Saturday, August 25, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S02E02: "Suspense!"

Hey guys,

The latest Byte, "Suspense!", is now available:

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S02E02: "Suspense!"

This Byte is sort of a parody of the heightened drama of episodic show event recaps and previews.  The recap and preview in this episode are meant to be jokes and won't be recurring or anything.

Also, the next story episode, "Two Point Zero", will be airing on the 8th of September, meaning there'll be one more Byte between then and now.  I've just recently finished the script for it (35-40 pages, another long episode), and I need to give the guy in charge of collecting voice-overs some lead time, I keep putting the poor guy under the wire.  I hope you understand.

Enjoy, and stay tuned!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S02E01: "The Great Evil"

Hey guys,

To fill in the gaps between the last half of the story episodes of season seven, I've started a second season of the Bytes mini-series, the first episode of which is now available:

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S02E01: "The Great Evil"

Chief playing the role of an outrageous minister struck me as a funny idea, but I knew it would come at the cost of sparking a religious comment war.  No matter what your beliefs, try to remember that the target of the episode's joke is gaming fanboyism, not religion.  I noticed a handful of people have already pointed it out in the comments, thankfully.

For those that aren't sure, the term "casual" refers to casual gamers, meaning gamers who pick up games designed for the instant gratification of the masses and play them "for fun" (often their words) or to socialize with friends online moreso than mastering the mechanics of the game and building their own skill ("hardcore" gamers).  Chief, as usual, uses the term horribly incorrectly as it is much more fitting for him to be labeled as a casual gamer than Arbiter is.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief S07E06: "Ashes"


Bam, here it is:

Arby 'n' the Chief S07E06: "Ashes"

I've read your comments and I'll work at getting my shit together and sticking to my schedule.  Sorry again for the cock-ups.

I'd really appreciate it if you could leave a comment.  Tell me what you liked and what you didn't like, or just leave a couple of words, hearing feedback is what makes all this worthwhile for me.

Also, everybody has my permission to call me a cock muncher in the comments if they so wish, but try not to factor your ill feelings regarding the delay into your critique, if you can.

Hope you enjoy.


News: Arby today

Hey guys,

I've spoken with those in charge of programming and was told that the newest episode would go up today.  Sorry for making an arse of this.  Keep an eye out for it.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

News: Delay explanation

Hello again,

I noticed a little bit of bad blood brewing in the recent video comments regarding the story episode delays.  A relatively small amount -- most people are being cool about it (though still peeved, I'm sure) -- and I'm aware that the internet has a knack for magnifying bad feelings beyond their proportion, but I dislike annoying people to any extent.  In an attempt to smooth things over, I thought I'd explain myself regarding the longer time between story episodes since season five.

During season five's production, I was cranking out full-length episodes once per week.  Looking back on that time, I'm not quite sure how I pulled it off.  I can justify my current schedule until the cows come home, but regardless I can understand how people would still turn their noses up when they were at one time given a new episode once a week and are now forced to wait five weeks for the next part of the story.

What's the difference between then and now?  The bulk of my days are still dedicated to the show, if you can believe it, but now I'm much better rested.  I was barely sleeping on my old schedule.  My social life at that time was stone-dead.  I barely took the time to eat or shower.  It was quite a pathetic routine from an outsider's perspective, quality of the show aside.  Nowadays I'm also taking the time to hang out with friends that I've made at school.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that, opposed to slipping from a busy schedule to a lazy schedule which I gather is the conclusion many people are reaching (which makes sense), I believe that I'm slipping from an extreme schedule down to a busy (and comfortable) one.

"Still though, five weeks?" I hear you ask.  It's true, for the past couple of weeks I've been dedicating less time than usual to the screenwriting process.  I've been spending the spare time constructing the plot of the remainder of the season -- all work that, unfortunately, isn't immediately beneficial to the viewers, but will be in the long run.

As of today, I now have the vast majority of the plot of the remainder of the seventh season constructed, scene by scene.  I don't know the explicit details of each scene, but I know what must happen in each scene and what the grand purpose of each one is, from now up until the last shot of the finale.  I now feel immensely more comfortable about writing the scripts for the season's remaining episodes than I did a couple of weeks ago, when my plot outline was much more fragmented.

I have every scene logged on a digital index card on my laptop, which include the scene's location, characters involved, and the critical story beats.  I recently bought a massive cork board and placed it up on my wall where my much smaller cork board and my whiteboard were originally (which I used pretty much exclusively to draw cocks).  I'm now in the process of writing out real index cards containing that info and pinning each onto the cork board in an effort to have a complete physical timeline of the whole season.  The purpose of this is to strengthen my ability to structure stories, to build up to major events as organically as I can to make them shocking and satisfying.

Season six I'm more or less happy with, but the one story beat that really bugged me was when the Chaos Theosis members have the opportunity to ban Arbiter and Master Chief in the TOSERS hub server and they don't take it.  They instead indulge the old "Let's kill the good guy later for no reason" routine and it doesn't make much sense.  I included a little bit of exposition in the episode that followed to cover up the bad logic a bit, but I don't think it really took.

That was bad story-building on my part.  I didn't think far enough ahead of the event and had written myself into a corner, and I took the only route I could find at the time to progress with the rest of season six (the remainder of which turned out quite well I think, thank god.  People really seemed to dig the finale).  That was the sort of mistake I didn't want to repeat in season seven.  I wanted to use season seven to discipline myself in that area of story development.

That, unfortunately, comes at the cost of your patience.

You may still think I'm a cock muncher for dragging this out, and that's fine, but I hope that you understand my side of things a little more at least.

As tomorrow is Monday and staff will be returning to the Machinima offices, chances are that the episode will pop up sometime during.

And I'm not sure how Machinima's airing system works exactly, but try not to hate on them.  Hate on me, it's my fuck-up in all likelihood.

Thanks again.


News: Sorry again


Really sorry that the new story episode isn't making an appearance, I thought it would have by now.  There's nothing more I can do on my end, I've submitted it and it's up to the programming team to make it available.  Ultimately it's probably my fault, but I've submitted videos a little late on Fridays before and they've made it for air on Saturday -- I don't know what's up.

There's a chance it could still appear this evening, but if it doesn't, it can't be very far off.

Thanks again, guys.

- Jon

P.S. Hope you like the Blog's new look, I needed to change things up for myself.  I was getting sick of the old style.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

News: "Ashes" probably to air tomorrow if not later tonight

Hey guys,

Title says it all.  No more week-long delays on my end -- the newest story episode, "Ashes", is completed and submitted.  I did, however, submit it rather last-minute on Friday evening.  It was a big job (episode is about twenty-one minutes in length), but ultimately the late submission was caused by my own error in time management.  I've had five weeks to work on the damn thing, after all.

So I apologize that the episode has yet to air, but Machinima's programming team does have it and it's only a matter of little time before it's available.  It might be too late in the day now for there to be a chance that it'll be uploaded today, which means it'll probably be uploaded sometime tomorrow.

Thanks again for your patience.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Video: Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E13: "Growing Pains"

Hey all,

So the finale for the first season of Bytes is now available:

Arby 'n' the Chief - Bytes S01E13: "Growing Pains"

This Byte definitely stands out from the rest and might catch you off-guard at the end of it.  What happens isn't intended to be a regular thing for the shorts, but I wanted to do something a bit different as it was the finale.

Hope you enjoy, and thanks again for your patience with the story episode delays.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

News: "Ashes to Ashes" delay

Hey guys,

I've hit another speed-bump in production unfortunately and I can't submit the next story episode this upcoming Saturday.  I fully intended to up until an hour ago -- the script is finished at just over thirty pages (and I'm quite pleased with it) and I'm well into production on the episode, but I've been informed that the performer for a major character featured in the episode will be absent from the office for the remainder of the week and the earliest that I can have his voice-over work is on Monday.

I instead plan to release the finale for the first Bytes season this Saturday and save the next story episode for next week.

I realize that waiting five weeks for new episodes is pretty inexcusable.  I'm not sure what else I can do other than make major alterations to the script or push the character in question's scenes until a later episode, but I've done that earlier in the season and I can't really afford to do that anymore.

Really sorry about this, and I hope you aren't too sore about it.  Thanks again for your patience.