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Posts with tag production

15 Minutes of Fame: Film pros shoot raiding lifestyle documentary


Video has NSFW language near the beginning.
15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com's look at World of Warcraft personalities of all shapes and sizes -- from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, from the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

It used to be that any mainstream media coverage of gaming that didn't completely denigrate gamers rated rabid cheering and high-fives all around. Things have gotten better in recent years, but we're often left with a sense of lingering embarrassment when journalists miss the boat and ask all the wrong questions from all the wrong angles. It's with great relief, then, that we report on documentary project that's working hard to get it right. LFG Productions, the brainchild of two film industry vets who are also WoW players, is filming a behind-the-scenes look at the intersection of hardcore raiding and real life by following a top-ranked PvE guild through the post-ICC lull and into the coming expansion. (See a sample of some of the raw footage they've collected at last year's BlizzCon, above.) Documentary co-creator John Keating, aka Xod of <Royal Militia> on Bleeding Hollow (US-A), has been corresponding with us for months now about the LFG Productions team's efforts to put its finger on an accurate portrayal of the hardcore raiding lifestyle.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

BlizzCon 2009: WoW.com interviews Felicia Day, continued

That's the last money question that I have. You work with all of these actors, the first season it was like you were kind of the face of the show, and you were talking to everybody, and the other actors have kind of come up. And this BlizzCon I think is one of the first ones where people are really diving in and saying this person is my favorite, I really want to talk to Robin, I really want to talk to Jeff. You wrote the stuff, you even talked on the panel as well about how the actors are kind of taking over your characters. How has that been, in terms of how your actors are becoming the characters you're writing about?

As of the third season, I've written them hundreds of pages, at this point. So they've as actors really helped me define, it's kind of a metamorphosis. Every TV show, if you watch a pilot, a lot of characters change a lot, from the time they do that first pilot. For this one, the actors though, they bring so much to the table, Jeff and Sandeep do a lot of improv, and ad-lib a lot, they're adding a lot of ideas with their characters. At the same time, honestly, I've been pushing them forward as far as press and stuff and meeting fans and stuff, because I'm out there on the Internet a lot, I get sick of myself, honestly, I'm sure some of your readers are like, "I hate this girl."

[Laughs] No! They do have trolling tendencies.

Which is cool, they will, but that's cool, everybody doesn't have to love me. [laughs]

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Humor, Interviews, BlizzCon

8962, professionally speaking


There were a lot of profession changes in the latest LK beta build (8962). You've already seen what Inscription got, and if you're anything like me, you've salivated over the new Engineered motorcycles. But what else in this build is particularly interesting, for the other professions?
  • Tailoring got some new flying carpets added, though I'm pretty sure the Ebonweave/Mooncloth/Spellfire are just cosmetic variants. No word yet on what they look like.
  • Leatherworking got a ton of new BoE epics and blues. It looks like they're really trying to make it profitable to be a leatherworker, which will be nice to see.
  • Each of the armor-crafting professions (tailoring, LW, blacksmithing) got some high-stamina frost-resist sets. Previously, similar (and similarly-named) sets were used for the Sapphiron fight in the old Naxxramas; I wonder if something similar will be going on in the new Naxx. I hope not, because kitting out your whole raid for one fight is an annoying gimmick.
  • A few of the professions got recipes specifically to help them discover more recipes, like Northrend Alchemy Research and Northrend Inscription Research. An interesting approach to making the discovery system less frustrating.
  • A new epic fishing pole! Still not quite as much +fishing as the Arcanite Fishing Pole, but nice for those who have trouble winning the contest, and the underwater breathing will be convenient.

There are also a bunch of new enchants and elixirs, but it's just your typical +AP, +crit, +int, etc.; hardly fascinating. I'm particularly excited about all the stuff LW is getting. That skill needed some love. See MMO-Champion for full listings of all the recipes; there's just too much for me to list here.

Filed under: Blacksmithing, Tailoring, Jewelcrafting, Wrath of the Lich King

Figureprints raises their price

Figureprints (that company that will make a 3D mini-figurine of your character) has posted a notice on their site that they are in fact doing so well... that they're raising their price. Now, if you want a real-life copy of the character you've worked so hard on, it'll cost you $130, a $30 increase over the original price. What will the extra money buy you? They say they're stepping up production, and that they've opened up a brand new production facility on the other side of the country. But even though they say they can make more faster, they're still doing that random drawing thing -- instead of actually buying a figure, you have to enter a drawing to buy one.

The other reason they cite for raising the price is that their "material costs" are much higher than they expected. Could that have to do with the fact that we've seen a lot of figure replacements in their run so far? These things can get pretty expensive when you have to make two for every other order.

Is $130 too much for you or are you still interested? From the beginning, Figureprints has been working around the clock making these, so even if they lose a little business over the higher price, maybe it'll help them keep up with demand better. And if the new price doesn't work out, maybe we'll see them cutting back again (or offering deals via Blizzard or someone else).

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Fan art

Breakfast Topic: What matters most in machinima?

A little while ago, we asked what a good PvP video looked like, and so it's only natural that we should ask, as Relmstein did recently, what makes a good machinima? Yes, PvP vids are technically machinima, but in this case, I'd say we're talking about videos that tell a story that doesn't necessarily center around PvP-- stuff like Illegal Danish, Time Gnomes, and even music videos like Big Blue Dress (which is also a PvP video) and Code Monkey.

Relmstein tries to make a spectrum between professional production and a strong script, but I'm not sure those are on opposite ends-- it's definitely possible to have both. I'd say a good, strong script is important for sure no matter how your movie looks. Humor tends to be popular, but I think that's only because non-humor stuff tends to be overly dramatic RP stuff so far-- it's hard to convey real emotion, as my friend recently said when I showed her the Code Monkey video, with characters who don't change facial expressions.

And maybe this is just me, but I kind of have a pet peeve with some machinima-- I really tend to dislike overuse of the Model Viewer to create improbable situations. It has it's place, I think-- Hardware Store is a great video that uses the Model Viewer almost exclusively for all sorts of fun. But I am more impressed by the folks who are able to shoot great stuff inside the actual game engine rather than flooding the screen with their own creations, effects, and graphics. Yeah, it takes skill to come up with all your own stuff, but if I'm watching a WoW video, I'd rather it was made with WoW, not five or six other programs just using the WoW models.

But maybe that's just my own personal opinion. What do you think makes a great machinima video?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, Breakfast Topics

Taking the production out of itemcrafting

Here's an interesting suggestion from Mystic Worlds: take the production process out of crafting.

When I used to play Dark Age of Camelot, the crafting setup was my least favorite part of the game-- it seemed like crafting materials were expensive, the crafting process took way too much time (I having long conversations with others standing around the crafting area), and the stuff you made (at the early levels anyway) just wasn't that great. So WoW's system may not be perfect, but it seemed like a breath of fresh air after that-- materials come from actually playing the game, and putting things together is something you can generally do as an afterthought rather than as, well, a profession. The gathering is the important part.

So Mystic Worlds says, why not make the gathering the whole thing? You still go out and get mats from the world, crafters turn those raw mats into usable mats, and then you'd actually take the bolts and gems and tanned leather that crafters made to NPC crafters, who would turn them into items. That way, if you want a Robe of the Void but you aren't a tailor, you just take the mats to an NPC tailor who can hammer one out for you.

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Filed under: Tailoring, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Making money

Inside Blizzard's plans, past and future

Wandering Goblin has a cool piece up entitled "25 Things You Didn't Know About WoW." Now, it's not really titled correctly, because many Blizzard fans will at least know a few of the things, and the truth is that they're not all about WoW anyway. But it is interesting reading, especially if you aren't super familiar with the background behind the Blue.

Fr'instance, when WoW released, Mike Morhaime says that every available employee was working on it. And production on Burning Crusade started about six months after that, when Blizzard determined that WoW was "stable." Other interesting tidbits (specifically from the recent WWI) include the fact that China is WoW's biggest market (people there pay by the hour, not by the month), and that Blizzard expects WoW to last them at least 10 years. So we may still be grinding murlocs in 2014.

It's also interesting that Blizzard says they don't plan budget limits for games-- either they're going to make a good game, or they don't bother making the game at all. Most companies probably wouldn't have ditched Starcraft: Ghost so late in the process, but Blizzard seems totally and completely committed to releasing a great game or not releasing a game at all. Interesting tactic, but then again it's worked for them so far.

[ via WorldofWar.net ]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items

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