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Pocket God Fishmas Special
Role: Script, Storyboard, Direction, Sound Design
I conceived and wrote this short as a Christmas promotion for Pocket God and to double as a prototype for visualizing the characters developed in the comic book. The only problem with creating a Christmas-based story, was the fact that our characters are supposed to live in 100,000 BC-- or thereabouts--so by definition, before Christ. Now, fish and coconuts are their preferred food, so the word "Fishmas" popped into my head...and then "Hanu-coconut". Patting myself on the back for this inspiration, I wrote and storyboarded an idea around that parodied the usual Christmas tropes. Our most cerebral character, Klik, is disgrunteld and complains that tribe has become too focused on exchanging presents (fish of course) and forgotten the meaning of Fishmas...which is to pay homage to the gods. Then I cast the voices of the pygmies and had them recorded. I came up with a working storyboard animatic and hired Peach Nova animation to produce it and they did an awesome job! I can't take any credit for the spectacular backgrounds by Michael Lennicx, the fantastic animation by Scott Martin, and the video editing by Mark Salisbury. As a note, this is the remastered version not officially released on YouTube. We used it for our comic app...the original one that I edited with the most views and contain fan comments (but isn't quite as slick) can be found here.
Pygmy Theme Song
Role: Art & Animation
I wanted a theme song to use for a "Pocket God History" education video we were creating for Hollywood (currently on the front page of this site). Around that time, I discovered that Parry Gripp, leader of the band Nerf Herder, was currently writing and releasing catchy pop songs on YouTube viral videos. I inquired if he would take a commission and he agreed! Once we had the song, we decided to also integrate it into the game (a skin pack that has the pygmies perform the song). Then, for fun, I created a music video where I integrated the game animation with psychadelic close-ups made to feel like cheesy green screen work. I slapped this together pretty fast but it shows my love for animating rock moves! It was also released on iTunes.
From the Suggestion Box
Role: Script, Sound Design, Art & Animation
Dave actually received an email requesting we update Pocket God so we could tear off the pygmies' arms and legs. Of course we'd never do it (of course) but Dave asked me if I'd animate it as a viral video on YouTube. It was a little dark for me, but I did it anyway! We have a somewhat strict "no gore" policy in the game, but for this, I channeled Happy Tree Friends. I made this one myself and was the first promo video where non-game version of the pygmies were animated. It's only loosely based on the original email and the name was changed. I added the guns and nuclear explosion bits to reinforce the disturbing nature of the requests. Many commentors said "Nooooo....don't do it!" but there were others that really liked the gun part. Ugh!
The Pocket God Update Song
Role: Animation, Editing
Jonathan Mann is a music artist we heard about because of his popular iPhone Antenna song the made fun of the iPhone 4's design flaws. Dave took note that Steve Jobs actually played the video at one of his presentations and liked that Apple embraced the criticism instead of running from it. At that point, we were ALSO being criticized by players for our own reasons. We had promised to update every week...and we did for a while, but it was getting too difficult to work that quickly. Thus, the updates had slowed down. Dave thought it would be cool to own the criticisms just as Apple had and make fun of ourselves. He had the idea of commisioning Jonathan to write a song about our update slow-down. Jonathan was game, so we submitted to him common complaints or requests from players. And the Update Song was born! We integrated the song into the game and I animated the pygmies singing and dancing to it. Then I edited together this video of the game footage for fun. It is one of our most popular videos on YouTube!