When it comes to pre-production or production for writing scripts, characters and settings you may remember Celtx. If you were an avid follower of nofilmschool or you did Media studies or studied film – everybody has had their hand at this software for writing their short film, feature film, television series scripts with Celtx. VRFocus interview Cory Hartlen, senior account executive for Celtx at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) and ask him what they’re doing to help support video game developers and creatives both in the gaming industry as well as virtual reality (VR).
Since releasing their 2004 desktop app, they’ve moved to the cloud and expanded to over help in pre-production as well as production. By being on the cloud, it’s allowed productions to have up to date notes on schedules, characters, changes as well as the ever changing call sheets needed on set everyday in real time. These changes would also translate to mobile on both IOS and Android, so you can always have the up to date information whilst on set. This understanding of real time changes and putting the whole team on the same page has also been translated to their new game editor module (GEM). Hartlen explains that GEM is perfect for creatives who are working on non-linear stories. It allows for the synchronisation of interactive narrative branches and dialogue as well as bringing the whole team onto one platform.
So why VR? Celtx already had customers who worked in the field of gaming and virtual reality heavily relies on non-linear storytelling. They realised that that their customers were adding a whole other layer to tell their stories and that Celtx had to address it. They’ve worked together with various gaming studios and the feedback at E3 has been overwhelming. Hartlen confesses that the worst meeting he’s had so far was for a company saying they couldn’t work with GEM until November when they start production on their new development.
So what are the benefits of using GEM? The platform allows you to add notes to characters, story arcs and dialogue. Your composer or game developers can therefore look at important notes like emotion, where the sound is coming from in a scene and allows for writers, directors or producers to have oversight over their product, story and characters. Hartlen gives an example with a writer from Aeon Dream Studios, where the writers were looking to bring in more complex stories and characters to their interactive adventure books and how Celtx helped work to make this possible. With the new changes made to GEM, it reduced average production time in half. Instead of spending five to seven days on a chapter, the writer brought it down to two. It really seems like GEM offers both flexibility and oversight on your product.
Hartlen explains this is great for any type of storytelling, even if you come from the different culture of storytelling like in the East. You can add and upload sound effects, add information about graphics or game mechanics and in their next phase they plan to add custom elements so you can flex different elements to suit your style and format. No excuses about things getting lost in translation any more. Additionally for virtual reality it’s crucial to have an understanding of how sound works in a scene. GEM incorporates these elements potentially providing an easier workflow for VR creatives. Videogames and virtual reality are causing huge shifts in various industries, it makes sense that the tools that are being used by creatives get a big upgrade as well.
VRFocus will be trialing GEM in the near future and be releasing in the content. So if you have any questions you’d like to ask or for us to try out, please leave them in the comments down below. Watch the video below to find out more.