Get Adobe Flash player

video

So, we have been playing Final Fantasy XIV, re-released last year, a considerable time after its incredible nose-dive  into the sun shortly after its initial release. So far so good.  There still aren’t enough quests for my tastes, and some odd prohibitions that I can’t see the point of.  Why tie unrelated side-dungeons to the main questline, so you only get access after reaching a certain quest, even if you are the right level? Why can’t we take a too-low team into a dungeon?  Why can’t we try with three people?  These latter pushings of the challenge envelope are something I have always enjoyed, despite often being punished with much death for my audacity.   It’s those radical moments when you actually manage to pull off something unexpected that make it all worthwhile.

Revisiting Final Fantasy XIV has brought back vivid memories of Final Fantasy XI, my first real MMO, and doubtlessly where my rules-lawyery-ness about following “the unspoken rules” originates. (The tank goes first, let the tank pull, avoid getting aggro if you are not the tank, crowd control is sacred).  Although recent games challenge these traditionalist MMO concepts, these unspoken rules still exist in FFXIV, along with the same snide elitism about gear.  Is there something about Final Fantasy that encourages this?   ‘Cause although it is definitely present in other games, I haven’t seen (smelt?) such strongly scented epeen for some time.

Anyways, playing FFXIV did inspire me to make a new movie, the idea of which was forwarded by my good friend Guildenstern (who has been dragged, kicking and scream-emoting, from one game to another over the last few years, despite the opposition of  completionist tendencies).  Who knows how long it will last on the interwebs, since Square Enix is apparently just as rules-lawyery about copyright as it is about gameplay.

Ah well, it’s here for now.

)

 

 

 

ArcheAge is an up-and-coming sandbox MMO which has been in production for some time.  It floundered about for a good long time, having difficulties finding a company to bring it to the west, but Trion Games eventually took it up.  Even now, only vague snippet of information are forthcoming regarding it, although what has been promised is enticing – ships, wagons, player-built housing, large-scale battles, player-judged legal system, prisons… I wonder if it will actually all come to fruition, and not be the vast disappointment previous games (Vanguard, for example) that have promised such wide-ranging systems have been.

Bare-chested male toons fishing in boats and riding donkeys?  No problem.

 

 

Latest video effort.

Chris noticed a theme in most of my MMO related videos.  Seems like they are usually about the NPCs – the background characters who we don’t really consider as individuals in the game – orc grunts in LoTRO, imperial lackeys in SWTOR, and now Orochi goons in The Secret World.

The underdogs in MMOs are always more interesting from a story-telling perspective than the super-powered heroes, because the heroes are what the game is already about.  There is more space to make up a story about the background characters  In games, the minor NPCs seldom have characters at all – if they’re lucky they have some lore to back them up.  I don’t much like creating fictional works around “other people’s” characters.  Even my Star Wars fan fiction, Aronoke, doesn’t have any characters from the game or the movie in it.

 

So when I borrowed my dear friend Jenny’s Secret World account to make my latest video, “Orochi Corp“, I told her I would be sure to go through her character’s underwear drawer and post videos of her in her lingerie on Youtube.

I would hate to disappoint.

 

Lord Komo is machinima based on the MMORPG SWTOR, which I am still playing at the time of writing this.  I am a sucker for story-driven games so this was right up my alley.  SWTOR was also a source of inspiration for Aronoke, the Star Wars fan-fic flotsam I am currently addicted to writing.

Lord Komo originated when Jord and I were adventuring on Taris, wreaking destruction and havoc and generally getting quests done, when we happened on the NPC Lord Komo.  And with one thing or another, we were soon singing that Beach Boys song, Kokomo…

Everyone else in Universal Exports refused to sing it.  I considered hiring someone, but decided it was too bothersome.  And so, a terrible exercise in self-torture and vocal expression was born.  Especially since Kokomo is not happily inside my vocal range. It is far too squeaky.  I can’t watch the video now, it makes me wince too much.  *hides under pile of MMO subscriptions*.

Since making the movie I (and the rest of Universal Exports et al) decided to swap servers, due to the dwindling popularity of the game, so some of the characters involved in the film are no longer named the same thing.

My second attempt at LoTRO machinima.  This one still has some IClone4 models in it (Sauron’s milk herd, anyone?) and lots of IClone effects, but it is heavily based on snippets of movie taken directly from the game.  It was inspired by an excellent (dreadful, by most people’s standards, no doubt) pun made by Wingwoz (who stars in the film).  This one was a great deal of fun to make, although I did have the song stuck in my head for about three months during and afterwards.

 

This is a much more recent video project, one I made when I first got IClone4.  I learned  lot of things while making it.  Mainly that realistic looking animations are really hard to create without expensive equipment.  Now I have IClone5 and some other cool stuff to record animations from live actors, I will have to make another animated movie, although at the moment, I feel a bit wilted at the thought of how much work that would be….

Anyway, Orcs is a short screenplay based upon the MMORPG LoTRO which I played for far too many years, and will probably play again.  You will probably not get some of the jokes if you have not played the game.  The IClone characters are made to try and look a bit like the LoTRO toons they are based on.   Which was hard for a nooblet like me, since all the armour and things had to be modelled and built in IClone or adapted from existing things.

Another The Movies video I made.  This one was much harder, because it is a music video for the Spit song of the same name.  Took a long time, if I remember.  It turned out rather surreal, and the (simple) plot seems not too clear now I look back at it.  Of course, the Spit song had nothing to do with people in Cowboy hats, but hey, there were lots of good props for that sort of thing in the game.

I tired to make the main characters in the video look like two members of Spit, as they looked at the time the song was originally recorded.  So, yes, I guess they are based on people living or dead, in this case.

The Movies – it was a game brought out by Lionhead Studios in 2005, partly a Sims style game where you ran your own movie studio, but the actual fun bit was that you could customise and glue together video clips to make your own films.  The system was rather clunky and there were certain drawbacks, especially in trying to time the pictures to the sound, which was especially frustrating for me, because one of the things I tried to make with it was a music video.

Anyway, the first thing I actually finished while testing it out was a short skit about Coffee, done entirely with subtitles.