Thursday, December 27, 2007

Freeman's Mind Episode 2

Well here's the second and possibly last episode of Freeman's Mind. Despite the majority of people liking it, I don't like having to make everything a monologue and then time it to the footage. It's going to be a while because I have a lot of other work to do, but the next video I plan to release will be another Civil Protection episode. I hope to have the website updated and subtitles up before that however. Oh and for those who wonder about the term Freeman uses in this video, it's "quantum chromodynamic gauge invariant Lagrangian"

Low Quality version (Youtube)

High Quality version (83MB WMV)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gone for a week or so

I'm letting everybody know I'm going to be gone over the next week doing family/job stuff, so there won't be any progress here at all. However, once I get back I plan to add a lot of new stuff and get back to work on CP, however this next month is going to be very busy for me with various jobs I have. When I do get back next weekend, here's some stuff I plan to add as soon as I get things set up:

-New website design
-Scripts to the episodes
-Subtitles galore, I plan to have downloadable ones along with a new Youtube channel I'll set up to watch them in as many languages as volunteers will translate to. I'm hoping to doublecheck the English ones and colorcode them.
-Alternate shots of the action sequences for episodes 4 and 5
-Freeman's Mind: Episode 2 (it's close to done)

So I guess check back in a week and a half or so and they'll be some new stuff up here. Also I have no idea when it will be finished, but I plan to go back and work on the two unfinished episodes of CP that have been brewing, so the series isn't dead or anything.  Also, these two new episodes will be long ones containing new characters. I estimate episodes 6 and 7 together will be longer than 1 - 5 combined.

Friday, December 07, 2007


Well it seems the majority of people want to see more of Freeman's Mind, so I'll at least make another episode. What I'll probably end up doing is alternating between this and Civil Protection. I like CP because I consider it more original and have more freedom, but like FM because it's faster. After I get the next episode out, I'm afraid there will be a sizeable downtime because of jobs I have to work on this month especially. I plan to pick things up after that however.

I've received several offers on an audio editor and html person, so thanks to everyone who applied.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Well the response to Freeman's Mind so far is much more positive than what I was expecting. I've put up a poll to get some idea of what people think, so go ahead and vote on it. Oh, and that's a true story about the squirrel by the way, except instead of MIT it was at Virginia Tech back in the 70's.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Freeman's Mind

Youtube version

640x480 WMV (82MB)

Well this is the pilot episode of my side series I'm experimenting with. It isn't Civil Protection, but it's in a similar vein of humor. Basically the premise is that in the Half-Life series, the protagonist Gordon Freeman is entirely silent the whole time. So what this series aims to do is fill in the silence with his thoughts. I tried to make this as entertaining as I could, but the format is very different, so I'd like to hear feedback on this.

This was an experiment, and I think it may have some shortcomings. The format of this added many constraints on what I was able to accomplish with the writing, and may have made the humor suffer somewhat as a result. It made me realize just how much more freedom I had with Civil Protection. Unless I get waves of support to do this along with CP, I’m probably going to discontinue this. But feel free to check it out anyway.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Well my system is finally back up and functional, so I'll resume work on the different series and hopefully get something to you soon. In the meantime, to give you some idea of how complex CP is behind the scenes, I'm posting some screenshots of one of the maps and scene files from the last episode within the SDK. Click on the thumbnails to check them out:

Also I'm trying to update the website to look better and have links for subtitles and stuff, but so far blogspot seems to be creating issues for the people helping me. Nobody was available when I made this post either, so it took me about 45 minutes to figure out how to post all those thumbnails neatly since I don't know html. I guess that's kind of like trying to get directions to the U.S. Embassy building in a foreign country where you don't speak the language.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Hey everybody, I have kind of a setback as my system hard drive went bad, so that's put my computer in a crippled state for a little while until a new one that I ordered comes in and I have enough space to get everything functional again. I haven't lost any data, it will just mean a delay. Also, while I plan to continue Civil Protection, I have been getting discouraged by the extremely long production times, so as an experiment I'm going to start a different series simultaneously. I'm not going into details yet, but this idea for a show would be MUCH faster to produce, to the point where I could have releases on a weekly basis even. This would give you guys something to tide you over while I work on CP, which seems to take a lot of time no matter what. I hope to release a "pilot episode" of my new series idea in a week or two and let you be the judge whether you think I should continue it or not. So check back in a week or two and there should hopefully be some new stuff here.

Friday, November 02, 2007



Streaming Video (Youtube)

High Quality WMV Download (30MB)

Alright here's the alternate Halloween episode out good and late, but oh well. To reiterate, this is NOT the one I was working on for a month and a half, this is a last minute one I tried to get out by Halloween, but didn't happen. This is the shortest episode so far, but I tried to pack a lot into it, hope you like it. I'll try and get some subtitles or extras up here before too long.

Also as you may notice from the intro, I've kind of joined forces with since they've been helping me out with hosting, relaying files between team members, and the idea of expanding the publicity a lot since I'm not so hot at that part. Since one of my goals for the series is to use this as portfolio material so I can get a job better than flipping burgers, an association with a company is the sort of thing that would help. I apologize in advance for the video ads, they said they're working on that.

Finally, if you act on any of Dave's suggestions in this video, you're an impressionable idiot. If you blow your arm off and try to sue me, the joke will be on you since I don't have any money.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Well, I kept running into too many bugs and I've gotten very little sleep over the past several days, so I'm not going to try and go for a last minute save with this, it's just going to be late. I'm very happy with how some of the footage is coming out and since this has a darker sense of humor, it's my personal favorite so far. The irony is that I'm finding this very discouraging because of the insane amount of time required to make these. While I'm overflowing with ideas, I'm not sure how realistic it's going to be for me to keep making these. The next episode will definitely come out though, all the really difficult parts are done, I just need a little more time to put it all together. Sorry for the delays in all this.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I know this isn't what people want to hear, but it looks like things are going to take longer than I hoped.  My original estimates were assuming I wouldn't run into bugs from hell with the SDK.  So silly me, now I'm behind again.  I'm still working solid on it, but whether or not it will come tonight is much more iffier.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Change of Plans

Well things have kind of melted down on the technical and communication fronts for the episode I had in mind, so the bad news is that it will not be out for Halloween. The good news is that I came up with an alternate idea that can be produced much faster and should still be very entertaining. It will be much shorter than the other idea (which was looking at over 15 minutes) and won't be scary like the other one, but it will still be Halloween themed, and best of all, out very soon. Right now I'm shooting to have this thing out by sometime late tomorrow. After that, we'll go back to finishing the other episodes, whenever we can.

EDIT: The release date is looking more like sometime Tuesday, this is getting close to done.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

changes coming

Hey, letting everybody know that changes are coming soon to the website. In addition to coming up with something that looks nicer, I'm going to try and make separate sections to download the movies, extra media related to the series, and an international section where I'll host subtitles and versions of the episodes in different languages. We're all still hard at work on the Halloween episode, but it's looking really good so far. I'm keeping my fingers crossed to get it out before Halloween and will be doing everything I can to try and make that happen.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

status report

This is to let everyone know there has been a change of plans. I've been working with different people to try and produce episode 5, however this one is going to be very long, definitely over 20 minutes total. We're making a lot of progress, but Halloween is coming up and I really want to have the Halloween episode done before that. So what's going to happen is I'm postponing development on episode 5 and will be concentrating on episode 6 instead, so there will be hopefully be a nice scary episode of CP in time for Halloween. Sorry to keep everybody waiting. While progress is still a little slow, I think once I can get in a groove with the people I'm working with these will start coming out faster. As soon is Episode 6 is finished, we'll go back and finish 5 then release that as soon as it's done.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Forums up

I had a great response for needing help setting up the forums, so now one is up! I originally didn't think there would be enough traffic for the series to warrant having a forum, but since the last episode is up to some 80+ comments, maybe it's not a bad idea afterall. Anyway, check it out here:

Also, be sure to check out the FAQ I made for the series. I get asked some of the same questions over and over, so maybe your answers are in there.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

quick update

Just to let everyone know, episode 5 is now under production, though I could still use some more people. Faceposer animators are still wanted, plus I could use a texture artist. One contacted me, but has been silent for weeks since. Progress is going to be a little slow at first since this will be the first episode with something resembling a team, plus I'm working out some issues with getting more custom content. The upside is that once things get going, this and future episodes should come out faster.

EDIT: I've gotten about 5 requests for setting up forums plus a couple people have made some already.  Bear with me while I pick one and help set it up.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Civil Protection wants YOU!

Well I've done some researching and for the time being I think my best option for producing episodes faster is simply to get as many people involved in CP as I can. Thus, I want to advertise different positions I'm looking for help with here. This is an ongoing offer, however your odds of getting in on the action increase the sooner you apply. I hope to recruit more people than I need, with the idea being that if someone bails from the episode or goes MIA on us, then someone else can step in to fill his or her place. Some people I need for as soon as episode 5, other people I'll need for episodes farther down the line. So, I may want your help, but it could be a little while before I'll be able to work you in. Finally, this is unpaid volunteer work. I don't make any money from this, so the only thing I can offer you in return is your name in big blocky letters in the credits. So, here are the positions I'm looking for; positions marked with an asterix I especially would like help with and I consider crucial to episodes coming out faster and me not getting burned out doing this:

*Animators (in Faceposer) - I'm looking for all kinds here. I need a lot of help with simple stuff like bobbing the heads of CP characters to match the audio, but I'd also love to have people essentially be in charge of animating the different scenes. You could have a decent amount of freedom here, in being able to decide what gestures get used where, using body language to help emphasize dialogue or scenes, etc. I'm still learning about it, but I hope be able to get you metrocop models with a LOT more gestures available than what you've seen in previous episodes. Also while not every episode will need it, this includes people who know how to do lipsyncing and are willing to manually go over the lines to make sure they look natural and don't blindly rely on the computer to generate the phonemes.

Animators (In Hammer) - Some scenes simply need to be done via scripted sequences or throught map entities and AI. This will focus on how to have characters interact via Hammer. A lot of this will deal with NPC's moving around. So if an NPC is pacing back and forth or jumping over a gap, I'll need your help to help make that happen. While this does focus on Hammer, you'll need a basic understanding of Faceposer in terms of using scene triggers or working out the timing with different animations. Also this can deal with complex tricks that need to be invented in order to make some scenes happen (like Dave jumping into the water from Ep. 4). You'll probably have a lot of freedom here in how scenes get accomplished, but this could also be one of the most challenging positions as I've found that a lot of creative methods need to be thought up in production.

Animators (other) - This is by no means a required position, but if you have experience in XSI or some other 3D application that you think can get imported into the Source engine, then I'd love to be able to have more animations than what comes with the game. The downside is that I have almost no experience here, so you'll be kind of on your own for this.

Mappers (design) - Update: No further mappers needed at this time, I've already has some amazing responses here.

Mappers (effects) - This probably overlaps with other positions, but I want people who are good at the dynamic end of mapping. So if I need an explosion, I want someone who can can have chunks of concrete come out of a wall, have smoke rise up, see flames, etc.

Modellers - I doubt there will be a whole lot of work I need in this area, but I'll probably have need of some custom props for some episodes. However if you want to work on something ambitious, particularly creatures, I can be sure to work something in. Like the 3D app animators however, you will be on your own for this, I have almost no experience working in 3D modelling software.

Sound design - Update: No further sound people needed at this time

Source gurus - If you know tons of things about the Source engine, odds are I have questions for you as to how to accomplish a given scene or effect or just weird stuff I'm trying to make happen with the engine.

Texture artists - I probably won't have a whole lot of work in this area, but the need will definitely arise for having custom textures.

Video effects editing - Update:no further editors needed at this time

Voice actors - Before you get your hopes up, I've already had a ton of offers to be a voice actor. What I'm looking for right now are people who can come close to faking the voices of Half-Life 2 characters; specifically the G-man, Dr. Breen, and possibly Eli. I'm afraid Barney and Kleiner have been filled at this point.

Those are the positions I'm looking for help with in the series now. This should basically be treated like you're developing a game mod, except the difference is we'll actually be able to finish what we're doing and the scale won't be as large. If you're interested in helping out, please email me at I will be requiring that you can show me some sample of previous work related to the position. Do NOT send me attachments, I have limited space on my email account, use megaupload or some other external link instead. Remember that I'm just some dude making comedy episodes, you're not applying for a real job. While I want to keep the quality level as high as previous episodes, I'm not going to be ruthless about this. I'm only going to hold people to standards as high as what I've already met in existing episodes. To everyone else who's reading this, now you know why it takes me so long to make these episodes.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


After numerous delays, here is Episode 4 at last. This one is clearly a step above the previous ones in terms of production quality and I hope everyone enjoys it. This episode has nice motion blur, mobile camera shots, scenic backgrounds, and more action than the previous 3 combined. This was originally meant to be Episode 5, but since the numbering is arbitrary anyway, it may as well be 4. I've switched the video hosting to filefront since I wouldn't have enough space for this on my student account. As always, there's the Youtube versions, but for this episode especially, it's worth getting the high quality copies.

If you missed my previous post, I was griping about how much time this took for things that I think could be expediated. For that reason, I'm putting the series on hold until I find a faster way of producing these. I'm not going to be aimless; I do have some ideas, they'll just take me time to research. I'll make another post here once I've started up again. Until then, don't wonder when the next episode is coming out because it's on hold for now. And finally, to engage in some shameless hint dropping, I DO have work right now, but it will not be steady, so the future is uncertain, though the same could be said for everyone.

High Quality version (92MB)

Youtube version (streaming)

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Well I was originally planning to wait until I released the next episode before I made another entry, but I keep getting requests for one despite answering questions in the comments (I don't have a forum). First off, Episode 4 is getting close to done, I plan to have it out in less than a week. It's an obvious step up production-wise from the others and so far I'm pretty pleased with how it's looking.

That said, working on this episode turned into somewhat of a negative experience for me. It feels like I'm wasting so much time setting up the scene, animating mundane things, and constantly working around the bugs and shortcomings of the Source engine. While I did have some help on this one, I didn't see the workload savings I was hoping for. This episode will span multiple maps and I invested at least a month in simply creating one of the maps. What it boiled down to mainly was that most people weren't able to spare the same kind of psychotic time devotion to this that I was, or that communication wasn't very good in that I would have to explain things in such detail or correct existing work that it would be faster to do it myself. Ultimately I think it's a safe estimate that I ended up doing about 95% of the work on this episode.

The reason I don't update more frequently is because I don't want dozens of updates and no progress to show for it. I'm becoming very frustrated with the production rate since mine is horrific. Machinima is supposedly a time-saving medium, but so far I'm not seeing any of it. For these reasons, after I release Episode 4, I'm going to put the series on hold until I find a better way of producing these. I'm convinced there are better techniques out there, since I think most machinima makers don't seem to have the same kinds of problems I do, which makes me think I must be doing something wrong. I'm going to explore different options after I finish this and I will probably have to learn new software in order to do so. Right now, the process is simply too time consuming for me to keep it up for much longer the way it is. As it is, in making the first 3 episodes, it was essentially a solid burn where I just sacrificed my free time in order to make it happen. To put it in perspective, I'm an avid movie fan and I've only watched 2 movies since I stated making this in October. While that's not a hardship or anything, it does discourage me from wanting to make more of these episodes. I feel like most of the time I spend on these episodes is the result of not having the right tools or resources for what I'm trying to do, so this is what I'm going to focus on in the future otherwise the work/production ratio will be too much for me to want to continue doing this in the future. The best analogy I can make is that I feel like I'm trying to cut down a forest with a hatchet and I want a chainsaw.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Status update

Well I've been getting a few requests for an update, so here's what's going on. I didn't make the contest deadline, I ran into too many delays. I'm still working every day on getting the next episode out, but it's just much more involving in terms of what I'm doing. Without spoiling anything, here was my original plan for the next two episodes:

-Episode 4: Should completely rock, I won't be able to top this one for a long time
-Episode 5: Still pretty damn cool (I think)

That's changed since then, since I've mainly been developing episode 5, so that will be the new episode 4. As for the original (confused yet?) episode 4 idea, I still plan to do it, but I'm thinking about postponing it, just because it's going to take forever and a day to animate. I have no shortage of episode ideas, so I may work on something I can produce a little faster first. On top of this, I've been approached by a couple people about different projects that sound promising (I won't reveal who, they're all hush-hush), so that may steal more of my time away.

On top of this, I'm going to be moving soon, which means I'll have to start job-hunting again so I can hopefully find something better than flipping burgers. So, I'm going to be pretty busy, but getting the next episode out is still my top priority outside of reality. I have NOT stopped working on it, and will finish it as soon as I can, even if that may be another couple weeks. If you really want these things to come out faster, try and harass somebody you know who really understands Source (the engine for Half-Life 2) so I can get some help with the animating. Again, thanks for watching!

Monday, April 02, 2007

News about CP

Aloha, here a few minor updates. First off, the April Fool's Day thing went pretty well; I got multiple emails of people asking if the series was over.  For those of you that missed it, you can check it out here.

Also Chris Fischer sent me the subtitles for Episode 3, but I'm getting too lazy/busy with other stuff to re-edit these, so I'm releasing them as is. They're not entirely accurate nor color-coded, but they are subtitles and mostly accurate. Here's the link:

Episode 3 subtitles

Also, for those of you emailing me about voice actors, I've already got several requests and I haven't gotten to my scripts that would need more voice actors yet, so I unfortunately don't need help there right now. The exception is if you can do a really good impression of characters from the game (specifically Barney, Kleiner, G-man, or Breen). Go ahead and contact me about voice acting then. I won't be making any episodes with them for a while, but I'd be interested in writing something in the future.

I am working on Episodes 4-5 simultaneously. Episode 5 will be done first, but unfortunately I'm submitting it to another contest, so I won't be allowed to release it until after it's over. I'll release Episode 4 as soon as I finish it, but that will be a while since it's pretty complicated animation-wise. What I WILL say is that BOTH these episodes are going to ROCK. Seriously, 1-3 will look completely tame compared to these. So expect a BIG jump in content for the next two.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Here's the third episode that I originally intended to have done before the 2nd, but here it is anyway. I meant for this one to have slick motion blur, but I would have taken my computer an eternity to do it right, so I just shot it and released it as it is. WARNING: This episode is not suitable for all audiences, it contains singing. It's over with pretty quickly though, and I promise that this will be the first and last time Mike sings. As for Dave, well, I'll keep it to a bare minimum in the future. Unfortunately it's going to be a while before Episode 4 because I have something big planned for that, so imagine I'm dead or something so you won't expect it too soon. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Well the results came in on that contest I entered and Episode 2 lost to a bunch of frag videos, so bummer about that.  As a way of thanking everybody who voted in it, I've released some alternate shots of my favorite scene from Episode 2 that you can download here:

Alternate take (do not download if you haven't watched Episode 2!  It's a spoiler)

Also, one of the viewers, Chris Fischer sent me some subtitles he made for Episode 2.  I've re-edited and color coded it like I did with Episode 1, so if you have hearing problems or simply can't understand what the hell Craig and I are saying with that helmet radio filter on you can grab the subtitles here:

Episode 1
Episode 2

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Well at long last, here is Episode 2 of Civil Protection. This one is the most ambitious video project I've done yet, having more dialogue and action than Episode 1 and weighing in at 11 minutes. Also, this one deals a lot more with the world from Half-Life 2, but I tried to write this episode so that people who know nothing about the game can still follow it without any trouble. Since this one is fairly huge (100MB), I'm offering a low quality version of it as well, although you're going to miss out on some stuff if you watch that one as you won't get stereo sound, nor be able to tell what's happening in the background. The download links are up on the right.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

bugs, delays, madness

Well I've hit yet another delay because I'm running into some serious bugs with the Source SDK (the software used to make these episodes). I was originally intending to have episode 3 out about now since it's all but done, but I ran into a MAJOR bug that's preventing me from doing so. Until I find a fix or workaround, episode 3 is indefinitely on hold. I'll be finishing up episode 2 in the meantime since the bug won't affect any content in that episode (I had an entirely DIFFERENT bug for that episode, which I found a workaround for). Anyway, this is a showstopping bug for now, and will impact which scripts I'll use in the future if it doesn't get resolved. For people who know something about the Source SDK, check out my post on it here. For everyone else, it's boring technical crap.