S4 E118 Slapstick: 100 Ways to Die in Starfield (Feb 2024)

Damien Valentine 00:52
Hello and welcome to another episode of And Now for Something Completely Machinima. This week, Ricky has gone off to Gotham City he's looking for Batman

Damien Valentine 01:25
so it's myself Damian Valentine, Phil Rice and of course, Tracy Harwood. This week we're going to be discussing film major star fields always talked about Starfield before because we were very excited about this is a potential game that you know, this is a huge world and what kind of machinima potential has it got, and we've seen a couple of them so that and I found this one which is, especially the first of two parts and the second part isn't available yet. So when the tire said the title 100 Ways to Die in Starfield its more like 50 because the other half will be released yet. Now keep in mind that this film, that the mod tools have still not been released for Starfield to coming soon, but when soon is, I don't know. Bethesda has said that there's going to be updates and fixes and new content every six weeks starting this month in February, so by the time that you're seeing this, they may have released the modules but at the time recording not available. And certainly not available when this was made. This video, a lot of the content it was staged, it wasn't just going around and finding ways to die. The creator has obviously found ways to use the console commands and set up these situations because they don't normally happen in the game unless you're extremely unlucky. And I started watching it I just loved that so many of these ways to die. And they kind of made me want to play and see if I could recreate some of these moments because they were so funny. So this is gonna be my bonus pick. But what do you guys think of it?

Phil Rice 03:14
Damien was all the early on watching this. I was unclear I haven't played Starfield. I was unclear as to where the dialogue was coming from. Later in the video, it becomes pretty obvious that the audio is from outside of Starfield. Is that true throughout? The whole thing is he basically kind of created video memes here where like it's audio from somewhere else, or maybe they created for the dialogue. It's not in game, right. There's

Damien Valentine 03:46
a few lines that are in game. But for the most part, there's some stuff when Commander Shepard, which is obviously from the Mass Effect games, right, but I think for the most part, it's something that he's created himself.

Phil Rice 03:59
Okay. Yeah, well, there was I can't remember which one it was. It was fairly late in the video, there was one where the audio was something I actually recognised from like, either a movie or a TV show or something. But the rest of it I don't think was that way it was just one in particular was that way anyway? Yeah. So I'm getting old, I think. Because my first instinct with this was to Ford. It's by college age son. Making it a laugh at all of these. I laughed at many of them. I feel like that. If they take in like the top 15 or 20. And maybe the ones that aren't quite so racey humour. For me, it would have been a better video that way. But you have to you have to recognise that videos are created with an audience in mind. And it's clear who the audience to this is. And it's clear it's not really me. Technically, it's it's people who call people my age dad or, or grandpa maybe. So I'm acknowledging that I like it reminds me of ever watched like a fail compilation video on YouTube, where it's just a bunch of bunch of people slipping and falling and stuff like that this has a similar vibe to that where it's like, you know, especially because there's such a variety of environments and characters that this stuff is taking place with that it feels like, it feels like a YouTube compilation, except it's of course set in outer space. It's, you know, YouTube in the year 3000 or something so yeah. Funny, I think the physical comedy ones may be the funniest ones. But, you know, there's some where the, the lines are just perfect. Like, the dialogue that they did choose to insert is just so perfect. You know, and, and, like, anytime you're telling a series of, you know, rapid fire jokes, some of them hit and some of them don't hit as much, you know, that's true with this too. But the ones that hit they are they're very funny. There were some that made me made me chuckle out loud. So you know, I I enjoy that. It's, it's yet again, an interesting insight into the world of just how vast and various the locales are in in Starfield, which I still haven't, haven't bought or tried. But yeah, I, I enjoyed it, as much as my age permitted me to enjoy it. And I'll watch part two, I will.

Tracy Harwood 07:12
You know, I, my comments are really similar. Because, you know, the very first thing I thought, well, this is clearly targeting a younger audience. But they were really funny, very creative character demises in this. And some are almost along the along the lines of, do you remember those old frag style videos we used to see in the first person shooter days way back to remember some of those really early machinimas frag vids? They used to call them?

Phil Rice 07:41
Yeah, probably, yeah. Where,

Tracy Harwood 07:44
you know, things just got blown to bits. And that there was there was a whole genre of those sorts of things. So it's really, really early days. But what I liked about this, is that you get to see some of the incredible scenes within the starfield game, which, I mean, it's just beautiful, isn't it? And so, I think the in character scenes showing explorers taking on things in just the dumbest way is, like you said, Phil very reminiscent of those very many YouTube shorts we see of folks doing this stupidest things in real life, like, you know, like, sawing off a branch while sitting on it. You know, all the various pratfalls that we kind of see, you know, where folks are just slipping over on wet patches or whatever except these are just a little bit more extreme than that. I think my particular favourite was the guy that stuck a fork through his helmet whilst eating us

Phil Rice 08:47
Yes, eating a steak.

Tracy Harwood 08:50
Oh, it's just hilarious. But there's everything in this from you know, things like standing near wild alien animals to printing to pick defensive flowers and cutting rocks and crossing through laser beams accidentally and, and then playing hide and seek around ships engines and generally getting caught up in weaponry and machinery or lights with robots

Phil Rice 09:14
for childhood. Merry Go Round, big round. Yeah,

Tracy Harwood 09:21
that's great. That's not so isn't it, but actually, I really enjoyed the narration, which kind of puts this for me very much in that slaps slapstick genre, which, you know, it's got a whole tradition with it, really. And it's kind of interested to see that actually, this guy has done many of these kinds of videos in different games. And if you if you really want another laugh, or for a few more minutes, have a look at his Red Dead Redemption 200 ways to die because that's also quite a lot of fun, and I was astounded to see that he got at least 21 million viewers for that particular video. Now slap slips, slapstick, slapstick, for those of you that are kind of interested is in very specific style of humour which really has quite a history. It's it's often about violence and absurdity and physical comedy. And I was kind of I went back to have a look at some of the old papers on it really, you know, they will comments on it and, and what have you. And it's kind of interesting to reflect that actually. It's often aimed at being car to what it describes as cartoonish in style. And now what we have here is the perfect application for that which is animation and generative AI in the games, the character movement and also the responses of the NPCs and others with with a little bit of voiceover on top to kind of contextualise it's kind of a perfect set. If you if you kind of have the time to find a joke and edit it together. I think this guy has done a really good job in in doing that. And it looks like this kind of slapstick style is his, his his whole portfolio really, and it goes back years. I mean, the first video he seems to have posted on this stuff was 2009 under the guise of something he calls the Gamergoop web series brand, very aptly named, I

Phil Rice 11:20
have to say, which I've heard of prior to this, but I

Tracy Harwood 11:23
would not be surprised because that was picked up by machinima.com. And of course, was one of the casualties when that channel closed. So as I understand it, this YouTube channel is actually manslayer's attempt to rebuild his presence online and good for him. Really. Wow.

Phil Rice 11:40
An actual survivor of that that's great kind of, or,

Tracy Harwood 11:45
yeah, sort of a reincarnation of his right, right old stuff. And this is the new vert new sort of episode, if you like in what was a really old series. And as I understand it, he's particularly best known for devising a meme, which is also referenced in this video will will bang Okay, apparently. Which is, frankly, the side of it that I actually enjoyed a lot less.

Phil Rice 12:15
I did too. Yeah, a lot less. So.

Tracy Harwood 12:19

Phil Rice 12:22
That was great.

Tracy Harwood 12:25
But you know what, I was kind of thinking, Well, that might have been okay, when he was about 14 in 2009. The fact that he's still making these in 2023. What would that mean? He is he's, he's got to be about 30 years old now. Do folks online never grow up? No. I don't think so. Yeah, well, quite. But you know, what a lot of the comments in in relation to this were actually all about the nostaligia for those early years, which I think is really interesting. So, you know, I think he's onto something here with that kind of nostalgic, you know, point mind, really, I think it's also worth reflecting on some of the other comments about the game itself, which is along the lines of the game's not done as well, or it's not received quite as has been received quite as well as it as it was expected to do. Excuse me, and the comments are along the lines of it needs more machinima to make it popular with players and creators. And I think examples of videos such as this one, are highly likely to increase demand for it. I guess we'll see in due course, if that's going to be true, but it's a key point to note when these publishers are thinking about clamping down on creators using game content. Because if the game isn't going as well, as you think, then you need people like this to help reach an audience. This guy could do it. Yeah. Yeah, that's my comments on this one. Well done. Well, well, what great pick really?

Damien Valentine 14:04
Yeah. I'm glad you both

Phil Rice 14:06
enjoyed it. And one more thing I want to add, that I forgot to mention is we've talked how many times about how important writing is. This is an unusual aspect of writing. But whoever wrote the titles for each of the numbered ways, yes, genius. The titles are so great. It's it's just wonderfully done. Yeah, so that's, that's it? Yeah.

Damien Valentine 14:40
Well, I think, because, as I mentioned in the beginning of this episode, Bethesda are going to release a toolset. They want fans to create stuff for this game. And it's the same with Skyrim. Shortly after release, they released a tool set and they encouraged mod makers to use it and expand the game and that's one of the reasons why I, so many people still play Skyrim more than a decade after its release. And I think Bethesda want the same thing for Starfield. I was surprised that it didn't get quite the reception that I thought it was gonna do. Because obviously, there was a lot of hype for it, maybe that's the problem, though it was too hyped. And it's never gonna live up to those expectations, no matter how good it is, it's never going to match what people have imagined it's going to be. And for my part, I've enjoyed the game. There's some bugs in it. But that's to be expected from any big game. And the thing I was going

Phil Rice 15:35
to ask about that, if it has there, have there been any like showstopper, major bugs in the game or something that would account for you know, it not performing as well as they wanted or satisfaction levels aren't as high because of that, or you're saying there's minor bugs, but nothing major.

Damien Valentine 15:54
I haven't if there's a bug that I've heard about, but I've not experienced myself where your spaceship will collect objects, and they will follow you around, and there's no way to get rid of them. So you'll get you'll be flying along and you have a big asteroid chasing you. And you can't make it stop. Even if you land. And then take off again, it's still there, when you land it, it's still there behind your ship. That's weird. But they've they've this month, they're releasing an update that should fix that. And they've released as at the time recording is a beta release for this patch in is a very extensive bug fix list and little minor glitches, there's nothing that prevents you from finishing the game. But then they're going to release the full patch for across all platforms. They probably half done by the time this goes out. And you know, as they want to do an update every six weeks that's going to add new content and improve the game. Yeah, the thing. There's nothing game breaking, but I think it maybe it's just not enough to make it perfect in the eyes of some people. And maybe the game is too big. And you know that there's not enough to see, I don't know. But yeah, I think there's a lot of potential there. I think one of the modules come out. Modders are gonna very quickly start adding new content for people to get back can only help. Yeah. And obviously Bethesda want that had happened. So we just need to see where that goes. As far as the Gamerpoop, we'll bang, okay, meme goes, that was a really big in Mass Effect dialogue. And it became a huge thing in the Mass Effect community. Even if you don't watch his videos, obviously, I got involved with the Mass Effects cosplay community about a decade ago. And we would quote that each other at the big meetups. And it got to the point where Mark Meer, who is the voice actor, for Commander Shepherd, he would join in the groups, he would quote that too. He would say that to people. Obviously, when he he makes sure he's okay with doing it. He wasn't just going to say it randomly to people, but he got he knew about this meme. And he loved it. And he would say it as well. So I've heard him say it in person. Just hilarious.

Tracy Harwood 18:19
So apparently, that's where that comes from that this is who comes from, who knew.

Damien Valentine 18:26
But obviously very well received by the people at Bioware, who obviously couldn't incorporate in the game, but they were highly entertained that someone had that they were spin on it.

Tracy Harwood 18:37
Brilliant. Well, I

Damien Valentine 18:39
think that's it for this week, and this month, actually. So let us know what you thought of the show. When you thought of a bunch of ways to die and stuff below. If you're looking forward to part two, I know I am. At certain email, let's talk completely machinery.com and we'll look forward to your feedback. So that's it for me from Phil and Tracy. And we'll see you all next week. Bye.

Phil Rice 19:05
Bye. Okay,

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