What do Jon Lester and James Cameron have in common?
No, the Red Sox star doesn't talk trash in Na'vi, but he does share something with the blue beings of Cameron's blockbuster. That's because when it came time to digitize Lester's every move and mannerism for the new mobile game "Hardball Ace," Face the Ace Games actually used advanced motion-capture technology similar to what Cameron used for "Avatar" to replicate everything from Lester's shoulder angle to the exact release point of every pitch.
The results? A game in which virtual batters step to the plate against a simulated Lester that promises to be so accurate I have a feeling the Yankees are going to be sneaking their iPhones into the dugout to better figure out the Sox starter.
Top it off with the fact fans can then head to Twitter to tweet back and forth with Lester about the game, the Red Sox and your love for clam chowder, and you have an experience a lot more satisfying than simply yelling at your TV because you failed once again to throw a perfect game in "MLB 2K11."
I had the chance recently to catch-up with Lester to talk about his new game, his pitching tendencies and what gamers should expect when they step to the plate in "Hardball Ace." Here's what the southpaw (who doesn't actually want you to call him an ace just yet) had to say.
Jon Robinson: The process to motion-capture and digitize your movements into the game took nine months. What was it like for you to see your image evolve from a stick figure on a monitor to a virtual representation of your every move?
Jon Lester: It was cool. It was also a little different. You have to put the tight suit on, then it takes a while because they have to make sure everything is reading right. To be able to go through all of my pitches and my motion then to run to the computer and see the stick figures on the screen and then to see where the game is at now is pretty crazy. To be a part of the making of the game and to see how a game grows from an idea to seeing the technology behind the game to seeing the actual game is really cool.
To make a game like this is actually a longer process than most fans might think. I spent about three hours in the motion-capture suit then another three or four going over all of the intricacies of the game. It's a long process, but it's really cool to see the game grow from where it was to where it is now.
Jon Robinson: What's it like to stand around in a spandex suit for that long?
Jon Lester: There weren't too many people there, which was good, because it was a little awkward. [laughs]