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Gaming Hacks by Simon Carless

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Film Your First Machinima Movie

Film your own virtual worlds.

You don’t have to sell your body to science to make a good film. Yes, Rob Rodriguez did it to make El Mariachi (try not to think too hard about that), but you don’t have to.

Live filming—the part of machinima creation where you make the film, in real time—is the engine behind the purring power of machinima. By taking computer graphics away from the painstaking, slow work of conventional computer animation and into the world of real time—the same world inhabited by Real Film and puppetry—machinima creates a totally new way of making film in a computer. It sacrifices the absolute control and incredible detail of conventional animation for the flexibility and speed needed to tell a long story without giving your life to it.

In a lot of ways, the closest equivalent of what you’re doing when you make live machinima is puppetry, the same kind used by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop or Gerry Anderson. As this implies, yes, every machinima character to date has, in fact, been a complete Muppet.

Put All Your Dominos in a Row

(I’ve never quite understood why project planners had such an obsession with pizza, but anyway . . . )

How do you start this mysterious process? The Strange Company procedure is quite simple:

  1. Put a bunch of computers together in one location.

  2. Network them.

  3. Load up the game we’re using, whether Half-Life, Quake 2, NWN, or whatever, and have everyone join the game as a player.

  4. Persuade people to stop shooting each other. ...

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