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Machinima

A video to mourn City of Heroes and celebrate the new Paragon Studios project

Super-hero, Video, City of Heroes, Culture, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Machinima, Humor

Connection lost.
It's not over until it's over for City of Heroes, but that time is fast approaching. Longtime fan and noted machinima artist Samuraiko decided that the city deserved to go out with an appropriate tribute and has put together a last video memorializing the game's environments and players. If you're a veteran player, you owe it to yourself to sit through the whole video just past the break, although you may get misty-eyed toward the end.

But all is not doom and gloom for the fine folks from Paragon Studios, as they've taken it upon themselves to begin a new project, one that will undoubtedly be just as influential in their chosen field. Or possibly not. It's still worth watching after the previous video, at the least to get a smile back on your face. Jump on past the break for both videos, and keep your eyes peeled for more coverage as we approach the City of Heroes shutdown.

[Thanks to the folks that sent these in!]

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Fan-made video promotes the movement to save City of Heroes

Super-hero, Video, City of Heroes, Culture, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Machinima

Possibly.  But not if it can be helped.
City of Heroes players have been rallying around the movement to save the game ever since the shutdown announcement was made. It's been nearly a month with no official response regarding the movement's requests from NCsoft aside from a special email address, and that's enough to make almost anyone start to despair. But a new fan-made video is meant to help inspire the protest, mixing machinima footage with narration, screenshots, and music to produce a tribute to the immense movement to avoid the game's demise.

Starting with the unexpected August 31st announcement, the video shows off excerpts from several of the news stories surrounding the announcement and the major in-game rally at Atlas Park, with footage by several notable fans. The narration is spliced together from a variety of sources, including some quotes from our own Massively Speaking. The video also contains links and information for anyone looking to take part in the Save CoH movement. You can see the full video just past the break.

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EVE Evolved: Four great new EVE videos

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Game Mechanics, Lore, PvP, Opinion, Machinima, EVE Evolved, DUST 514, Guides, Sandbox

EVE Evolved title image
If there's one thing the EVE Online community is well known for (apart from the occasional colossal scam or game-breaking exploit), it's producing great videos. In its nine-year history, EVE has birthed some very talented video editors who have produced everything from political propaganda and instructional videos to amazing cinematic stories and machinima. The official game trailers have always turned heads, but I'd bet a significant number of current players were first introduced to EVE through player-made works of art like Kyoko Sakoda's War Has Come or Mercenary Coalition's Lacrimosa Tortuga.

It's easy to fixate on only the best EVE videos ever made, but in reality, dozens of new videos are released every month. Some are cinematic story pieces or alliance propaganda videos designed to motivate the troops, but most are just compilations of good PvP fights. While PvP videos are unlikely to grab the universal acclaim of incredible films like Clear Skies or Future Proof, they arguably show the very core of EVE at its best: good fights, solid strategy, and pretty explosions.

In this week's EVE Evolved, I look at four great new EVE Online videos produced just in the past few months.

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Star Trek Online being used as a film set for web series

Sci-Fi, Video, Culture, Star Trek Online, Machinima

Star Trek Online
It's strange to think about the fact that Star Trek Online is one of the two current flagships of the Trek franchise right now (along with the reboot film series), but for Trekkers looking to get their fix of continuing voyages and away missions, there are few other places to turn. So it's not surprising that low-budget filmmakers are turning to STO for inspiration.

Cerberus Films has just released the first part of its new series, Star Trek: Reunion, which was recorded entirely within Star Trek Online. The series is being made by Oliver Smith, who was nominated for a BAFTA Award, and focuses on a group of five Starfleet Academy graduates who become captains and then reunite to discover the truth behind the death of their friend.

Oliver Smith admits to being a hardcore STO player, and the introduction of the Foundry toolset allowed him and his team to utilize the game for his machinima series. You can watch the first episode of Star Trek: Reunion after the jump!

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EVE Spotlight: An interview with Clear Skies creator Ian Chisholm

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Interviews, Lore, Machinima

EVE Spotlight is a biweekly feature in which we interview prominent members of EVE Online's player community or development team. Every two weeks, we'll be shining the spotlight on a player or developer who has a significant impact on EVE to highlight the efforts of EVE's most influential people.

EVE Online is well-known for its community's awesome cinematic productions, and no film is more renowned than the incredible machinima Clear Skies. Directed by Ian Chisholm, Clear Skies seamlessly merges in-game EVE footage with scenes composed using Valve's Source development kit. The films follow the adventures of captain John Rourke and his crew aboard the Minmatar Tempest class battleship Clear Skies. With more luck than sense, the Clear Skies crew continually finds itself in sticky situations but manages to come out on top.

The first Clear Skies film won the award for best long-format film at the 2008 annual Machinima Filmfest, and a second film solidified the series' huge cult following. Clear Skies has even inspired other players like Kyoko Sakoda to produce their own cinematic masterpieces set in the EVE Online universe. The third and probably final film in the Clear Skies series was released earlier this week, absolutely shattering all expectations.

In this massive edition of EVE Spotlight, I interview Clear Skies creator Ian Chisholm to find out all about the production of Clear Skies III.

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Clear Skies 3 machinima undocks to excited EVE fans

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Lore, News Items, Opinion, Machinima, Hands-On

Three years ago, the EVE Online community stood in awe of the incredible EVE machinima Clear Skies, directed by Ian Chisholm and written by Ian Chisholm and Richie Powles. Featuring a combination of space footage filmed in EVE and scenes inside ships composed using the source SDK (Not Garry's mod), the 40-minute masterpiece delivered an impressive blend of action, story and British humour. The film spawned a cult following both inside and outside the EVE community, going on to win the award for best long-format film at 2008's annual Machinima awards.

Fans cried out for more, and around a year later our patience was rewarded with Clear Skies II. It was somehow bigger, better and more polished than the first film, with a wide range of new voices and some old favourites making a return. We once again followed the adventures of captain John Rourke of the Minmatar battleship Clear Skies and loved every minute of it. The film was a huge hit with fans, but with the story wrapped up in a somewhat neat package and Ian expressing a desire to take a break from production, we weren't sure if a third film would ever see the light of day. Fans of the series were excited to find out this week that Clear Skies III has now officially undocked.

Skip past the cut to watch the Clear Skies III trailer and find out about the third film in this incredible series.

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EVE Spotlight: An interview with Kyoko Sakoda

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Lore, Machinima

EVE Spotlight is a biweekly feature in which we interview prominent members of EVE Online's player community or development team. Twice each month, we'll be shining the spotlight on a player or developer who has a significant impact on EVE to highlight the efforts of EVE's most influential people.

Whether you love EVE Online or hate it, there's no doubting that the game's community has produced some great works of art. From wallpapers and papercraft ships to music parodies and incredible cinematic videos, EVE has seen more than its fair share of creative efforts over the years. In EVE's colossal social sandbox, players often use their real-life talents to make a name for themselves in the community, and this spotlight's interviewee is no exception. Film-maker Kyoko Sakoda has popped up on our radar several times, impressing players with his awesome contributions to EVE's cinematic film scene.

Kyoko debuted with the well-composed 2008 video Push Eject (The Angel Cartel). Hoping to showcase the pirate way of life, he produced this video to celebrate the future release of faction warfare and the role piracy would play in it. Kyoko went on to produce War Has Come and worked with Kale Ryoko on the incredible cinematic work Future Proof. The holographic UI components Kyoko produced in Future Proof mirror those used in CCP's own Butterfly Effect trailer, and the success of those videos may even be pushing CCP to develop similar 3-D user interface elements for EVE.

In this edition of EVE Spotlight, we interview film-maker Kyoko Sakoda to ask about his previous videos and get the low-down on his next big project.

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Exclusive: New episode of MapleStory's New Leaf Saga

Fantasy, Video, MapleStory, Culture, Free-to-Play, Machinima, Humor

So you want to get started in Nexon's MapleStory? It can be a little bit baffling at times, as you could expect from starting a new game. But the New Leaf Saga is designed to help players get accustomed to the game through a gentle series of animated game videos showing off how the game works. Our last exclusive installment dealt with the plethora of classes available in the game, but the newest installment deals with a problem that can apply to almost any game.

Our intrepid protagonist, still struggling to find her place within the game, is ready to head off and adventure with her pet dragon and her friend. Unfortunately, said friend needs to briefly step away from the computer to take care of some other matters, and the new girl starts getting a little bored. If you're a fan of MapleStory, new to the game, or just new to MMOs in general, skip on past the break to give the latest episode of the New Leaf Saga a quick watch.

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Clear Skies III teaser trailer released

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Events (Real-World), Lore, News Items, Machinima

EVE Online is a game known for producing some fantastic screenshots and video footage. Fan-made videos like Kale Ryoko's Future Proof and Dire Lauthris's Day of Darkness II have proven incredibly popular even among people who don't play EVE. Among the impressive cinematic trailers and PvP videos, one film has always stood out as undeniably the best EVE video ever made. Created partly in EVE Online itself and partly in HalfLife 2's Source engine, Clear Skies follows the adventures of John Rourke and his disheveled crew of a Minmatar battleship that always seems to find itself in trouble.

The first part of the Clear Skies series won first place at Machinima Filmfest 2008, confirming that it wasn't just a hit with EVE's playerbase. The second installment of this popular machinima was as big a hit as the first, securing a cult following of fans demanding a third part to John Rourke's epic space saga. Creator Ian Chrisholm said that he was taking a break from video-making for a while and might then move on to other projects rather than making a third installment in the series. Fans of the series will be glad to know that not only is Clear Skies III definitely being made, but it's also only a few months away from completion. Ian released a trailer for the upcoming video to excited fans earlier this week, stating that the film will be released in three or four months

Skip past the cut to watch the trailer in full HD.

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MMO documentary "Second Skin" debuts in theaters today

Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Machinima


It's not often that we talk about movies here on Massively, but the new(ish) documentary entitled Second Skin is definitely right up our alley. Today marks the debut of Second Skin in select theaters across the United States, as well as a free showing of the film at various websites.

Is the movie worth seeing if you're heavily into MMOs? Well, we try not to do reviews here (MMO reviews at least), but I would say it's definitely worth checking out if you enjoy MMOs even a tiny bit. The film showcases the lives of several MMO gamers (mostly WoW and EverQuest) to show how these games have affected their lives. There's a fairly good balance of good and bad, showing everything from the marriage of people who met in these games to a tragic suicide that was blamed on an MMO. Check it out all this week online at Fancast or SnagFilms, or at participating theaters across America.

GWC podcast interviews EVE Online's first lady of piracy and Clear Skies film maker

Sci-Fi, Podcasts, EVE Online, Interviews, PvP, Machinima

We just came across a great podcast the other day that's focused on all things sci-fi: Galactic Watercooler. Although it's not a gaming podcast, their latest episode (#176) is all about EVE Online. The GWC hosts are apparently really into playing EVE and they talk about the game's setting of New Eden in the context of David Weber's Honorverse series of military sci-fi novels, drawing parallels between the two in terms of strategy and technology. They also discuss the things they've seen and done in their time in the game, from their first steps into (and fleeing from) PvP to a run-in with a virtual prostitute. (You're free to do many things in EVE's sandbox... but that is probably not one of them.)

The hosts are given a hand in relating what they've gotten from the game experience in EVE Online by two notable players. Ian Chisholm, the creator of the award-winning Clear Skies machinima and its excellent follow-up, explains how he tells his own stories in the game visually. He also discusses what drives him to invest so much of his time and effort into the projects, and the technical challenges in making Clear Skies a reality. A fantastic interview.

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Clear Skies 2 now ready to dock on your computer

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, News Items, Machinima


For those of us EVE Online players - or just fans of great machinima - who have been patiently waiting for Clear Skies 2, the wait is over! Ian Chisholm and his crew have managed to crank out Clear Skies 2 in amazing time, offering up yet another exciting adventure in the dangerous space of New Eden. As with everything awesome that we want omg right now - the load on EVE Files is insanely high right now. May want to consider using the torrent for the moment, if you can.

In the meantime, while you're waiting for the download, may we suggest you check out the trailer for Clear Skies 2, or perhaps our exclusive interview and behind-the-scenes look at the making with the creator! If it's still going after you've checked all that out, there's always the bloopers from the first Clear Skies, which are made of extra-special awesome.

[Thanks, CrazyKinux!]

Full trailer released for EVE Online machinima Clear Skies 2

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, EVE Online, Machinima


If you're a fan of machinima, films made using video game graphics engines, there's a good chance you've heard about Clear Skies, an imaginative blend of EVE Online's far future setting with Half-Life 2 character models. Massively has taken a good look at Clear Skies in the past and had the opportunity to speak with the film's creator, Ian Chisholm, about what he has in store for us with Clear Skies 2.

However, rather than just reading more about it, why not check out the trailer? We've got an embed of the full Clear Skies 2 trailer for you below the cut. Enjoy!

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Global Agenda announces fan video contest

Sci-Fi, Video, Contests, Events (Real-World), New Titles, Machinima, Spy, Global Agenda


As Hi-Rez Studios prepares for Global Agenda's launch later this year, they've recently announced a video contest where fans can create their own promotional videos and win valuable prizes. This contest, which runs from now until May 10th, is supplemented by their Fan Video Kit, providing would-be directors with all the assets they'd need to create the best promotional video.

This contest will be done in conjunction with Hi-Rez Studios' YouTube channel, as all video submissions must be on YouTube. Winners will be judged on several different categories, including Most Humorous, Best Representation of the Game, Best 30-second Commercial, Best Produced and Most Viral. The "Overall Best" winner will receive a $200 Amazon gift certificate, and all winners will receive a special mention on the website and an upcoming press release. If you think you've got what it takes to make the best Global Agenda promotional video, head on over to their forums to read the complete rules. Also be sure to watch the team's promotional video -- for this promotional video contest -- just after the cut below.

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Fan made EVE video Day of Darkness II blows away players and devs alike

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Lore, Machinima


A well-crafted science fiction story can deal with powerful themes. Fans of television shows like Battlestar Galactica know very well that a story of humanity's struggle for survival has a particularly strong emotional pull. The creators of EVE Online recognized this long ago, creating an extensive body of lore about the races of New Eden and their clashes with one another on a galactic scale. Their long history of conflicts creates endless ripples of discord felt by later generations, resulting in the subjugation of entire races countered by the will to be free of such tyranny.

The struggle to survive in the face of a great threat is central to the EVE Online machinima "Day of Darkness II", which is nothing short of exceptional. It's a short film created in-game by EVE player Dire Lauthris and a retelling of a key bit of EVE's lore. In fact, Lauthris drew upon one of the actual Chronicles called "The Breakout". Day of Darkness II focuses on the strife between the Caldari and Gallente races of New Eden, turning back the clock to a historic battle 200 years ago between the Caldari State and the Gallente Federation.

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