And Now For Something Completely Machinima

Completely Machinima 5.1 Machinima News June 2021

June 03, 2021 Ricky Grove and Phil Rice Season 5 Episode 1
And Now For Something Completely Machinima
Completely Machinima 5.1 Machinima News June 2021
Chapters
And Now For Something Completely Machinima
Completely Machinima 5.1 Machinima News June 2021
Jun 03, 2021 Season 5 Episode 1
Ricky Grove and Phil Rice

In this episode we discuss some new releases by some machinima veterans, NVIDIA's Machinima Omniverse tool, a new sandbox game reliant on the world of NFTs, the recent FantaSci Short Film Festival, and making machinima in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Full notes for this episode are available at:
https://completelymachinima.com/2021/06/03/completely-machinima-5-1-machinima-news-june-2021/

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we discuss some new releases by some machinima veterans, NVIDIA's Machinima Omniverse tool, a new sandbox game reliant on the world of NFTs, the recent FantaSci Short Film Festival, and making machinima in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Full notes for this episode are available at:
https://completelymachinima.com/2021/06/03/completely-machinima-5-1-machinima-news-june-2021/

Phil Rice:

Hey, welcome to And Now For Something Completely Machinima, the podcast about machinima and VR and real time technologies and all of that stuff. Well, my name is Phil. Online I'm known as zsOverman with a silent z and a silent s. We're live streaming today's show today on Twitch. We'll see how that goes. And I'm joined by my co hosts, Tracy Harwood.

Tracy Harwood:

Hi,

Phil Rice:

Damien Valentine.

Damien Valentine:

Hello.

Phil Rice:

And Ricky Grove.

Ricky Grove:

Let's go

Phil Rice:

Today's show is going to be a summary of some news. In the area of machinima and whatnot, there's some interesting things to share. Throughout the month, we'll be doing other themed episodes, including an interview with a special guest as usual, one where we focus solely on films that we've found and reviewed. And finally, just kind of an open discussion on some topics that have been on our mind. There are several ways to get in touch with the show. And we do not just encourage but we rely on your interaction to drive the direction of this show. So you can do that through email. You can do it through text on your phone, you can do it through kind of a voicemail like system. We have a Discord server, you'll know you're in the right Discord server, because you'll hear all the crickets. Yeah, it's very quiet brand new Discord server. So feel free to come by there and make some noise. All of those contact methods are available on our website, which is completelymachinima.com. And just click on the talk link in the menu, and that'll show you all those contact methods. We'd love to hear your feedback on today's show, on past and future shows as well. So let's kick off machinima news today and Ricky you have if I'm remembering right you have a report for us on Machinima Omniverse, NVIDIA's new venture, why don't you tell us about that.

Ricky Grove:

Actually, before I do that, I've got two quick news items that came in yesterday that I want to share with you. Imagination Rabbit, Mike ex m dot strange has started a whole new series on YouTube called the IDGAF filmmaking approach to machinima and 3d filmmaking and Unity. IDGAF stands for I don't give up a ****. And that's exactly what it's about. By by that profanity. What he's saying is, is it stop talking about making movies and make the **** thing. That's basically what it

is:

shut up. Don't worry about if your animation is not good enough. Don't worry if it doesn't look good enough. Don't worry if you have a complete script. And what he does is in this first episode, which I have to warn those with sensitive ears is filled with an enormous amount of prolific amount of profanity, very creative profanity. So if you like profanity, you'll really enjoy the segment, like I do, because he's creative in his profanity, which all great cursors are. But anyway, he takes you through his entire he just finished a two hour 3d film, shot in Unity. And he didn't do any animation. And he didn't do any made. He did not custom make any of the models. And what he does is he takes you through the IDGAF filmmaking approach. And that's just the first of many, many videos, and even a book he's going to write about that approach. So that's very exciting. It's on YouTube. We'll give you the link to the in the show notes. And the second quick announces that Rooster Teeth has announced that on May 27. They have their new animated anthology series neons konbini. Read here, what they how they describe it. Their neon konbini is a treat filled deliciously animated surprise from Rooster Teeth. This chaotic collection over 60 shorts spread out over eight weeks, weekly episodes as something to delight every animation lover, mix of styles and funny little shorts, featuring the return of fan favorite RWBY along kulu stories from lowbrow studios studio FX B and yo yo them pero pero yo imperil. The series is directed by Jordan Schwartz. And produced by Shawn Heights. Their trailer looks fantastic. I'm not a big fan of the Rooster Teeth, but this one I might tune in. It's a really interesting looks very creative that starts on the 27th. Okay, with that out of the way, let me get to talking a little bit about Machinima Omniverse. I don't know whether our listeners are you know, but the Omniverse machinima beta was released around May 4 of this month. You can't go to the site and download the application, you have to download it from within Nvidia Omniverse. Now Nvidia Omniverse is a How do I describe is it's a it's a platform for creating all sorts of 3d assets and scenes. It also being as a communication aspect to it that allows people who are using it to communicate together and work together. It came from Nvidia's internal network that they had for being able to collaborate with each other on products. They like the setup so much that they decided to make it open source and public. Well, as many of you know, they announced the beta version of a machinima app inside of it back in October. And they've been really working hard behind the scenes to get it ready. But with a pandemic and everything it was delayed. As I said, they release it on May 4, you can install the application from within Omniverse you go inside, you'll see there's a whole series of connectors, they call them. Reallusion is a connector, three is a connector lenders a connector. Maya is a connector with several other applications you can install within the Omniverse app. They have released five introductory tutorials and extensive documentation, both on YouTube and also a separate documentation page on how to begin. I had a hard time with the omniverse machinima at first, I couldn't get the characters, they have quite a bit of content they've taken two or three games have joined with them and given their content over to be able to use, and I had real troubles with it. So I contacted them, they have an open forum in their developers forum. And I couldn't get it to work. So they set up a session with me this last Monday to solve the problem. And it was a really interesting experience to be with three engineers, and a director of the program as taking me, they shared this wish I shared my screen with them, I talked to them through my Microsoft Meetup. And they would ask me to look through various parts of it and then put in some commands, they solve the problem. But the biggest thing they told me was that they had such a good time learning about how another user outside of their network uses the program. That was a great benefit for them because they become so they were saying that they become so sort of walled off from other users. Even though they have betas, they get stuck thinking that this is how it works based on how familiar they are with the program. So it was really great right for them to work with me. And they said they want more users to interact with them in that way. And they are, let me tell you, they are eager to make this program work for everybody. They want it to be easy to use. They want it to be fast. They want it to be like a traditional machinima project, we had an interview with Dane Johnston, it was published about two weeks ago, which I urge our listeners to, to listen to, podcast 3.4, I think it was in any of it. He goes, he goes into detail about how it was created, what what the layout is, what the what the workflow is talks about how they made their demo. And they released a new demo, by the way, which is quite funny. Because there's a lot of great content, but you can also import FBX and OBJ format. So if you make something or you get something from online like say the Unity Asset Store, you can import that as an FBX or a OBJ format that works just fine. They have an animation and a facial facial animation connection called audio to face. They're a little behind in the development of that it's slightly complex to get that set up, but they do give you a basic setup to use. I'm working on a short monologue, which I'll probably have done next week, which I'll share with everybody, and then talk a little bit about my workflow and experience. The application is a bit of a hybrid application. It's not quite a traditional 3d application. And it's not quite machinima, it's in between, you have the benefit of a really high quality render or a 3d stage, it's built in the sort of traditional 3d stage with a sequencer that they call, which is where you do all of your camera cuts and control your scene, a Content Browser, a sort of properties tree where you can change the properties for everything. And then of course, the 3d viewer. So you can see the results of what you're what you're creating, you can record the live stream off of that, or you can render whatever it is you've created like a traditional 3d application, which puts it a little outside the bounds of machinima for me, but I don't know, we're still they're still working on it. There's some problems with the application, it's still in beta, it's twitchy. For example, the export, you can export audio, you can only export video, which means you're gonna have to get create your audio and then put them together in a video platform. That's not that hard. But it doesn't go towards their stated goal of making things easy for everybody. Also, the requirement of an RTX card, in order to be able to use the application is a bit of a downer for people, especially in this graphics, graphics card environment. In the past, if we didn't have this problem, you could say, Oh, well, it's an RTX card. Well, I've been wanting to upgrade Anyway, I'll just get a RTSX2060 card. Good luck getting an RTX card for anything less than $1,000. Now, I was lucky because I was able to swap up my expensive card for an RTX card, and I didn't lose any money on it. But for those people were thinking, hey, I want to give it a try. And I'll just upgrade my card. That ain't gonna happen. So timing is not timing is not good for them. I see this program as being a very interesting program. It's not quite ready for primetime yet. We have to be patient with it patient with them. But then again, if you look back at Reallusion, when they started, they weren't quite ready for primetime when they kicked out. But I can't tell you, I can't tell you that the crew behind this is eager to please. They are hard working. They are really good. The results are excellent. And although they Dane, the guy that I spoke to Dane Johnston couldn't give me any details. They're pretty secretive at Nvideo understandably so. But he said I when I asked him, I said, Well, there are other game companies coming to you, too. They want to share their content for it. He said, Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Which makes me think that there might be some major game companies like a Steam platform or Epic or something like that, that wants to get involved in it. And I think that'll make the difference. However, there is one final problem that I wanted to share. And it's sort of a conceptual problem is that one of the reasons that this program doesn't quite work as machinima is that you don't interact with a game. You don't actually, when you have the content from a game, it's just the content. It's not the game itself. So you don't have that experience that is so essential to machinima, which is, I played this game. I'm so excited about the story in the background of it, that I want to do something in this world. There is no world. It's a three. In that case, it's a 3d application. So you have to come up with your idea first, so it's not going to have that feedback loop that happens in machinina, which is machinima, which is so essential. But despite that, I think it's going to be a really interesting project. And I'm going to be with it for the long haul. So I'll be reporting on that in the future.

Phil Rice:

Great story, Ricky. Ricky as, as someone who has I mean, you have you have dabbled and worked with a wide variety of programs from iClone to I remember, there was a period where you were experimenting in Cinema 4d. you've, you've Of course, experimented around and a lot of different games. Would you describe the Machinima Omniverse experience as one that's relatively intuitive for someone who has worked in those types of programs?

Ricky Grove:

Oh, yeah.

Phil Rice:

Yeah, it's because it sounds like it is, but I haven't seen it

Ricky Grove:

modeled on a traditional 3d application format. All major applications have certain elements in their graphic interface. And it's just like that. Which, which makes sense, because they want to have something that people I mean, even Blender, when it started up with its original graphic interface was not intuitive at all. So what did they move towards? They move towards a more traditional graphic interface. And

Phil Rice:

the example I was thinking of is Blender. Yeah, as maps came out, they did like a different paradigm. And it was tough.

Ricky Grove:

It was tough, really tough. Now, this is very familiar. Once you understand the workflow, the learning curve initially is somewhat steep. But once you understand or learn the the workflow, it's it's really, really beautiful. And there's lots there's so much you can do with it. I'm, I'm really looking forward to coming up with some oddball kinds of things, you know. And the rendering is just fantastic. Their internal renderer is just gorgeous. just gorgeous.

Phil Rice:

Nice. Tracy, I understand you were going to tell us a little bit about my notes here, our Etherium Sandbox Game and like,

Tracy Harwood:

well, this mixing a couple of things that we think we know about but probably know a little about. Okay, so, yeah, the Ethereum based The Sandbox Game. Okay, so the sandbox is a is a user generated content game platform using a Minecraft style voxel world with voxel assets made by players themselves. It's another metaverse style environment. It's been founded by two guys, Arthur Madrid and Sebastian Bourget. they pronounce that correctly apologies if not, who both have experience of developing games such as the sandbox won the sandbox evolution goosebumps horror town, Addams Family, Mystery Mansion, Garfield Survival of the Fattest and Wonder Park and various others. The Sandbox though is a little bit different. It's it's community driven. It's a community driven gaming platform that empowers game makers to create, publish and monetize a myriad of unique experiences on a what they describe as a decentralized platform using cryptocurrency payments. its creators goal is to make The Sandbox the new standard in world building games with millions of user generated 3d voxel assets and games available as NFT's on the blockchain. They are building an ecosystem where content and value will be in the hands of the community. And it's their belief that this is true decentralization. I think the best analogy I have for is Second Life but without the Linden Labs part. So The Sandbox aims to have 100% of its land and sand owned by players and I'll describe what I mean by both of those in a minute. Well, land is is the in-game territory that you can host content on, and sand is the the game currency. The creators do not intend that they will retain land or sand in the company reserves and the assets in the game are user generated and owned by the creators, which kind of begs the question, how do they make money and we'll no doubt see how that unfolds In due course. Released in a series of sales last year, the land immediately sold out and there are no primary releases of land right now albeit, some are being teased in the community fora and now you need land to host a game or a user experience. Basically, what that means as you have to trade on secondary market use markets using NF T's. So if you want land, you have to go to market places such as Opensea and Rarible, as well as the Sandbox Marketplace which appears to be growing all the time. Now, as I said, the trading currency of the environment is sand and sand is designed to be traded once it's listed on other crypto exchanges. So you can trade in other coins too. It's Ethereum and based so you can see you can trade it and extract value in theory. Now, the publishers described sand as a token that allows holders to participate in governance decisions on the platform, using decentralized autonomous organization or DAO structure. holders can exercise voting rights on key elements such as Foundation grant attributions to content game creators and feature prioritization on platforms roadmap. The main focus at the moment, however, seems to be setting up partnerships for trading an audience reach and larger branded content. So distribution and player acquisition is key to their strategy, which is something we talked about when we discussed NFT's in Episode 2, I think it was the podcast. The Sandbox has several partners including Atari, Crypto kitties, Animoca, Brands, Opera, Dap, that along with non fungible, matica, and many more. animoca is a shareholder with a legal entity held in Malta, and they provide all the resources to support its marketing and distribution developments. The NFT option I think, is quite elegant because of course, it means that you own your assets. And at the moment, these are central to the development of the actual platform and its content which includes both free to play and paid for content. The market for assets is derived from how people use those assets in their creative activities. So you need land to host a game for example. Of course, a key focus is on the creator community and there are plenty of competitions, where assets win prizes, and these can also be traded. It also funds to areas of activities through its creator grants. For example, for voxel artists and for game designers. Asset creators can be paid between the equivalent of $2 and $60. And the assets can also be then sold on the marketplace. game creators can be paid seemingly between $4000 and $30,000 per game. But the rub is in these payments are made in NFT's. So how easily the NFT's can be ported out through other exchange mechanisms into what is a dominating question. It's what I'm seeing is the main interest in in the environment at the moment. The most active discussion boards are around currency and its exchange. Is it yet another virtual Ponzi scheme? I think there's a real need to be extra cautious here. In The Sandbox marketplace, there are currently 8 games and 115 assets then promoted. But with its partners, it is developing more content. And these are being released rated later in 2021. In Opensea, however, there are over 80,000 land items for sale. And when I looked at a few of the transactions, these are simply being traded between people, mostly within the last two months. And unsurprisingly, the prices aren't quite as high as they were a month ago. They appear to have almost a million creators registered on Reddit, and a Discord server with about 35,000 members on it. Plus a number of active social channels where they talk to their users in such places as Twitter Spaces, Telegram and Clubhouse, which I think gives it a kind of exclusive, yet largely untraceable aura, which I also think is a bit of a challenge. There's a lot of information on their website about how they are developing and most of that information I'm seeing generally is not what I would call community created. In my opinion, opinion, these guys have got a bit of a challenge such as you know, the NFT nonsense has really kind of got to settle down and people have actually got start concentrating on generating the content. Again, it's very reminiscent of the of the Gold Rush we saw years and years ago with Second Life when everyone and their wife tried to make a living using Linden Dollars, in one way or another and more recently, when NF T's was simply being traded by artists with no specific affiliations other than their own personal reputations. It took some some time for that to settle in those early Second Life days. And for the focus to return to creative works, and this will no doubt be the same. I think the thing here is that the community creative side hasn't even got going yet. But clearly, they have a strong investment strategy with big Brand Partners. Several of them seem seemingly lining up. And clearly as for machinima, well it has promise for that too, not least because of the way assets are being created and traded. But this isn't going to be a no cost, machinima creating environment by any means. Plus, we all know the problem the distribution of machinery isn't really now at the creative end of the process. It's what happens when it's the distribution platforms. So far beyond. Beyond games and interactive experiences, there are no streaming distribution components that I've seen in this environment. And certainly there's nothing like any peer to peer setups that I've seen. So I think, you know, maybe that will come I don't know, it's possible. The Sandbox has itself said even though it is a decentralized environment, creators still need to follow copyright and trademark laws. They say that any IP owner can issue them with a legally binding takedown warning, how that's going to be managed within the environment is going to be interesting to see I think. Content is created in a distributed way so it will be about the money trails, again, those who can afford it and have the nouse will pursue it, I'm assuming. I'm not not really advocating that of course, and creators will need to use common sense as they always have to be at the environment can only police that in game, which I think still leaves a role for the main platform distributors in any of them. And I think the thing at this stage is not to confuse The Sandbox with sandbox environments that facilitate machinima making such as Minecraft GTA, Garry's Mod Red Dead Redemption two and what have you. I think it's going to be an interesting one to watch in many ways. It's a means to harness indie content for a Minecraft like output with but with a far more serious underpinning trading mechanism that will no doubt introduce many folks to cryptos and very possibly create an even bigger environmental problem than we already had in the process. Ethereum is slightly more green than Bitcoin, but even so in 2018, for example, used more energy than Iceland. And we all know, some of the main folks mining cryptos are the Chinese and it's no surprise to see they're also Chinese partners content creating in this environment too. So for me, this raises a few ethical issues as an appropriate machinima creating environment at the moment. But I'd suggest check it out. I think we'd all be really interested to see how you get on with this one. What do you guys think?

Ricky Grove:

I had a quick hypothetical. So I'm a machinima filmmaker, I get on this platform. wandering around, I find a really cool setup. I don't own the land. I decided to shoot something on it. I contact the person actually, I contact the person before and say, Hey, Is this okay? They say no, I shoot anyway, I make the machinima I put it out in the world. Would they sue me with the game kick me off of the platform?

Tracy Harwood:

It's possible. I mean, there are like I said there are copyright issues there for sure that they probably could. But the issue isn't in the game there is it is wherever you distribute it. That's the challenge. That's what I mean, you've got kind of two separate issues with this one. One is that I can't see. I can't see the distribution being solved in game at this point in time. But it's possible that it could be you know, because there are an awful lot of streaming services evolving well beyond, you know, the YouTube and Twitch and what have you, right? There's many, there's many of those now. So it's down to that process that I think where you could, you know, fall foul of it. But suddenly, in the game environment, it's possible that you'll get both takedown notices says, I don't know, I don't quite know what that means, in this context.

Ricky Grove:

So it sounds like an environment that is interesting to look at. But ultimately, unless they make some changes, it's a pretty, it's pretty narrow environment. I mean, you have to want to deal with NFT's, you have to want to deal with all the property issues that are around it. Plus, at this point, they don't really have enough content to for most machinima filmmakers, I mean, what's to keep me from simply going to Unity, which is a free platform and getting free content, and then putting it up and making whatever I want? I mean, that's, he say, a scale of difficulty to over two. Well, go ahead. You are

Tracy Harwood:

Yeah, no, I completely agree with you, Ricky, I think that's exactly the issue. And it, like I said, it seems to be the strategy at the moment is getting more content in there. But at the same time, you know, encouraging people to create, create their own content, but, but I think the NFT's issue has created a bit of a monster for them, really. So there's a lot lot going on in that space, which is probably taking up more energy than it should. Yeah, I mean, we had these issues, didn't we with Second Life except, you know, when the Linden was owned by, you know, by Linden, Linden labs or what have you. So the NFT business didn't really factor in, but it still became a, you know, a black market kind of currency, which, which was traded. And we've got the same issues going on here. Because, to me, you know, all of these land parcels, what, you know, what's the value of owning those land passes if you haven't got content for them or for an audience for the content that might go on onto them. So they clearly have to get more content in the In the platform for this to work, but they but you know, looking at what they're doing looking at the kind of partners they're bringing in Atari, for example, these are not small players by any means. So you know, there's all you know, it's it's, it's shaping up to be something. What I don't really know. And I'm still slightly concerned about what the NFT context does, for a whole bunch of reasons really.

Damien Valentine:

It sounds interesting to me, although my real concern would be there's a, there's a lot of talk around the crypto currencies about what happens when implodes. So what's going to happen to this platform if suddenly Ethereum becomes worthless? Because, as we've seen, over the last week, Elon Musk has mentioned cryptocurrency a few times, and the value is just plummeted instantly. So if that happens to Ethereum, and suddenly, all this content, you've just, you've got your land, and you've finally got the content you want. And then suddenly, it's gone. Because it collapses. I've been a bit concerned about that. Because if you happen to buy all this stuff you're putting a lot of money into into your project before you even start it. With the risk of it could disappear very quickly.

Tracy Harwood:

Yes, but you can eat I mean, you buy subs to all sorts of things, don't you? That's true. So it's not it's not significant. You know, if you if you look at it as a form of entertainment, it's not significantly different. In that respect. If you're looking at as creating a creative platform, you have got to watch where the asset, you know, the assets go. I think like, unlike unlike some of the other NFT stuff that I've been sort of following, because the assets are in this environment. It's the it's, it's the, it's the environment itself that you've got to watch. Whereas some of the other NFT stuff is sat on individual servers. So when those servers get switched off, people have lost their content. And I don't even know where it sat in the first place. So here, you've got a slightly different thing, maybe because of this overarching, branded context, or maybe it is another Ponzi scheme. I don't know. Yeah. Time will tell.

Ricky Grove:

Yeah. Yep. Thanks, Tracy. Thank you.

Phil Rice:

So Damien, you have had quite a week. Why don't you tell us about it in whatever order you prefer?

Damien Valentine:

Yes. So that's, at the day of recording yesterday was the FantaSci Short Film Festival. We talked about this, I believe is an episode two as one of the film festivals that was accepting machinima submissions. And I thought after we recorded Well, I should probably submit to that as well. I mean, we talked about it, let's give it a go. And on my films, Heir to the Empire, which I've talked to, which I've talked to quite a bit about, especially last month, one the best animation prize. And the other thing, thank you. It was nominated for Best Visual Effects as well. And I think that's a I mean, I'm very pleased about that. But it's also a really good sign for iClone and Reallusion, because all the effects were done completely within iClone. I did no third party touching up or anything else. back so yeah. So I'm really pleased about that. They also had the machinima, subsection of it. So there's a best machinima film. It's called the one that one was called Hum Drum by Andrei Santos. I didn't get to see any clips or anything. And I've tried to look it up so that we could put it in the show notes. But it doesn't appear to be available on YouTube yet. So I can't watch it and I can't tell you anything about it other than it was created with LittleBigPlanet 3, which I believe is a PlayStation game, which is the sandbox environment. I don't I've never played it. So I can't really say much about it. I know there's a sackboy character something like a puppet. But I don't know anything about it. So I'd be really interested to see that because it's not a game you expect to see people making machinima from No, no. And then after the awards, there was an after party, which the award winners were invited to and he was he joined in. I did have a little bit of a chat with him. And he said that he's more interested in it normally more interested in live action films but because of the pandemic, he couldn't do anything like that. And he loves video games, so he decided to give machinima a try. This is the film that he came up with. And he really enjoyed the experience. And he feels very proud that something he just enjoys a fun he could use creatively. That's great. And then the film festival itself is great fun. There's lots of other films on there that were missing clips and interviews of the directors and the cast members and I've got a list of films I want to check out. There's lots of Star Wars competition for me which other three thrill that because there's a really good films, the guy who running it TR Westgate, he said that he wants to continue running the film festival and he when I stood up with dinner, he said that it's he was the most inclusive as possible. So the machinima category is going to stay. So any of our people listening, if you want to enter a film festival, keep an eye out on this because the film festival will happen again next year. I don't have any dates for when submissions open yet, but keep an eye on it. Because this is definitely one worth entering.

Ricky Grove:

Sure.

Tracy Harwood:

Oh, congratulations.

Phil Rice:

Awesome.

Damien Valentine:

Thank you. Thank you so much.

Ricky Grove:

deserves to you put so much hard work into filmmaking you've gotten better and better. Over the years with practice. It's a perfect example of making things to get better, learn as you're doing. And I'm really, I'm really glad for you.

Damien Valentine:

Thank you so much.

Phil Rice:

Alright, so I'll my quote unquote news thing isn't necessarily on blues news, or any of the websites, it's more of personal experience. I've been doing a lot of experimentation, since Ricky and I got murdered by a drifter. Still. Still, so I've been doing what I've been doing. I've since been murdered by a bear, which is great. Yeah, it's, it was it was the best example of video game karma. I think you can imagine. I'm using this trainer. And right near the end of one of my live streams, where I was experimenting, I thought, you know, it'd be fun is to just spawn a big bear in the middle of this populated town. Because in other instances where I've spawned it, it's like, instantly hostile. Well, that's true. But it turns out that what that means is that it's instantly hostile to the player. Bear has no appetite for NPCs learn the skill to destroy. No, no, I have not. Oh, boy. So anyway, yeah, I've been doing some experimentation with Red Dead Redemption 2. And actually, a friend of mine has kind of been learning and doing experimentation, at the same time in Grand Theft Auto five, and we've been kind of comparing notes and experiences and stuff. And where it has, I mean, it couldn't be further apart. The quality of experience and the tools available for Grand Theft Auto five, I mean, it's the reigning king for a reason. You know, there's still, you know, hundreds of 1000s to millions of players still actively playing that game, which is not new. So you know, it's it's got some whiskers on it. Red Red Dead Redemption. There's been no such investment from Rockstar Games. That's visible anyway, that that's been released. To make it possible to manipulate characters and sequence events. There's plenty of trainers out there. Trainers are programs where you kind of access access to certain cheats, and also can spawn any object or NPC or whatever. But getting any sort of control over them once you spawn them, is next to impossible. There was one tool that had some promise there. Yeah, that's right. Ben is correcting my my description of the bear attack. Yeah, that actually, I had to run after the bear a bit to get it to attack me. That's correct. But I was running after it, to scold it for not eating all those tasty NPCs. That's the full story. Yeah. Then I ran after it and it ate my face. So there was a tool and I say was for a reason I'll explain here it was called map editor, which is a very confusing name. For anyone who's done any game lying in the past. Yeah, the map you think of, Okay, this is a level, like in quake or one of those games, you've created this, you know, BSP map of dimensions and you know, the walls with textures and some of its baked in and lighting sources and all that, that's a map. In Red Dead Redemption 2 the map editor, which was user made, is more of the ability to save a collection of settings, spawned entities or objects, or NPCs, in their start positions, you can assign them certain looped behavior, you know, some of the some of the routines that NPCs do in the game, where they're warming their hands by the fire, or they're drinking a cup of coffee, or leaning against a fence post. Those are called scenarios in the game, you can assign one of those to an NPC, and then when you spawn them, they'll immediately start doing that. And they'll still interact with their environment, you get close enough to them, they'll they'll do the Hey, how you doing those random, greets and whatnot. But that's the extent of the control that you had with any of these trainers. Map editor had a feature where you could attach a script, and they had implemented a scripting language to get at some of the functions in the game for spawning things, making a character travel to a certain place, or mount a horse or getting a wagon or you can trigger certain pre recorded bits of speech within the game. And in a sequence in a script, so you could have it, you know, have the character say this line, and then wait five seconds and say this one, and wait five seconds and attack the player. Brilliant idea, a little bit of a learning curve. If you're not comfortable with, you know, JavaScript or something like that, you know, you kind of need that familiarity to make any use of it. So this, this person was releasing that mod. And something happened. And there's really, there's no reliable source that I can find for what really went on. But the end result of it is the person pulled the mod from all the download sites, Nexus, mod RDR, all the sites where it was hosted, pulled it, deleted all posts related to it, deleted the documentation for it took down some of their own videos demonstrating just insane and it's gone. It's gone. completely gone. If you didn't already download it. It's not out there. No explanation. No, you know, goodbye post to even, you know, give us Okay, so he got briefed by somebody and he just I've had enough. That's it. And there's no other mod like it. Because it's a very difficult mod to make. So yeah, that's frustrating. Because the game makers themselves don't appear to if they're doing anything at all, they're really dragging their feet. I mean, this is it. GTA five as someone reminded me recently, GTA five shipped with the tools to do this kind of stuff to make cinema in the game. Red Dead Redemption two did not. And, you know, there's been news announcements here and there that kind of seem like they're flirting with the idea or someone will look under the hood of, you know, the latest update to the game and they see components with certain names that seem to imply that might be coming, but just you know, month after month, after month after month goes by, and nothing happens. And, you know, I just, I don't know, I don't really have a lot of optimism that it's gonna happen. Right. So there is one short that I'm working on in Red Dead Redemption two, unfortunately, the needs with regard to animation and action and whatnot are are simple enough to where I have determined I can 100% pull it off okay. But to do anything beyond that. And I mean, really simple. So, yeah, it's discouraging. I mean, I, I guess I would go so far as to say, if you're pondering whether or not to get Red Dead Redemption two, purely because of its promise as a machinima tool to make these beautiful, you know, films, I would discourage you from doing so. If you're interested in playing the game, it's a brilliant game. Its one of the most immersive storylines ever done for a computer game, it's absolutely stunning levels of detail in the story, in the environment, it's beautiful. It's a beautiful game, and well written. It's magnificent. You know, it's, I would think there are 1000s of lines 10s of 1000s of lines of dialogue recorded for this game, all the players, all the NPCs they lip sync those lines, when they execute them. The environment is hugely detailed. And you know, it's it's every bit a role playing game, as much as it is an adventure. And a shooter, it's all of those, you can really, once you get back past a certain point in the single player campaign, you can play it however you want. You can you can treat it as a sandbox, essentially, sandbox with certain major hostilities built in but still. So yeah, I'm disappointed I really am, I was really hoping that on the other end of this few months of exploration, that I'd be able to come on here and kind of give everybody hope of, hey, even if Rockstar doesn't come through, here's how you can do it. But short of you know, launching some Kickstarter, and, you know, hiring a programmer who happens to have the right, because you wouldn't, the code base is so complicated on this game, and that the asset structures are so complicated that the person to program it would not just need to know programming, C sharp or c++ or whichever one it uses. But then they'd also need to know the scripted version of that, which called Chai script. And then they'd also need to take all the time to develop a familiarity with the object structure of that game, which is, yeah, immense, and was clearly worked on by disperate teams. Because even down to the function naming and file naming conventions, it is all over the place. Like there's no standardization at all, which would be a nightmare for somebody trying to go in and program with it. So it really needs to be somebody who has that skill set, which I sure don't, and then has a passion for that particular game, then maybe you could pay that person to do it.

Ricky Grove:

One of the things about machinima is that ease of creation, you know, you find something that's easy to work, because the important thing is to get your story made. Yes. So if you're spending all this time trying to I mean, I admire you for going through all that. And I know you have a great sense of detail. And, and I love the game too, but it's like and limitation is also a spurt of artistic creativity. But it just seems like beyond a certain point. You have to go well, let's not work on this game. Let's find something else. Yeah, because you want to get something done. I mean, all the time spent on trying to get a fundraising program to get somebody to code something. You could have made 15 films in that.

Phil Rice:

Yeah, that's not how you know, I want to spend my time.

Ricky Grove:

Yeah, yeah.

Phil Rice:

So yeah, that's where I'm at with it. Ricky is the one short, that I allowed myself to, to fantasize into reality. That one I can do, but I'm not even letting myself you know that that experience with a good game that you've talked about where it inspires ideas and all that. I've kind of deliberately closed myself off from that. Because I don't want to be disappointed. I mean, there's just there's no way to do that kind of scale of production in the game. Now, if down the road, Rockstar surprises us all, you know, you have to do I'll be happy about that. But yeah, yeah, I can't wait around, got to move on. So anyway, that's the status with that. And that's it. The records. Yeah, you bet. Wish I had better news, but you don't want people to know how it is. There's certainly plenty of other choices for places to, you know, games to use to make machinima. We're spoilt for choice right now, so it's a good time to be doing it. So that concludes our news episode today. Once again, if you want to get in touch with us, head on over to completelymachinima.com and click the talk button in the menu on the top. That'll show you all the different ways you can get in touch with us. We are on Facebook or on Twitter. You know, whatever method you want to use, we try to monitor all those channels, and we absolutely would love to hear from you. Thank you Tracy, Damien and Ricky. And we will see all of you on the next episode.