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Late June News

There’s been a ton of stuff going on lately, here are some highlights:


People have been asking me about producing t-shirts for a long time. I’ve never really made much progress with it because I’m really not a businessman at heart, I always rather focus on making more videos, so t-shirt production has been constantly postponed. Fortunately, a personal friend of mine, Evan Anderson, has been VERY interested in helping me print t-shirts and take over the business aspect of things so I don’t have to mess with it. His enthusiasm level for this reminds me of Steve Ballmer , if Ballmer didn’t act like someone who was on cocaine.

We’re still just starting off, but there will be a trial run of SHIRTS FOR SALE AT THE MEETUPS coming July 22nd and August 4th. They will be basic ones, most with the Freeman’s Mind logo, and a smaller amount with the Civil Protection logo. The price for one will be 0. Our plans are for Evan to sell shirts in the parking lot of the amusement parks until he runs out. Right now we’re looking at having around 200 shirts total at the North meetup and then see what happens after that.

For everyone else, don’t worry, there are plans to get an online store going on the site for selling shirts and maybe other things like coffee mugs. I’ll be in charge of which designs go on the shirts, my friend Evan will be handling pretty much everything else. Besides the logos for the shows, I have plans to print some of the better one-liners from Freeman’s Mind along with accompanying artwork to go with them. It will be a gradual process, since setting up a small business can be very complex, but I want to let people know that it’s coming. Also while it’s probable the shipping costs will be higher, I’ll make sure that future shirts will be available to be shipped internationally.


Good news, all the downloadable copies of the videos have been converted to x264 MKV copies. This means that the copies you download on the site will be about as high quality as possible for the space size. You may still see some minor compression artifacts in the older Freeman’s Mind episodes, but that has more to do with me not following great archive practices rather than the codec itself. Even with the minor compression artifacts, you can know that all the downloadable copies of the videos on the site now are pretty much the highest quality copies available. During this process I also spotted an error with the previous copies that may have caused the sound to skip in places. That has since been corrected, so if you were having that problem, try redownloading the episodes. I also fixed episodes that were released too dark or too bright.

I was able to update most of the links on the website for the videos, but I wasn’t able to add new ones. The movie links are still very haphazard with their accuracy, I apologize about that. I was hoping to have a new and improved movie page section rolled out about 2 weeks ago, but it’s hard to say when that will actually happen, since I don’t do the website programming. I decided to make this announcement now because if we had to wait until things were final, it might be months from now. Expect things to be more organized sometime in the near future.

If you need help finding a player for MKV files, after rigorous testing, I can recommend the program PotPlayer . I do NOT recommend VLC Player, I’ve found it produces some errors in playback of some of the videos, so the quality may not look as good if you are using that.


I’ve received over a dozen emails since yesterday regarding the Source Filmmaker. This is a new set of tools being released by Valve that could assist a lot with machinima making in the Source engine. Some people want to know what my thoughts are on this, so here they are:

-I’m a little bitter this is coming out NOW when a WORKING COPY of this was leaked about 5 years ago. If these tools had been more public back then, it might have saved me hundreds of hours of time collectively over the years. But, better late than never.

-By only allowing this in Team Fortress 2 that normally would limit a lot of things over HL2 games, because TF2 doesn’t really allow for NPC manipulation. However, the Filmmaker does seem to have much more robust animation tools that could largely compensate for this. I think there will be a loss of a lot of AI functions that can make some aspects easier, but the tools added seem to make up for it.

-I think this will add a LOT of functionality to the Source Engine. I think it will mostly fix camerawork and recording issues and allow more animation options via keyframing. But I don’t know if it will address many other issues I’ve encountered using Source that have almost completely shut down my videos in the past. Maybe I’m too cynical, but I NEVER want to have to throw out weeks or months of work because there’s a bug in the software that I don’t know how to fix. Working with the Source SDK for years has made me feel like that is a VERY real possibility and it’s been almost pure luck that I’ve been able to produce the videos I have without everything falling apart.

-Based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m not sure this software has any features that aren’t already included by default in the Unreal Development Kit. While the filmmaker is enough to make me see Source as less of an outright liability, I’m not sure it’s enough to avert me from steering away from the engine in the long term. I’m going to end up using whatever software allows me to get the most things done and still look decent. At the very least, this makes Source worth re-considering instead of me proclaiming it outright doomed like I was ready to in January.

-This software really needs to needs to have open access (instead of closed beta) before I can do much with it, otherwise the only people who can assist me have to also have beta access (assuming I even get it). Let’s hope this will happen before another 5 years!

ADHD version: Shirts for sale at meetup! Movie downloads are now high quality! Source Filmmaker makes the Source Engine look less masochistic!

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