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Buddy of DoQ: Thoughts on Life, Machinima, and Everything
Buddy of DoQ: Thoughts on Life, Machinima, and Everything
SummerTech Blog 2007 
Saturday, June 23, 2007, 11:36 PM - SummerTech
Greetings Campers!

As I sit here in Dallas enjoying my summer swimming, dating, outfitting classrooms with wicked new technologies, and playing with my Wii, I am struck with a tearful sorrow; that I am unable to teach Machinima this year at SummerTech. The other half of Dead on Que has taken over, and I know that Mike will make this THE SummerTech to remember for everyone involved!

Not only did I (co-)teach the Machinima course in years past, but I also did my best to keep the wider world community informed of our weekly exploits, and obviously I am unable to do so this year. So, I have asked, and the great Lord Barricus has agreed to take the blogging helm! I will also do my best to link to any other blog, or picture gallery that happens to crop up along the way.

Lord Barricus's Blog

"Have fun! Learn something!" -Steve
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Typical SummerTech Machinima Class Schedule 
Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 12:42 PM - SummerTech
Things to know: Only 3 Hours of "Class Time" each day. ST is a place to learn, but even more important than "classroom learning" is having fun. We interchange class time with game time every hour (closer to 40 minutes) until lunch. After lunch it's electives, dodgeball, dinner, and then more game time (or sports club outside.) Classes are college level intense, and the median student age is around 11. They soak it all right up. Dedicated pupils can opt to skip game time and work on their projects, and many do! (However, we never let them work too hard for too long. All work and no play = booo!)

Week One

Pre Production. Come up with ideas, concepts, and outlines
Propose ideas and concepts to instructors for approval and advice.

Script Writing. Once your project is approved, begin writing dialogue.
Submit script for proofing, advice, and approval.

Research game engines and collect resources, such as maps and models.

Week Two

Production phase. Assist classmates with filming as an actor, and direct classmates in your own film.

Audio Recording. Depending on multiple variables, either we pick an entire day, or interleave audio recording sessions between classes during game time.
Audio recording is setup to be fun and easy. A trained audio engineer mans the “box” while students simply go in and record their voices.

Week Three

Wrap up filming and audio recording, and begin editing!
We have a full day lesson in video editing, and the rest of the week is on your own to wrap your film.

Once a rough edit is made the instructors reviews it, issues pointers, and illustrates customized high-level techniques for additional polish.

By the end of Week Three, the film should be complete, and burned to a DVD!

Party Time!

At the end of each summer there is a SummerTech Film Festival where students can opt to show their film to friends, family, and the general public. There’s BBQ, live music, and movies going till late.

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Week F 
Sunday, August 6, 2006, 11:12 PM - SummerTech
Wooooo Weeee! What a ride! As you may not recall from my neglect to mention, but Week E was our largest week of all time, around 70 kids. This week that number was down to about 40, and as a result the lab was much cooler and easier to navigate. Record high temperatures made sports time a living hell this week. We played Soccer and Dodgeball outside with a water hose at the ready. In Machinima we basically spent the entire week going all out, voice acting, filming, and editing like mad to have everything ready for the festival on Saturday. To say our two kids did an amazing job this week would be an injustice to the awesome truth. These guys made some of the most excellent Machinima films I have ever seen, I'll provide links to them when they are hosted on the SummerTech website. Big props and high-fives to our Junior Teacher, Barry, for his hard work on voice data collection and editing. Without Barry, these movies could not have happened within our allotted time this summer. Big ups to Mike for pretty much taking over and driving these kids up to the next level. I can leave for my new promotion in Texas comfortably knowing that next years course is in good hands.


On Friday after the closing ceremony, Steve took us out for a night at Playland. You might remember Playland from the Tom Hanks film Big, where it was showcased at the end of the film, the resting place of Zoltar the fortune teller. It was a smaller park with various smaller rides and roller coasters, and they even had a Ms. Zoltar copy-cat machine. As Big was one of my favorite films as a kid, I naturally had to give it a go. Rather than granting wishes, the machine simply gives you a color, and a fortune. My color was white, and my fortune reads as follows:

A trip around the world is in store for you.
With it a great deal of happiness too.
You will have unlimited money
And life for you will be very sunny.

So lets see here... In a few weeks I go to Tokyo (around the world indeed) to see some good friends and play (happiness) I just got a raise at work (money) and perhaps the weather will be good? Needless to say I had a good laugh when I read it for the first time.


I won't get into it much here, but lets just say there was a scare as to whether or not the Machinima films could be shown in their entirety. With a bit of compromise, and a lot of guts, we made the call to go last after a fair advisory to the audience. We opened the festival with a short-film documentary about the Summer, created by our fellow staffers Nate and Susan. It really captured the spirit of camp, and nearly moved me to tears. Film and Flash followed, with movies that went beyond my expectations. We showed our Machinima films, and it closed with hoots hollers and thunderous applause. Then we ate. Then when The Mathematicians came on stage, we rocked! We got contact info from them, they sounded very interested in scoring our Space Man Biff project...

Well campers, that about raps it up for this year. There were ups and downs, and a lot more people all around, but glorious and adventurous it was, as always. Thanks again to my fellow staffers for just being who you are; my friends. Thanks to Steve for his courage, guidance, and wisdom. Thanks to Tommy for the haircut and beer. Thanks to Ali for watching girly anime with me. Thanks to Jermey for all the laughs. Thanks to Lee for, well, being Lee! Thanks to everyone for everything, good luck and god speed!
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Week E 
Monday, July 31, 2006, 01:41 AM - SummerTech
I asked for a smooth, fairly normal week, and for SummerTech.... I think we got one!

We started off with like 10 kids two weeks ago, and now for Week E we somehow ended up with two. Fine by me I guess, as that gave put us one on one with two students who are really into Machinima, hard core. Both using the Half-Life 2 engine. (Garry's Mod and Counter Strike Source)

It only rained a little bit this week, and each day went a little better than the day before it... until... NO MORE swimming! Ahhhh! A monkey wrench in the perfect system! Damn the man! Always keeping us down! Anyway, that was kind of good news for me, as the dodgeball guy, that meant I got a few extra targets... err, kids in to find the spirit of camaraderie under foam sphere arms. At any rate, we didn't have any major issues safe for one that would be very embarrassing for all involved to publish publicly on this particular forum. However, I think some major life lessons were learned, and those involved will think twice next time, else they ruin another excellent pseudo couch.

We had a few guest appearances this week, Nick, Mel, and Sandra, very cool former SummerTech staff members. They were just up for the weekend to hang out and Nick at least wanted one more round of dodgeball, for old times sake. Nick is a formidable dodgeball warrior, indeed, but I feel his challenge was well met by my team. Who won you ask? In the end... I think we all did.

Yep, I'm still playing soccer with Lee nearly every day. Makes me want to join some kind of sports team when I get home, all this getting back into shape will go to waste in front of my PC otherwise.

I marathoned an anime called Berserk over the weekend. I had heard great things about it in the past, and indeed it was right up my ally. I had been hankering for a show with a lot of the old school blood guts and glory that got me interested in Japanese animation to being with, and boy did it hit the spot. Wish I had brought Ninja Scroll with me now...

Not much else to get into tonight, other than the SummerTech 2006 Film Fest this coming up Saturday. It'll start sometime in the afternoon, and not stop till The Mathematicans can rock no longer.

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Week D 
Sunday, July 23, 2006, 11:34 AM - SummerTech

Crazy week. Lights went out Tuesday while Tommy, Mike, Barry, and I were at the Imax watching Superman Returns in 3D. Monday was Pirates 2 with Ali and Mike. I almost went with them again Friday to see Clerks 2, but having not seen the first one, I opted out. On Monday I purchased a rocking new Wasburn bass guitar from SamAsh, my fingers have blisters. On Thursday, power was out until lunch time, so we did our best to make camp cool and fun for those who stuck with us. Friday we made up all that lost class time by running class time until 5pm. There was a bunch more crap hitting the fan this week, but I'm outta time to type it all up.

Now here's hoping for a “normal” Week E

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