Pierce Portocarrero was one of the early innovators of SL machinima, first to use the form as a narrative element in a feature-length documentary, and now innovating just as surely with "Game Over", a uniquely strange, quirky, and ultimately plaintive story about the end of love and the end of the world, brought on by hubris in a strange and dreamlike place. With richly inventive visuals and sound production, Pierce's movie is SL machinima like no other (it's hard to even recognize it as having been made in Second Life at all), and unsurprisingly, earned multiple nominations in the 2006 Machinima festival (known as the "The Mackies") for custom animation, visual design, and technical achievement. (Three other SL-based movies, "Better Life", "Machinima Island", and "Silver Bells and Golden Spurs", also took nominations.)
Watch Pierce's movie here, then read on, for his step-by-step comments on creating "Game Over"-- and the sad muse that shaped it.
On Production Design: Characters
I usually draw my characters out on a sketch pad first. Then I start messing with prims until I get close. Next I texture the object using a vector program like Flash or Illustrator, since stylistically I'm choosing to be more abstract with my designs. The bugs (above) work so well because I used floppy prims. This feature really gives characters life.
On Production Design: Sets
Here I allowed myself to be a little more spontaneous. Very little planning was involved. I had the general concept in my head and just ran with it.
On Post-Production: Lighting
I spend hours doing color correction inside After Effects to get the perfect feel for a scene.
On Post-Production: Foley work and musical scoring
I'm learning with every project the importance of great sound. I'm starting to purchase allot of sound effects. I own a piece of software called SmartSound Sonicfire Pro 4 which contains a library of royalty-free music.
On Post-Production: Microscope visual composite
I just recorded a textured sphere being copied and scaled. I used
a HUD to created the circle effect.
On Post-Production: Creating the final shot
I used a lot of scripted objects. The smoke, created by Neil Protagonist, really helps create atmosphere. I created a custom animation to open the creature's mouth. There are pieces of programing which scale the blob pieces up and down. The open scripting language is really helpful in dynamic scenes.
On His Inspiration and Muse: Dedicating "Game Over" to his machinima collaborator and real life wife, Jodie
Jodie and I have recently split up. The story we created a year ago, but never finished. "Game Over" is my way of dealing and grieving for that great loss.
Yes, machinima ate my love.