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Author Topic: Starwars on Steam - for those of you interested in putting one together  (Read 20908 times)
Emperor
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« Reply #125 on: March 19, 2007, 12:43:25 am »

Quite possibly. Empire builders felt they were bringing civilisation to the world, spreading the light of order into the darkness of chaos and disorder.

However, they were blind to the fact that they were creating a vast pyramid of exploitation that allowed them fancy goods at home but all balanced on the back of the masses.

It would be interesting to tone down the overwhelming evil and address the angle of a kind of blindness to what they were doing to people while they have their eyes set on higher values.

There are certainly scenes that could be used for exposition (Darth Vader on the Death Star at the table just before he choked the guy - possibly in this version he chokes him with his mechanical hand shooting out with trailing wires).
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Lazaras
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« Reply #126 on: March 19, 2007, 12:51:54 am »

Leave the force choke in place, or at least have his arm extend rather than a spring loaded hand(which to me feels like it would be lame compared to the original scene). After all he is supposed to be a powerful and learned practitioner of occult eastern arts is he not?
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« Reply #127 on: March 19, 2007, 12:56:01 am »

"These Hindoo arts are but charlatanry!"
"Sir, I am disturbed by your lack of faith."
*choke*
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Lazaras
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« Reply #128 on: March 19, 2007, 12:58:16 am »

Thats one line I want left alone. One of the few moments that I was genuinly scared of someone(you have to remember though I was six when i first saw it).

"I find your lack of faith....disturbing.'
*choke*
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Emperor
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« Reply #129 on: March 19, 2007, 03:23:40 am »

How about a compromise? His hand flies off and chokes him (it is clockwork after all) but there are now connecting wires, as he has acquired the ability to influence machines at a distance!! Is there no end to his infamy??

Anyway the conference room scene does offer the best opportunity for exposition so I sketched this out:

Quote
TAGUE: We have made our move to early. Only two of the great steam engines have not been brought up to pressure and the Doom Moon is vulnerable.

MOTSON: I believe you will find that it is your zeppelins that are vulnerable. The Doom Moon can look after itself perfectly adequately.

NB: A tip of the hat to John Motson whose nickname was Motty linking in with Motti

TAGUE: While the city states gain ground in the Parliament we…

Enter Viscount Tarquin and Baron Vadoir stage right.

TARQUIN: You need not fear that possibility as the Emperor has dissolved Parliament.

TAGUE: That strikes me as rank stupidity as manipulating the Parliament was our only means of controlling the regions!!

TARQUIN: Ah but it is time for the Empire to emerge from the shadows. We will devolve the regions and control everything ourselves.

TAGUE: But but

TARQUIN: Over the last few centuries the city-states have made impressive technological advances.

TARQUIN: However, in recent decades progress has stalled and social progress has atrophied.

TARQUIN: We stand at a point in history where we either make a bold jump into the future or slide back into barbarity.

TARQUIN: Under a unified Empire we will be able to marshal resources more efficiently and specialise on specific areas.

TARQUIN: A single currency and the eradication of inequality will lead to new opportunities and new avenues of innovation will open. We may even make the leap off this played-out rock and into the void where new wonders and frontiers await our discovery.

TARQUIN: It may be the end of their world but it is the start of our brave new one.

TARQUIN: Those who stand in our way will be crushed by the might of the Doom Moon.

TAGUE: Not if the plans have passed to forces that oppose us. Does not the Great Book tell of a giant felled by one well-placed stone?

TARQUIN: Vadoir is tracing their whereabouts as we speak.

VADOIR: When you have direct communion with The Essence such technological marvels amount to naught.

TAGUE: Bah. I treat your superstitious ramblings as fit only for the purpose of scaring a few natives back into their mud hats. We have more serious matters to deal with and if you feel yourself unsuited for the….

Vadoir’s hand streaks out and clamps around Tague’s throat.

TARQUIN: Vadoir release him. The retrieval of our blueprints is of the utmost importance here. When we discover them none will be able to oppose the Doom Moon.

It opens the door to more complex motivations than just Good vs Evil and plays into what I said earlier about city states.

Empire: There are going to be power hungry lunatics (and those trying to back a winning side) but there may also be idealists who think they are doing this for the greater good.

Rebels: Opposing the Empire might be done on the grounds of keeping the old system in place for power reasons (the rulers of the city states) or because it provides gaps that shady operators can work in (smugglers, etc.) or just people who don't like being told what is good for them.

Both sides could be right, even if for the wrong reasons but there will be people on both sides with a noble purpose and others with some highly suspect motivations.
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Lazaras
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« Reply #130 on: March 19, 2007, 03:33:58 am »

Now THAT is what I want to see! Even if the Emperor himself is motivated by power those under his command might truly have some sort of (misguided)altruistic reason. They're just ruthless about how they go about it.
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Emperor
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« Reply #131 on: March 19, 2007, 03:42:11 am »

Now THAT is what I want to see! Even if the Emperor himself is motivated by power those under his command might truly have some sort of (misguided)altruistic reason. They're just ruthless about how they go about it.

Exactly.

On the flipside I always wondered how a Princess got to be a leader of a Rebellion. Royalty hang onto power like leeches (they have to be burned off) and somehow I don't imagine all her subjects lived in their own personal palaces!!

Equally a smuggler makes an unlikely hero, however, you have to imagine that a centralised and powerful controlling body would make life more difficult for him.
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Tel Janin
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« Reply #132 on: March 19, 2007, 03:56:42 am »

Most "royalty" in the starwars universe were actually elected. Leia's father was most likely the elected leader when the emperor came to power and froze things in place, making such things hereditary dictatorships.
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Emperor
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« Reply #133 on: March 19, 2007, 11:55:12 pm »

Most "royalty" in the starwars universe were actually elected. Leia's father was most likely the elected leader when the emperor came to power and froze things in place, making such things hereditary dictatorships.


I was meaning how it'd work in a Steampunk setting where social divisions are more stratified. That gives us an inroad into making motivations less clear cut and more ambiguous.

---------
Anyway if anyone is thinking about doing an animation then there is no time like the present as there is the yearly fan film competition:

http://www.atomfilms.com/2007/starwars/challenge/index.jsp

http://blog.wired.com/tableofmalcontents/2007/03/star_wars_fan_f.html

End of April, under 5 minutes and it'd fit under either the spoof or fan fiction category. Any animators (and artists, soundtrack folks, etc.) should speak up now.
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Josh of Vernian Process
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« Reply #134 on: March 20, 2007, 12:33:00 am »

http://www.atomfilms.com/2007/starwars/challenge/index.jsp

You guys might want to step up production on this lol.
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Emperor
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« Reply #135 on: March 20, 2007, 06:12:50 am »

Yes indeed but (unless something has changed since I posted about it or you have some inside track - if you do you can use the number 3 dead letter drop so it isn't traceable back to you Wink ) then there should be time. Just.

Although a fan I don't know much about the production side or the logistics of getting something like this done but there might be ways to simplify the process:

1. Take a leaf out of anime or even South Park and who save on a lot of animating by using largely static elements moving on a background or vice versa. I'm sure some digital trickery could be used to make elements appear to get closer and further away and duplicate/reuse elements.

2. Possibly make it more like a silent film. It eliminates the need for voice acting and lip synchronisation.

3. Go for a simpler score like they might have on a silent film.

Although they are choices made from necessity they could become the style of the piece, possibly drawing on Expressionism too?

There will have been groups who have been working on this for a long time and can probably deploy fancier more labour/time intensive techniques (3D models, cel-shaded animation) but that needn't mean other simpler approaches can't be just as good.

It would involve getting animators signed up within a week as time is already short Wink

So is anyone interested in animating this and can spare the time?

Obviously if people are but can't, then it can still get done but the contest seems fortuitous and could help focus everyone on the task at hand,
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Lazaras
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« Reply #136 on: March 20, 2007, 06:15:20 am »

But what scene would this animation be based on?
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Emperor
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« Reply #137 on: March 20, 2007, 05:16:18 pm »

But what scene would this animation be based on?


It would depend on how much the animators wanted to bite off and issues like pacing.

I have a couple of scenes from the start of the first (now fourth) worked out and will post them up in the next day or so for discussion. They could be hammered into the framework for an animation.

We could treat it like a film serial. I always loved the Flash Gordon and King of the Rocket Men serials they showed on TV, with the 2-3 hour story told in 10-20 minute segments.

So we could do a scene or two as an episode of a Steampunk Star Wars told as part a film serial. It does mean we don't have to squeeze the whole film into 5 minutes. The alternative would be to do it in trailer format but that would miss out on the richness and depth.

How much of the film can be distilled down into the handful of minutes available is up to the animators. I suppose the first thing we need is to find some animators or all of the above is rather a moot point Wink
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Josh of Vernian Process
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« Reply #138 on: March 20, 2007, 05:27:12 pm »

Oh I'd totally be down to do some treatments based on the SW music.. Either something big and bombastic, or a simple ragtime piano melody.

My suggestion is to do a trailer, or something with an outdoor set, and only a few actors. That way you don't have to bust ass coming up with tons of concepts!

Since there is already Han, Chewie, and Vader concepts done, you may want to go with those.

Oh you know what scene could be really cool! The Carbonite chamber in Empire! It would be so easy to turn that into some big steam powered factory.
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Emperor
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« Reply #139 on: March 20, 2007, 05:39:30 pm »

Oh I'd totally be down to do some treatments based on the SW music.. Either something big and bombastic, or a simple ragtime piano melody.

I like the latter idea as it'd be a nice contrast to the original soundtrack.

[edit: For some reason the Dresden Doll's cover of War Pigs comes to mind.]

My suggestion is to do a trailer, or something with an outdoor set, and only a few actors. That way you don't have to bust ass coming up with tons of concepts!

Since there is already Han, Chewie, and Vader concepts done, you may want to go with those.

Oh you know what scene could be really cool! The Carbonite chamber in Empire! It would be so easy to turn that into some big steam powered factory.

Good idea!! There is no reason folks round here can't have a couple of stabs at a Steampunk Star Wars short movie (the more stabs the better the chance of getting something done). It might be that various folks around here who live close to each other could rummage together props and costumes and find some disused industrial space for an hour or two one weekend.

[edit2: The idea does amuse me:

Quote
The Jules Verne Players: An improvisational theatrical company providing steam-based entertainment to the masses since 2007.

Renditions of the classics a specialty.

Motto: Fashionably late by just a century
« Last Edit: March 20, 2007, 09:44:34 pm by Emperor » Logged
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« Reply #140 on: March 20, 2007, 11:18:21 pm »

Good idea!! There is no reason folks round here can't have a couple of stabs at a Steampunk Star Wars short movie (the more stabs the better the chance of getting something done). It might be that various folks around here who live close to each other could rummage together props and costumes and find some disused industrial space for an hour or two one weekend.

Well I dunno.
Could be possible.
But, about the animation. How simple animation are we talking about?
If we do use something of the South Park sort, then I might be able to do it.
(Cant be that hard right?)
But any harder than that and its out of my league.
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Emperor
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« Reply #141 on: March 20, 2007, 11:34:26 pm »

Good idea!! There is no reason folks round here can't have a couple of stabs at a Steampunk Star Wars short movie (the more stabs the better the chance of getting something done). It might be that various folks around here who live close to each other could rummage together props and costumes and find some disused industrial space for an hour or two one weekend.

Well I dunno.
Could be possible.
But, about the animation. How simple animation are we talking about?
If we do use something of the South Park sort, then I might be able to do it.
(Cant be that hard right?)
But any harder than that and its out of my league.

As I say I am not an expert on the technicalities of the production side but going for something like cut-outs with digital compositing to zoom them and move them on layers (to create some illusion of the z-axis) would strike me as the simplest way to achieve an animated short.

I'm afraid I don't know how hard that would be but with the right software it could be made simpler (something like actions in Photoshop allows for such increments to be done quickly and I believe Flash has the ability to move objects along paths and the like and there may be fancier more specialised tools available). If nothing else perhaps if we can get some input from an expert we can avoid any major wrong turns and pitfalls?
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JD_McKenna
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« Reply #142 on: March 21, 2007, 02:22:13 am »

Ex Animation Major here

Your best bet is a program called Flash by Macromedia. It's similar to what th people over at South Park are using, but it can be tricky.
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Lazaras
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« Reply #143 on: March 21, 2007, 02:26:40 am »

Also isn't there a hard limit on the number of frames of animation a particular project is allowed to have?
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Emperor
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« Reply #144 on: March 21, 2007, 02:42:51 am »

Also isn't there a hard limit on the number of frames of animation a particular project is allowed to have?

All I saw was the guideline that it should be under 5 minutes which would impose a limit on frames if people went a standard 24 fps.

If there is a strict limit then can you dig it out?
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Lazaras
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« Reply #145 on: March 21, 2007, 02:48:44 am »

Odd, i can't find anything about it on wiki or any of my other usual sources. Perhaps it was a limit imposed by the creation program(possibly due to being a freeware version.
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Emperor
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« Reply #146 on: March 21, 2007, 02:49:23 am »

Ex Animation Major here

Your best bet is a program called Flash by Macromedia. It's similar to what th people over at South Park are using, but it can be tricky.

Yes it can.  Shocked

Thanks for the input. As an ex-animation major do you think it is feasible given the time limit?
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JD_McKenna
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« Reply #147 on: March 21, 2007, 06:32:01 am »

Depends on a number of factors and your skill with the program.

If you've never used Flash before, forget it. If you have a reasonable amount of skill, maybe.
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kiskolou
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« Reply #148 on: March 25, 2007, 08:20:10 am »

I just thought of what could be the force. Aether. Of course we will have to exagerate the theory, but this is fantasy!
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« Reply #149 on: March 25, 2007, 03:04:25 pm »

I just thought of what could be the force. Aether. Of course we will have to exagerate the theory, but this is fantasy!

I was thinking of being less specific (so we could use it for other things like aethersabres Wink ) and jotted down a couple of names in my notepad:

  • The Source
  • The Essence
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