Case Studies

Gaming, the Globe, and Deadmau5

Gaming, the Globe, and Deadmau5

Written by Steven Paschall

Discovery Never Ends

More often than not, video and film is about how to represent the world in which we live. Most “blank slates” are not truly blank. But when it comes to gaming, the tabula rasa knows no edge — worlds are not just reflected, they’re created.  

Seagate brought us on board to dive into their first ever gaming event, awarding full production of the event to La Storia, including concepting, production, and all post-production responsibilities.

To kick it off we collectively plunged into the infinite depths of 3D animation, where anything was possible. Piece by piece we imagined a journey through a vast landscape of sand-like particles and otherworldly, monolithic structures. But as our minds walked through those spaces alongside the Seagate team, we all realized that while gaming may take you somewhere else, it does so with the technology of the here and now. So we scaled back the fantastical aesthetic of an unknown world, and shifted to building one that feels slightly familiar, and just within reach. An island. A portal. A future.  

We wanted to push Seagate’s technological expertise into a new realm, so we were determined to create a setting that transforms and evolves with movement through different spaces. To make it all happen, we partnered with Peter Godshall (whose surname could not have been more fitting for this project), who brought all of our ideas to life. He built a series of animatics that moved through tunnels and rooms of mechanical geometry reshaping in response to a traveling light source. The detail put into it is… well… out of this world.

The team at Seagate let us run with our aim for an epic start, guiding the overall design, theme, and flow toward a final elevation of Seagate Gaming. It’s amazing how much work is necessary for a quick thirty seconds. But despite the thousand and one words exchanged in the process, and countless hours spent, we still can’t quite describe the thrill of the feeling it evokes.

In parallel with working on the animated intro, we also had to design a stage for our PC-encyclopedic host Justin Robey. We sketched out mock-ups, tested out different light configurations in the office, put together a digital blueprint, constructed set pieces, and even dug deep to put our heads together for some much needed math. It took several pairs of hands, and a lot of fine tuning to rig up the suspended arrangement of Titan tubes that incorporated Seagate's idea to hint at the Konami code in the overall design.

In addition to the plethora of lights and screens, we pushed for lasers (because, really, who doesn’t want lasers?). Theo Petrides can do things with lasers that will have you setting up a fund to buy your own and mesmerize everyone you know. If you’ve never stood before a 4,000-seat auditorium, on a giant stage framed by lasers, put that on your list (just ask Justin how cool it feels).

It would practically be an injustice for a broadcast spanning the entire world to not include a familiar face or two. Seagate proposed the massive DJ, music producer, visual and gaming innovator deadmau5, and we are dead certain they hit the mark. Joel and his team were as cool and professional as they come, and Joel dropped so much insight into his interview with Justin in Los Angeles that the two ended up doing an impromptu PC build together a few days later.

The hour-long event was broadcast live in nine different languages spread across three regions throughout the world. In addition to the hosted portions, the total of eleven broadcast files (with translated captions for each) consisted of nine segments focused on unique, international partners, included two custom PC-builds, a 3D-animated teaser, intro and outro, a ten-minute, 2D-animated countdown clock, custom sound design, and the sourcing and mixing of over music tracks.

The gaming industry is advancing in ways that are almost unimaginable. Almost.