Jump to content

Stark's Mind: a series years in the making.

Recommended Posts

Hello there, all!

I'm here to share with you my first ever web series on YouTube. It's taken me multiple years to finally get my work started, as I first had the idea back in 2013, and have been unable to properly begin on it until now. But, it's here, and I'm finally comfortable enough to share it with everyone.

 

WHAT IS STARK'S MIND?

 

Stark's Mind is, well, a Mind series, of course, that is played in Black Mesa. The overall summary of Stark's Mind is that it takes place in a parallel universe, in which the Freeman's Mind version of Gordon Freeman is unable to attend work on May 16th, 200X (I have the series set in 2009). A former co-worker who was forced to leave the company, Vincent Stark, is called by Freeman, and is asked if he could act as a sort of body double, as Freeman would regret losing this type of job, despite the fact that he has issues with the company. Stark, who coincidentally looks like Freeman, is given an ultimatum (that will be explored as the series progresses) by Freeman, and reluctantly acts as his body double. The events of Half-Life (Black Mesa) then occur, albeit with Stark acting as a Freeman stand-in.

 

WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?

 

Initially, I really wanted to just create a Mind series for fun. Over time, however, I thought of all the possibilities I could explore. I'm fairly well versed in the Half-Life lore, so I plan to incorporate very important aspects into the series and discuss them. The Mind genre fits best for what I would like to do now - the seriousness of the Resonance Cascade. Half-Life is a story in which a regular man is thrust into a situation that pits the Earth against a threat like never before. A story of consequence, action, and adventure. I want my series to embody that mold, and the Mind genre is so easily controllable, that you can take it in to new ground. We had Freeman's Mind explore a side of Gordon Freeman that was absolutely unexpected, but what about from a normal person? How would they react realistically? I've never seen a Mind series that heavily focused on these themes, and I hope to accomplish this once the series starts to pick up pace.

 

Additionally, I'm a huge fan of Ross Scott's work. I personally believe that Freeman's Mind and Civil Protection are the best pieces of Machinima we've received yet. Ross put thousands of hours into his work, and with his movie now known to us, I felt as though the series could also serve as a sort of tribute or homage. Not just to Ross, but perhaps the entire Half-Life community, since we've all been waiting for content for so long. We can only do so much to stave off the wait for Half-Life 3.

 

So, in short, Stark's Mind to me is a series that serves as a juxtaposition to Freeman's Mind that explores the themes and story seen in Half-Life. A series that pays tribute to Valve and Ross. And, a series that I've been wanting to do for a long time. A passion project, essentially.

 

CONCLUSION

 

So, a summary of this post is: Stark's Mind is a passion project that aims to recreate my experiences with the Half-Life storyline and embrace them fully - albeit with a stand-in protagonist as Freeman's Mind has already been done.

 

The series is quite amateur, and I'm still learning how to improve on my editing skills. The first few episodes are a bit shaky, but the later ones are okay, in my opinion. The quality of the voice over lines aren't exactly the best as I record in my room, and the writing is mediocre at best, since this is the first time I've done something like this. But, there's only room for improvement from here on out, right? I'll link the episodes down below.

 

One thing I heavily value is feedback and criticism. Please, if there's something that you think could be done better - editing, voice acting, writing - leave a post! I appreciate all criticism - positive and negative, as it gives me an outline as to what I should try to improve upon most in the series.

 

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoy the series, as well as where it leads to in the future.

 

FIRST EPISODE (very rough):

CG-4QEjfFGQ

LATEST EPISODE:

25CQEMzPF2k

Edited by Guest

Share this post


Link to post

This is pretty good and cute so far. :D Certainly gave me a chuckle a few times. Your idea is great, scriptwriting will improve with practice. I'm not too much into the making of machinima myself but I'll probably say... watch out for those 'insta-reactions'. In some points the audio clip is probably played a little too early. It's like you foresaw the future in the blink of an eye and were already reacting to the event as it was happening. XP Which would be amazing - but it's not how things usually happen. :P

It's good that you're getting into this though! :) It's wonderful to start a project like this... you'll learn a lot from it. ^_^ And hopefully enjoy what you do with it!

So, good luck! And nice voice btw. ;)

Share this post


Link to post

"Hahaha!... Who the hell is Dr. Cross?"

 

I've just watched the first episode and I actually rather enjoyed it! Stark strikes me as a rather amiable person, and despite it being a "Mind" series I'm fairly convinced Freeman is actually talking out loud throughout his entire adventure - qualities/psychological problems I'm certain he has passed onto his body double. He didn't seem nearly as neurotic as Gordon though, which I must confess I kind of miss. Stark strikes me as slightly more well-adjusted cousin of Freeman's from a different part of the country, rather than a cloned or duplicated Freeman. But then that isn't necessarily a bad thing and may very well end up being a strength in this characters scripting. I certainly remember feeling slightly reserved about the first few episodes of Freeman's Mind until I irrecoverably and rather accidently fell in love with the series.

 

Your first episode is much much better than many of the other Mind format series I've personally stumbled across, and actually has me intrigued as to how Stark's time at Black Mesa will turn out. I hope you keep this up and I'll happily subscribe to your channel :D My username on Youtube is Bizarre Politics, so look out for my comments if it pleases you to do so.

Share this post


Link to post

Hey, thanks for the replies and feedback so far, guys. It's nice to see people that enjoy my work! Makes me feel all fuzzy inside, haha. I've been busy with school work and studying for exams so apologies for the late reply!

 

Watch out for those 'insta-reactions'. In some points the audio clip is probably played a little too early. It's like you foresaw the future in the blink of an eye and were already reacting to the event as it was happening. XP Which would be amazing - but it's not how things usually happen. :P

Definitely going to make Stark have precognition as an actual ability now. But seriously, thanks for the heads up. I try to add delays to his reaction, but when I'm editing, I tend to feel as though his reactions are a little too late, so I adjust it, hence why it seems as if he saw the event before it even happened, like you said before. I guess I'm just basing it off of my behaviour in real life since I'm quite jumpy, haha. Again, thanks. I'll try to tone it back a bit.

He didn't seem nearly as neurotic as Gordon though, which I must confess I kind of miss.

In game, the Resonance Cascade has only been going on for a few hours(?), I presume. Stark has only come across the bare bones of the situation so far, if you will, which is why he's only slightly disturbed and anxious. But, as the series progresses and the situation begins to get out of hand with far more psychological consequences, Stark will inevitably suffer - something that I'll try to make apparent. It'll be exciting to explore that, honestly (makes me sound like a sadist). The one moment I can't wait to do is Stark being forced to fight the HECU. Just thinking about it is fun.

Stark strikes me as slightly more well-adjusted cousin of Freeman's from a different part of the country, rather than a cloned or duplicated Freeman.

Glad to hear that you see the character in that way, since that's what I was aiming for. Don't want to spoil anything, but I can say that Stark isn't Gordon's cousin, if that's what you're thinking. The "characters are related" trait isn't something I really enjoy, and besides, Felix's Mind played on that trope perfectly. I can say that they have known each other for quite a while, which I (as I have said before) will explore as the series continues on. It's always nice to have subplots, no?

Your first episode is much much better than many of the other Mind format series I've personally stumbled across, and actually has me intrigued as to how Stark's time at Black Mesa will turn out.

Thank you for the compliment again! I personally feel as though the first two episodes are the weakest, but I guess that's largely in part due to me being a perfectionist. And if you enjoy it, that's great! Hope you enjoy the rest of the episodes - both released and upcoming!

Share this post


Link to post

I've just watched the 1st four episodes, I'm loving the direction you're taking this series. The seriousness, the emotions Stark felt and how he reacts to situations is a breath of fresh air from the neuroticism and wisecrack personality of Gordon. Makes this series feel real to me. Also, the idea of Stark standing in for Gordon is an interesting concept, kinda reminds me of Felix's Mind in a way. I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes. My only complaint is that background noise when you talk. It felt distracting when I hear that noise while you're talking, and when it disappears after you're done talking.

 

That aside, keep it up!!! This series has potential!

Share this post


Link to post
I've just watched the 1st four episodes, I'm loving the direction you're taking this series. The seriousness, the emotions Stark felt and how he reacts to situations is a breath of fresh air from the neuroticism and wisecrack personality of Gordon. Makes this series feel real to me.

Glad you feel that way! Nice to see that people enjoying the route I've taken for the series.

 

Also, the idea of Stark standing in for Gordon is an interesting concept, kinda reminds me of Felix's Mind in a way. I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes.

Funny you mention Felix's Mind. Keep an eye out in future episodes! And as a little side note, I had originally planned to have something similar to Felix's Mind by way of Stark being Freeman's cousin. Didn't really enjoy the idea, and just went with a former co-worker.

 

My only complaint is that background noise when you talk. It felt distracting when I hear that noise while you're talking, and when it disappears after you're done talking.

I'm looking into ways to rid the voice lines of that background noise. I'm fairly amateur when it comes to recording audio, so if you could provide me a video or tutorial as to how remove the background noise, I would appreciate it!

 

Additionally, I've updated the LATEST EPISODE section of the original post. If you've already gone over the first six episodes, be sure to check the seventh episode. If you like the series, stick around!

Share this post


Link to post

I don't know if you'll ever be coming back here NioA, but i've watched all of the Stark's Mind episodes available so far and I'm really starting to enjoy your series. It's getting more and more quotable too.

 

"Just stay down, be dead, decompose and don't have have any aliens burst out of your chest, alright. Then we're good!"

 

x3

Share this post


Link to post

It would be cool if at the start of the first episode freeman and stark are having a phone call about stark filling in for freeman. It'd be even cooler if Ross voices freeman aswell. It'd possible to because you can hire Ross to do voice acting or if he decides to do it for fun, I don't know.

Share this post


Link to post

Sorry for the lack of forum responses! I forgot my password and put off recovering it for a few months, but now I'm back.

I've been thinking of ways to open up a small hub for Stark's Mind so that people can discuss it, but the series is too small for that I believe. I'll just use this forum post for the occasional update, question, etc,.

 

...I've watched all of the Stark's Mind episodes available so far and I'm really starting to enjoy your series. It's getting more and more quotable too.

 

Thanks, I'm glad you're enjoying the series. It's a lot of fun to make these episodes, but the real kicker is when you manage to entertain people. Hope you stick around for the future episodes! I think that the series is constantly improving with each episode, so I hope you do!

 

It would be cool if at the start of the first episode freeman and stark are having a phone call about stark filling in for freeman. It'd be even cooler if Ross voices freeman aswell. It'd possible to because you can hire Ross to do voice acting or if he decides to do it for fun, I don't know.

 

I'm thinking about redoing the first few episodes as they pale in comparison to the more recent episodes in regards to quality, though I'll probably do that in the future.

I actually was thinking about contacting Ross, but I really just wanted to get the episode out. I originally made a small teaser trailer for the series before I bought my new computer which showcased Stark's conversation with Freeman - except, the viewer would only be able to hear Stark's end of the call.

As a side note, I'll try my best to have small cameos in future episodes. And if the time comes, I'll ask Ross if he'd like to do some voice work for the series. It's far off, though, but only time will tell.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in the community.

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.