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Friday, June 19, 2009

Midsummer Moviestorm

This weekend is the summer solstice, which means that we’ll all be out in our gardens celebrating the longest day of the year with BBQ and beer.  Or, equally likely, sitting indoors hoping the rain will stop.  So, as we reach the half-way point of the year, where have we got to since our last update?

Well, the main bit of good news is that Moviestorm 1.1.6 is going through testing on schedule, and should be released before the end of the month. This will pave the way for several new content packs over the summer.  These will include a range of customisable hairstyles, pyros, explosions and flame effects, and several packs of royalty-free music that you can use in your Moviestorm productions.  There will also be an updated modder’s workshop, which is much, much easier and quicker to use.

Test movie showcasing some experimental pyro code, by Johnnie.

As well as all that good stuff, we’ve announced several new features in development.  On the dev blog, we’ve been running a series of previews of some visual effects filters we’re working on.  So far, we’ve shown off nine out of the eleven we’ve got in prototype: night vision, sepia, black & white, red boost, half-tone, negative, glow, bloom and everyone’s favourite, camera shake.  Come back next week to see the last two! 

We also showed you a first look at some new styling for Moviestorm, more in keeping with the way we’re presenting the Web site, and much less Sims-y.  CEO Jeff Zie has been taking a break from paperwork (and answering the phones) and has reverted to his roots in graphic design.  And, while we were at it, we gave our MySpace and YouTube sites a bit of a make-over as well, so they at least use the same colours as the Moviestorm Web site.

We’ve also welcomed more new people to the Moviestorm team: Dave Holloway joins the ranks of Daves, replacing Daves Pajak and Thatcher in the QA department, and Paul Kelley is now working alongside Chris in the Art Department.  We’ve also had more work experience students experiencing the joy of regular office hours with us, which is, we hope, fun for them and useful for us. We also have James Barlow stepping into the role of finance officer.  However, we’ve had to bid a fond farewell to our long-serving receptionist, secretary, PA and general all-round useful person Tiffany, which means we have to answer the phones ourselves, and we keep running out of milk because we forget to go to the shops.

Best videos

If you enjoy Sci-FI, have a look at the Sci-Fi playlist we’ve created.  We also kicked off a playlist featuring the first episodes of several Moviestorm series, so you can sample them and see which ones you like.  We’re currently seeking nominations for the Best Comedy playlist - come and tell us what you want to see on the forums!

The three standout videos of the last month are:

Cafe Insomniac - episode 2
As always,the camerawork, editing and lighting are first-rate, and the look mellowhardy gets out of Moviestorm is quite incredible. On top of that, there’s great voice acting, amazing sound, and he’s squeezed strong emotional performances out of the characters. And, of course, it’s a great story and a great script. This raises the bar yet again. (If you haven’t seen it, watch Episode 1 first, though.)

Melvin meets a Girl
This is the start of what promises to be an entertaining comedy series aimed primarily at World of Warcraft players, by Moviestorm newcomer myrtheus.  In this opening ep, Melvin, a WoW Vlogger meets a girl online and talks about it.  If you enjoy this, catch the followup, Melvin Joins a Raid.

The Devil Made Me Twitter
Twitter seems to be flavour of the month amongst journalists, bloggers, celebrities, marketing gurus and just everyone else.  Jim Stedman‘s Moviestorm debut piece catches it perfectly.  Essential viewing for all those who love or loathe twitter!

And lastly, a friendly wave to our friends in the Wan Smolbag theatre in Vanuatu.  We’re very proud to be supporting this worthy cause in such a remote and underdeveloped part of the world, and we look forward to seeing what they make of Moviestorm.


(1) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/19 at 02:14 PM

Wow! That’s a nice summary of what’s been taking place. From a new version to new content to new staff members. Moviestorm’s future is looking bright indeed.

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