In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been streaming the animation of a new video. And this video is not like my other animations, as I am attempting to animate the proper human figure (instead of stick people).
Although I’ve been working on this project for awhile now, I’ve finally progressed far enough to show you all some polished screenshots!
Now let’s answer the what, who, where, when, why:
What is it?
This project is an animation featuring a competitive Super Smash Bros player who rises the ranks to defeat his rival. Once again, it is musically synced. It is structured like the opening of an animated TV series by showcasing title cards, a theme song, and the main character / cast. It features the voice talents of Sapphire, a talented cover artist of anime songs translated to English. She kindly allowed me to use her cover of Sirius (as long as I don’t monetize the video!).
There have been many, many, many flash parodies of smash bros, including mock show openings. I hope to make this one a bit different though…
Who is this masked main character?
He is based off a real life story™. About a year and a half ago, a local smash bros tournament was being hosted in Edmonton (Canada) where a mysterious player entered under the gamertag: Falcomaster3000. What was special about this guy was that he wore a ski mask and a pair of sunglasses over his face. He said nothing, ate nothing, and didn’t even use the bathroom (allegedly). And on top of all those hinderances, he was good. So good that he made it to the finals and won the entire tournament.
Needless to say, he generated a ton of hype in the smash bros community and is now a funny little legend. I don’t think anyone has confirmed his true identity.
Where does this animation take place?
I’d like to say it takes place present day, as modern e-sports is now a well matured industry. The setting starts off in a local suburban town and makes its way to major, global, tournament (the big leagues). The competitive gaming scene is an entire world in of itself, composed of meetups, tournaments, and online forums. I think it’s awesome how people can rally behind any subject, even if it’s a game that’s over a decade old. I want to give a small, rosy glimpse into this community in my video.
When will it be done?
I’ll give my standard answer of 1-2 months.
There are a couple factors that make this project both easier and harder to finish. It is easier since it spans only 1.5 minutes, but it is harder since it’s my first attempt at animating fully bodied, human figures.
I’m also featuring a wider array of characters (Smash bros characters, FM3K, gamer cameos), so additional design is required there.
But it is all still being done in my “style”, which I am becoming more proficient at. I am also getting better at being productive after coming home from work.
Why are you making this?
Why not make another RHG? Everybody loved Gildedguy vs Jade! Aren’t you working on a game?
I do want to make more RHGs!
But to do my ideas justice would require another 6-month long journey. I promised myself I would do something smaller when I finished my last project. Don’t worry, Gildedguy will be fighting even more challenging foes in the future.
Yes, I am working on Gilded Quest at the same time, but that is an even more ambitious project that doesn’t involve much art. So I need this animation as a creative, drawing outlet too.
Why are you making this animation in particular?
There were some funny jokes about the whole Falcomaster3000 news story. People were comparing the story to a TV show plot, with some really thought out backstories. Some proposed that FM3K was a gamer from the future, sent back in time to save community from 20XX (some sort of catastrophic singularity within the Smash Bros metagame). The more I read these “jokes”, the more I thought “wow, I can totally imagine that working“.
But simply making another Flash-Animated-Parody-Cartoon-With-Video-Game-Characters is not enough. There are enough of those on the web already. Almost all of them are centered around the idea of “wouldn’t it be funny if….”. And my animation is guilty of that as well.
The Real Reason
Despite this, what I truly want to express is the excitement and spirit of competitive gaming. Documentaries have done wonders for this cause, but I haven’t seen any animated shorts attempting to show how it feels.
I have personally been to a couple smash tournaments (small ones at Virginia Tech). And there is this positive tension that builds up, even before the day of the event.
It has all the trademarks of any other competition: training, seeing who else is entering, signing up at the registration desk, sitting down next to your opponent, losing, and winning. This is all jam-packed into a one day event and it is quite invigorating.
Then there’s also the idea of an ambitious underdog rising up to “God” status in his community. You’ll see in this animation that my version of Falcomaster3000 really wants to make it to the top. But he’ll have to keep in mind his true goal along the way: the preservation of competitive gaming spirit!
And I’ve felt that spirit firsthand.
Everyone at the few tournaments I attended were super enthusiastic about the game itself. They all appreciated Smash Bros technical skills and creativity. This passion even bled into casual meetups and gaming sessions among friends. Smash Bros is a great game for self-expression. You can be good while showcasing your own style.
I got a lot of positive feedback on my Battlefield Knows video, which was also smash related. But that was just a small gag-based animation, I didn’t put too much heart into it. For this animation, I’m tossing in a large-dose of cardiac goodness.
I wonder if this animation is gonna be a big hit. Like, 1-million views big. Like, viral-video big. It would be nice.
My main focus is delivering my “why”, and seeing if my idea gets through to the viewer (without them having to read this blog post). My inception was over a year ago, and I’ve been plotting out ideas about this animation ever since. This is one of those ideas that would crush my ego if someone else did it first. I have to make this thing eventually.
Talk is cheap though. So we’ll have to wait until release judge whether or not I pulled it off.
I’m getting that same positive tension while working on this animation. Just like at the tournaments.
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