Civil Protection and Freeman’s Mind have moved! Go to www.accursedfarms.com from now on for news on the episodes.
To RSS people:
Until we get RSS working on the new site, I’ll make new posts here when new episodes are released as a way of notifying you.
Civil Protection and Freeman’s Mind have moved! Go to www.accursedfarms.com from now on for news on the episodes.
Welcome to the new website! If nothing crashes, this is where all future news on Civil Protection and Freeman’s Mind will appear from now on. There’s a few things here I’d like to go over:
While this page is still a little bare, this will be updated in time as several people are working on transcribing or translating episodes. I plan to support as many subtitles for the series as I’m able.
There is nothing here yet because I’ve been focusing on getting the next episode finished, but eventually this section will contain scripts, alternate shots, outtakes, some unused music, and anything else extra related to the series.
There will be a delay from when your comments appear due to how the site is set up. I plan to change this so people can register and make comments without needing moderation, but in the meantime bear with us if they’re slow to appear.
I’m sorry to say this site does not have RSS functionality yet. I’m aware many of you use this on the old blogspot site and it is something that was planned for this site, however I’ve been told it will take a long time to code in this future, so I didn’t want to delay the launch on account of this. I’m sorry if this is a step down for you compared to the blogspot site, but it won’t always be this way. I DO hope to implement this in the future and it will be one of the top priorities for changes to the site.
Finally, the vast majority of the website was created by Mike Southworth and some assistance from Jerry Bramst
Next episode details:
Well even though the poll seems to be changing now, within the first couple days most people voted for me to finish Civil Protection first, so that’s what I’ve been doing. In breaking my usual trend, I’m releasing a few details about the next episode. They’re not a lot, but for an episode that’s only a few minutes long, I can’t reveal too much without spoiling things. I’m probably going to call this next episode “Morning Patrol”. It’ll be about average length, take place in City 17, and you’ll get to see a little bit more of the HL2 world in it. It’s definitely not one of my more spectacular episode ideas, but I think it’s the most well-rounded one I’ve produced so far. Here’s a preview shot of it:
If you’re a fan of other CP episodes, I think it’s very likely you’ll enjoy this next one. While I’m extremely happy with how it’s coming out, I don’t want people to think it’s going to be most magnificent episode that’s ever been produced. It has been a long time since the last episode, but I’ve been working on many other things besides Civil Protection.
I get a fair chunk of hate mail from people who are angry at me for not producing episodes faster. Most of these people don’t seem to possess any sense of perspective or logic, but for those that do, I’d like to elaborate a little more on this. The biggest barrier to me producing more episodes of Civil Protection is animation time. While sometimes I don’t mind, much of the time I HATE animating. While I have been getting some help, that’s been a mixed bag. Pretty much everyone who assists with animation right now prefers to work or only has time to work on one aspect of production. While this has undeniably increased the quality of the episodes being produced in areas, it’s questionable how much time savings there have been. This is to say nothing of people who for different reasons, have had to abandon work on episodes. The past episode and the one I’m currently working on were both written in such a way to make it easy for additional animators to help out. In both cases, multiple people bailed and I ended up filling in a lot of the gaps for animation. I never would have started this particular episode idea next if I had known that was going to happen.
Believe it or not, I get more frustrated than anyone else that I can’t produce episodes faster. I’m overflowing with ideas and am totally confident I haven’t gotten to the best ones yet. I sincerely wish I could afford to hire someone to help me animate in the Source engine. I would LOVE to unload almost all aspects of animating the episodes to someone else or other people; though I haven’t come across anyone who can animate in the programs Face Poser and Hammer and has the same time and drive to devote to it. I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to either, I hate that aspect of it myself.
For fans of Freeman’s Mind:
I promise the production rate will pick up a lot as soon as the next CP episode is done. Some of you may recall I promised an increase in episode production late last year and that actually did happen. They have still been relatively few and far between because Freeman’s Mind hasn’t been my main focus. However since far more people have become interested in it than I would have anticipated, I plan to make that my new priority soon. In addition to devoting more time towards it, I’m planning to move soon to where I can record at any time without disturbing people. Right now I can only record during certain windows of time without disturbing my neighbors, which limits how fast I can produce episodes. I know many of you may not believe me, but I can promise the production rate is going to become much, much faster than for FM than ever before.
Well thanks to reader advice I was able to solve the problem. I was an idiot and wasn’t using static props. In my defense, static props tend to behave much less reliably for me, plus the model has to support them in the first place, something many do not. I got lucky in this case in that the model I was using did support being a static prop. Anyway, I’m a little undecided what to do now since I was ready to switch gears. I’m putting up a new poll, I’ll go with whatever the masses decide on this.
Well it looks like my tradition of discovering a completely new bug in every episode continues. Right now I’ve run into a bug that’s preventing me from completing a scene (read below for details). I have some ideas as to how to fix it, but it’s probably going to take the help of someone else helping with modelling and it’s hard to say how long that will take. The good news for you is that since I can only do so much more on the episode from my end until this is fixed, I’ll go ahead and start working on the next Freeman’s Mind episode while this bug gets looked into. I still have every intention of completing this CP episode, but I hate making you guys wait on more material. If all I had to do was writing, I could produce a new episode every day of FM and CP.
To those familiar with the Source engine:
The bug I’m running into is “Reliable Snapshot Overflow” that crashes the map and occurs whenever I try to record a demo. I know what’s causing it in my case. It has to do with me having a ton of small dynamic props in a small area. I could fix this problem by deleting the props, but I unfortunately need them for this scene. Right now my best theory on how to fix this is to merge many of small individual models into one larger one, so the game sees less props to process. This is probably going to be a pain to do for our modeller. If any of you know more about this than I do, feel free to post possible solutions here. If you discover one before we do and notify me, I’ll put your name down in the credits of the next episode as a technical advisor.
Well I’ve been getting some requests for updates. I haven’t posted more because the situation is still the same; I’m still busy on the next CP episode and the website is still in development. I know It might seem like I’m not doing anything, but I’ve actually been making a lot of progress; it’s just an inherently slow process to produce episodes at the quality level I strive for in Civil Protection. Each episode is much more than just recording and editing, it’s more like a minature mod for the game.
On that note, I’ve been getting pressure on all sides to produce more episodes of Freeman’s Mind. I’m still not producing any more until I finish the current CP episode, but after that, I may alter my plans to make it first priority and have them come up at a much more rapid rate. Many of you have said you prefer it over Civil Protection. I think you’re only saying that because you don’t know everything I have envisioned for the series. My imagination far exceeds my production capacity. On that same note however, I’m not even attempting the “jaw dropping” episodes in the near future because of how much more work they would entail. So due to the time involved with making those, I’ll probably focus on easier projects, like FM. In the meantime, I’ll continue blazing away on the next episode.
The next part of this post only applies to 3D graphics geeks, so you can skip it if you’re just here for the videos. The glitch I’m listing below will NOT hold up production on the next episode.
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I’ve run into a minor nuisance in production that simply hasn’t gone away. I’m a sucker for antialiasing; I think it cleans up the look of a 3D scene immensely. However I’ve gone through multiple generations of graphics cards and keep running into the same glitch when I enable antialiasing. For lack of a better term, I’m calling it “shimmering”. This glitch seems to be especially noticeable in the Source engine in certain situations. It’s similar to looking at a road in the distance on a hot day, giving the illusion of a puddle. It causes lines or gaps or something to be rendered that should not be there. It only happens for me for surfaces in the distance with antialiasing enabled. It’s best seen in motion, but it’s noticeable in screenshots. I recommend downloading “On A Rail” if you want to see it in action. Here is an example where it occurs from that video:
That’s not just a reflection from the lights, this glitch occurs in 100% dark tunnels. While I’m on a Geforce 8800 right now, this has happened to me on multiple cards in the past and I’ve witnessed it happening on a friend’s computer with a Radeon 4850. The ONLY solution I’ve found to this is to either turn off antialiasing completely or to render the scene using supersampling entirely; no multisampling whatsoever. This is not an ideal solution as supersampling is immensely slower and requires too much memory to hit the same quality levels as other antialiasing methods. If ANYONE knows what’s causing this or can demonstrate a solution, please contact me at [email protected] or post here.
Feel free to test this for yourself! If you have a copy of Half-Life 2, a good spot to test this is on the first canal level (d1_canals_01) looking back at the dark train tunnel you see once you get outside. Here’s an example of the effect for that level:
If this problem doesn’t affect you, great, but I’m trying to find out WHY. Ask people who know a lot about 3D graphics. Ask ATI. Ask Nvidia. Ask on tech forums, it’ll be a favor to me. Again, this glitch won’t hold up production of any episodes, it’s just a personal quest of mine to find out how to fix it and I’m hoping someone out there knows more about it than I do.
Viewer Carl Johnson (not the one from Grand Theft Auto) has made me aware that disabling AA and AF through the driver control panel, then setting the AA settings in-game will prevent this problem on ATI cards. Unfortunately I tried this and it didn’t seem to have the same effect for me (since I’m currently on an Nvidia one), but that’s encouraging to know this is fixable.