Indie Development With Major League Support by James Mielke

Stardate: June 4, 2014

Setting: Brooklyn, NY

Yohei Ishii (left), Founder and CEO of TURBO, Nexon Founder Jay Kim (center), and TURBO Advisor Alex Iosilevich (right) reppin' TURBO while conquering the glaciers of Iceland

Yohei Ishii (left), Founder and CEO of TURBO, Nexon Founder Jay Kim (center), and TURBO Advisor Alex Iosilevich (right) reppin' TURBO while conquering the glaciers of Iceland

It’s been eight solid months since I returned home to New York from Japan and things are finally starting to heat up, both figuratively and literally. After what seemed like an eternal Game Of Thrones-style winter here in the city--in itself a shocking reality for the relocated West Coasters at TURBO--the warm weather has finally settled in. Things are also heating up for TURBO as a company as we follow our GDC announcement with our second major reveal, formally announcing our partnership with Nexon as the mobile publisher for our first as yet-unrevealed game.

As someone who has spent a large portion of his adult life writing about and critiquing video games, and then half a decade more actually making them, it may not be that big of a surprise to hear me say that the quality of the game(s) we’re making matters. So how does a small, independent studio like TURBO function in tandem with a large, international publishing entity like Nexon? In reality, it’s practically a perfect marriage.

TURBO, as a studio, is composed of a tight-knit band of industry veterans with a strong, collective background in game development across a variety of game styles: free-to-play, triple-A, indie. You name it, we’ve been there. Part of the purpose of forming this studio was to take our collective development experience and knowledge, and make great games with less of the bureaucracy we’ve experienced at past jobs. Nexon has been nothing but harmonious in helping us maintain that atmosphere.

Min Kim, CEO Nexon America, moments after receiving his exclusive TURBO shirt

Min Kim, CEO Nexon America, moments after receiving his exclusive TURBO shirt

A company like Nexon, with successful franchises like Maple Story, know what it takes to make successful games, and so we’re able to rely on them to give us valuable feedback as we move ever closer to completing our first game as TURBO. But, they manage to provide that feedback without being an overbearing presence that might otherwise affect the chemistry of our Brooklyn-based studio. I can’t imagine a better, more empathetic publishing partner than Nexon. Which brings me to my next point: Our game is free-to-play.

The realm of FTP games is a treacherous one. On the one hand, casual players love them because there’s no commitment and if you don’t like it, you can just delete the game from your phone or console. Experienced, core gamers on the other hand, have come to instinctively be wary of them thanks to the hundreds of quick money grabs that populate app stores around the world. The most articulate gamers are now familiar with terms like “paygate,” “pay to win,” and other phrases that signify when a paywall slams down in front of the gamer, preventing further, unpaid access to an otherwise entertaining game.

Nexon CEO Owen Mahoney himself recently told develop-online.net “Until Western developers learn how to do it better, you won’t see so many strong free-to-play games in the West. We are [noticing opposition in the West], mostly because so much of the free-to-play you see in the market –including the games from the big guys– has been done badly.”

     We always drink Macallan Scotch 18 Year while playing TowerFall

     We always drink Macallan Scotch 18 Year while playing TowerFall

As we ourselves are developing a free-to-play game, this is a challenge we consider and face daily. We want to create an awesome, rich, beautiful game that hardcore, articulate gamers will enjoy, but we also want everyone to try it, and the best way to do that is drop the barrier to entry altogether. But by making it free-to-play, we risk raising the antennae of the core gamer, whose first reaction might be one of skepticism. But this is one of the reasons I’m so happy to be at TURBO.

As senior producer on our game I can say with confidence that we are making a great game, one that people will find value in no matter what their level of investment. We’ve recently hit an early alpha milestone and the game is looking lovely. One reason for this is because we’re all gamers here at TURBO. When I leave work and go home, and after I put the kids to bed, and after I watch a movie with my wife, I’m still putting in a couple of hours into Dark Souls 2, or Wolfenstein, or Soul Sacrifice, or Bravely Default, or MLB 14: The Show, or Transistor, or Super Time Force. I imagine most of my co-workers maintain similar lifestyles in their private time.

The lavish exterior of TURBO's main headquarters in Brooklyn, NY

The lavish exterior of TURBO's main headquarters in Brooklyn, NY

Finally, this is all possible because of how we do things here at TURBO, in our quiet riverside office in Brooklyn. It’s an open, organic space propelled by pure game development, 100% of the time. The building is kind of rough, but that’s part of what indie is all about anyway. Plus, any office space that also houses The Onion can’t be all bad. It helps that the team here is the nicest collection of folks I’ve ever worked with in the industry, which puts that extra spring in my step as I ride the subway to work every day. That says a lot about the quality of our time spent here, and hopefully that’s reflected in the quality of our game. It’s a game that --when the time is ripe-- we’ll be proud to reveal to the world, and hopefully one that every one of you will want to play.

Signing off from DUMBO (down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass),

Milky

We're Going To PAX East!

TURBO will be at PAX East, and yes, once again if you can find James Mielke, he will hook you up with one of these amazing limited edition conference t-shirts!  Only catch is you have to somehow convince him that The World's End is super overrated and not funny.  Good luck!

GameLoading: Rise Of The Indies

The GameLoading crew stopped by the TURBO offices last week.  If you don't know who they are or what they are trying to do, please check out the following link for details: http://www.gameloading.tv/

NOW HURRY-UP AND GO SUPPORT THAT SHIZZLE!

Total Recall by James Mielke

We here at TURBO are always exploring new things, new ideas, new technologies. And with all the hubbub surrounding VR --thanks to Oculus Rift and, more recently, Sony’s Project Morpheus-- we were fortunate to spend some quality time checking out CCP’s EVE: Valkyrie demo, running on Oculus.

To me, VR represents a whole new paradigm in gaming. I truly believe this. I feel that every console generation since the PlayStation 2 and beyond (this includes the millions of PC iterations and upgrades over the years, too) have only really represented upgrades in processing power and visual fidelity. Very little, even factoring in Nintendo’s once-popular Wii motion controls or tablet touchscreen inputs, has changed in the last 14-15 years. But Oculus, and now Morpheus, are changing all that.

We have, for one reason or another, been discussing VR as of late, partly because it’s a hot topic, and partly for future exploration. This technology opens up myriad design possibilities, so of course we’re at least going to think about it, daydream out loud, and ponder its potential. This, however, drew a line in the sand for the team, between those that had tried the Oculus, and those who hadn’t. Those who hadn’t were simply lacking context. Through no fault of their own it is possible that one might associate the term “VR” with those antiquated headsets of old, which at their best mimicked a floating HD display that moved wherever one’s head moved. With the current-gen VR tech, YOU are the fulcrum around which the world moves, not the other way around.

So, no matter how you might describe the Oculus experience to someone, there’s nothing to replace the sensation of actually trying it. With a pal from CCP in the house, lugging his high-powered rig with him, the members of team TURBO lined up to jump into the virtual headspace of EVE Valkyrie.

We first strapped TURBO COO, Ken Suguro, into the Oculus gear, a --to be fair-- cumbersome assemblage of visor and headphones. He had not tried Oculus yet, and despite a long history with AR/VR and Little Red Riding Hood (don’t ask) he had yet to see the current generation of VR in action. As we expected, he thought it was very cool.

The feeling of putting on the visor is one of Total Recall. It is, to abuse an overused word, immersive. When I first tried the Oculus, it was with the RPG-style demo where I began the experience in a medieval home of sorts. It wasn’t just a screen floating in front of me; it was a complete, fully realized world. Looking behind me, the entire room was there. Turning my head left and right resulted in seeing things as you would in real life. A table here, chairs over there, and the camera didn’t jostle or do anything remotely video game-y. The objects in the environment were so convincing that everyone who tried the demo would instinctively reach out as if to touch it. Everything had depth. This is, after all, a 3D technology, but it’s like the surround sound of 3D graphics.

Having sampled the EVE: Valkyrie demo myself, I can recall how fresh it was to try the game, as it was actually a proper game, unlike the previous demos I had tried (rollercoasters, driving games, medieval castles, etc.). Upon firing up the game I was already impressed, looking to my left and right and up and down inside my cockpit. Looking down I could see my glowing chest armor, although my hands didn’t move as I somehow wanted them to. Immediately surrounding me I could tangibly ‘feel’ the geometry of the cockpit. It was very cool. Looking further beyond my immediate trappings I could see the wings of my ship, and upon pressing the right trigger button of my controller, witnessed subtle, real-time lighting effects as I tested my laser cannons. We’ve all seen X-Wings and Y-Wings in Star Wars movies, but this is basically what it must feel like to actually sit in one.

The ship itself felt quite large, with the wings spanning as far out as they did. But as I raced down the launch tube as if I was a pilot in Battlestar Galactica, hitting the freedom and chaos of open space was exhilarating. As I got acclimated to the controls I began doing my best Stevie Wonder impression as I lurched my head backwards to keep track of my target who had just flown past me, overhead. I can only imagine how awesome an Ace Combat game designed for Oculus/Morpheus would be. I began to think how incredible a Virtua Cop-style game could be, crouching behind cover in realistic environments, and taking out snipers in windows or militia that pop up from behind shell-shattered environments. VR isn’t just a new way to control your game, like a controller would; VR is a new way to experience your game.

One by one the guys and gals at TURBO lined up and took Valkyrie for a spin. Each one --even the ones who’d tried Oculus in the past-- left impressed, chirping out ideas as soon as they took the headset off. I personally can’t wait for Morpheus to come home to PlayStation 4. I can imagine almost every game, redesigned or designed to be played in a virtual space. The experience might not be for everyone, but it’s impressive to behold. It will require significant resources to create games for VR, though. Imagine a Spider-Man game where you’re swinging through the streets of Manhattan. Assuming you want to play in a very big city, running at 720p or higher, well, someone’s going to have to build that city. Can you imagine a Final Fantasy in such an environment? Maybe it’ll be just like walking around Shibuya, Japan, with zippered pants, but a large dev team will still have to create those resources.

It’s too early to compare Oculus to Morpheus, but I expect they will offer largely similar experiences, despite the technical differences, which is a good thing. This is exciting stuff coming down the pipe, and it’s nice to be right there as the industry embraces this tech. There are challenges ahead --significant ones-- if we’re going to double down on an industry where VR is an ongoing concern. But based on the evidence at hand, it’s one that I’m more excited about than any tech-related gaming advancement in the past decade. 

Road Trip Tidbits: Recollections From BitSummit and GDC by James Mielke

As I write this, I’m battling the worst (and only) cold I’ve had all year long, which is saying something considering this New York/East Coast winter has been rolling along for what feels like 14 months now. But in arriving at this point, I’m only a few days removed from a trip to San Francisco for our industry’s annual Game Developer’s Conference. In addition to my duties as an ambassador for TURBO, I was also invited to GDC as a guest speaker, giving a presentation on the human element of BitSummit; a discussion on the unknown heroes of the Japanese indie dev scene. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s a chronological recap of my agenda.

Milky w/ ThudRumble

Milky w/ ThudRumble

Wednesday: Arrived at lunch time. Ignore the gaming industry for a couple of hours and head to Millbrae, CA, and have lunch with and check out the offices of the ThudRumble team (aka DJ Q-bert, ShortKut, and Yogafrog). While Q wasn’t there, I did get to hang out with the rest of the crew, take pics, Vines, Instagrams, and got some schwag signed by the guys. Watching ShortKut in action was just jaw-dropping, and to him it was just a Wednesday afternoon. Yogafrog was a super nice dude to chill and chat with. Truly stellar dudes, and it was an honor to meet them.

One short, quiet, comfy BART ride up into San Francisco later, I met up with my homey and coworker, Jon Yao, and walked over to the Moscone Center to pick up my pimped-out GDC Speaker badge. This badge is truly the one to have at GDC as it functions as a baller, all-access pass into any panel or presentation. GDC hosts a party for guest speakers (I bailed), and gives you coupons for a free speaker lunch every day. I totally did not take advantage of any of this stuff, but I appreciated that they offered such things to us. I made a mental note to implement such perks to future speakers at BitSummit.

After I obtained my badge I had a couple of hours to kill before the Sony PlayStation GDC Mixer (fancy term for big-ass party at the Metreon), and ran into some old 1UP.com mates (Sam Kennedy, Alice Liang, Tina Sanchez) and longtime industry buddies Alex Monney and Shon Damron at Chevy’s nearby. I went and caught up with them for a bit, eventually meeting up with Kyoto pal, Baiyon, before finally meeting up with friends and collaborators in BitSummit, Mark MacDonald, John Ricciardi, and Hiroko Minamoto of 8-4, Ltd.

PlayStation GDC Mixer Event

PlayStation GDC Mixer Event

Once we all ventured up into the PlayStation Mixer, I ran into tons of industry friends from various publishers and Sony itself. As a result, I found myself being ushered past the massive line waiting to get their party wristbands, and motioned over to one particular table where a guy checked my friends and I off the guestlist and handed us our wristbands. Once inside it was nearly impossible to move from a spot as I kept running into dozens of the friends I’d made in the industry over the past decade and a half. This is in no way an attempt to ‘show off’ on my part; it’s just a side-effect of being in the gaming industry for so long. Having recently worked on PlayStation-specific games, ranging from Child of Eden on PS3, Lumines Electronic Symphony for PS Vita, and various PixelJunk games (like Visualizer and PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate) I met up with a lot of the Sony folk I’d gotten to know over the years.

Rymdkapsel creator, Martin Jonasson, showcasing his basketball advantage over the 6'2" Milky

Rymdkapsel creator, Martin Jonasson, showcasing his basketball advantage over the 6'2" Milky

I eventually caught up with TURBO Founder, Yohei Ishii (ex-Square Enix, CCP), and TURBO’s Senior Director of BizDev, Ray Bautista. Of all the TURBO dudes in attendance that evening, I was the only one wearing the t-shirt! I see how it is. One fella I am getting used to seeing at things like this is Martin Jonasson, the dude behind the brilliant tactical game, rymdkapsel. He’s a bit taller than me, which causes me no end of frustration, but I’ll learn to live with it I guess.

From an industry perspective it’s a lot easier to have meaningful conversations at GDC than it is at something like E3. E3 is just a circus, so GDC is that once a year event where we can see everyone else in the industry in one place. Although the party ended at around 11pm, instead of going to the Wild Rumpus party (the place to meet up with the gaming industry’s indie developers), myself, Jon, Cindy and other friends trotted over to Denny’s to get a cholesterol-defying meal that may or may not have involved mozzarella sticks. 

Thursday: This was my action-packed day full of meetings that began with a meet-up with a friend and editor from CVG UK (who in turn passed me a card from an editor at EDGE who wanted to contact me). After that breakfast was finished, I walked across the street to Starbucks to meet with an editor from Gamasutra, who wanted to hear all about how BitSummit went, and our new studio at TURBO. Due to the sheer convenience of the location, I fielded almost all of the day’s meetings at either Mel’s Diner or Starbucks. Bouncing back from Starbucks to Mel’s Diner, I then sat down with a former coworker from Q-Games and some new friends from Indiecade who also wanted to discuss BitSummit and possible collaborations on future indie events together. That was definitely a fun meeting. There’s a lot of like minds in the indie scene, a very strong community of people who want to further the efforts of indie developers.

I then left the meeting with the Indiecade guys to catch up with one of my oldest friends in the industry, John Davison, my former colleague and boss at Ziff-Davis Media. That guy is a prophet of the games industry, regularly forecasting trends and the way the industry would move during his tenure at ZD, and I am lucky to have worked with him. So it’s always nice to get together and discuss this volatile business we’re in. We were soon joined by Ryan Payton, he of Camoflaj/Republique fame, and prior to that 343 Industries and Kojima Productions. GDC is actually just like a big, fat high school reunion that just happens to take place every year.

Milky, chewing the fat with Lab Zero Games founder (and former EGM freelancer), Peter Bartholow, and BioShock Infinite scribe (and former Gamespot EIC), Joe Fielder

Milky, chewing the fat with Lab Zero Games founder (and former EGM freelancer), Peter Bartholow, and BioShock Infinite scribe (and former Gamespot EIC), Joe Fielder

After the day’s meetings were over I shuffled back to my hotel, which was situated in one of the sketchier parts of San Francisco, to work on my GDC presentation for a bit before dinner. When dinner time did arrive, the party consisted of myself, Jon Yao, his girlfriend Cindy Chow, and our friend Chris Fox. We had all met in person almost exactly a year prior, eating at the same Amici’s Pizzeria, so we decided to symbolically return to the same place for dinner this year. The pizza was as good as it always is, but now that Jon and Cindy and I all live in New York City (for them the first time, for me it’s just coming home) we have access to the best pizza in the world, so that tempered things somewhat. Still, it was good to think over just how much we’d gone through to get where we are in the one short year since we first met. In that year, more than a few of us have moved to New York and joined TURBO, to make games in the heart of Brooklyn at our small indie studio on the shore of the East River.

More partying was had on this evening, with Notch’s massive rave, the Microsoft party, and tons of other events. Not for this guy, though. I had a presentation to give to a bunch of hungover editors and enthusiasts in the morning, so back to the hotel I went to tidy up my Powerpoint.

Exploring the Human Element Of BitSummit : GDC 2014 Talk

Exploring the Human Element Of BitSummit : GDC 2014 Talk

Friday: Unfortunately for my hour-long panel, the GDC organizers switched my talk from its original Thursday afternoon slot (primetime) to Friday morning at 10am. This meant that most people were probably too drunk and hungover from the previous night’s events to bother getting up before noon. But even so I still had a nice turnout of both Western and Japanese media attend, and the post-session QA was really nice. I even had one fellow come up to me and say “Hello, I’m from the Swedish government. I’d like to talk to you after you’re done.” Talk about ominous. I thought I might have to rappel down the side of the Moscone Center, Bond-style, and escape under a hair of gunfire. Alas, there was no espionage to be had that day. He just wanted to talk about working with BitSummit and some cross-continental meet-up/game jam.

That’s the great thing about BitSummit; loads of people in the international indie development community --from Metanet, to Wolfire, to 17-Bit, to the Swedish government, and more-- all want to discover what’s going on in Japan. This is, after all, where a lot of us first discovered the wonders of video games. Whether you’re an old-timer like me, who grew up on Nintendo Game & Watch games (yeah, I got you SNESers beat), or part of the younger generation who jumped into gaming in the 32-bit era with Tekken and Final Fantasy VII, most of us have at some point or another been touched by the magic of Japanese video games. It’s my opinion that in an industry struggling to remain relevant --Japanese publishers are taking fewer chances, breaking less new ground, and therefore suffering as a result-- that the next Shigeru Miyamoto will be found in Japan’s burgeoning indie scene.

Exploring the Human Element Of BitSummit : GDC 2014 Talk

Exploring the Human Element Of BitSummit : GDC 2014 Talk

My presentation at GDC featured no pie charts, bar graphs or discussions about audience retention. I was there to talk about human beings, people whose games we’re only just learning about, and whose names we barely know. I flipped through a few informational talking points before putting random faces of humble Japanese developers onscreen --whose names I mostly did not know, due to the sheer number of them-- and told random stories about my experiences with the indie scene in Japan, about why we built BitSummit in the first place, and the positive effect it was having on the indie scene.

A friend at Microsoft Games Japan sent me a message, post-session, saying “it was really amazing, and really the only heart-filled presentation I saw at GDC.” While I’m sure he was overstating things, it was still nice to hear an objective opinion. An hour is a long time to go up on a stage and talk about anything, so it’s hard for me to know if that message came across loud and clear.

Cold lampin' with Pixeljunk Eden artist and composer, Baiyon, in between GDC appointments

Cold lampin' with Pixeljunk Eden artist and composer, Baiyon, in between GDC appointments

Ultimately my session was merely the bookend to a short but fruitful trip. The number of friendly faces I simply ran into on the street were too many to name --it seems we all lived in San Francisco at some point-- but I enjoyed seeing everyone. Two standout dudes I’d like to mention are Per Micael Nyberg (the dude from the Swedish government) and Mikey Dowling (voice over producer from Obsidian Entertainment) who has been an e-supporter/pal of mine for years, but whom I only got to meet in person at this GDC. We had a nice lunch and talked about games for a couple hours. I gave him a copy of Stick of Truth to take back to Obsidian and get signed by the dev team for me. That’s how nerd I am.

In reality I was probably only in San Francisco for something like 48 hours --from Wednesday afternoon to Friday afternoon/ That’s a crazy short amount of time when you think about it. So it wasn’t long before I was taking my flight back to JFK and sharing a cab home with my friend and coworker, Jon Yao at midnight EST, Friday night.  Somehow I live to tell the tale. 

TURBO At GDC 2014

TURBO will be at GDC next week!  Our street team will also be in full force passing out these limited edition t-shirts.  Only catch is you have to find them in order to get one...or just bribe James Mielke with an Orange Mocha Frappuccino (NOTE: Toy robot legs not included).

Musings From Under the Brooklyn Bridge by James Mielke

It was midway through 2013 that I realized for various family-related reasons that I needed to come home to New York. I had spent nearly 14 years away, spending 10 of those in San Francisco during my time as a journalist at Ziff-Davis Media working at Gamespot, EGM, GMR, and 1UP, before moving to Japan and working in game development with my growing family for another four years.

But the thought of moving back to New York city was a daunting prospect for me. The East Coast does not boast the same number of game developers as the West Coast does (game publishers yes, developers no), and I would liked to have, if possible, remain in game development. I had by this point in my career gained a lot of experience in the development side of things, and while I was prepared to leave the industry entirely if the right match didn’t present itself, I was skeptical that I would find something that fit.

Amazingly, after having put out some feelers, I received an e-mail from a friend who put me in touch with a mutual friend who was moving all the way from Vancouver to Brooklyn, NY, to join a studio comprised of industry veterans determined to make mobile games of the highest caliber. A few unexpectedly encouraging conversations later, my fortunes suddenly turned from “Where the heck am I going to go?” to “I seriously want to join this team!” It was, after all, somewhat surreal that my luck could be so good. But, after some discussions with my very supportive and very (at the time) pregnant wife, I signed on, and we started to execute the extensive planning required to bring our entire brood back to New York. With a new baby on the way, and the invitation to be a part of something exciting and new, 2014 was looking like an incredible year.

Perhaps the nuance that I have understated here is that I feel incredibly fortunate to have fallen in with such a group of like-minded, game-playing professionals. One of the things I was attracted to was that each team member was hand-picked to ensure that they love games and play games. To be able to share the same nerd vocabulary, while excelling at the highest technical level is crucial, and something I believe distinguishes us. When you have a small team you can’t afford to have even a single piece of the machine that is out of sync with the rest of the group. So I’m honored to be a part of this tiny but ambitious team we call TURBO. A lot of our ability to assemble such a team and hopefully execute on our goals is a direct result of our partnership with SoftBank. They have a stellar track record with their development partnerships and I’m looking forward to adding to that success.

A twist of fate, the luck of the draw, in the right place at the right time? Call it what you want, but I’m thrilled to be here, because I can live in the city of my dreams and continue to do the things I love. All at team TURBO.

 

Blessed in Brooklyn,

James Mielke

Senior Producer

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(2) ANONYMOUS INFORMATION. We use anonymous information to analyze the Site traffic, but we do not examine this information for individually identifying information. In addition, we may use anonymous IP addresses to help diagnose problems with our servers, to administer the Site, or to display the content according to your preferences. Traffic and transaction information may also be shared with business partners and advertisers on an aggregate and anonymous basis.

(3) USE OF COOKIES. We may use cookies to deliver content specific to your interests, to save your password so you don't have to re-enter it each time you visit the Site, or for other purposes. Promotions or advertisements displayed on the Site may contain cookies. We do not have access to or control over information collected by outside advertisers on the Site.

(4) COMPELLED DISCLOSURES OF PERSONAL INFORMATION. We may disclose personal information if required to do so by law or in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary to (a) comply with requirements of the law or comply with legal process served on TURBO (b) protect and defend the rights or property of TURBO or the users of the Site or Game, or (c) act under unusual, extraordinary or emergency circumstances to protect the safety of the public or users of the Site or Game.

(5) SALE OF INFORMATION. In order to accommodate changes in our business, we may sell or buy portions of our company or other companies or assets, including the information collected through the Site or otherwise collected in connection with the Game. If TURBO or substantially all of its assets are acquired, customer information and personal information will be one of the assets transferred to the acquirer. Should such an event occur, we will use reasonable means to notify you, either through email and/or a prominent notice on the Site.

(6) ACCESS TO INFORMATION. At any time you may request access to the information that we have from you, or request that we remove all information about you from our database by contacting us in accordance with Section VII.A below.

D. Notice Concerning Children

PLEASE NOTE: We are a general audience site, and do not direct any of our content specifically at children under 13 years of age. The Site and the Game are not intended for children under the age of 13. We understand and are committed to respecting the sensitive nature of children's privacy online, and as such do not knowingly collect any personal information from any user under age 13. If we learn or have reason to suspect that a Site or Game user is under age 13, we will promptly delete any personal information in that user's Account.

II. SECURITY

The Site and the Game have security measures in place to help protect against the loss, misuse, and alteration of the information that we obtain from you. We store your personal information on our servers, which are located in secured facilities with restricted access, and protected by protocols and procedures designed to protect the security of such information. In addition, we restrict access to personal information to TURBO employees, independent contractors and agents who need to know this information in order to develop, operate and maintain the Site and the Game. However, no server, computer or communications network or system, or data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect user information, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us through the use of the Game or the Site and we make no assurances about our ability to prevent any such loss or misuse to you or to any third party. You acknowledge and agree that you provide such information and engage in such transmissions at your own risk.

When you enter sensitive information (such as a credit card number) on our order forms, we encrypt the transmission of that information using secure socket layer technology (SSL).

III. WEBSITE AREAS BEYOND OUR CONTROL

A. Public Forums

The Site includes a section for interactive “forums” in the form of message boards (the “Forums”) to which users with an Account and an in-Game name may post. Please remember that any information that is disclosed in the Forums becomes public information in which you relinquish any expectation of privacy. Remember that TURBO asks that you not disclose any personal information when posting in the Forums, and you should exercise caution when deciding what information to share. We reserve the right, but shall have no obligation, to monitor your use of the Forums. To request removal of your personal information from our community forum, contact us at community@turbostudios.com. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why.

B. Third Party Websites

The Site contains links to other websites. If you choose to visit other websites, we are not responsible for the privacy practices or content of those other websites, and it is your responsibility to review the privacy policies at those websites to confirm that you understand and agree with their policies.

IV. SERVICE PROVIDERS

We may share your personal information with service providers that we engage for the purpose of processing information on our and your behalf, such as to fulfill product orders, collect billing information and process payments. While providing services for us, these companies may access your personal information.

To the extent applicable, we require these entities to comply with this Policy and appropriate confidentiality and security measures. Some of the pages within the Site utilize masking techniques to serve content to you from our partners while preserving the look and feel of our Site. Please be aware that you are providing your personal information to these third parties, and are doing so pursuant to the third party’s privacy policy.

V. CONTACT INFORMATION AND POLICY UPDATES

A. Contacting Us

If you have any questions about this Policy, our practices regarding your personal information related to the Site or Game, or if you would like to have us remove your information from our database and deactivate your Account, please feel contact us at community@turbostudios.com. If your personally identifiable information changes, or if you no longer desire our service, you may correct, update or amend it by emailing our Customer Support at community@turbostudios.com, or by contacting us by postal mail at the contact information listed below. We will respond to your request to access within 30 days. Please note that the deletion of your data will lead to the termination of your Account and applicable services. However, also note that when you delete your Account, we may retain your Account information for a reasonable period of time afterward for the purpose of internal account management and fraud prevention activities.

B. Updates and Changes

We may update this privacy statement to reflect changes to our information practices. If we make any material changes we will notify you by email (sent to the e-mail address specified in your account) or by means of a notice on this Site prior to the change becoming effective. We encourage you to periodically review this page for the latest information on our privacy practices.

BY USING THE SITE AND/OR THE GAME, YOU SIGNIFY THAT YOU HAVE READ, UNDERSTAND AND AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS PRIVACY POLICY. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS PRIVACY POLICY, PLEASE DO NOT USE THE SITE OR THE GAME.

C. Additional Policies

There are additional TURBO legal policies that govern your use of the Site and the Game. Please take time to review and familiarize yourself with the Terms of Use.

TURBO: 57 Great Jones St., New York, NY or by email at community@turbostudios.com.