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theraccoonkid218's blog

9:20 PM on 09.17.2009

Machinima Regrets

Once upon a time, I was with a group of friends at a local pub, indulging in these extremely spicy chicken wings (also known in my local community as Suicide Wings). After eating two of them, I had a massive stomachache, and decided to go home and sit in my computer chair. After a few minutes, I decided to do something to take my mind off of the discomfort: I wrote a script.

That script eventually became "The Strength of the Righteous," a GTA IV machinima that I planned to finish by the end of 2008.

I was in love the idea, mainly because I've never attempted to make a machinima before. The creative spark I had for the project could be compared to the feeling a little kid would get when they have continuously asked their parents if they could get some of their favorite ice cream, and the parents, with all their love and awesomeness, says yes. I had spent the next few weeks exposing myself to anything Grand Theft Auto 4 related on a daily basis: playing it at a friend's house, listening to the music from the radio stations, watching other machinimas, etc. By mid-June, I had gathered a group that I believed was a solid, reliable group that would be easy to work with, and would share the same passion that I did. I was so excited to make this machinima that I jumped the gun and pushed us to start filming, despite the fact that the story wasn't fully developed, we didn't forsee any of the complications we were eventually going to run into, and I didn't have an X-Box 360 (with GTA IV) of my own to fallback to.

A few days later, production began. We began to test and fiddle with the mechanics of the game, and four test videos were created as a result: one with flying cars, one with cool shots, one with random shooting, and one that my friend did. It had gotten to the point where a fair amount of people were excited for it. There was even a point where at least two people took the footage from one of the test videos and used it for their own machinimas.

We finished filming all of the easy scenes, and we were about to film the complex action and dialogue scenes. Then, all of a sudden, like a poorly built structure in World of Goo, everything collapsed. People began to lose interest. People would ruin the filming by going Rambo and blowing everyone up with their RPG. Games would begin to lag ridiculously. People wouldn't be able to join games. It was a domino effect that ultimately lead to the entire project being put at a standstill. Weeks passed. While we waited, we attempted to film for a Halo machinima, but the idea didn't get farther than another test video involving driving around on Sandtrap, GLaDOS, and speeding Mongeese.

Eventually, everyone had moved on, while I waited for another opportunity to pop up. Almost a year later, that opportunity came in the form of a game called Moviestorm. Moviestorm plays like The Sims, but has a fairly complex camera system that allows the player to get all the angles they want. I decided to see if I would be able to carry "The Strength of the Righteous" into Moviestorm, but what started out as another test video eventually became "The Life & Times of Nord Strom," an absurd tale of an average man thrown into the most ridiculous situations imaginable.

After a few months working on it, Nord Strom eventually became my new machinima project, one that didn't run into any obstacles except the occasional time I ask myself "What can I do to make this even more ridiculous than it already is?" Despite the fact that I had found machinima peace once again, I'll always be waiting for the chance to go back to "The Strength of the Righteous," and finally finish it. Will it still be made with GTA IV? I have no clue, but at least this time I'll know what I did wrong so it doesn't happen again.   read

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