The Research Roadtrip - Day 3 - An Obvious Movie Reference Saved By Gibberish

It may be safely said, at this point, that I’m sitting in a large, red chair. I’ve got a black trenchcoat on, and you have to assume that I’m working this deal by sound and touch because there is just no way that I can see anything through those sunglasses. And there is a mirror behind me, with is rippling, yea, rippling in a way that would have been very impressive in 1999 where this metaphor originated. And then, I speak.

“No-one can be told how damn cool Medieval Total War 2 Machinima is. You have to see it for yourself.”

Ladies and gentlemen, over the course of this roadtrip we’ve seen some things that, if they are not in fact the Prmoised Machinima Land, play that land on television, much like Ireland does for Scotland, on account of the latter’s fog and the former’s tax breaks.

On occasion, I have been accused of hype. Of hyperbole. Sometimes even of hubris, which diesn’t mean the same as the other two but did make an excellent conclusion to my alliterative processes, by which I do not mean bodily functions that are assisted by peppermint oil.

Well, that time is over. I am smug. Possibly even self-satisfied, as I announce to you that the oft-touted “Helm’s Deep for $30” that I have occasionally claimed as a possibility for Machinima production is no longer a possibility. It is a reality. I have seen the future and it kicks ass.

Johnnie and I arrived at Creative Assembly yesterday after a relaxing train journey* and a pleasant walk through the Home Counties countryside which inspired Tolkein himself^. The relentless squealing sound which had assaulted us through Horsham (said sound being something like “Twee!”) had subsided, and I had stopped marvelling over a town whose tourist map was drawn on a scale of 1 insh to fifty yards, and whose “shopping highlights” appeared to list every single vendor in the entire conurbation, down to and including the pet food stores.

We were ready to go. What we weren’t prepared for was a Machinima experience so marvellous and terrifying that even now we can only speak of it in the mystical secret language used only by those who have been inducted into the deepest secrets of Apache server configuration, or alternatively have spent more than five minutes on a World of Warcraft server.

ZOMG. OMG. !!!111!!oneoneone. The ROFLCopter might have been ready for takeoff, but we left the building riding low in the bucket seat of the Ferrari FTW.

Of our gracious host Peter Brophy I shall say that, given his appointed task that day resembled that of a man attempting to give out free Aberdeen Angus samples to three hundred slavering hyenas, he was remarkably cool about demonstrating what to Johnnie and myself was essentially anti-gravity technology.

Of filmmaking in Medieval Total War, I will say only this: let us say I wish to film a three-hundred-person cavalry charge into a “highland rabble” of some several hundred, whilst around us a battle of approximately the size of the crowd at a well-attended Hearts/Hibernian match raged. We were to start high above the battle, crane down in time to see the ground shake as the cavalry rushed past, then cut to handheld footage of the brutal fighting, in time to see the tragic loss of life as individual soldiers fall.

It would look like this.

And, assuming I had allotted just one day to perform this mighty task, I would have a significant problem.

I would need to figure out what I was going to work on after lunch.

*May contain lies. May not be 100% truth.

^Which I understand Johnnie enjoyed so much* that he’ll be writing more about it later.