Tag - events

MonsterPalooza 2017 Photo Gallery

MonsterPalooza once again graced the Pasadena Convention Center with its presence. This year, the convention saw “Freddy Kruger” himself, Robert Englund, in attendance as well as Cassandra Peterson and many others. The convention had some terrific celebrity signing tables setup, and the main floor of the convention center was lined with exhibitors selling their Halloween/monster/genre related wares. There were booths from people like theatrical makeup company Ben Nye to silicone mask makers Immortal Masks. This year also saw the return of the museum which housed all manner of scary creations. While not being “scary” in the traditional sense, the sculpt of Robert Shaw as Quint from JAWS was easily the most striking. Check out the photo gallery below for a look! If you would like to attend MonsterPalooza in future years, check out their official website.

Photo Gallery

Star Wars Forces of Destiny Animated Shorts Announced

Glendale, Calif. (April 12, 2017 – 9:00PM PST) – Disney and Lucasfilm today announced Star Wars Forces of Destiny, a new initiative celebrating the inspiring stories of iconic heroes from across the Star Warsuniverse. An original series of animated shorts (each 2-3 minutes in length) will explore exciting, all new adventures of key characters including Rey, Jyn Erso, Sabine Wren, Princess Leia, Ahsoka Tano and others, ahead of books and a TV special later in the year. The stories will also be supported by a line of toys from Hasbro, including new ‘Adventure Figures’ – a fusion between traditional dolls and action figures, creating a whole new way to play Star Wars.

“Star Wars Forces of Destiny is for anyone who has been inspired by Leia’s heroism, Rey’s courage, or Ahsoka’s tenacity,” said Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm. “We’re thrilled that so many of the original actors are reprising their roles in these shorts which capture the small moments and everyday decisions that shape who these characters are. It is a fun new way for people to experience Star Wars.”

Developed by Lucasfilm Animation, Star Wars Forces of Destiny will remain true to the Star Wars canon, showing how choices both big and small ultimately shape the destinies of beloved characters. Launching in July, the animated micro-series will be available on Disney YouTube ahead of a two-part TV special featuring eight additional shorts on Disney Channel in Fall 2017. Fans will be delighted to hear familiar voices in the series, including: Daisy Ridley (Rey), Felicity Jones (Jyn), Tiya Sircar (Sabine), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano) and Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata as narrator).

Star Wars Forces of Destiny will also be supported by global product extensions, such as books, apparel, bedding, and toys – including the new line of ‘Adventure Figures’ created by Hasbro, which bridges the gap between traditional action figures and dolls. Each individually designed figure features dynamic action, like Rey swinging her lightsaber, along with multiple points of articulation to help recreate the characters’ adventures and heroic moments with different poses.

“From Princess Leia to Sabine Wren, Star Wars heroines are unique, and we wanted to represent that in the product line for Star Wars Forces of Destiny,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. “The result is the creation of our new ‘Adventure Figures’ that celebrate the power and stories of these incredible characters and allow kids to recreate their most heroic moments at home.”

The 11-inch figures will depict characters including Rey, Jyn Erso, Princess Leia, Sabine Wren, plus loveable sidekicks and epic villains like BB-8, Chewbacca, Kylo Ren and many more. Hasbro is also rolling out Star Wars Forces of Destiny role play and accessories—from Rey’s Extendable Staff, to a new, electronic Jedi Power Lightsaber toy, which are part of the Star Wars Bladebuilders system.

Adds John Frascotti, President of Hasbro: “As the Star Wars fan base has broadened over the last 40 years, we have continued to add new and exciting play experiences to the Star Wars brand, to engage fans across generations. We’ve worked closely with Disney to bring the storytelling from Star Wars Forces of Destiny to life through this innovative toy line to help connect with new audiences as well as appeal to existing fans.”

Fans attending Star Wars Celebration in Orlando will see a sneak peek of Star Wars Forces of Destiny during the “Heroines of Star Wars” panel on Friday, April 14. The panel, moderated by Amy Ratcliffe – host of “Lattes with Leia” podcast, will feature Carrie Beck – vice president of animation at Lucasfilm and Dave Filoni – executive producer of Star Wars Rebels, as well as Ashley Eckstein, Tiya Sircar and other surprise guests. For a first look at the new Star Wars Forces of Destiny Adventure Figures, stop by Hasbro booth #2744.

Stay tuned to StarWars.com for more details.

WonderCon 2017 Photo Gallery

Another WonderCon has come and gone, and we are left with nothing but fond memories of the San Diego Comic-Con’s little brother. Each year, we watch WonderCon grow, and this year saw some great expansions to the event – it has even more panels as well as a huge amount of vendor space for those of you seeking to purchase your geekly desires. While we were there, we saw a multitude of cosplayers showcasing their costuming abilities – my favorite being the rebel trooper who gets ran through with Darth Vader’s lightsaber at Rogue One’s conclusion. We also got the chance to take in the Geek & Sundry “Talks Machina” panel, featuring the cast of their loved Critical Role web series. Overall, WonderCon is an amazing convention that Orange County geeks should make it a point to visit. You will not regret it!

Photo Gallery

Nine New Disney Legends to be Honored at the 2017 D23 Expo

BURBANK, Calif. (April 7, 2017) – Oprah Winfrey, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Stan Lee, Julie Taymor, and other remarkable contributors to the Disney legacy will be honored as official Disney Legends during D23 Expo 2017. Hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, the Disney Legends Award ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 14, in Hall D23 of the Anaheim Convention Center.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Disney Legends Awards. The first Disney Legend was Fred MacMurray (The Shaggy Dog, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Happiest Millionaire), who was honored in 1987.

“The Disney Legends Award is the highest honor our company can bestow on an individual, reserved for those few who have truly made an indelible mark on the history of The Walt Disney Company,” said Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger. “It’s a celebration of talent, a recognition of achievement, and an expression of gratitude to the men and women whose work has significantly contributed to Disney’s enduring reputation for creative excellence.”

The awards ceremony is just one of the dozens of spectacular events that Disney fans can enjoy during the three-day D23 Expo.

The 2017 Disney Legends Award honorees (listed alphabetically) are:

  • CARRIE FISHER became an overnight sensation in 1977 with her iconic performance as Princess Leia in Star Wars. But throughout her career, Carrie took on many roles—as an actress, author, playwright, screenwriter, and outspoken advocate for mental health awareness. For Disney, Carrie appeared in Scream 3 (2000) and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) for Dimension Films, and, in 2015, she returned to the role that made her famous, starring as General Leia Organa in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She reprised the role for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which will be released in December.
  • CLYDE “GERRY” GERONIMI joined the Disney Studio in 1931. His first assignments as an animator were for several memorable Mickey Mouse, Silly Symphony, and Pluto cartoons, and he eventually contributed to more than 50 of the Studio’s shorts. Gerry made the leap to sequence director with 1943’s Victory Through Air Power, and he subsequently contributed to The Three Caballeros, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Cinderella, Peter Pan, and One Hundred and One Dalmatians. He also directed segments for television’s Mickey Mouse Club and contributed to episodes of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. The apex of his Disney career came when he served as supervising director for the 1959 masterpiece Sleeping Beauty.
  • MANUEL GONZALES was one of 33 artists selected from thousands of applicants to join Disney in 1936. In 1938, he took over penciling duties on the Sunday Mickey Mouse comic strip from Disney Legend Floyd Gottfredson. He brought Mickey Mouse to newspapers nationwide for nearly 40 years. At its peak, his Mickey-starring comic strip appeared in 120 newspapers around the world with a collective circulation of more than 20 million readers each week. Manuel was presented a “Mousecar” award by Walt Disney in 1966.
  • MARK HAMILL began his career in 1970, appearing in numerous television series guest-roles and several TV movies, including a recurring role on ABC’s General Hospital and starring in MTM’s acclaimed The Texas Wheelers. He achieved worldwide attention as Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, which included The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. He returned as Luke in The Force Awakensand will appear in the upcoming The Last Jedi. His stage career includes Broadway shows and the first national tour of Amadeus directed by Sir Peter Hall. A prolific voice-over actor, he has performed in countless animated television shows, feature films, documentaries, and video games. He appears on Disney’s Miles from Tomorrowland and Milo Murphy’s Law, and has also provided the voice of The Joker in the Batmananimated series, a role that recently earned him a BAFTA Award.
  • WAYNE JACKSON began his career as a Walt Disney Imagineer in October 1965, and in the decades that followed he would put his technical skills and know-how to great use in the development and installation of Disney attractions around the world. Originally trained in aircraft tooling, he began as a technician and machinist assigned to rebuild the shows from the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair that were slated for installation at Disneyland. Instrumental in the early development of Audio-Animatronics® technology, Wayne would go on to help bring Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion to Disneyland. He went on to work on the construction and installation of attractions and show systems at Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, and Disneyland Paris.
  • STAN LEE got a job as an office assistant at a comic publisher in 1939 called Timely Comics—forerunner of the powerhouse we all know as Marvel. Stan made his debut with a Captain America story in 1941, and by the next year, at the age of just 18, he was promoted to editor. In 1961, Stan teamed up with Jack “King” Kirby to create the Fantastic Four and ushered in a spectacular new age of comics. Stan co-created an enormous roster of Marvel characters, including Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, the X-Men, Daredevil, and Falcon. He became Marvel’s editorial director and publisher in 1972, and eventually was named chairman emeritus. His well-known cameos in Marvel films began with 1989’s telefilm The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, and since the release of X-Men in 2000 he has appeared in nearly every Marvel film project. Outside the super-hero realm, he has even popped up as a wedding guest in Disney’s The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.
  • GARRY MARSHALL began his career in Los Angeles writing for a number of hit shows, including The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Lucy Show. But his big break came in 1970, when he produced The Odd Couple for ABC, the first of many big hits he created for the network. Beginning with Happy Days in 1974, he developed a shared universe of spinoffs including Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, and Joanie Loves Chachi. His other ABC sitcoms during these years included Angie, The New Odd Couple, and Blansky’s Beauties. Garry was also a successful movie director, with 18 films to his credit. At Disney, he made stars of two young actresses: Julia Roberts, in Pretty Woman, and Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries. He directed Bette Midler in Beaches, as well as in The Lottery, a short film that for years was a fixture of the Backstage Tour at the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park. Garry was known for his acting, as well, and he appeared in Disney’s Race to Witch Mountain, Chicken Little, and as the Devil in Hocus Pocus.
  • JULIE TAYMOR is a Tony®-, Emmy®-, and Grammy®-winning and Oscar®-nominated filmmaker who has changed the face of Broadway with her innovative direction. Her adaptation of The Lion King debuted in 1997, becoming the most successful stage musical of all time; 24 global productions have been seen by more than 90 million people. The show has played in more than 100 cities in 19 countries. It received 11 Tony Award nominations, earning Julie Best Director, Costume Designer, and Best Musical for the show. Her production of The Magic Flute is currently in repertory at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Her films include A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Titus, The Tempest, the Golden Globe-nominated Across the Universe, and the Oscar-winning Frida. Taymor is a recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and an inductee into the Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement. She is currently directing M. Butterfly on Broadway, opening Fall 2017.
  • OPRAH WINFREY is a renowned award-winning producer, actress, talk show host, and philanthropist. For 25 years she was the host of the award-winning talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ran for 25 seasons on hundreds of stations domestically and in more than 100 countries around the world. Oprah is also an Academy Award®-nominated actress for her role in Steven Spielberg’s 1985 hit The Color Purple. In 1998, she starred in Beloved for Disney’s Touchstone Pictures, a film that she also produced. Oprah also produced and starred in ABC’s 1989 limited series The Women of Brewster Place, and would go on to produce many films for ABC, including Tuesdays with Morrie, Before Women Had Wings, and Their Eyes Were Watching God under the “Oprah Winfrey Presents” banner. She performed as Eudora in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog in 2009 and will co-star as Mrs. Which in Disney’s 2018 film A Wrinkle in Time.

Honorees receive a two-foot-tall bronze Disney Legends sculpture that signifies the imagination, creativity, and magic they have brought to the Company. Disney Legends Award recipients will also participate in a handprint ceremony at the end of the event, and their bronzed prints will be displayed in the Disney Legends Plaza at the Company’s Burbank headquarters.

Admission to the ceremony will be on a first-come, first-served basis and is included in the price of a ticket to D23 Expo 2017.

Including this year’s honorees, a total of 276 Disney Legends have been named. Past Disney Legends include Tim Allen, Julie Andrews, Beatrice Arthur, Howard Ashman, Regis Philbin, Annette Funicello, Peter Jennings, Johnny Depp, Estelle Getty, George Lucas, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin, Rue McClanahan, Alan Menken, Hayley Mills, Fess Parker, Sir Tim Rice, Dick Van Dyke, Barbara Walters, Betty White, and Robin Williams. Beginning with the inaugural D23 Expo in 2009, thousands of Disney fans have been able to enjoy the Legends Awards ceremony live.

Ticketsfor D23 Expo 2017 are available for $81 for one-day adult admission and $59 for children 3–9. Membersof D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $72 for a one-day adult admission and $53 for children 3–9. Multi-day tickets are also available. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2017, visit D23Expo.com.

Midsummer Scream Unveils 2017 Hall of Shadows Haunt Experiences

April 4, 2017 – Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival, the West Coast’s premier Halloween, haunt, and horror convention returns July 29-30 to the Long Beach Convention Center for a weekend of world-class thrills and chills. One of the stand-out components of Midsummer Scream’s impressive array of entertainment is the Hall of Shadows – a large portion of the convention’s show floor that is shrouded in darkness and filled with billowing fog, and roaming monsters on an unprecedented scale. For 2017, the Hall of Shadows will feature 14 highly-themed “mini haunts” representing professional and home-made attractions that fans can look forward to visiting this Halloween season here in Southern California.

“Hall of Shadows is a substantial component of Midsummer Scream,” says the convention’s Creative Director, Rick West. “Last year, we featured 9 mini haunts within the Hall; this year, we are upping the count to 14. We are thrilled with the diversity of participating groups this year, from extremely popular pro haunts, to some of the greatest home haunts in existence. Add the awesome spectacle of the Decayed Brigade slider team into the mix, and you’ll find that we have a Hall of Shadows experience this year that is truly epic. Hall of Shadows is a cornerstone of Midsummer Scream, as there is nothing that defines Halloween in America more than haunted houses and lurking monsters. It’s going to be a blast, and all of our participants are raring to go!”

A Unique Challenge

Creating the Hall of Shadows is a unique and exciting challenge. Nowhere has any convention featured such a large “dark zone” with so many haunted attractions for guests to experience. Taking up approximately 1/3 of Midsummer Scream’s 92,000 square-foot show floor, installation of the Hall takes careful planning and coordination well before the doors open to the public. For months, haunters plan their attractions and fabricate them off-site; once it’s “GO time”, each group drives onto the show floor of the Long Beach Convention Center and drops off their haunts in pieces before set-up begins. With 14 attractions being installed at the same time, it’s a virtual ballet of large trucks, haunt build crews, and Midsummer Scream staff members all communicating and working in unison for 48 hours leading up to the opening of the show. Each light above the Hall must be manually turned off once the haunts are installed. To make the area even darker, an extremely large black curtain measuring roughly 325 feet in length (almost the length of a football field) is raised more than 20 feet above the show floor, creating an ominous “wall” between the living and the dead!

Hall of Shadows Entry Façade/Portal

This year’s Hall of Shadows entry portal is being designed and built by CalHauntS (California Haunting Society), a group of talented Halloween enthusiasts responsible for creating some of the most elaborate home haunts anywhere. Sleepy Hollow is the inspiration for this year’s entrance to the Hall of Shadows. Guests will transition from the show floor into the Hall of Shadows as they pass underneath a gothic archway into an eerie cemetery, complete with weathered tombstones and macabre scenic elements.

14 Haunted Attraction Experiences in 2017

For 2017, Midsummer Scream offers guests 14 haunted attractions, each measuring roughly 20’ x 20’. All attractions within the Hall of Shadows is included with a Midsummer Scream day or weekend pass. Guests with Front of Line passes to Midsummer Scream will find express queues at each attraction within Hall of Shadows, expediting their wait times.

The Hall of Shadows 2017 lineup is: Dead Zone 805; Gorlesque presents: Peep Show; Gothic Hills; Higgins Manor; Hyde Street Massacre; Immersive Parties’ MAC: Mutation Analysis Center; Mable’s 6 Feet Under; Nightmare Productions presents The Gate; Opechee Haunt’s Apparition Adventure: Terror Twins; Phobia Productions presents: Grimm’s Hallow; Pumkin Jack’s Haunted House; The Fleshyard; The Haunted Rose presents: The Maritime Horror; and Unhallowed presents: The Last of Man.

For more information regarding the Hall of Shadows 2017 haunts, visit MidsummerScream.org.

World-Class Slider Exhibitions

Returning to the Hall of Shadows for their second year is the Decayed Brigade slider team of Southern California. Several times each day, the Brigade will take to their designated “runway” in the middle of the Hall and perform breathtaking feats of strength and agility as they run, slide, jump, and launch themselves through the air with absolute precision.

The Hall of Shadows will be open Saturday and Sunday, July 29 and 30, during show hours. It is not intended for small children; it is recommended that only guests age 13 years and older venture into the Hall itself. Each haunt will be closed periodically throughout the day for necessary crew breaks.

Fans may sign up on the site for email notifications and announcements, including discounts and other special offers. Be sure to follow Midsummer Scream on social media as well – Twitter/Periscope: @MidsummerScream, Instagram: @MidsummerScream, and Facebook: facebook.com/midsummerscream. Please use #MidsummerScream to tag all social media posts regarding Midsummer Scream 2017. Halloween – It’s not just a season… it’s a lifestyle!

 

About Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival

Midsummer Scream is a large-scale summer festival celebrating the spirit of Halloween, haunts and horror, drawing thousands of guests to Southern California for a weekend of thrills and chills. Featuring a massive show floor of vendors and exhibitors, haunted attractions and experiences, live entertainment and world-class panel presentations, Midsummer Scream is the West Coast’s premier Halloween/horror event, offering something for fans of all ages. More information can be found at MidsummerScream.org.

Capcom Announces Wondercon 2017 Details

Capcom Street Fighter V logo art

March 29, 2017 – Capcom will be at WonderCon in Anaheim, CA this weekend (March 31 – April 2) with new and upcoming games, a Street Fighter panel, and much more in store. Visit Capcom at booth #1137 to get hands-on time with the newly announced The Disney Afternoon Collection, enter free Street Fighter V tournaments, and shop at the Capcom Store for cool collectibles!

Step into a blast from the past as Capcom’s booth setup transports you back in time to the era of slap bracelets and an explosion of 90s flair. Playable publicly for the first time, The Disney Afternoon Collection is a throwback pack of six retro Capcom games from the 80s and 90s including popular classics like Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers and DuckTales. The collection features HD support, a Rewind option, new ways to play, and more. Don’t miss it – it’ll be all that and a bag of chips!

At the booth, fans will also be able to go hands-on with the upcoming Ultra Street Fighter II (on Nintendo Switch), experience the terrifying Resident Evil 7 biohazard (with the latest DLC), and take on challengers in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Street Fighter V.

Panel Details:
SATURDAY, April 1
2:30PM – 3:30PM Street Fighter: 30th Anniversary Panel – Room 300DE
Get an exclusive look at the latest news and updates surrounding the year-long celebration of Street Fighter’s 30th Anniversary. Expect updates on all current and upcoming products, news on the Capcom Pro Tour, and a few surprises as well!

D23 Expo Japan 2018 Announced

MINATO-KU, Tokyo, March 21, 2017 – The Walt Disney Company (Japan) announced today that it will stage D23 Expo Japan 2018, a special event for Disney fans created by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, over three days from February 10 to February 12, 2018, at Tokyo Disney Resort in Maihama.

D23 Expo is held every two years in the U.S. for Disney’s most passionate fans. The first D23 Expo in Japan was held in 2013 and is unique to Japan while remaining true to the original vision of “The Ultimate Disney Fan Event.” D23 Expo Japan 2015 was themed to “The Power of Story.” Guests were treated to spellbinding stories from each of the four Disney brands—Disney, Disney•Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel. Fans enjoyed experiences, merchandise, collectibles, and endless surprises created exclusively for the event.

D23 Expo Japan 2018 will once again feature special exhibits and opportunities for the delight and enjoyment of guests. Further details will be posted at http://disney.jp/D23 as they become available this summer.

“We heard from a lot of fans about how delighted they were with the D23 Expo Japan 2013 and 2015.D23 Expo Japan 2018 promises to be even more spectacular,” said Paul Candland, President, Walt Disney Asia and President, The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd. “2018 marks The Walt Disney Company’s 95th anniversary and the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse’s screen debut. In Japan, it marks Tokyo Disney Resort’s 35th, Disney Channel’s 15th, and the Disney★JCB Card’s 10th. We’re very excited about being able to present this great event once again, and we know our guests will have an incredible experience during the three days we have planned for them.”

About Walt Disney Japan
The Walt Disney Company marked its formal move into the Japanese market by establishing a local subsidiary in 1959. In April 2000, several Japanese affiliates were integrated to form a new company, The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd., to oversee all Disney interests in Japan. Walt Disney Japan runs a diversified business building on synergies created by the following segments—Studio Motion Pictures, Television, Consumer Products & Interactive, Media Distribution, Disney Store Japan and Parks & Resorts.

About D23: The Official Disney Fan Club
The name D23 pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official fan club in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the magical world of Disney through its quarterly magazine Disney twenty-three, information-packed website D23.com, member-exclusive discounts, and special events like the D23 Expo held in Anaheim, California.

About D23 Expo in the U.S.
D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event has been held in the U.S. four times to date, drawing Disney fans from around the world to Anaheim, California. D23 Expo 2017 will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center the weekend of July 14–16. Highlights include what’s new and what’s on the horizon from theme parks, television, music, gaming, and films, including Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel; the Disney Legends Ceremony to honor the talented men and women who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy; an all-new exhibit curated by the Walt Disney Archives; the D23 Expo Emporium, where Disney fans can buy, sell, and trade Disney collectibles, memorabilia, merchandise, and more; and D23 Expo’s costume contest.

GDC 2018 Dates Revealed

SAN FRANCISCO – March 13, 2017 – The 2017 Game Developers Conference (GDC), the world’s largest and longest-running event serving professionals dedicated to the art and science of making games, concluded a successful week of networking, learning and inspiration. In total, last week’s conference hosted more than 26,000 professional attendees, 500 lectures, panels, tutorials and roundtable discussions, and 570 companies exhibiting in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. GDC 2017 marked a return of the Virtual Reality Developers Conference, which debuted at GDC 2016. That event, which runs concurrent to GDC, again fostered key learnings and insights into the flourishing field of virtual and augmented reality. GDC and VRDC will be returning to the Moscone Center in San Francisco from Monday, March 19 to Friday, March 23, 2018. Call for submissions for both GDC and VRDC open this summer.

This year, developers of some of the industry’s most acclaimed new titles took to the stage to present an inside look into the making of their games. Pokemon GO’s development team, Niantic, took a rare opportunity to describe turning their landmark augmented reality title into a worldwide phenomenon. Nintendo put their expertly-honed design skills on display with their session, “Change and Constant: Breaking Conventions with ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’.” In it, they showed off simple 2D prototypes they created to test out the new gameplay mechanics, these experiments ultimately yielded one of the most acclaimed games of all time.

2017 marked a year of transition for an industry adjusting to mid-cycle hardware releases, with the recent release of the portable Nintendo Switch, the PlayStation 4 Pro, and the first year of VR hardware availability to consumers. As always, GDC 2017 featured essential speaking sessions that illuminated the way for developers learning the ins and outs of the new platforms. Among the esteemed roster of speakers were developers from Nintendo, Electronic Arts/DICE, and multiplatform VR developer Owlchemy Labs. GDC 2017 was also an opportunity for legendary game designers to host retrospectives of their influential titles with the Classic Game Postmortems sessions for Seaman presented by creator Yutaka “Yoot” Saito, Oregon Trail presented by co-inventor Don Rawitsch, Sid Meier’s Civilization presented by creators Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley, and Deus Ex, presented by game director Warren Spector.

The annual Independent Games Festival (IGF) Awards and Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) took place on the night of Wednesday, March 1. The 2017 IGF Awards honored some of the best independent games of the year, with Blendo Games’ Quadrilateral Cowboy earning this year’s Seumas McNally Grand Prize and accompanying $30,000 award. The title also earned the Excellence in Design Award and its $3,000 award.

Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch took home the award for Game of the Year at the 17th annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA). The multiplayer shooter also received the award for Best Design. An archive of the IGF and GDCA ceremonies can be viewed at http://twitch.tv/gdc.

The bustling Expo Floor in Moscone’s South Hall featured a diverse roster of more than 570 companies exhibiting their hottest products, services, technologies and talents. From industry giants like Google, Sony, Microsoft and Amazon, to influential game developers like Epic Games, Insomniac Games, Hi-Rez Studios, Oculus, Valve, Unity Technologies, and hundreds of others. The Moscone North Hall housed the IGF Pavilion which featured all of the finalists for the IGF Awards, and the playable alt.ctrl.GDC demos which showcased games using unconventional controllers and alternative control schemes. Returning this year were the GDC Play Pavilions which are special areas for emerging developers, allowing them display their games to key distributors, publishers, press and investors in attendance.

In addition to the Expo Floors, GDC hosted a variety of Interactive Spaces throughout the week. Independent developers and some of the latest indie games were featured in the GDC Train Jam and Mild Rumpus areas, a special edition of Double Fine’s “Day of the Devs,” and the Indie MEGABOOTH showcase. For fans of tabletop board games, ”Shut Up and Sit Down” hosted a selection of the best board games of the year for all attendees to enjoy. This year also introduced Art Boss from iam8bit, which served as a showcase for all forms of art created during the production of a videogame.

“Every GDC gives us a deeper appreciation of the hard work that goes into every aspect of game production, and every role requires attention and deserves respect. With GDC, we aim to honor the commitment, passion and love that all game creators put into each project, I’d like to think we’ve done that this year,” said Meggan Scavio, general manager of the Game Developers Conference. “Games can be scary, exciting, funny, and above all else, fun. They run the gamut of emotions and themes, and there’s a game out there for everyone. GDC embraces this spirit, and we welcome developers of all backgrounds. The last few months have seen lots of challenges and changes, but also some truly amazing gameplay and VR experiences. If GDC 2017 is any indication, we should be in for a hell of a year for games.”

For additional information about GDC and VRDC@GDC, visit www.gdconf.com. The GDC Vault website – www.gdcvault.com – will offer access to a wide variety of GDC and VRDC@GDC 2017 lectures and sessions in the coming days and weeks, including speaker slides, synchronized video and presentations for select sponsor lectures, as well as a broad range of conference videos. GDC All Access Pass holders and individual Vault subscribers will get access to hundreds of video sessions from this and previous GDC shows. Select content from GDC 2017 will also be posted to the official GDC YouTube channel – http://youtube.com/c/gdconf. Official photos are available via the GDC Flickr account – www.flickr.com/photos/officialgdc/.

Midsummer Scream 2017 Tickets On Sale Now

The Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival is coming back to the Long Beach convention center, and tickets will be on sale today (within a matter of hours from this posting)! Check out the press release below for all the details.

March 8, 2017 – Tickets are now on sale for Midsummer Scream 2017, which will be hosted at the Long Beach Convention Center Saturday and Sunday, July 29-30. After a stellar debut last year, Midsummer Scream returns to Long Beach with a vengeance for a weekend of non-stop Halloween fun, haunted attractions, world-class panel presentations, live entertainment, makeup demonstrations, amazing vendors, and a sinister after-hours party in one of the most iconic paranormal activity locations in the world – the Queen Mary.

Ticket options are available now at MidsummerScream.org.

Fans attending Midsummer Scream 2017 are in for an early Halloween treat, as virtually every aspect of the convention is bigger and better this year, including:

World-Class Presentations and Bigger Main Stage Venue

As the official kick-off event for the Halloween season in Southern California, Midsummer Scream features an unparalleled lineup of major presentations by the largest tourist attractions on the West Coast. This year’s epic Main Stage lineup includes Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights, Knott’s Scary Farm, Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, and Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest. These Main Stage presentations will be held in the beautiful, state-of-the-art Terrace Theater, which features comfortable seating for up to 3,000 screaming fans.

Hall of Shadows Mini Haunts & Slider Exhibitions

A wildly-popular component of Midsummer Scream, the Hall of Shadows returns in 2017 featuring 14 terrifying previews of popular Halloween attractions coming this fall to Southern California. In addition to the Hall’s “mini haunts”, the high-energy slider exhibition team, Decayed Brigade, will perform several times each day, thrilling fans with incredible feats of athletic prowess and stunning agility.

Monstrous Saturday Night Party Aboard the Queen Mary

With one of the most popular paranormal activity hot spots in the world looming next to the Long Beach Convention Center, it’s a nightmarish dream come true to announce that Midsummer Scream’s Saturday night party will be hosted aboard the Queen Mary by the denizens of the deep during Dark Harbor’s Sinister Circus. Fans and freaks will dance the night away while enjoying breathtaking views of Long Beach Harbor from the ship’s Sports Deck, which will feature terrifying decorum, lurking monsters, and many of your favorite characters from Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor!

Live Entertainment, Haunting Theatrical Experiences, and Horror Galore

Throughout the weekend, Midsummer Scream will offer a wide variety of live entertainment and chilling experiences, ranging from family-friendly to extreme. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group returns in 2017 with a special Urban Death production definitely not for the faint of heart. The creators of Return Home Podcast come to Midsummer Scream this year with a venue-wide “choose your own adventure” experience, and Force of Nature Productions will make its convention debut with an interactive theatrical attraction sure to make your flesh crawl and heart pound! Other “pop-up” entertainers will be found throughout the weekend engaging Midsummer Scream guests, including renowned magician Jimmy H as he returns to Long Beach as the ghoulishly delightful Mudd The Magnificent. Guests will also enjoy an expanded art exhibition space this year – the Nightmare Gallery, curated by industry designer Lee Shamel.

Inspiring Education and Hands-On Workshops

For guests looking to roll up their sleeves a bit, or put on their thinking caps, Midsummer Scream will offer outstanding educational classes and seminars at no extra charge to interested ticketholders on a first-come, first-served basis. Additionally, guests will also have opportunities throughout the weekend to participate in fun make-and-take workshops for a nominal materials fee. The variety of educational options at Midsummer Scream is created to appeal to everyone, from haunt enthusiasts to aspiring designers and cosplay lovers.

Frightful Film Fest

Guests will be treated to an on-going program of frightful films, first-person haunted attraction videos by Theme Park Adventure, and exciting Q&A sessions with special guests in the Screaming Room, presented by HorrorBuzz.com.

Massive Show Floor

The soul of Midsummer Scream is its massive Show Floor, featuring more than 200 artisans and vendors selling everything from scary apparel to one-of-a-kind horror props and memorabilia. Confirmed vendors at Midsummer Scream 2017 include Immortal Masks, Bone Yard Effects, Dark Delicacies, Cross Roads Escape Games, Clive Barker’s Seraphim Inc., Kreepsville 666, The Haunt Store, Fog It Up!, and Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum. Also located on the Show Floor will be our Kids Zone, hosted by Buster Balloon, where Midsummer Scream’s youngest fans can busy themselves with Halloween arts and crafts and engage in festival games and activities.

And Much, Much More!

As we slither closer to show time, Midsummer Scream will continue announcing exciting components to its programming via its email newsletter (sign up at MidsummerScream.org), through our partner media outlets, and on various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. This will include specific panels and presentations, additional entertainment, new vendors and participants, and of course, every gory detail regarding the Hall of Shadows.

Did we mention the kittens? One of the most popular attractions at Midsummer Scream returns this year with a mighty purr – Black and Orange Cat Adoptions will be back and ready to find their forever homes, courtesy of Kitten Rescue Los Angeles!

The entire Midsummer Scream team looks forward to bringing the Halloween, haunt and horror fans in Southern California another fantastic convention this summer. We continue to uphold the promise we made to the community last year at about this time – to deliver the show the fans want and deserve. At Midsummer Scream, we understand that it’s not just a season… it’s a lifestyle!

Fans may sign up on the site for email notifications and announcements, including discounts and other special offers. Be sure to follow Midsummer Scream on social media as well – Twitter/Periscope: @MidsummerScream, Instagram: @MidsummerScream, and Facebook: facebook.com/midsummerscream. Please use #MidsummerScream to tag all social media posts regarding Midsummer Scream 2017!

 

About Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival

Midsummer Scream is a large-scale summer festival celebrating the spirit of Halloween, haunts and horror, drawing thousands of guests to Southern California for a weekend of thrills and chills. Featuring a massive show floor of vendors and exhibitors, haunted attractions and experiences, live entertainment and world-class panel presentations, Midsummer Scream is the West Coast’s premier Halloween/horror event, offering something for fans of all ages. More information can be found at MidsummerScream.org.

PDXCON 2017 Trailer

Paradox Interactive has released a truly epic trailer promoting their upcoming PDXCON.

February 17, 2017 – Sometimes epic doesn’t cut it. To celebrate PDXCON 2017 we couldn’t stop at anything less than Legendary. As such we bring you, the Legendary Split. Get Your Tickets Here: http://pdxint.at/2lV5A71