This is always a fun thing to work on and I have a strange way of doing things. I usually end up developing my projects around a single thing. Sometimes it’s an item in The Sims, like the llama suit that came with the
Not So Spooky Stuff Game Pack. That llama suit was the only reason that I bought that stuff pack. It was the only item in it I wanted and I had to have it. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but I would come up with something…and that I did. A cop turned super hero after the zipper got stuck on his comic-con costume. Sometimes an idea comes from a line that comes to me and I have to figure out the context that it would be said in and by who. Then it’s getting to that point and what happens after. Sometimes a random idea just comes to me out of nowhere. Those are the scary ideas because they arrive fully formed and it’s just putting it on paper. This is what happened with another project that I am working on called The Man, The Myth, The Meh-Teh.
It would be much easier to talk about script writing with that project, as it actually has a script, but even for a project without a script the process is the same. More or less. It all starts in the same place.
Writing down your idea. Some people do proper storyboards where they draw out each scene on paper kind of like a comic. It might look something like this picture I pulled from Wikipedia.
I can’t draw for crap, so doing a storyboard would be painful. Not only that, I would go to look at it later and not understand a single thing I attempted to draw out with crude stick figures that look more like ancient alien hieroglyphs. So, I have to make notes, and they would probably make people wonder how in the world I machinima from them. I have a vague outline of what is going to happen in each episode,anything important that is going to take place, and random ideas for the episodes as they come to me.
Episode 1: The Origin Story. How he becomes SLM – zipper gets stuck on llama suit. Also introduce Roid Rage
Episode 2: SLM starts taking complaints about the neighborhood and all the things that the police won’t fix.
Episode 3: Dance number with villains to Supervillain by Powerman 500
Episode 4: The Spring Festival Bunny gets kidnapped
Episode 5: A Day in the life of SLM
Episode 6: Aliens visit Ace Paradox and someone gets probed.
Episode 7: SLM acquires Llamaburger
Episode 10: (Yes, they ended up being done out of order for reasons) The history of Windenburg and people decide and the start of the mayor election.
Not much to go on, is it? And I call myself a machinamator. From there I write my script.
I didn’t even make any kind of list for The Man, The Myth, The Mah-Teh. I just sat down and wrote the script, printed it out, and edited it.
In the case of It’s Mostly Sunny in Oasis Springs, after I make my vague list, I am making detailed notes of what I want to happen in each episode, what feelings I want to convey and how I am going to accomplish that. I also have about 10 minutes to tell each episodes story.
This is more planning that I am used to. It’s hard. It’s actually work. I have stepped so far out of my comfort zone that I’m in a foreign country where I don’t understand the language and the food is suspect. I really have no idea how I am going to accomplish this project, honestly.