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.
Next episode details:
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.
640x480 WMV (90MB)
Well here’s the proof some of you were waiting for that I didn’t kill off Freeman permanently. This is the longest episode so far, I normally would have made it shorter, but I figured you guys might get sick of seeing the same elevator shaft 3 episodes in a row.
Unfortunately for some, the gap between 11 and 12 is going to be longer than usual because I really want go get back to Civil Protection. The latest episode is well underway, though it’s gotten more ambitious than I originally intended from a technical perspective. So far there haven’t been any show-stopping bugs like I’ve gotten a lot in the past. Once I’m done with that, I want to get at least get a good chunk of work done on the new pilot episode before I do another FM episode, so it may be a few weeks before you see another one. The upside to this is that things are starting to come together more on the animation end of things for CP, so you may start seeing a lot more shorter episodes of that in the forseeable future.