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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Small GDC wrapup

GDC is over and we're all back and safe (...).
Here are some quick impressions on what (and who) was going on and how that might possibly affect machinima. Expect a more thorough look at the conference in the next issue of machinimag.

Just like last year, the academy of machinima Arts and Sciences was showing some machinima at this year's game developers conference as part of the nvidia booth. In addition to screening a reel of last year's festival winners, Paul and I gave a talk on Machnima and showed some of the work I did on the Machinima toolset for the Unreal engine.

Epic was showing off their Unreal Engine 3 on devkits at the Sony booth. The Editor has a network editing mode (i'm sure it has some funky name, but i didn't ask for it) that allows you to edit the level while someone is playtesting it. Neat.

The Project Offset people had a slot at the Nvidia booth right next to the Academy and had a self-running realtime demo of their engine running. The image is an actual image taken from the 30" DELL Monitor that was used to display the demo. It ran on some DELL XPS with double Nvidia 7900 cards, just in case you was wondering what kind of vibes you was getting from them...

As some of you might already know the mission of the academy was to start a dialogue with the game developers to discuss licensing and copyright topics. Some of the things are still in a stage of negotiation.
Topics included Epic's Unreal Runtime license for machinima and Valve's Source engine. As soon as we have more definite news, we'll let you know.
Just so you know, if you have licensing questions, it is always a good thing to check back with the Academy and maybe we can help until there's more concrete Licensing possibilities. Patience helps.

Oh, and say hello to this year's academy boothbabes Paul Marino and Frank Dellario.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Machinimag at GDC

I will be attending the Game Developer's Conference this year together with Paul Marino and Frank Dellario in our ongoing campaign to spread the word of machinima to the masses.
In case you're around, drop me a note or visit us at the NVidia booth!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Realtime festival deadline prolonged

The Bitfilm team writes:

The deadline for the Realtime Filmfestival at FMX Stuttgart has beenprolonged to March 10, 2006.
More information at the fmx website.

Don't miss out these opportunities to get your work seen and win prestigious prizes!

Also, Bitfilm recently launched an online networking portal for animation, machinima, demos, etc...
It's free while in Beta stage, so head over to the Bitfilm Club to register.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Interview with Christopher Livingston from the "Concerned" HL2 webcomic

Machinima gets mentioned in an interview with the creator of the famous HalfLife2 webcomic "Concerned - the Half-Life and Death of Gordon Fohman" over at

PT: "Concerned" is a very obvious example of a quickly growing community phenomenon known as machinima. Why do you think this growing interest in original user-created content is significant?

CL: Well, I think the interest comes from the fact that a single person can accomplish things all by themselves now that they couldn't a few years ago. If I'd wanted to a comic a while ago I'd have had to draw it, or have someone draw it for me. Now, it's like I've got these tools I can use. The art has already been created, and I can just put it together.

When I was a kid and wanted to make a movie, I'd have to get all my friends together, get them to agree to what I wanted to do, borrow a camera from someone, maybe use the editing bay at my high school... it took a lot of coordination between all the different elements I'd need just to get something done, and a lot of relying on other people. With machinima, if someone wants to make a movie, they've got digital actors. They can download editing software. They can make their own soundtrack, record their own dialogue. You can make a movie, by yourself, on your computer, using tools that are often free to download. And that's amazing.

It seems like machinima more and more becomes a synonym for emergent gameplay.
Link to the Interview.

Friday, March 03, 2006

One week fmx/06 deadline warning

This is a quick heads up that the deadline for the fmx/06 is approaching fast.
The fmx/06 accepts submissions for the realtime filmfest until 10.03.06.
Submissions can be entered in one of the following categories:

Cut Scenes
Films and sequences which are part of computer or console games based on realtime technology like intros, trailers etc.

Films in the SWF format, using realtime features of Macromedia Flash (eg. Actionscript,tweenings)

Movies shot in real time with game engines

Small EXE programs that make the computer generate 3D animations in realtime

VJ Visuals
Realtime shows by VJs mixing visuals live to the music (please send in a showreel that documents your live performance)

XFire World of Warcraft contest winners announced

Even though it's obviously not the biggest Machinima contest ever organized (depending on the way you look at it, maybe it is), here's the list of winner from the XFire and Blizzard sponsored World of Warcraft Machinima contest.
Snipped from

Best Comedy Category:

* 1st Place: Illegal Danish Super Snacks
* 2nd Place: Atkins - Switcher 2
* 3rd Place: The Brothers Tauren

Best Dance Category:

* 1st Place: Billy Maclure
* 2nd Place: Illegal Danish Super Snacks
* 3rd Place: Purple

Best Drama Category:

* 1st Place: Served Cold
* 2nd Place VC
* 3rd Place: Aria Part IV: Retribution

Head over to for a complete list of winners.

Mapping and Modding Half Life2


"The book shows, step-by-step, how to create new maps, textures, characters, 3D objects, weapons, audio effects, game action, and much more. Readers will learn how to start out by creating new maps and models and then learn basic techniques of coding to create useful mods. The second part of the book features more advanced techniques as readers learn how to expand their skills and develop more sophisticated models and 3D action. The book also covers other important areas of mod development including creating and managing a mod development team, working with fans, and using skills to develop a professional career in game development."

Amazon Link.
O'Reilly Link.

The book is from the same publisher as Paul Marino's Machinima Book and should be available from March this year. Though, you never know.