Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester throws mobile gaming a changeup
Hardball Ace pits you, the batter, against Jon Lester in a home run derby-style effort to score as many hits and runs on him as possible. But don't take it too lightly: Aside from being digitized, this is the real Jon Lester, thanks to motion capture technology. And, like we said, hopping into a unitard, covering yourself in tiny yellow balls and throwing pitches for five hours isn't exactly easy.
"To be a part of it and see me with this really stupid-looking suit on with all these different motion deals that are taped to your body and you have to go through your motion every couple minutes--it's a process that's tedious," Lester admits. "We spent a good amount of time doing this."
Every pitch recreated in Hardball Ace was hand-thrown, so to speak, by Lester. When meeting with Face the Ace to see a version of the game post-motion capture, the honorary Bostonian couldn't put the game down. "It was just cool to see the whole deal, and the frustrating part was that they handed it to me on Level Hard and I couldn't get a hit." That's when you know it's accurate, no?
Lester will directly interact with Hardball Ace players post-launch through Twitter integration. Players who have an account can send him tweets from within the game for whatever reason, but is there is any harm in friendly taunts? Well, nothing, as Lester recorded a few busts for players to watch as he smokes them. And after throwing you a few no-hitters, he might feel so inclined to toss a few giveaways your way as well.
The name of the game here is engagement, and Lester joins a list of athletes and celebrities who have seen the light of interactive endorsements. (Just look at what the New Boyz are up to on Facebook.) But to this pitcher, it's not about shaking things up as much as, simply put, having some fun and doing something different. When asked whether projects like former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's 38 Studios are a sign of things to come, Lester says, "You know, he loves World of WarCraft or whatever the heck it's called. He loves that whole deal and created his own world. We're definitely not trying to do that."
Even after doing motion capture work twice before for Sony Computer Entertainment in the MLB: The Show game series, Lester is still amazed at how it all works. "To go through [motion capture] and go on the computer to see a stick figure and how that looks [compared] to what you were doing, and to see that stick figure go to what it is now in the game is unbelievable," Lester gushes. "Not only looks-wise--facial features and all that stuff--but the delivery is down to a 'T' in looking like me."
And, according to the 5-year-strong pitcher, that's exactly what Face the Ace was looking for. But between his Twitter interactions, video messages and future giveaways, Lester says Hardball Ace has a more personal touch than his console exploits. Nothing is more personal these days than good old gaming trash talk and tweet battles, so kudos, Mr. Lester.
Click here to download Hardball Ace on iPhone for Free Now.
[Image Credits: Apple, Getty Images]
Have you tried Hardball Ace yet? What are your thoughts on video games, and casual games at that, surrounding pro athletes? Do you think these types of endorsements will supercede traditional ads? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.