Electronic Arts’ booth at E3 2013 brought many exciting challenges and opportunities to the Tekamaki team this year. With EA showcasing their premier next generation titles, Tekamaki found itself in a parallel position, poised to present unique displays and experiences throughout, while at the same time showcasing our new technologies.
E3 provided the perfect opportunity for Tekamaki to present our new in-house d3 studio, an environment that helped us to streamline our workflow and maximize efficiency while providing new event pre-visualization services. This new approach to work allowed us to strengthen relationships while working closer than ever with Electronic Arts, their booth builder Premier Displays, creative producer B-Reel, and lighting designer Lightswitch. For the first time ever, everyone involved was able to experience a working 3D simulation of the booth and was provided with the ability to begin show programming before arriving on site, and as a result, minimizing on-site setup time creating a larger window for testing and fine tuning.
Working with an entirely new design, this year’s booth showcased a wide variety of display technology. Flanking the main “hero” screen were two polygonal based architectural elements, both of which provided a 3D surface used to projection map client content in support of main screen video. Tied to the hero screen was another large and unique display dubbed the “social ribbon.” Comprised of sixteen 60-inch monitors in portrait orientation and driven by a single PC generating content in real time (at a resolution higher than that of the award winning massive 360-degree display we put together for the EA E3 2005 booth), the social ribbon was a single large video wall that helped bring together the theme of the booth while enhancing attendee experience and providing interaction through social media. Creative producer B-Reel brought the social ribbon to life with a custom software solution that enabled Electronic Arts to display information about their titles and provide fans with the ability to post about their experiences at E3. Content and motion graphics were generated in real-time, and providing a control interface, this living display was synchronized with the theme and branding of the booth in relation to game trailers shown on the main hero screen.
Providing attendees with a hands-on first look at Battlefield 4 this year was a large 32 vs. 32 multi-player gaming competition on the show floor. While this 64 PC LAN was capable of moving a lot of traffic through the booth, Electronic Arts wanted to extend the experience even further, beyond the walls of the LACC and broadcast live on the internet. Tekamaki’s configuration of this area allowed webcast producer Repertoire to selectively switch between gaming video and audio feeds from the 64 PC LAN. In addition to the source selection ability, signal was also routed to two “commander” stations on either side of the competition area. Each one of these commander stations showcased a large main display and eight smaller show floor game-feed displays for all to see.
Going deeper into the booth, attendees found themselves having to choose between which gaming theater or interactive experience they wanted to see next. On the right side of the booth was the touch interactive EA Sports/Ignite “lab” (indicated by a large LED wall) demonstrating next generation game technology and hardware platforms while spread out through the rest of the booth were five enclosed live gaming theaters providing presentations with surround audio for a much more personal and focused experience.
This year’s overall show flow and booth experience was orchestrated by Tekamaki’s own in house video engineers, Dave Caron and Mark Henrickson. Tasked with show programming and building a complex system to manage signal routing, booth display synchronization, media ingest, and networking while providing feeds to audio and lighting engineers, these two were the core team in the control room. The “technological brain” of this year’s system was d3. Extending beyond its initial role as the tool for pre-production and visualization, d3 was the main tool used for audio/video sequencing, playback, mapping, and systems control helping to create the overall elegant look of the booth. At the end of the day we hope our efforts helped create a memorable E3 2013 experience for all.Related Links: