The first short by my good friend Allegra, another student of CSULB film. I worked camera for this one. It was limited to 3 cuts max.

May it be the first of many.
-Christopher J. Rock

I found this Papervision demo while searching for a method of character animation.


Clint Hannaford’s Papervision Character demo

This demo impressed the hell out of me. It was proof that 3d character animation could be awesome in Flash. I’ve been dabbling in Papervision stuff lately. It’s an extra layer of complication on top of AS3 but the payoff is worth it. I created a model in Maya, textured it, and loaded it into Flash and made it interactive. Unbelievable…

For animation, I figured I could either setup some complicated character rig by separating the character at the joints and linking the pieces together. Setting all of that up and creating a system to animate the keyframes would be much to time consuming. renderhjs, from the Flashkit forum, was creating his own custom system of animating the character in the 3d software and exporting the animation frame by frame and playing through the keyframes. I don’t exactly have time to figure that out either so I found Clint’s post searching Google in distress.

Clint explained to me that his character demo uses .md2 format, from Quake 2. It’s similar to, if not the same as, renderhjs’ method of character animation. He linked to this Papervision md2 parser and recommended that I try loading in some Quake 2 models and seeing how it works.

I spent much of today beating 2 flash games. I like the sound of that: beating flash games. Not just playing them but beating them, because there is enough in the games to play that when you’re done you can actually say the games are beaten.

Dino Run: I found this beauty c/o the blog over at indiegames.com and I was very impressed with PixelJam‘s work. I’d label it under the Sonic the Hedgehog genre of games, one I’d like to play more of. It’s a full game with a lot to play with. The look and feel is nice, some of the physics are a tad weak, but they do the job and beat the norm. I love the tension, the atmosphere of fleeing. It would be excellent setting for a simple story because the nature of a chase is that it is linear. Not to say that stories must be linear, but game-stories tend to be (due to laziness). Unfortunately, the game is lacking in the story department, but it’s alright because it does well everywhere else. GO PLAY IT.

Warlords: I was linked to this piece from Ben Olding after playing Dino Run and was really surprised by such a simple design adds up to strategy on multiple levels. It’s not only about unit selection, but timing, and tactics as well. Again, the game has tons built into it: multiple races and unit types, unlockable races and unit types, leveling-up, a filled out campaign mode and the unit purchasing/upgrading system really gives players a place to craft a style of play. It’s all very simple, but the game is much more than the sum of its parts. PLAY THIS ONE TOO.

As a bonus, each of these games has a form of multiplayer. Dino Run is actual online play and Warlords allows 2 people to play on the same keyboard. Both options are pretty cool if you ask me.

Man, it’s nice to find good games.

-Christopher J. Rock

Two new films up. The Submariner and The Noise.

This is a trailer for my thesis film at CSULB. Its my latest work and will be completed over this next summer. You can watch it in full screen and at a higher resolution at YouTube.

I’m taking a lot inspiration from Soviet propaganda filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein.

Shooting started at the end of last semester when we did all of the live action footage, then miniatures and effect shots were done in April. Now I have many hours to spend editing and scoring the whole thing. It’ll add up to a great lot of sweat, but definitely worth it. Continue Reading…

While you were too busy playing GTAIV, Nintendo launched the “Nintendo Channel” for the Wii. As per usual Wii owners can download the new channel for free from the online shop. With it, you can stream videos of game previews or (as is the case for WiiFit) interviews with developers. You can also download game demos for your Nintendo DS and of course Nintendo has given us the power to volunteer market information. Continue Reading…

Grassfields and Highways

Ever since I read his interview on Rock, Paper, Shotgun; I’ve had my eye out for anything on Eskil Steenberg‘s MMO, Love. It’s a fascinating project demanding ambition enough that I have instant respect for the guy taking it on alone. He says on his blog that he’s gotten offers for help but turned them down:

Lately I have gotten a bunch of Emails from people who want to help me and as grateful as I am, I don’t really know what to do with them since I know i can do the job myself.

Stonehenge

Taking on the world, now that’s a lifestyle. And doing it as an auteur too. He says the game is called Love because that’s why he’s making it. It’s not about money, just the love of the game. Seems to be a major theme he has going. Not a bad one. Continue Reading…