The ScreenBurn at SXSW Arcade is rife with companies that want to cater to you! Bringing the experience home to gamers by offering customization options, new ways to control games, new social avenues, and even fixing your junkyard of broken video game systems from year's past are just some of the many services on hand to take your gaming to the next level!
Characters are certainly welcome at the USA Network booth, who just happens to be sponsoring the ScreenBurn at SXSW Game Design Competition. The #1 network in all of basic cable and seen in over 98.5 million U.S. Homes, USA Network has brought their brainchild, "Character Arcade," a social network where fans can create avatars, play games based on shows, and interact with others from around the world, to the masses on display at ScreenBurn Arcade. Jesse Redniss, VP of Digital at USA Network and one of the AAA Game Design judges, was on hand to talk about the network's new project.
“We really want to touch upon people's lives everywhere and extend the USA Network brand to more people,” Redniss said. “Gaming is a natural extension and we want our fans to connect with one another through casual gaming.”
While Character Arcade has its sights on capturing the same demographic as the USA Network's television shows, the folks at Axelo Inc. have a different vision for gamers. The Axelo BAT 3D Natural Motion Game Controller by Axelo Inc. gives games the power of natural 3D movement for any PC game. Its unique 3D capability allows natural movement control for racing, adventure, flight simulation and first person shooter (FPS) games. Ravi Rao, VP of Stategic Alliances explained the gamer experience.
“It's a first of its kind; gamers can actually 'feel' what they're playing,” Rao said. “We wanted to bring gamers a new experience at a low cost. This universal controller can be updated through software so there's no worries of having to buy upgrades. Our patent and the software backing it is the secret sauce.”
“It's different, there's a learning curve,” Cristian Cantú, one of the many gamers on hand trying out the controller, said. “The control puts you in the game though, it's certainly better than regular controllers.”
Axelo Inc. has partnered with Tek Republic, Austin's own masters of gaming repair and restoration, to distribute the product. But where some companies have visions of a digital future, Mayfair Games has their sights set on getting back to another type of social gaming; this one involving nothing more than the people around you and visual, tactile games created with quality in mind.
“We want to invite people to socialize again and share the experience of community; to have those one-on-one moments where you can share stories and appreciate the art,“ Pete Fenlon, CFO of Mayfair Games, said. “These are the type of games where you're having fun even when you're losing.”
Mayfair Games specializes in creating high-quality board games designed with beautiful art and detailed printing, all while presenting a different way to tell a story. Their most popular game, Catan, is a testament to their belief that this form of gaming can easily sit next to digital forms as well.
“We want to reinvent the idea of the 'board game' in the popular consciousness,” Fenlon said. “We've grown up in a digital world, sure, but why can't this be a choice for an individual's entertainment options? The beauty of this world is that although we live in fractured communities, you can still have it all.”
Nothing is more important than looking ahead to see what your consumers will be needing next down the line, usually before they even realize it. Social gaming is in full force and only the ScreenBurn at SXSW Arcade can bring you three masters of their field under one roof to share their vision for their audiences!