It has been a long time since I’ve been excited about a new movie coming out, and let’s face it, the last time I was this excited I was let down. X-Men Origins: Wolverine wasn’t all that I had hoped it would be (well, aside from the nice views of Hugh Jackman... but I digress). Ever since FanExpo last year and seeing that very sweet full scale Light Cycle, I have caught the Tron fever. Yes, I have even been participating in the online viral marketing that Disney’s so artfully contrived and executed. I was jealous of all the lucky people who attended the San Diego Comic Con and were able to participate in the agile twitter scavenger hunt.
Well, when I heard that Bruce Boxleitner would be at FanExpo and that there would be a big Tron presence, I packed up my official Encom employee badge and trekked down to the Metro Convention Centre with high hopes. I was not disappointed! All weekend the Tron booth girls (who were sporting lovely Quora wigs) were handing out small Tron discs and tee shirts; of course I obtained both! I think the girls got sick of seeing me in their booth. They had a few Wii consoles set up showcasing the upcoming video game Tron: Evolution. I tried it out - a very fun and entertaining look at arena player vs. player light cycle match. First one to wipe out their opponent five times was declared the winner. Of course I was too busy examining the game mechanics to concentrate on killing my opponent; I lost, but boy was it fun making the bikes perform wheelies and jump light cycle tails.
The big event was scheduled for Saturday, August 28th at Noon. I managed to get a decent seat in the theatre (who knew the MTCC had a full blown stage and theatre?) and patiently sat awaiting the presentation in my sweltering costume (Yes, the BSG flight suit material does not breathe. At. All. Even when you line the thing with sweat wicking material).
The first twenty minutes of the show was what really caught my eye. They didn’t start off with the movie; in fact, everything they showed us - with the exception of the seven minutes of actual 3D footage from the movie, I had seen before. The first thing they did was show us the game, Tron Evolution. This is going to be the bridging story line between the Tron of 1982 and the Tron of 2010. They projected the game on the big screen while some poor sod up in the control booth was forced to play with a couple thousand spectators looking on. Talk about performing under pressure. Yes, we saw him de-rezzed a few times. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.
I loved the fighting style they chose for hand to hand combat. If you’ve ever seen Eddy in Tekken, you’ll know the fighting style I’m speaking of. Capoeira. It’s beautiful, flowing, deadly and dangerous. Propaganda Games (Yay, Canadian!) scored one point in my books for that - not to mention another point just for being Canadian.
The second gaming point Propaganda won was the fact that they incorporated Parkour in to the game. If you’re not familiar with this movement style, think back to the foot chase scenes in Prince of Persia, or Casino Royale. Fluid running, adapting your body movements to overcome obstacles in your path. I love it. It looked so beautiful there on the big screen in a game that I will be playing.
Then Chris Whiteside (Propaganda Design Director) dropped a bombshell. Just that very week, (Thursday August 26th) they were able to incorporate those all too famous 90 degree sudden turns into the light cycle multiplayer arena. Wow. Normally video games follow the laws of physics; Propaganda Games must have really been working diligently to re-write well established physics engines that are common to all games. This is impressive and quite frankly, it wouldn’t have been a Tron game without that aspect.
Well, that sold me. The rest of the panel was a blur; 3D glasses on, we saw the trailer, seven minutes of actual movie footage, “Tron Around the World” (showcasing all the popular culture references to Tron) and a quick ten minute Q&A period with Bruce in which some fairly lame questions were asked (“If I promise to go see the movie four times on opening weekend, can I have a tee shirt?” Really. Lame.)
I have since then used the card that I obtained at the Tron booth and have pre-ordered my collector’s edition of Tron: Evolution and am (im)patiently waiting for December 7th. The glow in the dark tee shirt I obtained with said card will soon be seeing my serger (what good gamer girl would honestly wear something that wasn’t baby doll fitted?) and my Identity Disc prop project is about to be set in motion.
Stay tuned Programs, this is about to get good!