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As we continue towards this Fall, we wanted to spotlight various members of the Sunset Overdrive team with some questions you hopefully haven’t seen answered elsewhere. Get to know the Sunset Overdrive team. This week we talk to Lead Character Artist Gavin Goulden.

gavingHow has your past work experience influenced your work on Sunset Overdrive?

I’ve been given a lot of great opportunities in my career and try to apply lessons that I have learned from those past experiences to my current situation.  In the past, I was the Lead Character Artist on Bioshock Infinite, this role prepared me for better team management, finishing a giant project as a lead, creating modular character systems, really learning about smarter design choices, and let me play a bigger role in the art direction of enemy characters, fashion sense, and overall consistency throughout the game.  Before that, I played a big part in the character customization system for Dead Rising 2, which obviously I am still carrying with me today.  I am a huge character customization nerd, it’s a thing I’ve always been interested in from a professional standpoint and as a gamer, I like dressing up my in game character as much as I like building the system for how to do it.  I think that job really taught me a lot in how to build a working clothing system, and  the expectations of variety in such an open world game.  Plus, in general, my personal artistic “flavor” matches pretty closely to what the creative and art directors like, and wanted to push for in Sunset Overdrive, which makes it a dream project in many ways for me.

How would you describe the character’s style in Sunset Overdrive?

It’s the end of the world, and you can do whatever you want.  The laws don’t apply to you anymore, the rules you had to follow are gone, and you can be who you want to be.  You really have a new lease on life and have gone from a nobody in a dead end job to the protagonist of a video game.  This gives us a lot of room to play with, and justify, fashion sense.  We’ve grabbed a bunch of different references (anime, Tank Girl, Gorillaz, Iggy Pop, etc.) and have tried to tailor outfits that would loosely fit these archetypes that were once popular, and allow the players to mix and match.  We also have many different costume elements that are just plain fun to have, wouldn’t make sense to be wearing walking down the streets of LA (well…it depends where you go, I guess) that mix well with the palette of normal fashion options.  So, you can easily have a track jacket, fur vest, pair of jeans, cowboy boots, and a WW2 pilots helmet – they all mix and play well together.

How many different customization combination option do you gather are in Sunset Overdrive?

Well, I could look at my Excel sheet, do some quick math, and give you an exact answer – but – I’m just going to say the amount of possible combinations is easily in the thousands or more.  We wanted to take the element of choice in a  different direction with Sunset Overdrive.  Rather than just slapping color changes onto an asset, we wanted to feel like you were opening your closet and picking out your favorite shirt.  Each option is hand crafter and given purpose, and are specific.  Though, that being said, there are many, MANY different pieces to pick and choose from to take you anywhere on the scale from boring business man to a super hero from space.

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About how long does it take you to make a character from scratch?

Starting from scratch, most character artists are looking at about 2 – 3 weeks of work, give or take some time depending on how difficult the character is.  This breaks down to about a few days of creating a base mesh, a week of sculpting, a few days of creating a low poly model and unwrapping, then creating textures.  Once the model is finished, we hand it over to our rigging team and get the character moving in game.  If there are any obvious issues we missed during it’s creation, the model gets kicked back and we do any necessary fixes.  Generally, we are in constant communication with the department before and after us, though, to minimize bouncing models back and forth.  Luckily, after a while you have a system in place where you can grab different elements of a model and reuse it in your new character.  So, for example, there’s no point in recreating cargo shorts if you already have cargo pants.  Not only does this save a ton of time during production, but it also helps keep our look and style consistent throughout the game, since many things will come from the same root.

What is your philosophy before creating a new vanity item?

Obviously, the first question we need to ask is “Will It Work”?  New pieces need to fit in the system that we have set up before we can really dive into it.  But that doesn’t sound fun.  We need to always be player facing and questioning if this new piece of vanity will add to the experience of players, and that the new article of clothing will add to the enjoyment of the game.  Rather than trying to create every possible type of shirt, we want to hit with heavier punches, and leave each item feeling totally different than the last.  Looking at the vanity items we have as a whole, we need to ask “Would this be fun to wear?”

Can it be difficult to generate new ideas? How do you get over that?

Thankfully, I have a whole team of people that have great ideas.  Jacinda (Chew, Art Director) is the driving force for our high level style, we have a team of concept artists that bring a lot of different outfit styles to the modelers, and my direct team are all very creative and can generate ideas for items that we need.  Mostly, that takes care of a lot of the pressure, and it’s not hard to ask those around you “How can I make this better?”  Left alone, though, I would always go back to our references – the main pieces that inspired our game.  There are so many possible things to gather influence from, comic books, movies, runway fashion, music videos, etc.  I am also becoming a bit a fashion nerd, not that I’m fashionable by any means, but I find myself looking at people on the street and seeing what they decided to wear that morning, how different materials give a desired effect, what works and what doesn’t, what is common and what isn’t, etc.  When it comes to thinking of a new idea for clothing, we are literally surrounded by inspiration.

What is your favorite vanity item in the game? Would you ever wear it in public?

There are so many to choose from and, as the team lead, I see everything come through and get to play with different combinations on a daily basis.  I want to break the rules and give you a top 3.  The first one, of course, is the Luchador assets we have.  Given the right combination you can become a high flying, suplex machine, running through Sunset City.  Second is our Fizzie loadout (available to players in the Day One Edition of Sunset Overdrive) where you get to dress as Fizzie stage performer from Horror Night, you get an awesome garage jacket, Fizzie themed pants and a glorious Fizzie helmet.  Finally, we have a “Wasteland” themed jacket that has you fully decked out for anything that comes your way – this piece is a big technical achievement for us as it involves so many parts giving secondary motion to the character – chains, straps, sleeping bags, backpacks, it’s basically the kitchen sink asset.

You can reskin any game with Sunset Overdrive art. What game is it?

My knee jerk reaction to any question like this is to just say Doom or Xcom because they’re my favorite games of all time.  But, I can’t imagine Doom in a brightly colored world, where you slay demons while wearing a kangaroo head cod piece.  I really like all types of games, but it’s tough because Sunset Overdrive is a very unique creature – not many things look like it, and the tone that we set, the attitude that we have, hasn’t really been done before.  Thinking about it, I would say Fable.  I’ve always really liked the game, and I think it would work well in a world like our own. Rather than chasing chickens through Albion, you would be chasing them through Sunset City.

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Other interviews with Game Director Drew Murray, Creative Director Marcus Smith and Art Director Jacinda Chew.

We’re bringing Sunset Overdrive to International Comic-Con in San Diego with Xbox this week. We’re really excited to see those of you there, and give you one of the first-ever public opportunities to play Sunset Overdrive! We also have a panel, autograph signings, giveaways and much much more.

And for all the details on the Xbox Presence at Comic-Con, check out their event site here.

Play the Game
Sunset Overdrive is PLAYABLE on the showfloor in the Xbox booth (booth #100). Swing by while you’re on the floor to check out the game. Or if you want to see and play Sunset Overdrive as well as all of the great games coming to Xbox One, head over with your SDCC badge to the Xbox Lounge at the Manchester Grand Hyatt (1 Market Place, Seasport Ballroom, 2nd Floor) where over two dozen games will be there to check out!

Panel
We’re throwing a panel at Comic-Con on Thursday evening. Swing by to hear directly from members of the team about the game all about player customization. We’re going to show brand new footage and customizations here, as well as never-before-seen concept art. The official description is below, but you won’t want to miss it.

The Fusion of Art and Style in Sunset Overdrive
Thursday, July 24, 5:00PM – 6:00PM, Room 5AB

Join Xbox Live’s Major Nelson to get an inside look into the inspiration behind the vibrant and off-the-wall style of Sunset Overdrive, a new open-world action game coming exclusively to the Xbox One this fall. Audience members will be the first to see new Sunset Overdrive content illustrating the creative freedom the game offers players. Hear directly from Insomniac Games’s Drew Murray and Marcus Smith (Game and Creative Director, respectively) along with art directorJacinda Chew and lead character artist Gavin Goulden.

Mondo x Sunset Overdrive
Last week, we announced our collaboration with Mondo, the Austin-based gallery and art collective, to create their first-ever poster for a video game.  The screen-printed poster was created by UK-based artist Matt Taylor, and is a limited edition run being sold exclusively at SDCC. Mondo will be putting the poster on sale at some point during the convention (Booth #835). To find out when it goes on sale, follow them on Twitter at @Mondonews (helpful hint, turn on mobile notifications for Mondo during SDCC so you get texts when they tweet about something being on sale!).

We also have some copies of the print to give away as well!  If you think you’re good at Sunset Overdrive, you should be the first to play Chaos Squad in the Xbox Lounge every morning when it opens. The top scorer in each of the first few games of each day will be rewarded with a beautiful copy of the poster (but you can only win once!). Also follow @SunsetOverdrive on twitter, as well for more details on giveaways and maybe even a chance to win from home!

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Autograph Signing – Friday July 25th, 1pm-2pm, Xbox Lounge Main Stage
On Friday, we’ll also be having an autograph signing in the Xbox Lounge with Creative Director Marcus Smith, Community Lead James Stevenson, and Sunset TV Host and Community Manager Brandon Winfrey (among other Insomniacs!). Bring your Insomniac swag to get signed. We may even have some swag for folks in line to get signed if you didn’t have any! So be sure to come by the Xbox Lounge in the Manchester Grand Hyatt (1 Market Place, Seasport Ballroom, 2nd Floor).

Giveaways
We have new Sunset Overdrive t-shirts, some lithograph posters of the box art and some other goodies to give away as well. Generally speaking we’ll give those away at the Xbox Lounge (Manchester Grand Hyatt) at random times throughout the event to people who play the game. Want to know when? Stay tuned to @SunsetOverdrive‘s twitter for announcements about t-shirts being available at the lounge.

Oh yeah, Xbox has an awesome custom Sunset Overdrive Xbox One that will be given away as well. For details on how to play, check out the Xbox Comic Con page.

 

Whew. That is probably all. There’s a lot going on, and it’s our biggest presence at Comic-Con ever. We’re looking forward to seeing you there, playing the game with you at the booth and Xbox Lounge, and seeing you at our panel and screening. Be sure to follow @SunsetOverdrive on twitter for all the latest from the show as it happens!

We’ve got a lot of great stuff happening at San Diego Comic-Con this year, but one of the items we’re really excited about was collaborating with our friends at Mondo to release their first ever screenprint based on a videogame.  Entertainment Weekly has the exclusive reveal of the poster which will be on sale at some point during Comic-Con at booth 835 (for more details on on-sale, keep your eyes peeled to Mondo’s twitter). We’ll also have some giveaways around the show as well, you’ll want to keep up with our blog and the Sunset Overdrive twitter on that front.

We collaborated with Mondo for their first ever video-game print. Celebrating Sunset Overdrive, the print was created by UK-Based Matt Taylor, and will be sold at San Diego Comic Con.

Sunset Overdrive by Matt Taylor, on sale at Mondo’s booth during SDCC

The poster was created by UK-Based artist Matt Taylor. We’re big fans of Matt’s work,and it was really cool to see his take on the world of Sunset Overdrive. For your first look at the poster and thoughts from Matt himself, Mondo’s Justin Ishmael, and our own Drew Murray and James Stevenson, check out the exclusive reveal at EW.com

If you want to see detail photos for the print check out the below:

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If you aren’t familiar with Mondo, it’s an Austin, TX-based gallery that releases limited edition screenprinted posters based on classic and contemporary film (and TV), as well as other cool stuff like apparel, vinyl movie soundtracks, and VHS-rereleases. They’ve had a ton of amazing posters over the years, which you can check out in their archive.

We hope you like the artwork, and there’s much more happening at San Diego Comic-Con this year, with playable Sunset Overdrive on the showfloor and at the Xbox Lounge, as well as a panel with brand-new content from the game on Thursday evening, giveaways and much more. Stay tuned to the blog for the full breakdown of activities and events soon!

As we continue towards this Fall, we wanted to spotlight various members of the Sunset Overdrive team with some questions you hopefully haven’t seen answered elsewhere. Get to know the Sunset Overdrive team. This week we talk to Art Director Jacinda Chew.

jacindacHow did you come to be an Art Director at Insomniac Games?

I started here as an environment modeler back in 2003 and worked my way to art director.

What were the major influences for the art style of Sunset Overdrive?

I looked at a ton of reference when we were researching the game. I looked at Havana and Shinjuku when we were building the environment. I looked at Phil Hale, Jamie Hewlett, and Jean Paul Gaultier when we were designing the characters and fashion. The Scott Pilgrim movie is a huge influence for our FX. There is an irreverence or attitude that I liked about each of these artists and architectural styles.

How long did it take to find the “style?”

I think it took almost two years to get some solid target renders. If you’re wondering why it took so long, it’s because it was a game that started as a huge pile of disparate ideas that I spent two years distilling into an art style. One of our biggest challenges was figuring out the building style. Since the buildings are closely tied to the game traversal, we had to work hand-in-hand with Design to make buildings that were traversal-friendly so it was an organic process. We probably rebuilt the original prototype city eleven times as we re-adjusted our metrics and building designs to meet the needs of gameplay. The character style went through some iteration as well. I wanted to design characters who were believable as underdogs, but also aspirational and capable of performing our parkour moves. There is remarkably little concept art for this game because so many things were dependent on the modelers working collaboratively with design and creative.

Why all the color?

Sunset Overdrive is all about fun in the end times and I wanted to reflect that in the art style. I was inspired by some colorful buildings in Havana and I loved how the peeling paint and plaster would often reveal other colors underneath. This eventually made it into our game as brushstrokes that are splashed onto the asphalt, buildings, and even clothes. Not only did I want the world to be a happy place full of vibrant color, but a place where you didn’t have to follow any rules. This is why we didn’t bother to paint within the lines. It’s controlled chaos.

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If an animation studio made a movie out of Sunset Overdrive – who would you want it to be and why?

Actually, I’d want Edgar Wright to direct the Sunset movie because the irreverence and humor in his movies would fit really well with our game.

Do you have a guide when it comes to what vanity to put in the game for character customization?

I find a lot of vanity systems to be rather limiting because there are a lot of options, but most games don’t really spend a lot of time considering the design of each individual piece. I want you to be able to be who you want to be, but I also want you to look cool.  I’m really interested in fashion and wanted to design clothes that people would actually want to wear in real life.  I tried to pick a wide range of garments that would appeal to as wide an audience as possible. The Insomniacs were the ultimate guinea pigs because we would drop new vanity items on a weekly basis and see what people would gravitate towards. It was really gratifying to see even the most conservative players creating outlandish costumes. Sure, you have the option to wear blue jeans and a t-shirt, but why would you want to?

You can be one of the character we showed off in the E3 Chas Squad demo. Who do you choose?

I’d be Bunny Girl all the way.

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Other interviews with Game Director Drew Murray and Creative Director Marcus Smith.

Hey everyone,

This past weekend we were in Austin, Texas showing off some of Sunset Overdrive to all of the amazing Rooster Teeth fans at the Rooster Teeth Expo (RTX).

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Some of you may have caught presentations from our own Community Lead James Stevenson and Sunset TV host and Community Manager Brandon Winfrey from the RTX Center Stage live on Twitch.

While on stage we presented some of our inspiration for the game, and set up the story while showing some work-in-progress versions of some of the opening story cinematics from the game. As always, the character you see in these will be YOUR character!

Friday Presentation w/ Rooster Teeth’s Ashley Jenkins:
http://www.twitch.tv/rtxlive/b/544450667?t=34m13s

Saturday’s presentation (if you want to see us mess up the presentation and demo in completely different ways!)
http://www.twitch.tv/rtxlive/b/544450667?t=21h27m26s

If you have questions or comments, you can post them here! Thanks to everyone who came out to see us at RTX or watched live online. It was great to meet and talk to you. Special thanks to the Rooster Teeth crew for making us feel so welcome!

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We’ll be presenting Sunset Overdrive on the center stage at 12:00pm CDT on July 4th, and 9:00am CDT on July 5th. Hear all about the game directly from Insomniac’s James Stevenson and Brandon Winfrey. See a live gameplay demo from the single-player campaign and the never-publicly seen footage from the game.

Be sure to follow @SunsetOverdrive, @JamesStevenson and @BWinfrey on Twitter for a chance to find them during the Expo and score a limited edition Sunset Overdrive T-shirt.

lisa_sdbAhoy ahoy, humans! My name is Lisa, I’m a designer here at Insomniac, and today I’m going to tell you about…

…an experiment.

Insomniac has a lot of exciting things going on with Sunset Overdrive, Outernauts, and the Ratchet & Clank Movie and game, but we are always on the lookout for ways to throw even more excitement into our lives. We love AAA games, and mobile has been delightful, but we also love watching all the fun, amazing things coming out of the indie games space. We’ve been super inspired by our friends at DoubleFine and their adventures with Amnesia Fortnight, and we love Vlambeer’s performative development initiative with Nuclear Throne. Seeing all the cool, small games and development streams popping up is incredibly inspiring!

That led us to consider what a true indie project of our own would look like. While we’ve been a 100 percent independent game developer for 20 years now, few people would classify us as “indie” even though we pride ourselves on that very spirit. For example, many folks don’t know that Insomniac founder and CEO Ted Price burned through his life savings creating our first game demo, literally down to his last dollars when he signed a three-game deal with Universal. Chief Technology Officer Alex Hastings was sleeping on Ted’s couch when he wasn’t madly programming Insomniac’s first engine. Several weeks later Brian Hastings, Insomniac’s Chief Creative Officer joined to bring more programming power and ideas to the party. The three dove headfirst into production, all wearing lots of hats. When I think of the term garage developer it’s an apt moniker for how Ted, Al and Brian describe their early days.

Fast forward to today and despite the fact that we’re bigger, the independent, “everyone contributes” spirit has never waned. So when this question came up: “What’s the smallest number of Insomniacs it would take to make a great game?” it was very familiar territory for Ted, Al, Brian and Chief Operating Officer John Fiorito. They enthusiastically fired up the laboratory! Now, all that was needed was a guinea pig…

And that, dear reader, is where I came in. Captured from the wilds of the Insomniac design department, I was whisked away to the lab, microchipped, supplied with ample stock of food pellets, and then put to prototyping under the watchful observation of our top Insomniac scientists. A game was spawned, a team was formed, and here we are today. This is such an experiment that they even let me write this announcement post!

Let me tell you about our game…

WAAAAAIT! STOP EVERYTHING!

Wait a minute, what? Who is that? What are you doing in my blog post?

This is Ryan, and what are YOU doing??? We can’t announce this game! It’s not ready yet! We don’t even have a game logo!!! And where’s the trailer??

But, Ryan this game isn’t even half finished yet, that’s the whole point, we’re going to show…

WHAT ABOUT KEY ART??? We don’t even have key art!! We can’t announce a game without ASSETS!!

Ryan.

Wait, who’s that?

This is Ted. Ryan, chill out, man. It’s an experiment!!!

…but…but…

Hey, Ryan, what if we show some draft versions of key art soon as a work in progress, then we can show its evolution over the summer as the game goes on and we update and change the key art until it is final! The goal is to show off the development process after all. We can even get people’s feedback along the way!

So, we get to post key art?

Well how about we just start with some concepts.

Okay…okay I think we can do that. Carry on!

OKAY THEN!

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About the Game

Slow Down Bull is a small action game about a stressed out, overachiever bull named Axel. He loves collecting beautiful things, but has to overcome his innate bull nature to accomplish his goals. Axel tries very hard to be graceful and cautious while he collects, but it’s very stressful! What if he bumps into someone? What if his bull-like nature erupts and ruins everything he’s trying to collect? What if he messes up???

The trouble is, if our bull *does* get too stressed out, he *will* succumb to his bull instincts, and tantrum and trample all over that which he loves. Can you help him achieve his goals and keep his cool at the same time?

Slow Down Bull is being made by a team of 4-5 people in Unity for the PC, and we’ll be streaming our work on the game on Friday afternoons (PST). Our first stream will be on Friday, June 27 at 2:00pm PST on the Insomniac Twitch Stream. We’d love for you to stop by and hang out with us in the stream! We’ll also be posting development progress here on the blog, so stay tuned for updates about the game and stories about the team making it.

We hope you’ll join us in observing the results of this Insomniac experiment! See you in the stream :) -Lisa

Today the 29 judging publications that are a part of the Game Critics Awards announced their nominations for the Best of E3 2014. We were honored that Sunset Overdrive received two nominations, for Best Original Game and Best Action/Adventure Game. It’s the first time Insomniac has ever received a best Original Game nomination from the Game Critics Awards.

These nominations are the cherry on top of a super-successful E3 for Sunset Overdrive, which saw the game earn (by our totally unofficially official count) 58 nominations with 30 wins of various E3 Awards and Best Of lists from various media outlets. You can see just a few of those nominations in the photo of Creative Director Marcus Smith and Game Director Drew Murray.

Sunset Overdrive Game Director Drew Murray celebrates a successful E3 2014 by jumping on Creative Director Marcus Smith's back

Sunset Overdrive Game Director Drew Murray celebrates a successful E3 2014 by jumping on Creative Director Marcus Smith’s back

The Game Critics Awards will announce the winners of the awards next Tuesday, July 1st. You can see all of the nominations here.

You can pre-order the game to receive the Day One Edition from our various retail partners here. As always, for all the latest on Sunset Overdrive keep it tuned here for follow us on twitter @SunsetOverdrive or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SunsetOverdriveGame.

 

 

It was the spring of 1996 and the first day of the second-ever E3. In a remote corner of the Los Angeles Convention Center’s South Hall Al Hastings, Brian Hastings and I were standing nervously next to a game kiosk. The kiosk was basically a wooden stand holding a 13-inch color screen and a PlayStation 1 hidden inside.

But on the screen was our first game, Disruptor. I recall a few people stopping by, picking up the controller and playing through the first level. When I say “a few” I mean a total of around 30 over three days.

For the three of us, it was amazing. Here we were – three industry noobs surrounded by huge games, getting to show off our little newcomer to the whole world.

Through the years we’ve experienced similar E3 highs. Like 1998 in Atlanta where the Foo Fighters played under a giant Spyro the Dragon banner. Or in 2004 where we demoed the first online multiplayer platformer ever, Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, onstage at the Sony E3 press conference. Or in 2006 where we had Resistance: Fall of Man multiplayer running on a crazy number of kiosks in the Sony booth.

However, nothing comes close to what happened this year. For me and for all of us at Insomniac this particular E3, our 19th,  was extraordinary.

There were many E3 moments last week to choose from that I could call my favorite.

Ultimately, what I’ll remember most occurred in the show’s final minutes.  After more than 40 live Sunset Overdrive presentations, dozens of press interviews, ushering thousands of players through our booth lines and sharing hundreds of pounds worth of Overcharge Delirium XT cans with fans, Insomniac and Microsoft team members who worked at the Sunset Overdrive booth gathered there for celebratory photos. I was moved by the pride and enthusiasm apparent on everyone’s face despite their exhaustion, especially when Drew Murray, our game director, gleefully jumped on creative director Marcus Smith’s back. The entire group felt such a clear and overpowering sense of ownership in Sunset Overdrive…that’s when you know you’re a part of something special.

Sunset Overdrive Game Director Drew Murray celebrates a successful E3 2014 by jumping on Creative Director Marcus Smith's back

Sunset Overdrive Game Director Drew Murray celebrates a successful E3 2014 by jumping on Creative Director Marcus Smith’s back

We all had a lot to be happy about at E3 2014 – 18 years after that very first time we showed off one of our games.

First and foremost Sunset Overdrive garnered more than 50 E3 nominations and awards during and after the show – an unprecedented amount for us.  That alone would have been enough to cap this E3 as Insomniac’s most successful. Yet we still had other exciting news to share about our upcoming PS4 re-imagination of the original Ratchet & Clank to coincide with the movie. Add our recent strong debut of Outernauts on iPhone and iPad, where we’re enjoying a 4.5-star rating and nearly 2.8 million beast eggs have been hatched since we were featured on the App Store home page, and last week eclipsed all of our past E3s by a country mile.

My own E3 actually started the previous week, deep in the bowels of the Galen Center on USC’s campus. Everyone associated with the Microsoft press conference spent much of the weekend rehearsing for the big show. I don’t think I was the only one who got nervous when reminded that millions of people around the world would be watching. No pressure…

As stressful as the press conference was, the one-block bus ride to the green carpet in our Sunset Overdrive-themed vehicle almost exceeded it.  Security officers wouldn’t let the bus, filled with Insomniacs dressed as Sunset City survivors, into the Galen Center parking zone. They even threatened to arrest the bus driver!  The misunderstanding was eventually corrected, and we made our unique entrance – after another shuttle bus rear-ended ours.

When the show floor opened on Tuesday, those of us manning the booth watched as fans literally ran to our booth to be the first in line to play Sunset Overdrive. Their enthusiasm was infectious, and I’m sure inspired both Insomniac and Microsoft team members working the booth.  That excitement never wavered throughout the week. And I still can’t believe the volume of Sunset Overdrive promotional items Microsoft provided throughout the show fueling the fire – wall clings in bathrooms, small Fizzie balloons , cool t-shirts, Overcharge!!! and of course a very BIG Fizzie balloon spewing insults. We’ve never seen that kind of support for one of our games. And it was awesome.

I spent a lot of time throughout the week meeting Insomniac fans and talking games. That’s always my favorite part of E3.  So when I was asked to help host an Xbox One event for retail partners after normal show hours mid-week, I was a little disappointed at first. Why? Frankly I expected a gaggle of businessmen in suits to show up, have no idea what our game was about and basically ignore us. Man, I was wayyyy off!

The retail guys and girls who came to the event couldn’t have been cooler. They’re avid gamers, like all of us, and probably even more hardcore. Their passion and knowledge re-invigorated all of us at the event after several long days.  Hearing them chant “Ryan!” while Ryan Schneider played through our single-player campaign demo was a special highlight.

Now that E3 has come and gone, our entire studio has taken a collective deep breath to savor the public’s response before we dive back in to finish the game.  We’ve had our ups and downs when it comes to revealing new games, and were a little apprehensive as a result heading into E3 this year.  Since Sunset Overdrive looks and plays so differently when compared to traditional shooters, we weren’t sure how people would react when picking up the controls for the first time. But when we saw fans coming back to play the demo for a fourth or fifth time…well, it was pretty clear that things were going to be okay.

To all of you who played and shared your thoughts, or sent us notes, or commented on forums and social media, thank you for your feedback!  It means a lot to us, and please know we are always listening. In fact, we created Sunset TV, a weekly show dedicated to all the latest Sunset Overdrive news, specifically to keep you informed both online and eventually in the game itself when we launch in North America and Europe on October 28, 2014.

Again, it was an incredible week for all of us at Insomniac. In a way, it was a lot like Sunset Overdrive itself: Loud, vibrant, hordes of people rushing around…and Fizzie.

Thanks for reading, and if you’d like, share your favorite E3 memories with the team and me in the comments section below or via Twitter. You can reach me at @igTedPrice.