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Long April Fool’s Day Commentary

Hey everyone, I thought I’d give some commentary on my most involved and most sloppily executed April Fool’s Day videos yet. I wanted to try for a “double feature” for about a month or two. It almost didn’t happen. In addition to my move setting me back quite a bit, audio editor Otto Beumelberg completely disappeared days before the deadline (turns out his computer had fried) and there simply wasn’t enough time for me to do all the editing and recording AND the sound editing on both the videos.

For the Halo video, I recorded the footage for that before I left and I just barely was able to coordinate it with enough people I could contact to get it done in time. Even then, there was a very small window of time to record the main scene. Try coordinating something with 7+ people you know and see how stable it is. Even once I had the footage, I left and my computer wasn’t reassembled until a while afterwards and I had been very busy without having done much editing.

The Zombie Panic video was even more close. I managed to line up good voice actors in time, but had multiple bailouts and some slow responses. On the morning of April 30th, I still had NONE of the lines recorded by the voice actors (except one, whom I needed a redo from), and I still didn’t know if the new guy I picked for sound editing (Phai Giron) was going to flake out with everyone else. Thankfully it all came together, but not without a couple all-nighters for me of recording, coordinating and editing.

In the middle of all this, I was contacted by the host for the site about the forums causing CPU usage problems again and he was threatening to take the site down immediately unless I paid him for the extra usage. It felt kind of like a ransom payoff. I paid him, but the timing couldn’t have been worse for that, so I’ll be looking into hosting the site myself in the near future, you’re welcome to suggest options.

To add to the fun, Machinima.com offered to host these videos (I thought they would be too bizarre for them actually), so that meant I had to get all the videos in at least a day ahead of time. I just barely made the deadline for that. On top of that, they told me it would be released 5pm their time, but then decided to release the Zombie Panic vid 6 hours early without telling me, so I guess they managed to play an April Fool’s joke on me! Anyway, I’m happy it all came together. I think the sound editing could have been a little better, but considering how short the notice was on everything, it’s amazing it got made at all.

I’m especially happy with the Zombie Panic video, I think it’s my favorite April Fool’s Day one so far. That was recorded in a demo last year (back when I actually had some time for games) where it’s the longest killing spree I’ve ever gotten as a zombie. For those unfamiliar with the game, if you can get two kills as a zombie before you die, you’re doing very well. I got EIGHT in this demo, which basically never happens. It was a perfect storm of things going wrong for the survivors and I thought adding the commentary made it even funnier.

I was worried I wouldn’t fool anybody this year since April Fool’s Day is the one deadline I manage to meet each year (so far), but a quick look at Youtube comments show otherwise. Machinima.com decided to put a Freeman’s Mind thumbnail for the zombie video to trick more people, which led to all sorts of good will being expressed by the viewers. I don’t know what I’ll do next year, it’s a challenge doing something different each time. The only thing you can count on is that I’ll never Rickroll anyone, that’s just mean.

Since I was so busy on the videos, I didn’t have time to look at much on the internet yesterday, so if you saw some especially good AF jokes, go ahead and post them on the forums. All I saw was some stuff from Google and Blizzard.

Finally, while not horrid, the new place I’ve moved to could use some improvement for recording quality. If anyone has suggestions on cheap material I could line the walls with (not permanently, I’m only renting) to absorb more sound and dampen echo, let me know.

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