Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

The Strangerhood

Friday, October 01, 2004
After recently talking up the machinimatic potential of The Sim 2, I was absolutely delighted to read today that Rooster Teeth Productions, those wacky dudes behind Red Vs Blue, have teamed up with EA to produce a whole new Sim 2machinima series called The Strangerhood. The press release:

Electronic Arts announced today that Rooster Teeth Productions, famous for its well-known, ongoing Red vs. Blue online comedy series, will make a series of movies using the award-winning computer game The Sims(TM) 2 [...] Fans boast the game's advanced gameplay mechanics and endless creative possibilities, including the all-new movie-making feature that lends to Machinima. [...] Rooster Teeth will use this movie making feature to create a whole series of movies based on The Sims 2. As The Sims became a cultural phenomenon and brought computer games to the masses, Rooster Teeth movies from The Sims 2 are poised to do the same thing -- bring Machinima to the masses. The short The Sims 2 movies will be available starting today with new movies premiering on a regularly scheduled basis on www.strangerhood.com.

"We are excited to see what the talented filmmakers at Rooster Teeth Productions will do with our new in-game movie making tool," said Lucy Bradshaw, Executive Producer of The Sims 2. "The movies we've seen from them so far are amazing. We look forward to showing players out there just how much you can do with our game. The possibilities are endless." Rooster Teeth's founder Burnie Burns lauds The Sims 2 movie making feature as "an addictive cutting edge gaming advancement that opens the world of movie production to the masses by allowing anyone to start shooting movies with the touch of a button." He adds, "That while original The Sims fans got their first taste of the Machinima movement by using 1st generation capture features, In The Sims 2, players can capture any camera angle, build wild and outlandish sets, create an enormous custom wardrobe and even modify a character's facial features like a special effects master. The Sims 2 is an amazing technological advancement."

Under this agreement, the masterminds at Rooster Teeth will create a series of films called Strangerhood centered on a group of eclectic characters all suffering from amnesia. For reasons unknown to them, they have been gathered together in a mysteriously remote suburban neighborhood. Throughout the season, the characters will attempt to figure out who they are, why they have been brought together, how they can live with each other and just exactly who is behind this bizarre experiment.
While a number of people may be daunted by the slightly more commercial sounding nature of the agreement, it sounds like Rooster Teeth have complete creative control and can make whatever they want, so I'm all excited about The Strangerhood. You can download "Episode 0 - The Introduction" right now! (It's only a who's who trailer, though, with no story, yet...)

Update [3 Oct 2004. 7:01PM]: Gamespot has an interview with Burnie Burns one of the producers of Red Vs Blue in which he expresses exactly why The Sims 2 is machinimatically exciting:
We get a lot of e-mail from young filmmakers who are wanting to tell a story but who don't have the money to go out and buy even a video camera. But they may already have a PC game or an Xbox game, so they can sit down and create. With The Sims 2, the cool thing is, they've already got all this stuff built in. You just hit a button and you can record your gameplay footage. You don't need any kind of external video-capturing equipment or anything like that.

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