hola, me llamo blogpost

Wait I was gonna put together a list of some stuff for audio and animation
Lemme get right on that here we go suckaz gonna get so much onto this
And I’m gonna intersperse it with stuff I’ve done/like

By converting the audio to video, you lose elements of the sound (intimacy, and highlighting elements with imagery causes other aspects to change) – however this process also acts as a “bridge” for the extra information from the video to hopefully fill in those gaps with frog DNA. The “job” of most pieces of traditional video is to create a harmonious link between audio and visual components to create an experience for the viewer.

Okay so! Toolkit for creating short animations — creative commons music, sound effects and images. These are basically ideal unless you can create your own stuff. Can’t write? There are also creative commons scripts! (There are probably other sites out there for this stuff, these are just example links). Of course all this creative commons business is if you want to show this stuff off to a larger audience, to a degree you could probably get away with using licensed stuff for smaller projects but then you wouldn’t own the property so you have less rights to it (unless you can claim fair use etc, but, that’s a whole other thing).

YouTube is a pretty good resource for help creating your own music and sound effects (foley ideas etc – also google) but writing can be a little more difficult. Pretty much with all this stuff you have to practice as well as researching the material: Oh look here is a thing someone linked at me once!

Speaking of linking to things isn’t it time you linked to that 19 Nocturne Boulevard stuff you were gonna link to that has the stuff about writing and audio techniques etc? Sure okay. But let it also be said that there’s a bunch more on the iTunes feed or the RSS feed under Tone Didactic. And while we’re at it, some other good audio drama-type places: KWUR Theater of the Air, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, We’re Alive, and Our Fair City.

What else was I going to link to? Nobody knows. I do not remember. Maybe this John Hodgman Today In The Past thing.


Gersberms (Yer Gervin Mah)

I only just found out about this recently through the Chris Hardwick episode of Who Charted? available HERE – it’s a hilarious episode and this song is pretty great too.


Personal Demons Adventure Trailers Continue!

Will this madness ever be stopped? Presumably! I’m a lot happier with this one! Took about two and a half hours to film and edit, the writing and audio work was done beforehand so I’m not exactly sure how long that took.

Comedy Death Ray/Comedy Bang Bang

Good gravy this show is hilarious. Definitely check this thing out immediately. Any of the latest set of episodes are worth listening to. Andy Daly is always great at characters, as is James Adomian and Paul F Tompkins if you need a place to start.

The Curious Case of Samuel Twain (Trailer) & Personal Demons (Trailer)

This is just part of getting the look together for a new MSPA forum adventures thing I’m working on! Hopefully it’ll mean I make a few more videos in the future, so look forward to maybe hearing about those when I remember to post them on here. Oh! I also did some volunteer work recently which was quite good for this tour thing, they had paintings, performance art and audio stuff that was great. Plus a short film segment. Interesting stuff!

Anyway, on to the video, that first one was done in a few hours and I’m pretty sure I didn’t write anything. The idea was originally due to watching the Renegade intro video and wanting to do something with a similar kind of tone, and also the idea of the outlaw hunting outlaws was interesting to me, as well as just generally that idea of the loose cannon cop. So, originally I’d decided to do kind of a cop show format, with the first episode introducing the character and a murder scene, the identity of the victim being decided by users. But then, reading the thread for the contest, I found a post that had an idea for a story where the main character was a superhero by day, supervillain by night (by equal turns both good and evil, like Taffin) and decided to adapt that.

Afterwards it was just a matter of coming up with powers that I could easily portray on a limited budget, and working out the visual and general aesthetic of the production. I’ve continued working on it, and I’m getting a little closer, but I’m still not quite sure I’m there yet. This is the next video, which is more fully scripted, and took a few more hours to shoot and edit (though still took place over much less than a day).

I’ve been working on the next trailer which promises to be slightly better and a little different in tone, as I’ve been taking notes from people I’ve shown the videos to. That’ll be up soon, hopefully! The project starts properly on Wednesday, August 1st.

No updates for a while because I forgot this blog existed!

And, no videos for a long while because my camera is busted and my computer broke so I lost Flash. I should get to work on re-attaining these things! Mostly I’ve been working towards getting a job and producing the Cthulhu on Parade podcast, which is growing and changing quite nicely!

Here’s a video of a board game I just bought today, also you may be astonished to discover that people that make boardgames are kinda nerds! I will put up a review on this blog after I receive it and play a game, this is my solemn promise to you, the audience.

And speaking of board games, you should really check out the Wil Wheaton online show TableTop! The last episode was really great, and you can watch it here.

Tips for a Beginning Keeper (Call of Cthulhu)

edit: this post is super-old and still gets traffic – I made an updated version here!

So, yeah, it’s been kind of a long time since I posted anything on this thing. In the interim, I’ve got an almost-job (more work experience) at an online clothes-retailer company as a content administrator (ie copying and pasting stuff from a spreadsheet into a holding program to be transferred onto the main website later), I am not going to sit here and lie to you guys it is pretty dull. But it could be a lot worse! And the people are nice so it’s kind of fun overall.

But, also a lot during that time I have been working on the Cthulhu on Parade! podcast! Including helping to create a monstrous christmas song with some friends for a charity album which you can hear and donate for here: http://casttheworld.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/cthulhu-christmas/

However, this post is only marginally about either of those things! For the majority of this modern-day radiogram shall be to inform you of the things that I have learned with regard to hosting a game of the Call of Cthulhu role-playing system that I produce the Cthulhu on Parade! podcast’s content with, or in other words…

Tips for a Beginning Keeper!

See, I brought the heading of the post back into the body of the post for a kind of instant-callback.

One of the great things about the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game is its propensity for diverse settings and play-styles. Since a lot of the surface rules are fairly skeletal and easy to pick up, it’s a great system for beginning players and can be adapted to a wide variety of storytelling techniques ranging from stories of lighthearted pulp adventure to dark, bleak horror and most scenarios tend to land somewhere between the two.

From the position of a player, a game should be fun, exciting and engaging. First, they will come to terms with their character, becoming attached to how they fit into the world around them and interact with other players and non-player characters, and then they shall stumble upon a mishap or mystery that drives chaos into this order, ultimately leading to a story of their personal success or failure.

Good role-playing within a group is brought about by shared character history and interaction. Keepers should strive to nurture a spirit of group co-ordination amongst player characters, either by workshopping character back-stories with the players or building scenes into the story that bring characters closer together.

Essentially, this means that characters should have to (at some point in the story) work together to accomplish their goals. Whether this is by having a large rock in the way that requires multiple people to push aside, or by the ship’s deck needing co-ordination between the captain, navigator, look-out and gunman depends on what the story will allow, but collaboration and a close-knit team breeds good group role-playing.

This doesn’t mean that all interactions in the game should be a shared group experience, of course, as that would not allow for much individual character development. But deployed correctly, putting characters together in a tight spot that they can only get out of by working together will make for a much stronger team, and give characters a reason to keep hanging out together despite all this craziness.

Additional hints and tips for Keepers:

  • Learn and remember the combat rules.

Unstructured combat is chaotic and quickly becomes boring and confusing.
Highest DEX goes first, then second highest etc. If characters lose more than half their current hit-points in one attack, they have to make a CON x5 roll or pass out. Knock-out attacks and immobilizing with Grapple require the resistance table, and so on. Not every rule needs to be applied but you should be conscious of the rules you want to follow.

  • Remember to ask for skill checks and SAN rolls.

This doesn’t mean to constantly ask for skill checks for everything a player does, but if a character is constantly reading books (languages), lying to people (fast talk) and installing high-powered death traps (mechanical/electrical repair) without rolling for them and so without chance of failure, the actions will have less weight. Likewise, the sighting of a bloated-corpse-like, bat-winged amphibian horrorterror from beyond Mars, while scary-sounding enough, won’t actually affect the sanity of a character without calling for the sanity roll.

  • The unknown is scarier.

Players should never fully understand the mentality of cultists or monsters, or ideally ever get a good look at them. Strange rituals, undulating shapes and the suggestion of wings and teeth in the night is more disturbing than a cultist of Nyarlathotep calling up a Byakhee because the shopkeeper didn’t refund his money after he purchased a poorly translated copy of the Necronomicon.

  • Go with the players.

As a Keeper, it’s easy to feel the need to stick to the written rules of the scenario you’ve learned and want to cram in all the cool things you’ve thought of. This never works out. Players will want to throw the ornate headpiece into the ocean, melt down the golden statue that opens the door to the giant winged toads of infinite knowledge and sell it for a few hundred dollars, and they absolutely will not go visit the party of Elaine McPlotPoint and no amount of subtle placements of party invitations in the local newspaper will convince them otherwise (they just won’t read the newspaper).

Instead, your job is to merely present the situation and to know all the facts of all the possible outcomes (or at least be very confident when you make them up). Your scenario is the framework for what is roughly going to happen, but the players are going to decide how that turns out. And if they get too off course, just make them take an IDEA roll and “suggest” that maybe the golden statue might be connected to that statue-shaped hole they saw in the large stone door a few hours ago, and filled up with cement.

Unfortunately, the most important rule to remember is that the game is supposed to be fun for everybody. And your job, as the Keeper, is to make sure that happens. If you can fit in something approximating the actual story somewhere in there, and give some sense of satisfaction at the end that players have actually done something, then you’ve done a great job.

Good luck.

Also, here’s this video:

I also believe that I forgot to mention this.

This is something that I made, unfortunately the jar seen in the video has since been thrown to the glass recycling bin and shattered, otherwise I could have produced my long-awaited remake of the Time Travel video I did ages ago.

I should do another video some time soon, shouldn’t I? I already have a lot on with all this audio editing, but… One little video couldn’t hurt. I’ll see what I can do for you fine people after I’ve finished the podcasts. I still have to cut the interview down to size!

No review today. Maybe tomorrow.

Sorry, last night I ended up running a Call of Cthulhu game session which was recorded and shall be put up on the blog later. In the meantime, go listen to the latest episode of Simon Colt!

And watch this:

Working on some podcast reviews.

This post is mostly a lot of text, so I’m going to liven it up with a little video at the beginning and end.

You remember that time a while back when I said I was going to do some more podcast reviews or discussion? Well, I picked out 21 podcasts, made a cool looking gallery in a draft, and now I figure for the next 21 days I’ll try to write a review for each of them, as best I can. As for where I got this idea, I cannot reveal my sources (it’s Goggleman64).

So, obviously that’s going to provide a flood of content hitherto unknown to this here blog, well, at least for a while, I’ll try posting them separately and see if they hold up as individual posts. I’m not entirely sure whether to start today or tomorrow.

To tide you over until then, here are some more movies hand picked from the free collection at YouTube. I’ve just finished His Girl Friday, and, man, that’s a pretty amazing movie! And directed by Howard Hawks, who, as you should know by that trailer up there, was the producer (and, apparently, uncredited director) of The Thing From Another World.

One thing I’ll say about watching movies on YouTube is that it’s a lot easier to stop and come away from. I’m not entirely sure yet whether that’s a good or bad thing. But getting to watch some of these movies has been nice.

“The Thing from Another World” – Here.
“House on Haunted Hill” – Here.
“The Third Man” – Here.
“The 39 Steps” – Here.

Also, go down to that last post down there and check out Amy’s blog.

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