Sonic & SEGA Fan Jam 2014: Impressions

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Hello SEGAbits readers, Kori-Maru here and fresh from our fan convention event in Savannah, Ga. I would like to thank everyone who’ve attended our event and The Guild Hall for their support and using their venue for the event. Met new friends and had some great moments at the event. Want to learn how SEGA & Sonic Fan Jam came to be and how the even turned out? Hit the jump of my impressions of Sonic & SEGA Fan Jam 2014 including a ton pictures.
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It all began after my trip to MomoCon where I last met Aaron Webber, former associate brand manager of SEGA of America. During the Sonic the Hedgehog panel, he told the audience a little story on how he earned a job at SEGA and telling us to never give up on our goals. This inspiration gave me the motivation to host a small fan event for the launch of Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric, the new television series based on the Sonic franchise. At first, the event was going to soley focus on Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric for the Wii U, however since Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd and Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax was slated for release around the same time as Sonic Boom, so I decided to add these games and bring more variety for the audiences of Fan Jam. Another reason for Project Diva F 2nd‘s inclusion for the event was to pay tribute to Aaron’s hard work during his time at SEGA of America.

During planning stages for Fan Jam, our SEGAbits writers, Barry the Nomad and Liam Ashcroft, worked on the art design for the event while I made a check list for the event and make sure everything goes according to plan. Next, I payed a visit to my local venue called The Guild Hall and planned a meeting with the event planners, Micheal and Kara, to make this event a success. Not only where they able to help out with the event but my other friends did as well. My good friend, Phyco Ferret, handled the streaming equipment and was able to make sure that the video and audio quality was top notched. Thomas (Kage-Maru) was our game master for the Sega Retro gaming area, Kieran (Shinobi) handled the commentary for the tournaments, and Crystal (NiGHTS) for helping out with the rules for our cosplay contest. My mother also helped us out a lot by bringing the free chili dogs for the event. As for me, my job was to provide prizes from big names like SEGA of America and Hardcore Gaming 101, to produce trivia/facts videos on the featured SEGA retro games, make contacts with special guests such as film makers, and server as coordinator for the event.

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With 4 months ahead of us, I’ve designed a plan for us to advertise the event effectively advertise the event around the local Georgia area through passing out flyers at conventions in Atlanta, social media through Facebook/Twitter, comic book stores, and even behind cars.

The big day came once my friends and I stayed up until 5:00 Am to set everything up for Fan Jam. We’ve began setting up flat screen TVs with the big three games, classic SEGA Genesis & Saturn consoles provided by my local retro gaming store called Planet Fun, making sure the projector for the stage was working to show videos, and that the stream on SEGA Channel Retro was running smoothly.
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The event began at 9:00 AM and following that time, more people showed up hour after hour. We began playing Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric to our viewers on Twitch and interviewed Archie Comics one and only, Tracy Yardley.Tracy agreed to show up for our Sonic & SEGA Fan Jam event selling comic books and doing commissions for the attendees.
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During the interview, Tracy and I discussed how we’ve met in person, talked about our favorite and least favorite Sonic characters including games, and talked about the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog comic book issues. He even drew this awesome artwork of the mascots of Fan Jam 2014. Once again, I appreciate him for coming to our event and showing his amazing work.
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Tracy Yardely wasn’t our only special guest at Fan Jam! Matt, the owner of Tails Channel, and the Sonic Misadventure crew showed up and hosted a panel showing off an exclusive clip to their Sonic Misadventures web series scheduled for Early 2015 which features Sonic and the crew on random adventures in the style of the Adventure era. These guys were so awesome with their presentation showing off a clip of Team Dark. After the video was over, Matt hosted a Q/A session with the rest of the Misadventure team on Skype. This alone made Fan Jam look like the Summer of Sonic convention.

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Want to give Doryan Nelson & Chris Wilcox a shout out for permission to show the Sonic Prologue fan film which shows how Sonic & Tails first met during the events of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The crowd loved the film and hope to see another Sonic fan film like this next year. Another fan film we wanted to show but couldn’t due to time constraints was Bare Knuckle Streets of Rage produced and directed by actor, Basil Masters. This fan film was written by Mr. Masters when he was just only five years old and which the film takes place sometime before the events in the first Streets of Rage game focusing Alex’s revenge on Mr. X. Out of all of the Streets of Rage fan films on the net, this is one of the best ones out there with great additional plots and martial arts. Show your support on his YouTube page and watch Part 1 and 2 of the film.
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We also had a couple of SEGA cosplayers showing up at the door. One of them was Hatsune Miku with a nice Sonic the Hedgehog attire which made her very kawii, two other young ladies were Marine the Raccoon from Sonic Rush Adventure and Sticks the Badger of the new Sonic Boom TV show (probably the first cosplay of the character I’ve seen.). A Ryo Hazuki cosplayer happened to show up asking if their were sailors around and surprisingly Sonic the Cosplayer from Tampa, Florida showed up at our event. Each cosplayer entered our cosplay contest based on various unique things about their costumes. In the end, all of them were great and gave them cool SEGA prizes.

Last but not least, we had our featured three gaming tournaments. The first tournament started out with Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd High Score Contest for people who earned the highest score wins a free copy of the game. Unfortunately, we were unable to stream the game due to technical issues but were able to take pictures with Elvis Mack and the SEGA cosplay gals as winners. For the second tournament, we had Degenki Bunko Fighting Climax which features light novel characters in the world of SEGA. Battles were intense as I entered in the tournament as well and met my match in one round but I managed to break the bracket and win the Akira Yuki statue.
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To end our event with a bang, everyone raced to the finish in our Sonic Adventure 2: Battle tournament and the first place would win signed copies of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal from our friends at SEGA of America. Our lucky winner and best Sonic Adventure 2 player happened to be Matt, the owner of Tails Channel with our way past cool hedgehog, Sonic.

And there you have it! Sonic & SEGA Fan Jam was a success and we thank everyone in the Sonic & SEGA community for the huge support. As a bonus we’ve started a donation page here for the next event for 2015 with $1 to donate. We are currently planning to bring in more special guests, classic SEGA titles and more!

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