You may have noticed it’s been kinda quiet on the O:P front lately. No real reason, just real-life constantly getting in the way of fun stuff, but I wanted to chime in.
As always O:P is a labour of love. A lot has happened since we launched the project, both personally and in the world, but we are marching on at a slightly slower pace.
The podcast is chugging along and we have our largest listenership ever. Work on new episodes is proceeding, but between time & health issues, it’s looking unlikely we’ll have a new one before New Years. That’s kind of a bummer because we have some great stuff in the hopper, but I promise it’ll be worth the wait.
We’ve backed off of stuff like streaming & YouTube video since that space is way too full already, but there is other good stuff on the horizon. And as always if you want to get involved with the production-end of the cartoon, I’m always looking for help.
Kevin aka NeonNazgul
Right from very first concepts of the show, it was important to us that Operation: P.U.G. have a diverse cast of characters. The number of cast members of the “main party” changed over time — The early concept, refined over time, was that each was meant to represent a particular group of nerd tropes, like “roleplayer” or “powergamer”, etc.
As the characters themselves developed we went from these broad stereotypes and introduced more nuance and interplay, the characters began to take on some depth. Wayne, for example, was originally supposed to be the big “roleplayer”, but as the script went along we found he was a better foil for Gnoll if he was focussed more on lore and canon. Wayne still gets into character, but one could argue that Strom is actually a bigger roleplayer than Wayne.
In her early drafts, May was the epitome of the cutsey, kawaii gamer. She owns all the cosmetic outfits and pets. She’s spent a lot of money on Candy Crush. Her apartment is a shrine to Hello Kitty.
Also, she looked like this:
Over two years ago, some friends and I were playing Diablo 3. As was our custom, we were making jokes and cracking wise about the things happening in the game. One day someone made a quip that “These jokes are funny. We should make a cartoon or something.”
One of the challenges in making media around and about video games is finding time to make said media (in our case the cartoon, podcast and site) and still actually play video games. Today is one such day.
Today’s agenda: Edit podcast #2 for Monday launch and finish the first shot in Scene 7 of the pilot. *Then* I can play some games.
To paraphrase Terry Pratchett, your inner child needs an inner babysitter.
It’s a PUGday.
Yesterday I picked up the mixer, mics and pre-amp for the upcoming podcast. Now all I have to do is learn how to use it. Of course one nice byproduct of the new gear is future voice work for the show will sound better than ever. The Yeti Blue mic we’ve been using for recording vocals and foley has been great, but nothing can compare to a good cardiod condensor studio mic. Now we have 3 of them. I plan to stroll down to Toronto legend Active Surplus later to get the six thousand different cables and adapters we need.
In the meantime working on more animation. I realized I’ve been focusing on the site for the past few weeks and haven’t done much in the way of actual animation. It’s nice to get back to it. It’s a good sign that even when working on the same shot for hours, it can still make me chuckle. Part of the fun in being an animator is coming up with some of the visual/timing gags that weren’t thought of just from a written script.
Also must storyboard the teaser, which hopefully is coming soon(tm).
Sometimes you just can’t find what you’re looking for on The Internet. In this case I needed some foley of people walking in plate armor. There were a few potential hits from www.freesound.org but nothing that really fit the bill, and since we’re operating on a near-zero budget looking into commercial sound FX sources was out of the question.
Carefully rattling pots & pans around in front of the mic ended up really effective, with the added bonus that I could make the sound clips customized to the specific action in the shot.