Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Dreadball: Match Day!

Introduction

"Play Ball!"
The last time I wrote a post about Dreadball, several of you asked for pictures of a match in progress, or perhaps a "highlights" set.  Well, I thought about it, but decided to try something different.  When we played our next game after that, I put my camera on a tripod and took 1 picture after each and every move.  The edited series of pictures was then loaded into Windows Movie Maker and strung together to make the movie you can see below.

Match Day

"Welcome to Riverside Stadium on this fine Spring evening.  Tonight, the Pink Ladies are at home to the Sky City Slammers and we expect to see some fine Dreadball action.  The Ladies are riding high in the Colgrain League this year after some big wins early on, but defeat in a recent game shows that they can be beaten.  On the other hand, the Slammers have everything to prove after a series of mediocre results."

"Both teams are humans, of course and will therefore have similar physical characteristics of speed, strength and so on.  Don't be fooled into thinking that their gameplay is the same, though: the Pink Ladies place a lot of emphasis on running interference and extreme levels of coaching, whereas the Slammers rely on allowing individual players to take the initiative.  We'll see tonight which strategy works better."

"For this game, the Ladies have announced that they'll be fielding "Wildcard".  The brunette is very fast and skillful, but doesn't always seem very engaged with her team.  The Slammers have the contract for "Lucky" Logan; he's always a tough opponent.  Interestingly, neither of these players wears a helmet on the pitch, relying on speed and luck to avoid serious injury.  We'll see how well that works!"

video

Conclusion

I'm not sure how well this format works.  Obviously there is quite a bit of shake, partly because I don't have a remote release for the camera and partly because people sometimes knock things as they walk past.  There's also quite a lot of clutter around the edges, including intermittent hands, dice and tokens.

It took probably a couple of hours to annotate the 90 or so original images, followed by 5 minutes or less to actually make the movie, so it's quite a lot of work.  And that's without any attempt at adding a soundtrack!

Still, it's good that we try these things occasionally, isn't it?  This was a new technical challenge to me and one that I hope I (and maybe others?) can learn from.




16 comments:

  1. Great stuff C6. I thought it worked rather well and it was clear just how much effort you put into the filming with all the text and graphics. All it needed was the Speedball 2 theme and the odd "Ice Cream, ice Cream" :-)

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    1. Thanks! Actually, I was very disappointed with the poor resolution of the finished film; I'm still trying to work out what went wrong. A soundtrack might indeed have helped :-) .

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  2. An interesting experiment, Hugh. Nice to see you trying something different for your blog. Shame about the result. The ladies wuz clearly robbed!

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    1. Ah, well - they did miss some passes and have their ball-carrier trip and fall over! Mind you, one of the Slammers' strikers missed 2 easy shots when he wasn't even under any pressure :-( .

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  3. Lol!! as one who asked for in game shots I am mightily impressed with the outcome! Never seen the game played before and now have a better idea of what it's like. It looked a good, close game as well! thanks for the post :):)

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    1. I have no idea at all whether this is a well-played game. My son and I know the rules well enough, but we are still feeling our way when it comes to tactics. It might well be that a veteran player would look at the game and decide that we were doing it all wrong :-) .

      As for it being a close game, both sides had chances that they fluffed. In the end, with the scores level, the visiting team had the last rush of the game and only needed a single point to win - which I managed.

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  4. Slaaaammers, Slaaammers! Great idea Colgar.

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    1. Thanks, David. You're now the official #1 Slammers fan :-) !

      I think this was an interesting experiment, though there are still technical issues I would have liked to resolve.

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  5. Unfortunately, I can't play your movie. The plug in is not supported on my device.

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    1. Sorry, Bob. I'm not sure what I can do differently (I'm not an expert here and in any case I think that Blogger may have converted my uploaded file into some other format...)

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  6. Great experiment C6; it was obviously a labour of love and easily understood.

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    1. Thanks, Joe. I was certainly an experiment and perhaps interesting from that point of view. But I am considerably disappointed at the extremely poor resolution of the finished movie; I'm still trying to work out how this has happened.

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  7. I think it turned out pretty well. It's a fine balance between documenting game play and interrupting it. You might try filming it and then editing that with a speed up. But these things always take way longer than one would think. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to tell a compelling story in as few pictures as possible.

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    1. Thanks, Sean. Taking the pictures wasn't too bad - I just had to remember to press the button after each move. Since this only took a fraction of a second, it didn't interrupt game play very much at all. On the other hand, *editing* the pictures took a long time!

      Generally, I'm with you on trying to reduce the number of pictures and present only the salient points of a story :-) !

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  8. Its an interesting format. for sure. I think I prefer full video. I quite like the discussion between players as they discuss there moves or plays and such. Great job though.

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    1. Thanks, Simon. The film didn't work as well as I had hoped, for a number of reasons.

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