OK, so here is our first attempt at a “cartoon”. This idea came about when my 13 year-old cat entered the frame of our first video podcast. Jeff and I got the idea that maybe she was listening in to our conversation and trying to steal our ideas.
As a postmortem for this project, I’d like to say first that I could have made a couple good games in the same time it took to make this crappy cartoon.
I now have a lot more respect for the guys who make “simple Flash animations” because, honestly, it can be a bitch. Even using the tools I’ve been familiar with for the past decade in Flash, it was still difficult to get anything worthwhile on screen.
Here are some other things that were difficult:
- Photographing a cat. Trying to get the cat to both pose for photos, and to make the proper facial expressions was impossible. Finally, I just went with what I had.
- Non-code animations: I needed to make almost everything time-line driven, and it was really hard to break out of a strict coding cycle to do it. The only code allowed were things that would drive the time line.
- Syncing audio: Why is syncing audio such a bitch with Flash. Getting one sound to play is fine, but trying to use envelopes on the soundtrack and syncing those with the action was too difficult. I can’t believe an $800 animation tool is so primitive when it comes to audio.
- Exporting: Exporting the final animation as a .avi. never worked. The .avi export would not use embedded movieclip animations, only the strict frames on the time line. .Mov exporting left horrible artifacts on the Mac. I finally got it to work on XP exporting from Flash 9 only. However, the file was so big that Youtube dropped 1/2 the frames. I had to re-compress it as an MV4 before it finally worked. Also, nearly every “screen capture” utility I found was useless, or could not capture audio.
- Story: We knew that Skript Kitty was going to make a Flash game by stealing code and graphics, but that was all we had. Ultimately I don’t think a “real” Script Kiddie would care about a “Cease Desist” order from a large corporation, but his parents would! However, Skript Kitty has no parents, so we had to have her simply revert back to being a cat.
- Ending: I had no idea how to end this thing. I tried to locate the “Wah wah wah” “bad ending” sound but i could not find it. The sound I did find was not as good, but it’s special to me none-the-less. Can you identify it?
There you have it. Hopefully this one will be successful enough so that we can make another one. We already have tons of other ideas (i.e. “Skript Kitty vs. Flash Development Forums”), so there might be another one anyway…