Posted 28 March 2010 - 02:52 AM
I'll pipe in here and say I'm glad the pack was released. The skins, in particular, are of really great quality.
There are some legitimate criticisms to be made of the content in the After Dark pack - I'd much prefer something of a Zalman King flavor than Seymour Butts, personally... some indication of feminine influence on the animation choices is going to be really important to me re: the usability of future extensions of this content. I also hope some care will be taken to fill in more foreplay / sensuality types of interaction, and to explore beyond heterosexuality, too.
But as I'd already suspected, this was a testing of the waters, and you don't invest the kind of time required for complex couples interaction when you're just doing a test. Just as one can look at all the animations and state the commonality is male chauvinism, one can just as easily see another common thread which was more likely the deliberate one: they're all fairly simple / easy animations to create. I realize that understanding of this requires a base of knowledge in how these animations work under the hood, but if you don't have that then take Chris' word for it.
Some are really getting hung up on the presence of the morphing male member. It is a distinctly United States mindset that immediately assumes no possible application for that outside of hardcore porn. And why not think so? It's kind of been the standard here since before any of us were born. But setting aside differences in cultural interpretation... my take is this. If you're going to do nudity, then you do nudity not Ken dolls. And if you're going to do a male member, then you do it with some functionality. If they'd left out the morph, you'd have people complaining about that.
Will it get used for juvenile purposes and porn? Sure, by those whose understanding of sexuality IS actually summarized as "Start > Loop > Stop". So what? Sims porn exists; did it overrun the Sims movie-making world? Second Life porn tools exist, in spades. Is that inhibiting the creativity of filmmakers in Second Life, or hindering them getting their work seen / taken seriously, or getting even a modicum of airtime at any machinima venues of significance? The truth is the same in those worlds as it is / will be in Moviestorm: if you don't want to use it in your movies, then don't get/use the pack. And if you don't want to watch movies with that content, then don't. Porn's not going to "take over" for one simple reason: most people don't want to watch it.
If you're upset because you think this is a sign that Moviestorm isn't listening to their users, then I suggest you check your premises. If you're just concerned that Moviestorm has invested a ton of time and effort into this content pack instead of whichever one you wanted more... well, they didn't. If examination of the pack didn't make that abundantly clear, Chris did earlier in this thread.
If you're aggravated that you don't have every model or animation you need to make your movie, then let me just say: Welcome to machinima, nice to meet you. Step 1: Make your decision - Either...
A] write within the limitations of the platform,
B] compromise your existing screenplay to fit the platform limitations,
C] take the time to learn to modify the platform to reduce those limitations, or
D] get creative with your shot selection, use of sound, compositing, and other post production.
I personally prefer a combination of C+D, with B as a last resort if a problem is particularly vexing. But any of these choices is legitimate based on your skills, available time, and willingness to think outside of the box. Sitting around whining and complaining for someone else to eliminate your need for any compromise / change in thinking is, you'll note, conspicuously absent from the list, because I don't think it's a mindset that leads to movies being made.
I'll add to this by echoing the sentiments I voiced at IceAxe's blog: I think it's terribly hasty to take the release of this pack as some kind of larger expression of where the entire Moviestorm product is heading. There is simply no evidence of that. There are a lot of balls in the air at Moviestorm Inc., as is apparent when you follow their development blog. It's easy (and erroneous) to infer from that a lack of direction. It's called multitasking, and it's how every serious software developer works. The big difference is the startling degree of transparency Moviestorm has offered us from day one; that's what is atypical.
Interesting and sad that said transparency seems to breed in some a sense of entitlement more than gratitude. Sometimes we respond to that partial transparency as if it IS full transparency, and the puzzle over decisions that "don't make sense," forgetting that we actually aren't privy to everything. And sometimes we respond to that partial transparency with nothing but calls for full disclosure, as if this is some government agency under obligations of a Freedom of Information Act. I sincerely hope we don't cause Moviestorm to second guess the decision to have the degree of transparency they've extended.
This pack has some people who like it, and some people who don't, and for some it feeds an already disgruntled disposition toward Moviestorm. This pack doesn't please everyone. And it isn't at the top of everyone's private "Top Priority" lists (as variant as the very quantity of users).
And in those regards, this pack is exactly like every other content pack released for Moviestorm since Core.