictures Corporation. Paramount and the Paramount logo are trademarks of Paramount. TM © 2009 Paramount. All Rights Reserved. Game © 2009 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision is a registered trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.

Guitar Hero World Tour © 2009 Activision Publishing, Inc. Guitar Hero, Activision and RedOctane are registered trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.