Hey, for the people who still know about this site, something's happened to the Accursed Farms website. The timing is pretty awful too since the next Freeman's Mind episode just came out too. I've contacted everyone connected with the site, hopefully this will get resolved soon. In the meantime, here's the link to the new episode:
Monday, July 27, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Well even though the poll seems to be changing now, within the first couple days most people voted for me to finish Civil Protection first, so that's what I've been doing. In breaking my usual trend, I'm releasing a few details about the next episode. They're not a lot, but for an episode that's only a few minutes long, I can't reveal too much without spoiling things. I'm probably going to call this next episode "Morning Patrol". It'll be about average length, take place in City 17, and you'll get to see a little bit more of the HL2 world in it. It's definitely not one of my more spectacular episode ideas, but I think it's the most well-rounded one I've produced so far. Here's a preview shot of it:
If you're a fan of other CP episodes, I think it's very likely you'll enjoy this next one. While I'm extremely happy with how it's coming out, I don't want people to think it's going to be most magnificent episode that's ever been produced. It has been a long time since the last episode, but I've been working on many other things besides Civil Protection.
I get a fair chunk of hate mail from people who are angry at me for not producing episodes faster. Most of these people don't seem to possess any sense of perspective or logic, but for those that do, I'd like to elaborate a little more on this. The biggest barrier to me producing more episodes of Civil Protection is animation time. While sometimes I don't mind, much of the time I HATE animating. While I have been getting some help, that's been a mixed bag. Pretty much everyone who assists with animation right now prefers to work or only has time to work on one aspect of production. While this has undeniably increased the quality of the episodes being produced in areas, it's questionable how much time savings there have been. This is to say nothing of people who for different reasons, have had to abandon work on episodes. The past episode and the one I'm currently working on were both written in such a way to make it easy for additional animators to help out. In both cases, multiple people bailed and I ended up filling in a lot of the gaps for animation. I never would have started this particular episode idea next if I had known that was going to happen.
Believe it or not, I get more frustrated than anyone else that I can't produce episodes faster. I'm overflowing with ideas and am totally confident I haven't gotten to the best ones yet. I sincerely wish I could afford to hire someone to help me animate in the Source engine. I would LOVE to unload almost all aspects of animating the episodes to someone else or other people; though I haven't come across anyone who can animate in the programs Face Poser and Hammer and has the same time and drive to devote to it. I can't blame anyone for not wanting to either, I hate that aspect of it myself.
For fans of Freeman's Mind:
I promise the production rate will pick up a lot as soon as the next CP episode is done. Some of you may recall I promised an increase in episode production late last year and that actually did happen. They have still been relatively few and far between because Freeman's Mind hasn't been my main focus. However since far more people have become interested in it than I would have anticipated, I plan to make that my new priority soon. In addition to devoting more time towards it, I'm planning to move soon to where I can record at any time without disturbing people. Right now I can only record during certain windows of time without disturbing my neighbors, which limits how fast I can produce episodes. I know many of you may not believe me, but I can promise the production rate is going to become much, much faster than for FM than ever before.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Well thanks to reader advice I was able to solve the problem. I was an idiot and wasn't using static props. In my defense, static props tend to behave much less reliably for me, plus the model has to support them in the first place, something many do not. I got lucky in this case in that the model I was using did support being a static prop. Anyway, I'm a little undecided what to do now since I was ready to switch gears. I'm putting up a new poll, I'll go with whatever the masses decide on this.
Well it looks like my tradition of discovering a completely new bug in every episode continues. Right now I've run into a bug that's preventing me from completing a scene (read below for details). I have some ideas as to how to fix it, but it's probably going to take the help of someone else helping with modelling and it's hard to say how long that will take. The good news for you is that since I can only do so much more on the episode from my end until this is fixed, I'll go ahead and start working on the next Freeman's Mind episode while this bug gets looked into. I still have every intention of completing this CP episode, but I hate making you guys wait on more material. If all I had to do was writing, I could produce a new episode every day of FM and CP.
To those familiar with the Source engine:
The bug I'm running into is "Reliable Snapshot Overflow" that crashes the map and occurs whenever I try to record a demo. I know what's causing it in my case. It has to do with me having a ton of small dynamic props in a small area. I could fix this problem by deleting the props, but I unfortunately need them for this scene. Right now my best theory on how to fix this is to merge many of small individual models into one larger one, so the game sees less props to process. This is probably going to be a pain to do for our modeller. If any of you know more about this than I do, feel free to post possible solutions here. If you discover one before we do and notify me, I'll put your name down in the credits of the next episode as a technical advisor.
Friday, June 05, 2009
On that note, I've been getting pressure on all sides to produce more episodes of Freeman's Mind. I'm still not producing any more until I finish the current CP episode, but after that, I may alter my plans to make it first priority and have them come up at a much more rapid rate. Many of you have said you prefer it over Civil Protection. I think you're only saying that because you don't know everything I have envisioned for the series. My imagination far exceeds my production capacity. On that same note however, I'm not even attempting the "jaw dropping" episodes in the near future because of how much more work they would entail. So due to the time involved with making those, I'll probably focus on easier projects, like FM. In the meantime, I'll continue blazing away on the next episode.
The next part of this post only applies to 3D graphics geeks, so you can skip it if you're just here for the videos. The glitch I'm listing below will NOT hold up production on the next episode.
- - - - - - - - -
I've run into a minor nuisance in production that simply hasn't gone away. I'm a sucker for antialiasing; I think it cleans up the look of a 3D scene immensely. However I've gone through multiple generations of graphics cards and keep running into the same glitch when I enable antialiasing. For lack of a better term, I'm calling it "shimmering". This glitch seems to be especially noticeable in the Source engine in certain situations. It's similar to looking at a road in the distance on a hot day, giving the illusion of a puddle. It causes lines or gaps or something to be rendered that should not be there. It only happens for me for surfaces in the distance with antialiasing enabled. It's best seen in motion, but it's noticeable in screenshots. I recommend downloading "On A Rail" if you want to see it in action. Here is an example where it occurs from that video:
That's not just a reflection from the lights, this glitch occurs in 100% dark tunnels. While I'm on a Geforce 8800 right now, this has happened to me on multiple cards in the past and I've witnessed it happening on a friend's computer with a Radeon 4850. The ONLY solution I've found to this is to either turn off antialiasing completely or to render the scene using supersampling entirely; no multisampling whatsoever. This is not an ideal solution as supersampling is immensely slower and requires too much memory to hit the same quality levels as other antialiasing methods. If ANYONE knows what's causing this or can demonstrate a solution, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post here.
Feel free to test this for yourself! If you have a copy of Half-Life 2, a good spot to test this is on the first canal level (d1_canals_01) looking back at the dark train tunnel you see once you get outside. Here's an example of the effect for that level:
If this problem doesn't affect you, great, but I'm trying to find out WHY. Ask people who know a lot about 3D graphics. Ask ATI. Ask Nvidia. Ask on tech forums, it'll be a favor to me. Again, this glitch won't hold up production of any episodes, it's just a personal quest of mine to find out how to fix it and I'm hoping someone out there knows more about it than I do.
Viewer Carl Johnson (not the one from Grand Theft Auto) has made me aware that disabling AA and AF through the driver control panel, then setting the AA settings in-game will prevent this problem on ATI cards. Unfortunately I tried this and it didn't seem to have the same effect for me (since I'm currently on an Nvidia one), but that's encouraging to know this is fixable.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The new website has been very close to launchable for a while now, but I want to have the look of some of the pages altered to be as easy as possible to navigate, plus the guy coding it has had a lot of behind the scenes revisions to make. Right now it's sort of a race between us as to which will happen first, the new website launching, or the next CP episode being released.
I've been reviewing some of the subtitles submitted to me and while I appreciate the effort of people who have submitted, some of the timing or spelling/grammar has been so erratic that it almost creates more work to correct it than it does to create them from scratch. If you're interested in contributing subtitles to Civil Protection or Freeman's Mind, please contact me at email@example.com. Also this is just for English copies at the moment. While I plan to fully support subtitles in other languages, I want to get the English copies done first so translators have the best source material to work from. Be sure to contact me before making them, just so no one ends up duplicating the work.
Also I've posted the answer before and I plan to have it be on the FAQ of the new website, but since I keep getting these questions over and over again, I'd like to make a post about this. Many people have asked will I continue Freeman's Mind to completion, through Half-Life 2, and switch to the Black Mesa mod. The answer to all of these questions is maybe. If people decide they get tired of the format, I don't want to promise I'll continue something that no one wants, but for the time being I can't see a reason to stop it.
I think I now have enough offers to transcribe subtitles, thanks to everyone who's shown interest. I'll make another post when I'm ready for subtitles in other languages.
It's come to my attention that some of the downloadable copies of the Freeman's Mind episodes are disappearing. I've notified the host, so hopefully this will be resolved before too long.
Monday, May 04, 2009
Well here's the proof some of you were waiting for that I didn't kill off Freeman permanently. This is the longest episode so far, I normally would have made it shorter, but I figured you guys might get sick of seeing the same elevator shaft 3 episodes in a row.
Unfortunately for some, the gap between 11 and 12 is going to be longer than usual because I really want go get back to Civil Protection. The latest episode is well underway, though it's gotten more ambitious than I originally intended from a technical perspective. So far there haven't been any show-stopping bugs like I've gotten a lot in the past. Once I'm done with that, I want to get at least get a good chunk of work done on the new pilot episode before I do another FM episode, so it may be a few weeks before you see another one. The upside to this is that things are starting to come together more on the animation end of things for CP, so you may start seeing a lot more shorter episodes of that in the forseeable future.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Since I'm getting comments daily on the topic, here's what's going on with the videos. I've finished all the dialogue for Episode 11 and it's going to be the longest FM episode so far. I'm now letting Otto Beumelburg handle the rest of the audio work on it. He adds most of the extra sound effects to FM and I'm hoping he'll take over the volume balancing on it. That sounds like a simple task, but it takes a while to do properly and it's important because if it's done wrong you won't be able to make out what's being said over all the regular sounds. I'm letting him take as much time as he needs to, plus there's a delay from when the video's done to when it's uploaded and available, so it will be a little while before it's up, hopefully sometime next week, but we'll see.
In the meantime, I'll be working on the next CP episode and plan to be relentless at it. I tend to go back and forth between wanting to make something more original and wanting to simply get a video out. Since I've been making more of the FM episodes lately, I'm really anxious to get back to work on CP. Once the next CP episode is done, I'll make the pilot episode for the surprise series I mentioned earlier, though that shouldn't be as difficult as most CP episodes.
The new FM episode will be out soon. Also I don't know why it's showing so many comments deleted. The only posts I've been deleting lately are duplicates. I think they might be being deleted by the person who orginally posted them.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Well this is kind of late in announcing, but here it is anyway. The second and final guide from me is now out! This one is called
And for everyone waiting on FM, CP, and the pilot episode, I'm working on them; asking daily about it really has no impact on the production time.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Well in working on it, it looks like the commenting system has been completely broken, so I'm taking the site back down again. It looks like the site isn't quite functional enough for launching afterall, so I'll put it on hold again while the people coding try to work it out. Really I've been trying to get this going ever since last summer, but as you can see it's been one problem after another. I'll make an announcement here once it's a little more mature.
And yes I saw all the comments and emails about wanting an RSS system, I wasn't aware anyone even used that. I've never really intended for the homepage to be a daily news kind of deal, just something you can check every few weeks or so. Basically I'd rather focus on making more videos than giving constant updates. My primary goal with the site is to make it easy to get to the videos and to support some extra stuff. However since there's such a demand for it, I'll ask the people coding to try and implement that in the new version.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Well I was hoping to get the site up today, and started to, but as soon as I made it public everything froze on the host's computer and the guy running it has no explanation for it. I now have a backup plan, but it probably won't go up again until sometime tomorrow (if nothing goes wrong again).
EDIT: I have no idea when this thing is going to go up, I'm not coding, so a lot of this stuff is out of my hands.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
I think more of you figured out the joke than last year, it was basically the same trick. Since the fanbase is larger, there were a lot more comments this time. Like before, I put all comments mentioning April Fool's or the date on hold, but they're all posted now if you want to look through them. Also like before, I saw some suggestions that I was making up some of the comments. I'm not, these are all you guys. The only comments I made were in my name and were discussing the motorcycle trip.
Right now my plans are to finish Episode 11 of FM and the website, then focus soley on the next CP episode without having to divide up my attention on different projects.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
640x480 WMV (17MB)
I changed my mind, I'm not doing any more Freeman's Mind; it's over. I've realized there's no way I'll be able to think up enough material to get through the rest of the game. Enjoy the last episode; it's kind of short, hence the half mark.
I think I'm going to buy a motorcycle and ride across the United States.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
640x480 74MB WMV
Well here's the latest episode of FM, the next one won't be too far behind. This episode will probably upset the Half-Life purists out there. I use some cheats because in my vision of Half-Life, I see Gordon as capable of doing a pull-up.
And yes, I know I said the previous episode would be the last one before the new website, but I was wrong. I thought things were going well, but all development pretty much stopped after I made that statement, and I can't do the coding on my own. The good news I now have new help on it and progress has resumed on the site (again). I'm pretty serious about getting the site up, which is why I put the new URL in the credits. It will be called "Accursed Farms", and will be the future homepage for all the videos. Nothing is changing production-wise, it will just be easier for me to manage the videos with the new site and will offer more features than the blogspot address. Right now it's unfinished, so you'll only get a front page, but I think it will be up pretty soon. I'm not giving any time estimates since everything seems to go to hell every time I do that. I'll announce as soon as the new site is up.
I'm not sure why the latest episode is darker, I thought it was my imagination when editing. I think it might be a mistake I made in the recording. Unfortunately the footage is already done on the next episode, so it will be darker too, but I'll try and make sure the future ones look alright.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Let me know what you think in the comments and I may put up a poll. I'm especially interested in international viewers who will benefit from future translations. If you don't care about the subtitles, then just ignore this. Thanks everyone.
Alright, due to feedback from translators and viewers, I've made my decision. My plans are to make plain white outlined text using hyphenated versions for the hard-encoded Youtube copies, and make both hyphenated and color-coded subtitle files (for ones that get done this way) available for download.
Monday, March 16, 2009
I'm going to try and get two more Freeman's Mind episodes out this month to make up for the delay on the last one. Since there's lagtime between when I'm done and when it actually gets uploaded, I can't promise anything, but that's my goal.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
640x480 WMV (87MB)
Well here's the latest FM episode after a lot of delays. This one has several bugs that I basically just ignored. There are missing bloodstains, the barnacle problem is back, and one of the signs wasn't glowing like it's supposed to. One viewer has told me it's not even possible to finish HL Source without cheating because of a bug, I guess I'll find out.
This is going to be the LAST video release before the new website, we're getting really close now, I hope to have something semi-functional in about a week on that front. After that focus will be on the next CP episode, but I may do another FM first just to make up for the delay on this one.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
640x480 WMV (87MB)
Well here's the latest episode of Freeman's Mind. I got lucky with this one and demo recording worked without the barnacles going crazy. This is good because I was able to swap out some lines for the scientist at the end, something that wouldn't have been practical with just raw video recording. The barnacle problem is NOT SOLVED however, I simply got lucky with this map. My offer of getting in the credits for anyone who can solve the problem is ongoing. Also, the cattle prod story mentioned in this episode is not even an exaggeration, I knew someone who used to do that.
I plan to go back and focus on the next CP episode for now, but if the rest of production ends up taking a long time, I'll get another FM episode out to tide you over. Hopefully the new website will be finished before either one is done!
Thursday, January 08, 2009
The next CP episode is growing more elaborate than I originally intended, which is adding to the production time, but I think it's going to make the episode that much better. Unlike the last one, which was meant to be different, I think this next one will have something for anybody who's a fan of the series. Once it's done, then work will resume on "The Tunnel".
Finally while I'd prefer to focus on CP, I know a lot of you like Freeman's Mind, so I'll do my best to have another episode of that out sometime next week (assuming I don't run into more problems).
Freeman's Mind is looking closer to Friday or this weekend because all the shouting retakes wears my voice down some and there are only certain times I can record. The good news is it will be a longer episode.