Monday 20 October 2008

Be wery wery qwiet - she's running for Vice President

Not content with staging a lightsaber battle in the Oval Office, the elusive HappyToast has created an Elmer Fudd cartoon staring everyone's favourite gun-toting potential Vice President Sarah Palin as the eponymous hunter.

HappyToast has sneakily managed to acquire a preview of some of the new shotgun animations from the forthcoming Law Enforcement & Crime content pack[1]. Combined with the Sarah Palin lookalike from the US Election 2008 pack it makes for a very effective satire.

[1] When it's ready.© Well, honestly - what did you expect?

Wednesday 15 October 2008

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold

Here at Moviestorm Towers, we get requests every day from users who desperately want a particular bit of functionality that we haven't yet implemented. We don't rest on our collective laurels when these requests arrive. There's a big database full of feature requests, to which each and every user request is diligently added. We're only a small team, so we can't do them all at once, however much we might want to.

There's always a list of Secret Things We're Working On And Are Not Allowed To Talk About. Sometimes, the upcoming secret stuff is just too cool, and one of us will drop a teasingly ambiguous hint or two in the forums. We love torturing you.

A lot of the things that are on your collective "I want this NOW" list are also on mine. One of the things that's been in the top three on my personal wishlist for several months is the ability for characters to walk up and down stairs.

I'm sure you've guessed what this blog post is about now. Take a look at this:

Those are stairs all right, and that's world-famous Moviestorm stock character Stu walking up them with the casual grace of a born catwalk superstar.

It's better than that, though. Mark's ├╝ber coding skills mean that Stu's movement up the stairs is just a standard Moviestorm walk command. That means you can change the speed and watch Stu adapt his footfalls automatically:

You can even change the gait to make him limp up the stairs, or tip-toe, or any of the other standard walk gaits. He can even walk up the stairs backwards:

It's not limited to that one set of stairs, either. It works equally well if the stairs are curved. What's that you say? Spiral stairs? Sure.

Backwards? Erm, okay.

Whilst playing a guitar? If you absolutely insist:

All together now: "And she's buying a stairway to heaven ...[1]"

Now, before you all starting sending me private messages, the answer is "when it's good and ready and not before", and that won't be for a wee while yet. You'll just have to wait patiently like all the other boys and girls.

[1] For legal reasons, I'll have to ask you to hum along yourself. I'd hate to be accused of infringing copyright by reproducing the mighty Stairway, in any of its 100+ forms.

Moviestorm in New York

In a couple of weeks, Short Fuze is despatching an elite squad of ninja machinima evangelists to take Gotham by 'storm. Armed only with laptops, beer and charisma, they'll sneak into Times Square during the Halloween celebrations. Their mission is to infiltrate the Machinima Film Festival, brainwash the attendees into abandoning Second Life, and hold Overman hostage until he agrees to rename the Overcast The Moviestorm Show.

Well, when we say "elite", we mean Matt & Johnnie. Look for the guy in the hat or his tubby bitch and they'll buy you a beer (or other tasty beverage if you're not a beer-drinking type). Chances are if you're reading this, you're already a convert to the True Faith, so they won't preach at you and threaten you with disembowelment if you don't download Moviestorm immediately. Instead, they'll listen to your endless suggestions for improvements and new content packs, and relay them back through the interweb to the Moviestorm Command Centre (Europe), where, um, something may happen as a result.

Matt will also be sharing a stage with John Martin of Reallusion championing the cause of non-game machinima tools in a panel on Interfacing Virtual Actors. They will be joined by Ken Perlin of the NYU Media Lab and Michael Nitsche of Georgia Tech.

Come along if you can. It'll be a blast!

Monday 13 October 2008

We've gone a bit batty. And cobwebby, and pumpkiny ...

Unless you're extremely naive or chronically forgetful, you'll already know that Halloween is on its way. Never one to miss out on an opportunity for silliness and costumes, we've got a fat Halloween-themed Content Pack almost ready for you.

We got pumpkins, bats and cobwebs.

We've got ghosts and coffins and candles.

Most excitingly of all from my point of view is the new grinning skull character head, which makes my Discworld fanboy bone go all tingly.

The Halloween Pack is a pet project of Chris_Ollis, who - not content with the many hours we force him to slave over a hot 3d modelling application - assembled the dozens of assets in this pack in his free time. So, if this little teaser whets your appetite at all, you can thank Chris.

All being well, we'll release this pack within the next few days. Of course (as regular readers will know) that's a hope rather than a promise. Still, as Death so aptly puts it


Friday 3 October 2008

Election 08 - Star Wars edition

OK, fess up, how did you do the light sabres, Mr HappyToast?

Best Moviestorm election video yet!

Thursday 2 October 2008

The guy in the hat

Whenever I'm around at conferences and shows, I just tell people to look for the guy in the hat. So much so, that photographer Gordon Tant figured that he didn't even need me in the picture to represent Moviestorm.

(c) Gordon Tant: used by permission