In which I announce what I’ve been working on at GAEMS

 

I’m beyond excited to finally show you this.

Yup, that’s a brand new GAEMS Personal Gaming Environment with United Nations Space Command logos. It’s called the Vanguard, and for right now it’s a Halo exclusive, timed to release with Halo 4.

Our current product, the G155, has been a godsend for me since it released. As I mentioned in my blog entry about joining GAEMS I travel enough that missing out on top games when they come out is a real possibility, and the G155 solves that perfectly. Well, the Vanguard is even better. Featuring a 19” screen with improved viewing angles, more powerful speakers, and subtle case design changes, it’s going to be my mobile entertainment solution for a while.

When I came to GAEMS the Vanguard was extremely close to design complete. I’ve learned so much from our incredible design and manufacturing teams about how you take a product like this from drawing to CAD to samples to manufacture to final product. A ton of work goes into making sure the experience we’re designing really shows in the product. Add to that when you’re creating your follow on to something people already like you want to make sure you don’t take any steps back while at the same time integrating feedback that people had.

For instance a ton of time went into the handle of the Vanguard, and more than once we had to stop and start over to make sure we had something we really felt would work well and be an improvement over the G155. Everyone has a huge investment in making sure you guys think the Vanguard kicks ass.

But the best part was getting to work on something for Halo with 343 Industries. I’m a huge fan of the Halo Universe; I’ve devoured all the books, anime, etc. Hell, a Halo game was the very first video game I was ever credited in! So when the team came up with the idea to approach them over Halo 4 I was all in for that.

At first we thought about doing something Halo 4 specific. But as we worked with 343 we realized that given the shape and purpose of the device, going with a UNSC style made a lot more sense. It was a lot cooler to imagine the Vanguard as a piece of actual military equipment one might see in the Halo universe. Over a period of about three weeks we nailed the look and design working hand in hand with the Halo team. A lot of work goes into design that one might not realize. It’s one thing to have everything perfectly designed in CAD software, it’s another to make sure the actual plastic samples match the colors you want 100%, or that the transfer process for imprinting the logos to the texture of the case are perfectly positioned down to the millimeter.

As a consumer, I’m really pleased this is available from Amazon with their frustration free packaging. I’m so tired of buying a cool product and you receive a box within a box (sometimes within another box!) with wasteful foam and other things. This way you open the box, there’s your Vanguard, and everything is recyclable.

I’ve been so fortunate to get to work with amazing teams on cool products in my life, and GAEMS is no exception. My co-workers kicked ass to help bring this to you.

There’s still a lot to be done to get the Vanguard timed to Halo 4. But I thought you might like a little background on the story of the product.

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