Wednesday 27 January 2010

Valentine's Day content

The eagle-eyed among you will have already seen the Valentine's Day contest. You'll also be poring over the picture that accompanies it, looking for hints of new things to come. Here it is again, without the text over the top.

Yes, there's new romantic stuff in there. We'll tell you more soon. Very soon. And yes, you will get it in time for the contest. Don't say we don't love you!

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Give Moviestorm points away!

For a while, you've been asking for a way to give Moviestorm packs to your friends. We've now got a system in place so you can do just that.

On the marketplace page, in the account section on the right, you'll see a new option to donate points. Click this to give Moviestorm Points to your friends, which they can then use to rent or buy packs as they wish.
  • You can only give points to someone who's listed as a friend in Moviestorm. Make sure you've sent them a friend request first, and it's been accepted!
  • To get points, you have to be a subscriber. You can donate the points you get with your sub, or you can buy extra points.
  • To use points, you don't have to be a subscriber. You do, however, have to give us payment details so we can set up your account.
Try it out, and let us know how you get on! We're particularly interested in hearing from any of you perverse people who likes to uses an obscure browser.

Thursday 21 January 2010


We're currently putting together a small patch release,

This is mainly animation support for upcoming packs, plus fixes so that Photostorm and Greetingstorm will work on Macs with Tiger or Leopard. There are also some changes to the content admin system, which will make it easier for subscribers to get new packs or to manage your existing rentals.

ETA - soon.

Monday 18 January 2010

The worst Moviestorm crash we've ever seen

We want Moviestorm to be easy to use. We try not to dazzle you with an enormously complicated interface, with hundreds of buttons and menus. In some cases, this means that you can't get the level of precision you need for a certain task. We're always trying to find ways to let you do that, without transforming the Moviestorm interface into the control panel for a supersonic jet.

One of things that can sometimes prove difficult is precise positioning of objects in the Set Workshop View. Thankfully, we've got some new functionality currently in development which will help.

The Gizmo

This gizmo is called the, er ... well, it's actually called The Gizmo right now, because we haven't come up with a more sensible name for it. It allows you to "nudge" an object by very small amounts, until you get it exactly where you want it. As well as allowing linear movement, the Gizmo (somehow I think that name is here to stay) also allows you to apply rotation to an object, in any direction.

We let Ben take the Gizmo for a test drive, and he got a little carried away:

Wednesday 13 January 2010

Paypal update

It's taken them quite a while to sort out, but we think PayPal have mostly got our payment systems working properly now. We're still ironing out one or two little glitches that customers are reporting to us, but it should be fine for the majority of people.

If you've been hanging on for Paypal before buying packs or subscribing, please give it a go, and let us know right away if you have any problems at all.

Friday 8 January 2010

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

Height is important. More precisely, differences in height. You can use height to create drama, contrast, emotion, interest, beauty, menace - a clever director can do almost anything with a good, varied set. Up until now, Moviestorm didn't handle height very well. Characters could only really move around on a single level plain, which meant it was very hard to get shots like this:

Woo-hoo! There's no cheating in that shot. It's just plain ol' Moviestorm. That tower really is as tall as it seems to be.

We're using some brand new development code, which Mark has been quietly working on for the past few months, allowing characters to walk on surfaces at different heights. The tower is Amos's work (and, incidentally, his first official art asset for us).

Just in case you don't believe that it really works, here's a clip from the movie Alex is working on at the moment. He's asked me to stress that this is a really, really rough first draft, but it is all rendered directly from Moviestorm in one single scene.

Coming soon. As always: When It's Ready.

This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath, May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.

Back in the olden days, when Moviestorm was still a young whipper-snapper of a movie-making tool with very few of the cool features it has today, we made a series of short parody movies to show what Moviestorm was capable of. The movies were made by Michelle Pettit-Mee (a leading light of the machinima community, now working as part of Bioware's cinematic design team but back then the Machinimator-in-residence for Moviestorm) and were parodies of well-known scenes from film and television. We had a Pulp Fiction scene, a Phoebe-like Friends song ... and a short sequence that looked suspiciously like Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet.

We released the Romeo and Juliet costumes as part of a very early Content Pack, and they're still kicking around. We've learned a lot since then, though, and we've also improved what Moviestorm is capable of. Since it's Valentine's Day very soon, we thought it was about time that these two old favourites got an upgrade.

As you'd expect, both of these costumes are tintable.

We'll be making these available to you (along with a handful of other new assets) very soon. Stay tuned for some more sneak previews over the next few days!