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About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 9:39 am
by Brother None
One thing we haven’t talked about so far is cutscenes. We want you playing the game rather than staring at cutscenes, but we’d also like to do an opening cutscene that sets up the history of the rangers including the events of Wasteland, a scene as part of our closing sequences and perhaps one mid-game cutscene. We have these written out, and we even have some great footage taken from the Wasteland Weekend to use in them. We’re not going to do expensive cinematics nor would we want to, but we’d like to get creative in the execution, find a way of doing them that is not too expensive but still aesthetically pleasing.

And what’s the best source of crazy creativity? You guys! In the comments, please share your ideas for art style, independent artists or directors that would do a great job conveying the Wasteland 2 feel without ruining the budget. We’ve seen some very cleverly done small films on YouTube, and we’re looking for that kind of independent but creative director who could bring a style we want. Maybe you’re familiar with a specific artist or director who has impressed you with their work – maybe even through Kickstarter. Let us know in the comments!

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 10:01 am
by TΛPETRVE
Well, being a filmmaker myself, I actually have quite a few ideas in the back of my head, but I think I'll rather keep them shelved before I make a tit out of myself :lol: .

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 10:37 am
by Grave
For art style, maybe something along the lines of The Witcher. That game had hand-drawn artwork, and the screen would pan from one part of the artwork to the next, as a voice actor and sound effects helped flesh out the narrative.

I think this would work well on a limited budget, especially since you already have very high quality, mood setting concept artwork.

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 10:40 am
by TΛPETRVE
That doesn't sound like "crazy creativity" to me, tbh; more like boring and ultra-conservative. I guess the boys are asking for a bit more than just a glorified slideshow.

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 10:49 am
by Brother None
Man, go for it, TΛPETRVE. Showcase, blast ideas, lay it on us man. If you're not comfy doing it publicly, feel free to PM me instead.

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 10:50 am
by Sxerks
And then the opening cutscene: (pan and zoom with voice-over) "After the destruction of Base Cochise the Desert Rangers.........."

The intros/cutscenes should be fade in/out, pan/zoom images with music/SFX/voice, built into the engine, thus not needing codecs for AVIs or BIKs or something as well as smaller file sizes. Also it would be nice to pause them, and rewatch.
They should also have a "played_once=1" setting in the users profile config.ini
Quote from a thread I made in May of 2012 Main Menu UI, Cutscenes, Custom Map Installer. Basically pan & zoom like Thief cutscenes (though some had actual motion), in color, B&W, or Sepia, doesn't matter.

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 10:56 am
by prypiat_child
Grave wrote:For art style, maybe something along the lines of The Witcher. That game had hand-drawn artwork, and the screen would pan from one part of the artwork to the next, as a voice actor and sound effects helped flesh out the narrative.

I think this would work well on a limited budget, especially since you already have very high quality, mood setting concept artwork.
+1. This is (according to me) the only way to do a really great cutscene without spending a lot of money. Artworks, or static burned-out "photos" made with game engine.

Just wanted to add that the narrator MUST have a deep bass voice.

And with one of those incredible industrial soundscapes by Mark Morgan as "sound effects" (a slight "drone" could be an excellent choice I think).

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 11:38 am
by Grave
TΛPETRVE wrote:That doesn't sound like "crazy creativity" to me, tbh; more like boring and ultra-conservative. I guess the boys are asking for a bit more than just a glorified slideshow.
My suggestion was primarily focused on available existing resources and affordability. I'm not a film maker, so my expertise on this subject is very limited. But, since you are one... let's hear what your ideas are.

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 1:11 pm
by Wile
Crap, I wish you'd talked about this sooner, as I could've done something as project work for my audio visual course! I would've had all sorts of nice equipment at hand! :(

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 1:20 pm
by salt1219
well you guys are already doing something with radios so here's my idea.

open with a group of wasteland survivors huddled around a beat up radio, a ranger with a gravely voice gives a speech over it. the ranger on the radio talks about hope for the future, but mentions the trials and tribulations the rangers have faced. (giving a brief history of their formation and the events leading up to wasteland 2)

as he is giving his speech, the camera pans out from the survivors and fades to pictures of different areas from wastelands history (such as the destruction of base concise)

end with a group of enemies listening in on the broadcast, they should be largely concealed by shadows. one, probably the leader smashes his radio in anger. -end

the speech should sound a bit like a recruitment ad but mostly like it was meant to let locals know the rangers are here to help.

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 1:21 pm
by john irwin finster
If you're on a budget, I like the burned out photograph idea. Some of that amazing concept art by Andree could go a long way.

Add in some powerful music, something that starts out strong and fast as the war begins, ends with a bang when the bombs drop, and slowly starts to build again, as a new more sinister civilization starts to grow... fade to wasteland 2 logo.

A video with a great setting, and I think it was an inspiration for the new greener wasteland, is 'Ruin':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doteMqP6eSc

Just my random 2 cents.

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 1:29 pm
by clippedwolf
I'm not sure how deep you go into the history, but realistically famine caused by the collapse of civilization would kill just as many people or more than fireballs and radiation. A short nuclear winter after the bombs might be enough to prevent food crops from growing correctly at such a critical moment. There would be a huge spike in cancer deaths after the bombs that would continue for a couple decades.
Imagery I get from this is similar to what I imagine when I read the account of the Donner Party. First you bury the dead with ceremony and honor, then you slowly progress to where you dump the dead out into the snow and shovel snow on them before going inside to eat boiled leather boot or human flesh. Stuff of nightmares.
The graphic novel take isn't that novel, but I think still imagery could be more potent than animation.

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 1:46 pm
by clippedwolf
salt1219 wrote: open with a group of wasteland survivors huddled around a beat up radio, ...
Like that idea.
end with a group of enemies listening in on the broadcast, they should be largely concealed by shadows. one, probably the leader smashes his radio in anger. -end
The bad guys hiding in shadows is cliche. He might be on drugs, but radios are not $10 commodities in Post Apocalyptia; it would be cheaper and easier to just change the radio station after saying something like 'No one wants to hear your bullshit', hitting a few programs seen in the game play trailer for a few moments before finally finding music on the station. Camera pans out--there are dead people around, and the living ones don't seem to care.

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 2:28 pm
by salt1219
clippedwolf wrote:
salt1219 wrote: open with a group of wasteland survivors huddled around a beat up radio, ...
Like that idea.
end with a group of enemies listening in on the broadcast, they should be largely concealed by shadows. one, probably the leader smashes his radio in anger. -end
The bad guys hiding in shadows is cliche. He might be on drugs, but radios are not $10 commodities in Post Apocalyptia; it would be cheaper and easier to just change the radio station after saying something like 'No one wants to hear your bullshit', hitting a few programs seen in the game play trailer for a few moments before finally finding music on the station. Camera pans out--there are dead people around, and the living ones don't seem to care.
okay, good point. how about this...
the leader, clearly angry from the broadcast pounds his fist on a table and the group of bad guys load their guns. fade to black and the wasteland 2 title appears

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 2:48 pm
by Sxerks
john irwin finster wrote: A video with a great setting, and I think it was an inspiration for the new greener wasteland, is 'Ruin':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doteMqP6eSc
That looks interesting, though it would probably cost a lot and take quite a bit of time to make something with that level of detail.

The same kind of atmosphere could be accomplished using hand drawn scenes and the "Ken Burns effect" with some minor animation at times to highlight parts.


And it all depends on the context and what the "footage taken from the Wasteland Weekend" is. They could be taken as individual frames and stylized, instead of trying to use them as straight video with after effects.

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 3:27 pm
by Woolfe
salt1219 wrote:
clippedwolf wrote:
salt1219 wrote: open with a group of wasteland survivors huddled around a beat up radio, ...
Like that idea.
end with a group of enemies listening in on the broadcast, they should be largely concealed by shadows. one, probably the leader smashes his radio in anger. -end
The bad guys hiding in shadows is cliche. He might be on drugs, but radios are not $10 commodities in Post Apocalyptia; it would be cheaper and easier to just change the radio station after saying something like 'No one wants to hear your bullshit', hitting a few programs seen in the game play trailer for a few moments before finally finding music on the station. Camera pans out--there are dead people around, and the living ones don't seem to care.
okay, good point. how about this...
the leader, clearly angry from the broadcast pounds his fist on a table and the group of bad guys load their guns. fade to black and the wasteland 2 title appears
Group of badguys standing around a guy tied and hooded and on his knees as if he is about to be executed.
Ranger speech ends
Bad guy says "Fraid not" Shoots guy in back of head, then throws something into pooling blood.
Cut to thing on ground and its a Ranger badge.

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 3:29 pm
by TΛPETRVE
I don't see the appeal of slideshows and history lessons. Like it or not, the intro is what has to catch peoples' eyes when they start up the game and if it bores them, they only skip it and go into the game with lowered expectations. A minimum effort approach is unacceptable in my opinion. Also, the Wasteland setting is far too wacky and colourful to be given short shrift with a few still images. Personally, I'd go with animatics in an 80s pulp comic aesthetic, interspersed with photography or even miniscule live-action elements, to create an animated mashup.

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 3:36 pm
by Woolfe
TΛPETRVE wrote:I don't see the appeal of slideshows and history lessons. Like it or not, the intro is what has to catch peoples' eyes when they start up the game and if it bores them, they only skip it and go into the game with lowered expectations. A minimum effort approach is unacceptable in my opinion. Also, the Wasteland setting is far too wacky and colourful to be given short shrift with a few still images. Personally, I'd go with animatics in an 80s pulp comic aesthetic, interspersed with photography or even miniscule live-action elements, to create an animated mashup.
I like History lessons. It draws me into the story gives me a sense of the world. Doesn't have to be deep tho. Just enough to understand what's going on.

As for Whackiness, I'd like to see a group of Jerks, with their crazy hair, facing off against some rangers

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 3:38 pm
by motsm
First thing that came to mind is Thief, and I see it was mentioned above. All of the art that has been released is down right fantastic, so I see no reason an artist of that talent along with some clever use of animation couldn't pull off something rather spectacular.

This is one of Thief's more animated cut scenes, though they also used the panning storyboard style art with accompanying audio.

Thief spoilers* Does that still need to be said? ;)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOiuLi5Xokg

Re: About cutscenes, and how you can help

Posted: May 13th, 2013, 3:40 pm
by john irwin finster
Sxerks wrote:
john irwin finster wrote: A video with a great setting, and I think it was an inspiration for the new greener wasteland, is 'Ruin':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doteMqP6eSc
That looks interesting, though it would probably cost a lot and take quite a bit of time to make something with that level of detail.

The same kind of atmosphere could be accomplished using hand drawn scenes and the "Ken Burns effect" with some minor animation at times to highlight parts.


And it all depends on the context and what the "footage taken from the Wasteland Weekend" is. They could be taken as individual frames and stylized, instead of trying to use them as straight video with after effects.
Just pointing out an indie animation that might be a source of inspiration, I agree that still photos would cost less and be just as effective, and would probably fit in better with the whole alternative comic book style of Wasteland. Honestly, reading a paragraph out of a book from the original Wasteland had more of an impact than a cheap cutscene in another game.

As for using the footage from the wasteland weekend, I'm not a big fan of mixing live action video in games, I've never seen it done well- unless, like you said, individual frames are taken and stylized.