When Freddie Georges Production Group approached The Shop @ Show Ready about creating a series of trade show booths for the 2K Games custom exhibit at PAX East 2012, the team was excited for the opportunity to fabricate three unique designs for each of the new featured games.
The exhibit consisted of three distinct sections – one custom 50-by-50-foot booth for the premier of Borderlands 2, another custom 50-by-50-foot booth for the premier of Spec Ops: The Line, and a refurbished 30-by-50-foot viewing space to preview XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Gods & Kings Expansion Pack.
The centerpiece in the design for the Borderlands 2 booth was four larger-than-life sized sculptures, depicting the main characters of the game. These characters, created by The Shop @ Show Ready’s expert artists, were the first 3D representations of the otherwise two-dimensional video game characters. The Shop’s craftsmen used 1 ½-pound polystyrene bead foam to carve the sculptures from about nine four-by-four-by-eight-foot billets. Once the foam had been worked into perfect forms, a two-stage polyurethane hard coat made them ready for artists to bring them to life with color. Also highlighting the exhibit were 32-gaming stations strategically placed throughout a labyrinth-styled scenic pipeline display.
Inspired by the game’s setting, the booth for Spec Ops: The Line was themed to represent a war-zoned Dubai after a devastating sand storm buried the city. The exhibit featured 18 gaming stations nestled into sculpted sand dunes, two billboards, and one post-apocalyptic city bus. The Shop’s environment engineers, in collaboration with FG|PG’s creative direction, used acute attention to detail when theming the bus – creating each bullet and explosion hole by hand, breaking each window and painting each burn mark with great care.
From a scenic shop overridden with bead foam shavings to miniature explosions inside closed luggage pieces out back, the 2K Games exhibit will go down in The Shop @ Show Ready’s books as one of their favorite projects to have worked on. The process of bringing each of these challenging concepts to life tapped into the talent and expertise in each of the team’s artists, craftsmen, scenic builders, and metal workers.