Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I'm very late to the party on this, but I finally watched Bloodspell this week.

Bloodspell is an animated feature with top-notch writing and voice-acting, but there's a twist--it uses the Neverwinter Nights engine, believe it or not. At first, the contrast between the writing/voice-acting and the grahics is jarring--using a game engine greatly reduces the cost of creating an animated feature, but it also puts a ceiling on visual quality. In spite of this, Bloodspell still manages to be extremely compelling.

Even with current limitations in visual quality, though, machinima is clearly the future. In-game engines are becoming incredibly sophisticated, and I've written before about democratizing the creation of animated films. We're all going to be stunned by what "amateurs" are going to produce some day. Sure, 99% of it will be crap, but just like games, that doesn't matter. What matters is the other 1%.

If you're wondering about the process of creating an animated feature using a game engine, there are two very interesting articles about the Bloodspell creation process here and here. The website for the animated film is here, and you can download the film by episode or as one file (choose the "watch" option from the top of the homepage--that will take you to the downloads).

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