Today, Unskippable turns in its 100th episode lampooning videogame cutscenes by providing a handy guide to making your cutscene unforgettable.
It almost didn’t happen. Back in 2008, two friends who had been producing weekly comedy videos edited together a show that they hoped would be hilarious. It showed the cutscene from Capcom’s Lost Planet and the two Canadians traded quirky insights into just how ridiculous such videogame cinematics could be. Paul Saunders and Graham Stark from LoadingReadyRun didn’t think that the end-product was very good, however, and decided not to enter the video into the 2008 Escapist Film Festival. But then Kathleen De Vere, a member of the LoadingReadyRun troupe, told Graham, “Well, it’s done. What’s the worst that can happen?” and he submitted it anyway. The rest is history: Unskippable shared the top honors in the Film Festival and Graham and Paul have been making one roughly every week since then. Today marks the 100th episode of Unskippable and Graham and Paul have chosen to use what they’ve learned from 2 years of producing the show and impart that wisdom to would-be game designers.
Check out Unskippable 101: A Guide to Cinematics.
Here are some of the things that you’ll learn:
- Don’t show, tell!
- Always hire an overly dramatic narrator
- Use a made-up calendar with no context for the player
- Make your moon at least 500 times normal size
- Crows are creepy. Use a lot of crows. More is better
- When in doubt, have your characters repeat what another just said but add a question mark.
- Players love scripted vehicle sequences that don’t allow them to act on their own. Use these sequences liberally.
It’s clear that Graham and Paul have a great time making fun of videogame cinematics and cutscenes, and, as long as videogames keep getting made, they’ll have plenty of material to work with going forward. Here’s to another hundred episodes … if they can keep their sanity.