DM110 - Week 7 - Online Games / Machinima


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DM110 Emerging Web Media / Huston Film School, National University of Ireland, Galway / 20th February 2007

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DM110 - Week 7 - Online Games / Machinima

  1. 1. DM110 Emerging Web Media Dr. John Breslin [email_address] Week 7: Online Games / Machinima
  2. 2. Online games <ul><li>Online games refer to video games that are played over networks and the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Range from simple text-based games to games with complex graphics and multiple simultaneous players </li></ul><ul><li>Early online games in the 1980s included MUD (multi-user dungeon) games, board games, play by e-mail, etc. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Online games (2) <ul><li>Then first-person shooter games became popular during the 1990s (with corresponding multiplayer versions): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quake </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Half-Life </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Followed by MMOGs (massively multiplayer online games) and MMORPGs (MMO role playing games) from the late 1990s to date: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Everquest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>World of Warcraft </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Virtual worlds: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Second Life </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. A bit about first-person shooters <ul><li>id Software produced the Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake family of games </li></ul><ul><li>Doom had a multiplayer feature that allowed players to play on a LAN </li></ul><ul><li>You could also record demos of your games for later viewing or sharing (get expert tips!) </li></ul><ul><li>Could also create your own levels and make your own virtual worlds </li></ul><ul><li>Quake allowed you to skin your characters </li></ul><ul><li>(Picture from a Doom level I made of UCG’s engineering building in Nun’s Island) </li></ul>
  5. 5. A demo recorded in Quake 10 years ago
  6. 6. Unreal-powered EduFrag for chemistry education
  7. 7. World of Warcraft <ul><li>Fantasy-world game from Blizzard </li></ul><ul><li>World’s leading subscription-based MMORPG </li></ul><ul><li>WoW reached 8 million players on 11 January 2007: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 million in the US </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1.5 million in the EU </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3.5 million in China </li></ul></ul><ul><li>South Park episode “Make Love, Not Warcraft” featured WoW machinima animation (more later) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Second Life <ul><li>Freely downloadable virtual world for Windows and Mac </li></ul><ul><li>A social networking service combined with “metaverse” </li></ul><ul><li>3 million registered accounts as of 28 January 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>First occurrence of 30,000 concurrent residents on 1 February 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Probably around 150,000 active users (high “churn rate”) </li></ul><ul><li>Linden Lab making some SL software (viewer) open source </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual riot between French National Front and anti-racist SL residents in January 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Concerts from Duran Duran, Suzanne Vega and others </li></ul><ul><li>Companies, organisations (Unitarians) all setting up shop </li></ul><ul><li>$1 US = 250 Linden dollars </li></ul><ul><li>Unofficial John Edwards presence </li></ul>
  9. 9. Outside Trinity College Dublin
  10. 10. Creating your skin in Second Life
  11. 11. Doug Engelbart event in first and second lives
  12. 12. What is machinima? <ul><li>Machinima ( machine cinema or machine animation ) is filmmaking within real-time, 3D virtual environments, often appropriated from existing video game engines </li></ul><ul><li>Characters and locations are already provided in games, so just need: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some dialogue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Camera work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Geeks with too much time on their hands or an emerging art form? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Advantages and disadvantages of machinima <ul><li>Possibly smaller distribution size: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If demo and scripts are provided for a particular game, may be smaller than rendered version </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lower cost and production time: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Just require a personal computer and gaming software </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Arguably easier movie making: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Due to simple game interfaces </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Limited capability: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By the game engine </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Possibly high playback hardware requirements: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unless entire rendered movie is distributed </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. The Mackies <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>The Machinima awards festival, simulcast in Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>Good idea to look at the winners and nominees to get an overview of what is state of the art in the area </li></ul><ul><li>Acad of Mach Arts and Sci: </li></ul>
  15. 15. Red Versus Blue <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>“ Considered by fans to be the Seinfeld of the machinima world, and by critics to be as sophisticated as Samuel Beckett…” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>,,1949503,00.html </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Made using the Halo “capture the flag” series of games (with the game development studio’s approval) </li></ul><ul><li>Five seasons on DVD as of 2006 </li></ul>
  16. 16. Leeroy Jenkins <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>A machinima created in World of Warcraft </li></ul><ul><li>Based on the workplace gung-ho over-zealous chappie who jeopardises every project he’s put to work on </li></ul><ul><li>This Leeroy is a supposed dragon slayer who keeps putting his whole team in mortal danger </li></ul><ul><li>Leeroy has crossed over into the real world, with a question on the quiz show Jeopardy </li></ul><ul><li>One of the most-downloaded machinimas </li></ul>
  17. 17. The French Democracy <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Movie about the French riots in 2005, gained much press attention </li></ul><ul><li>Created using The Movies TM from Lionhead Studios </li></ul>
  18. 18. Tum Raider <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>“ Lara's away, but her overweight, unfit brother Larry has taken her place - and her clothing... A skit developed by Strange Company for the BBC.” </li></ul><ul><li>The creators are also writing “Machinima for Dummies”! </li></ul>
  19. 19. How to make your own machinima <ul><li>Choose a game: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sims is good for sitcoms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Battlefield 2 for war films </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Half-Life for horror sci-fi </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Movies for anything else (around 45 euro) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Play around with characters, actions and props </li></ul><ul><li>With another player as the camera, use built-in recording mechanisms (demo recording, straight to AVI) or free video capture software (HyperCam, Fraps) </li></ul><ul><li>Start editing (Premiere, VirtualDub, etc.) and publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Check out the guides at </li></ul>
  20. 20. Making machinima with Second Life <ul><li>Second Life has built in video capture functionality: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Press Ctrl-Shift-A and set frame rate, codec, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can pay Linden dollars to SL residents to star in your film! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask to provide dolly functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  21. 21. The Movies TM