Saturday 29 November 2008

Building Blocks Preview

Here's a lovely little video from Chris showing off our new highly customizable buildings.

Wednesday 26 November 2008


Damned hooligans! Who do they think they are, driving like that?

And in case you hadn't noticed, check out the buildings. No. they're not SketchUp imports. They're new-style Moviestorm customisable buildings. (Which will be ready - as always - when they're ready.)

Video by Chris Ollis.

Tuesday 25 November 2008

SketchUp-to-Moviestorm importer, anyone?

Let's dispense with the pre-amble for this post, and get right to the good stuff. We have a SketchUp importer.

Google SketchUp has proven incredible popular since its launch. It's a fun and easy way to create 3D models, and the 3D Warehouse provides a seemingly-limitless amount of free content.

An easy SketchUp import tool is an oft-quoted request from Moviestormers. Some of you have even managed to painstakingly import some models yourselves using the Modder's Workshop and some techno-magical science, along with good old fashioned stubborn determination. We've wanted to include the ability to import SketchUp models into Moviestorm for quite some time, but it's no easy job. Luckily for all of us, engineer extraordinaire Julian proved up to the task.

We've still got a bit of polish to add to this tool, but it works, and it's almost idiot-proof. I managed to import the pizza, bridge and airliner above by doing little more than locating the .skp file with the Modder's Workshop and clicking "Go".

The models are imported as static objects (so you won't be able to attach any animations to them) but you can now create whatever content you need using SketchUp and have it appear in your movie in just a few clicks.

This is going to make a huge difference to the way you use Moviestorm. Now, not only can your set contain any set object in the Moviestorm library, it can also contain any object in the Google SketchUp Warehouse. That's a lot of additional content.

Expect to see this make an appearance (for Pioneers only, at least initially) in Moviestorm version 1.1.2, coming next week. Yes, really. None of our usual "when it's done, in about five years time" nonsense. This baby's ready to roll.

Friday 21 November 2008

The man in the Moviestorm hat is dead

No, not that man in the Moviestorm hat. I'm still very much here.

The long-awaited Law and Order pack is getting closer by the day. It really is, honest...

(For the avoidance of doubt, this pack has nothing to do with the Law & Order TV show. They have an ampersand, you see, and we spell the whole word. Whole different thing.)

Wednesday 5 November 2008

Of all the Views in all the Moviestorms, he had to make changes to mine.

It was a Tuesday, just like any other Tuesday in rain-soaked Cambridge. I'd just returned from the 2008 Machinima Film Festival in New York. Crazy city. I was jetlagged, but anxious to get back to work. Before I left for New York, I'd completely rewritten and expanded the internal help pages for Moviestorm's Set Workshop View. It was a big job, but I'd got it finished and submitted to QA for testing just before I left. I was feeling proud of my work. I was ready to make a start on the Director's View section.

Dave Lloyd, co-founder of the company and Chief Bit Shoveller, looked up as I walked into the room. He seemed nervous; sheepish. Perhaps even guilty. I stared him down. I knew he'd crack eventually.

"Ingram," he gulped, "good to see ya! I, er ... I didn't know you were back in town. I'd love to stay and chat, but I got things to do, you know? Gotta run!"

I wasn't buying. This schmuck knew something, and I was going to find out what. I grabbed him by the lapels of his smart checkered suit.

"Spill it, Lloyd," I growled, "whadya know?"

A single bead of perspiration rolled down his craggy cheek, glinting in the moonlight, and then dropped to impact on the top of his trusty MacBook like a gunshot.

"I made some changes." he whispered, "I'm sorry! I didn't know it would go this far!"

I might have guessed. Lloyd was always pulling crazy stunts like this. They didn't call him "The Workaholic" for nothing. I pulled out my copy of The Ruby Way from inside my trenchcoat and pressed it to his throat. Violence is the only thing these engineers understand.

"Show me," I muttered between clenched teeth, "or I'll cut you a new programming language."

I felt sick. All my hard work had been for nothing. My documentation was now as useless as a J2EE engineer on an OpenGL project. This job gets to you sometimes. It eats away at your soul like a World Of Warcraft addiction. Still, as I walked down the smoke-filled alleyway towards my office, I had to admit: Lloyd's changes were good. Crazy, but good. Maybe I could document them after all ...