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  • Fan Art Friday - Why Don't You Submit?!

    1 month ago

    Chelsea

    Hey all!


    Did you know that we have a Fan Art contest every week, curated by one of our community groups BIGBITE Media? It's where we choose what that week's Fan Art Friday is and promoted here on the site and on social media. 


    Just in case you're unfamiliar with our forums here, or where to go to find this contest, we're urging as many people as possible to enter OR VOTE in this week's contest!


    To enter:
    1. Go check out this week's post here in the Art Forums!

    2. Fill out the question listed in the post and include an image of your piece of work. (Not sure how to upload an image? Ask us!)
    3. Tell your friends to come and vote for you!


    To vote:
    1. ANYONE CAN VOTE!
    2. Go to the thread here in the Art Forums!
    3. +1 any of the pieces you like the most. The artwork with the most positive mods will be considered for the winner. 


    This happens every week, so if you can't participate this week, we want to see you again next week!


    Much love,
    Chelsea

  • #9: Mario VS Sonic - Death Battle's Road to 100

    1 month ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

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    Episode - 13: Mario VS Sonic


    Nintendo versus Sega. Hedgehog versus plumber. Mario versus Sonic. It was time for one of the biggest matchups we would ever explore… and I had a mere two weeks to put it all together. I think now would be a good time to really dive into the production process of early Death Battle, especially because it actually got a big change after this match-up!


    Let me show you how the sausage was made, so to speak. For each of the first thirteen episodes, I was given two weeks to materialize a complete video from scratch. Well, I did have some buffer time when the season started… one whole week! Which I quickly used up while learning the basics of animation...


    WEEK 1: Let’s say it’s Monday, and Vegeta VS Shadow was just posted on YouTube that morning. Bryan was promoting it on social media and relevant websites, and thousands of viewers were debating whether a galaxy-busting alien man could kill a hedgehog with PTSD. No time to celebrate or take a nap, I had to get started on the next episode! I would spend my first day planning out my next two weeks. What do I need to do to complete my research on time? What games, cartoons, comics, tv shows, movies, etc do I need to look at before I start writing the script? Where will I find these? What topics should the script cover? What do we need to show in the battle? Etc, etc.


    Once I got my plan in place, it was off to my college campus for class.


    Oh yeah, uh, I was kinda in the middle of getting my film degree during all of this. But I’m sure that won't become an issue… right?


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    The rest of this first week was spent hammering away at research and writing. Remember, I was all on my own for this, so I’d have to dedicate every scrap of time I had to getting this done. Except for Fridays, because that was Clip of the Week day. I had to produce, direct, and edit that show, too. All in one day. What, you thought Death Battle was the only thing I ever did for ScrewAttack?


    Anyway, come Thursday, I would have a finished script. This is where Chad would come in. I’d present the script and my argument for the winner, and he’d play devil’s advocate against my pick. “Sonic should win because _____!” “Are you sure? What if Mario does ____ or _____?” “Well, Sonic has ______ which can counter Mario’s ______!” and so on. Nowadays, this debate process is waaaay more intensive with a lot of people involved across multiple conversations, but back then we needed to be quick and efficient. As soon as we reached a conclusion, I’d wrap up the script and we’d record it all that day. We had to, or else my second week would be a nightmare. And it often was.


    I’d typically use the first weekend as a sort of buffer period. Basically, if there was anything that needed some extra time or care put into it, this was when I would do it. Sometimes there was some more research to do, like watching all of the 2003 Ninja Turtles show. Other times I’d spend it all gathering footage to use in the edit. And there was usually some college project or paper I had to take care of, but no big deal, right? However, there was one thing I always had to finish before Monday; the battle script.


    WEEK 2: This was production week! This whole time period (besides Friday for CotW) was dedicated to editing the episode and animating the battle. So long as class didn’t get in the way, I’d usually finish editing the audio and video in two days, albeit with long hours. My sleep schedule was basically shot, and I relied on Monster energy drinks so much I swear I’m now completely immune to their effects. This left me two days, not including the weekend, to work on the animation. Once the final cut was complete, I’d send it off to Revision3 and get a rare full night’s sleep!


    Of course, this was the ideal schedule I’d planned on when Death Battle first started, but it really didn’t work out that way. More often than not, there would be too much research material and asset gathering to get through that I couldn’t properly finish the script until Week Two, which meant I’d have far less time for the edit and animation. In some cases, I’d only have the weekend available to animate the entire battle, less than 48 hours before the episode was supposed to premiere! The Bomberman VS Dig Dug animation was one of these.


    For Mario VS Sonic, I was getting a little worried, because its first week just so happened to line up with my class finals! How fun. That was one of the most stressful weeks of my life. Luckily, thanks to the fact that I was already very familiar with Mario and Sonic, I didn’t fall behind and had enough time to put together one of the longest and most explosive animations I’d accomplished so far!


    Obviously, early Death Battle was a pretty chaotic affair. Nowadays, research is given several weeks of time, each script gets its own dedicated week at least, and animation gets entire months. And each of these jobs are done by whole teams of different people! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to make excuses for some of the early series weirdness. I’m simply stating the facts of what it was like working on Death Battle and for ScrewAttack back in 2011. And the short answer is… it was getting problematic. By the time we got to Mario VS Sonic, the negative effects were showing. I barely ever slept, my voice was constantly fatigued, my social life had imploded, and my grades were gasping for air. However, because I was so hyped up about Death Battle and how well it was doing, I didn’t really notice any of this... until my GPA suddenly dropped from a 3.8 to a 3.4 Clearly, something needed to give.


    And it did! Remember how I said earlier that the production process got a big change after this episode? I got one whole week added to the cycle.


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    Well. I guess I’d take whatever I could get.


    There's so much more to talk about, but I'll wrap this up. Gotta save something for the 60+ blogs I have left on this Road to 100! Tomorrow, I'll take a dive into one of our most bizarre episodes ever... Justin Bieber VS Rebecca Black.


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. Whose side do you stand on; Nintendo and their plumber, or Sega and their blue rat?


  • The Aquaman Poster Is Released And The Internet Is Already Clowning It

    1 month ago

    ericvespe

    My history with the modern DCEU is a little rocky, but I'm by no means a DC hater. Growing up the only good comic book movies were DC films! Superman and Superman II, the two Tim Burton Batman movies. Hell, I even liked Supergirl as cheesy as that was.


    The Dark Knight was my favorite movie the year it came out and I still hold it up as a masterpiece of popcorn entertainment.


    DC is just having some trouble finding its footing in the Marvel era. It's a tough road to hoe for Warner Bros. We've seen so much of Batman and Superman, so how do they both give us what we want and also something new?


    There's no easy answer to that question, but I think the key lies more in their less-familiar characters. Wonder Woman has been all over pop culture, but she never got her moment in the sun quite like she did in her own standalone movie. Patty Jenkins embraced the good-hearted Diana and also made her a badass who will stand up and fight for those that can't. It was more than just "cool moments." 


    Could James Wan work similar magic for Aquaman? I'm optimistic, not because I have any deep love or nostalgia for the character (I don't), but I like Wan as a filmmaker. He's got a great eye and distinctive voice. 


    While I think they blew it pretty hardcore with Batman V Superman and Justice League, I still hold out hope DC rights the ship. 


    So, when I share some images of the internet joshing the new Aquaman poster know it comes from a place of good fun. Here's the official one:



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    The movie could be amazing, but that poster is pretty silly. Even DC fans are making fun of it. Looks like a photoshoot at the local aquarium. People have pointed out that the big mean shark on the right side of the poster is a stock image that you've seen a million times before, but hey, short cuts happen.


    The internet isn't as forgiving as I am, though. Here are a few of my favorite instant photoshop jobs I saw today:



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    Alright, the last one is kinda mean and snarky, but it made me laugh.


    One nice thing I'll say about this poster though is that it shows a lighter, more fun vibe. I've seen a few clips and unfinished effects shots from this movie at various Conventions over the last 12 months or so and Wan isn't shying away from making this weird as hell, which is why I'm still hopeful we'll get something special out of this movie when it premieres this holiday season.


    In the meantime I'm sure we'll be getting a new trailer soon since they're going to be doing their big Hall H presentation at Comic-Con this week. We'll know soon enough exactly what kind of movie we're in for here.

  • RTX Austin 2018 - Security Plan **IMPORTANT INFORMATION**

    1 month ago

    Bethany Head of RT Events

    Hi RTX Austin 2018 Attendees,


    We are very excited to see you at RTX Austin 2018! We know this will be another great year together and we have a lot of fun activities in store.


    The most important part of RTX is always safety. We want to ensure that all of our attendees, guardians, special guests, exhibitors, and staff are safe at all times. We have implemented a new security plan for RTX weekend, so please read everything to ensure you understand what is expected.


    SECURITY CHECKPOINTS

    There are four (4) security checkpoints at RTX and all checkpoints will accept all badge types. There are 2 different lines at each checkpoint; the Fast Pass line is denoted on the attached map with a Pink triangle and the Regular line is denoted on the attached map with a Green triangle. When you arrive at RTX, look for a pink flag at each checkpoint to enter the Fast Pass Line, or look for a green flag at each checkpoint to enter the Regular Line. Guardians will be on hand to assist you with finding the proper line for your badge type.


    erWeCBb.pngFAST PASS LINE - Platinum badge holders


    p0Efowf.png REGULAR LINE - Weekend PLUS / Weekend / Daily badge holders


    *Anyone requiring ADA access can use the erWeCBb.pngFAST PASS LINE, along with their caregiver, no matter what type of badge you have.


    *All Security Checkpoints will be staffed with Licensed Police Officers, walk-through metal detectors, bag checkers, and wanders.


    Please reference the below security map for checkpoint locations and operating hours.  Please note, for evening events (Let’s Play Live, Theater Mode Live, or On The Spot Live panel) there is a specific checkpoint you must use to enter the convention center per the specific evening operating hours (please reference the attached map for evening operating hours).


    DO’S & DON’TS

    • Do wear your badge visibly at all times. You cannot get into RTX without it. Lose your badge? Sorry, but RTX will not replace it. Treat it like cash.

    • Do listen to the Guardians to ensure you are in the correct line. Pink Fast Pass or Green Regular line - it’s that simple!

    • Do prepare your belongings as you approach the walk-through metal detectors so that you can get through security as quickly as possible.

    • Don’t bring any weapons. RTX is an all-weapons-free event. This means both illegal weapons and licensed to carry weapons are prohibited at all times. BUT - If you have a cosplay weapon, you must visit the Weapons Check station across from Registration in the Solar Atrium of the ACC to get it approved.

    • Don’t try to cut the lines as you will be asked to leave.

    • Don’t bring large bags as these will cause longer waits.


    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (revised as of 7/18) 


    1. Where do I pick-up my attendee bag? *Two answers: 1) If you are picking up your bag on Thursday, enter one of the security checkpoints and go to Exhibit Hall 2 to pick-up your bag 9:45 AM - 5:30 PM. 2) If you are picking up your bag on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, enter one of the security checkpoints and go to Registration located in the Solar Atrium to pick-up your bag. 


    2. If I need to pick-up my badge onsite, what do I do? *You will need to go to one of the security checkpoints and show your confirmation email (either printed or electronically) and a valid photo I.D. You must show both the confirmation email AND valid photo I.D to clear the checkpoint.  You can get your badge at Registration located in the Solar Atrium. 


    3. I have a medical disability. Where should I go for my medical sticker? *Please use the Fast Pass (pink) line at any of the 4 security checkpoints and go to Registration in the Solar Atrium to pick-up you sticker. You may have one caregiver accompany you throughout RTX regardless of what badge type they have. 


    4. If I leave the Austin Convention Center for lunch, or to attend a panel at another hotel, will I have to go back through security to enter? Yes, everyone entering the ACC will have to go through the security checkpoint. 


    5. How long will the wait times be each morning? While we cannot give you an exact expected wait time, we highly encourage you to not bring large bags (bigger than 12”x12”) when possible and to be prepared as you get to the front of the security checkpoint. We also recommend you check out the Animation Festival at the JW Marriott for early morning panels and then head to the Austin Convention Center mid-day. 

     

    6. How many metal detectors will there be this year? Across all four checkpoints, there will be 15 total metal detectors. 


    7. Can I bring in food and/or beverages to the Austin Convention Center? **FOOD: While ACC staff reserve the right to refuse entry to any outside food, we do not anticipate issues with small amounts of pre-packaged snacks such as granola bars or protein bars. This should also allow people with strict dietary restrictions to keep a small amount of appropriate food on hand, including those with medical conditions. **WATER: You may bring in an EMPTY water bottle. Water will be available while waiting in the queues each morning at the ACC at all four checkpoints. We encourage you to hydrate while waiting to get into the ACC, however once you get to the front of the security line, you will be asked to either dump out the remaining water or drink it. Once inside, there will be water coolers/bubblers in every panel room and throughout the ACC. 


    8. Are there Mother’s rooms available at the ACC? Yes, there are two (2) Mother’s Rooms in the Austin Convention Center.  One is located on the first floor near Room 1 along Cesar Chavez St.  The other is located on the third floor across from Room 10C.


    9. Will I be able to purchase food and beverage inside the ACC? There will be 4 operating concession stands each day: 1) Built-in coffee stand between Exhibit Hall 4 & 5. 2) Cafe in the Solar Atrium. 3) Large Cafe in the Exhibit Hall. 4) Small Cafe Built-In outside Ballroom A.


    10. What will the security check entail once I get to the front of the line? Once you arrive at the metal detectors, you will be asked to remove your bags/purses/etc. and remove everything from your pockets. A bag checker will inspect your bags and you will be asked to walk through the metal detector. Once you have been cleared, you may retrieve your items. If the metal detector is alarmed, a wander will provide a second search of yourself and belongings. 


    11. What should I expect from the weather while waiting to get through a security checkpoint at the ACC? Looking at past weather averages for Austin in August, we anticipate temperatures to be in the high 70’s/low 80’s between 7:00AM and 10:00AM. Most of the checkpoints are under covered awnings. We also encourage you to wear hats, sunglasses, and wear sunscreen throughout RTX weekend. 


    12.  Why is RTX adding so much security this year? The most important part of RTX is always safety. We want to ensure that all of our attendees, Guardians, special guests, exhibitors, and staff are safe at all times. Please be respectful to all security, Guardians, and RTX Staff as we are here to help you have a fun and safe weekend. 


    13. I am cosplaying and have a weapon as part of my cosplay. Where is Weapons Check located? Weapons Check is located across from Registration in the Solar Atrium. Approved weapons will be tagged for the duration of the event.  If the tag is removed, you must revisit the Weapons Check desk each day for a new tag. 


    14. I will be cosplaying at RTX and do not want to wait outside in my cosplay. What are my options? You must go through a security checkpoint like every attendee, and then you may head to Meeting Room 1 to change into your cosplay. We have designated a cosplay dressing room at the ACC: Meeting Room 1 on level one near Exhibit Hall 1/Palazzo (at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Trinity street). There will be a Guardian on staff to assist. Please note that this dressing room is NOT for storage purposes. We cannot hold onto your belongings throughout the day and you will be responsible for cosplay. 


    15. Can I refuse to be screened by security personnel? Yes, it is your choice to do so, but unfortunately if you refuse to go through a walk through metal detector, you will not be allowed in to RTX.  If you refuse, a Licensed Police Office will ask you to leave. If you cause a disturbance of any sort, Austin Police Department will be called. Anyone requiring ADA access can enter at any of the four checkpoints, as all have ADA entrances.  If expectant mothers do not want to go through the walk through metal detector for screening, you may enter the ADA entrance and be wanded/bag checked.


    16. Will there be a parents lounge/rest area at RTX? There will not be a space within the Austin Convention Center, but we will have a location at the Hilton where parents can sit and wait for their children. 


    17. What types of gifts ARE and ARE NOT allowed to bring to talent and RT staff? This year, we will not allow you to bring any open foods or beverages into the Austin Convention Center, this includes any alcohol. You also cannot bring any weapons, including Licensed to Carry. Additional prohibited items are illegal substances, weapons, firearms, explosives, flammables, knives, sharp objects, pepper spray, or mace. If you bring any items from the prohibited list (including food and beverages) it will be confiscated. 


    Please let us know if you have any questions. 


    Thanks!

    B


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  • #8: The Secret Audition - Death Battle's Road to 100

    1 month ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

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    Episode - 12: Vegeta VS Shadow


    “Wow. What a rip-off.”


    That was all it took to cement voice actors as a recurring thing for Death Battle from then on.


    Vegeta VS Shadow was an episode with a lot of “firsts.” It was the first to feature a Dragon Ball character, the first to feature a Sonic character, and the first to feature voice actors... but not just any actors! This was also our first collaboration episode, as we teamed up with the amazingly talented folks of Team Four Star!


    This was sort of new territory for me. Of course, I’d hired and worked with actors plenty of times for my own film projects, but I’d never actually worked with voice actors, let alone voice actors who would have to record remotely. I vividly remember as I went through the script with Takahata101 and Lanipator, I was thinking “I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m gonna pretend I do, anyway!”


    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the secret to how you achieve your dreams. Or something like that.


    We had met a few of the Team Four Star guys a couple times, but I believe this was the first time we worked together on a project. If you don’t know them, you’ll probably still recognize their flagship series; Dragon Ball Z Abridged. This show had been making the rounds across the web since 2008, and Nick Landis aka Lanipator’s Vegeta was already the most recognized unofficial voice for the character. I had one strategy for casting Vegeta; Lani or bust.


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    Luckily, Lani’s a really cool dude and agreed to not only voice Vegeta for this episode, but also a few cameos later on like in Goku VS Superman and whatever the hell this is. A few TFS members auditioned for Shadow, and Curtis aka Takahata101 wound up snatching up the role.


    (By the way, shout out to Scott aka KaiserNeko for helping to organize all that. That man deserves so much credit for all the extra work he puts into everything.)


    However, casting voice actors wasn’t so easy. I was actually told not to do it at all, to keep all Death Battle animations voiceless. We hadn't done it before, and I guess it seemed like an unnecessary addition to the man in charge. ScrewAttack had this stagnating philosophy back then which was generally against putting more money and effort into shows over time. I wasn't a fan of that. There's also always been a trend with sprite animations to keep all dialogue limited entirely to on-screen text and zero audio, which I really wanted to avoid.


    There was only one reasonable solution… secretly reach out to TFS myself and cast them anyway!


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    I give you... Shadow the Hedgehog and Vegeta!


    As for the episode, it’s easy to tell it suffers from the quick turnaround that was the norm at the time. It feels a little rushed and a lot of the numbers used to measure Vegeta and Shadow’s powers seem… off. I think they were more so vague estimates, and weren’t meant to hold much weight. The thing is, Death Battle was a different beast back then. The show didn’t really bother with calculations and was far more opinion based. The argument for Vegeta’s victory wasn’t because he could output a specific amount of power, was calc’d to be a higher speed than Shadow, or anything like that. No, the analysis recap at the end primarily covers how Vegeta has taken huge beatings and kept on fighting, so he should be able to outlast Super Shadow… and that’s it. Calculations, stat comparisons, and scaling didn’t become an important part of the Death Battle analytical process until much later. 


    It’s fine if you don’t agree with that approach. It’s a very different, unconstrained style. I definitely prefer the more scientific direction Death Battle has taken in recent years. Frankly, today's approach is way more time-consuming, so even if we had gone that route back then it may have only hurt Death Battle's production until we got a larger crew behind the show. That's just speculation, but either way, I hope you give our modern format a try before judging the series on these much older episodes.


    To this day, I think teaming up with TFS was one of the best things we could've done. If you ever have the chance to work with them or even just meet them, do it. They’re a fantastic group of people who I can’t praise enough. Also, thanks to this episode I was able to start bringing aboard more and more actors, and I didn’t have to be sneaky about it anymore! Well, it would continue to be a struggle against ScrewAttack's production philosophies of the time until management changed during the Fullscreen buyout and Rooster Teeth merge, but at least I could finally be public about breaking the rules. Since Vegeta VS Shadow, the Death Battle franchise has featured around 100 different actors! Whoa momma!


    That’ll be a wrap for now! I hope you had a wonderful weekend, and thanks for reading another daily entry on this Road to 100. Next time, we’re talking about one of the big ones… Mario VS Sonic.


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. What’s your favorite joke/line from a Death Battle with voice actors?


    P.P.S. Go check out www.TeamFourStar.com!

  • Podcastinf for the future

    1 month ago

    burnie

    As we head into the NEXT 500 podcasts, I can't help but look back over what has worked and what I want to change. What's some things you would like to see us do in future podcasts?

  • RTX AUSTIN COMMUNITY CORNER SCHEDULE

    1 month ago

    Clarissa.Gonzalez RT Live Events Manager

    Hey all,


    We're excited to share our Community Corner schedule. Please show them love and support at our first ever Community Corner in Rooster Town (BOOTH 731) located near the RT Store on the Exhibit Floor. 


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    Ii1Lb32ZxesyaUupoJ0ePPSy_Z_cvyGeqsK8tzkP

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    xoxo

    Clarissa

  • Fans, prepare to get Serviced!

    1 month ago

    Gray

    WE'RE BACK, BABY-CHAN! Fan Service is returning! Me, Kerry, Miles, Yssa, Cole, Austin, Erin, really anyone who's worked on the show -- you know how much we loved catching up with you on all things anime. And whether online or in person at shows such as Anime Expo, CRX, or RTX, we also appreciated getting to hear from so many of you, about how much you've missed Fan Service since it went off the air. And Rooster Teeth listened… but they weren’t the only ones!


    What we discovered last time around was even though people that watched the show really loved it, there just weren’t quite enough otaku on our site alone to keep it going. We aren’t able to produce it regularly without additional support. So how is it coming back? Turns out our good friends at a certain sister company, Crunchyroll (!!), really loved Fan Service, too - and they would like to sponsor its return! And so, the next season of Fan Service will kick off this July 21 (SO SOON) with your favorite cast of anime nerds, debuting on Crunchyroll. Yes, it will also eventually make its way to Rooster Teeth, and we’ll have more details on that shortly. We’re so excited to geek out with you again, starting July 21!


    But chotto matte - that’s not all! There will be a Fan Service panel at RTX! Saturday 5pm in the Congressional Ballroom at the Fairmont! Get your weeb on, live and in person!


    Ja nei!!

  • This Week At ScrewAttack - 7/13/18

    1 month ago

    JoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi

    The Desk of The Desk of DEATH BATTLE - SHAMELESS Corporate Games - Editor Notes 

     

    • One thing I love about the editing pipeline here at ScrewAttack is that I know my first cut of a video will go through at least Chad's hands before posting. So at this point I know that I can throw in any random/crazy idea I have and let Chad be the curator. So in this episode, Joceyln says the word "Youths" several times. So naturally I included this scene from My Cousin Vinny. It made me chuckle but I knew deep down it wasn't a good fit for the final video. But it's always fun to surprise Chad with my weird ideas. 
    • If ever given the opportunity, I will never NOT use that clip of J. Jonah Jameson laughing. NEVER! 
    • I probably would have loved that M&M game as a kid. 
    • Does the Stranger Things or Rick and Morty mobile games count as corporate games? Or tv/movie games in general? I guess those are generally better than these games. 
    • Right before (like 4 minutes before) the deadline for this video I noticed a typo in the credits. I wrote "footagr" instead of "footage." I sighed a heavy sigh and rushed to fix both versions of the video, export them, watch them, let programming know of my failures, and all as fast as possible. You're welcome for something you would have never noticed. 
    • Unrelated, who is getting Octopath Traveler today?

    WATCH THE VIDEO!


    P.S. we have a new Death Battle shirt and Chad really likes it. You should get one....

  • #7: Kitten Cannon - Death Battle's Road to 100

    1 month ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

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    Episode - 10: Kratos VS Spawn, 11: Bomberman VS Dig Dug


    Let’s talk about some Death Battle episodes! First up is Kratos VS Spawn, which... ahem… spawned from fan suggestions. (Yes, so clever!)


    I don’t really like how this one turned out, specifically the rundown on Kratos. It’s important to me that each Death Battle has enough personality and analysis wrapped up within so it doesn't feel like Wiz and Boomstick are simply skimming a wikipedia article. For Kratos, the rundowns sounds like just a list, and Wiz and Boomstick might as well have been reading articles off of the God of War Wikia. That’s how it sounds to me, at least. It’s boring, and Kratos should be way more hype than that!


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    Kratos VS Spawn was also victim to one of the biggest animation cutbacks thus far. I originally planned to have an entire sequence where Spawn dragged Kratos to Hell, and the final battle would circle a giant pit of fire and demons. Unfortunately, time constraints happened, and the depths of the underworld became just a big red room. Whether it’s because of time or budget or any other issue, plenty of Death Battle’s animation back then had to have something cut.


    Anyway, I recognized my issue with the Kratos rundown almost immediately upon its premiere, so I took extra care to not make the same mistake with Bomberman VS Dig Dug. It’s weird, for some reason I remember not liking how this episode turned out, but after watching it again today, I think it’s pretty fun!


    Why Bomberman VS Dig Dug, you ask? Well, this was the age of experimentation. The internet was the wild west, and I wanted to see what cunning deeds I could get away with. Specifically, I was curious how a Death Battle would perform with a relatively niche character in the ring. Dig Dug isn’t exactly an unknown franchise, but something tells me he’s not a regular in many versus debates. By this point, Goomba VS Koopa had really started barreling toward that one million hits mark, so I was really interested to see what other types of battles would attract that kind of attention.


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    On a different note, I’m seven blogs in and I haven’t even talked about the way Wiz and Boomstick introduced ads back in Season 1! In 2011, the concept of YouTubers making a living off their videos was still a pretty new thing, and not everyone was happy about it. While clickbait ads and pop-ups dominated most websites, online video had been relatively commercial free  in comparison. If you “sold out” your videos to sponsors, it was pretty easy to get villainized by the online communities, as you were “betraying” what the internet stood for or whatever. Yeah, it’s pretty dumb, and things have gotten a lot better since then, but we were very conscious of this when putting Death Battle together.


    We came up with a plan. We would poke fun at receiving money from sponsors by implying that this funding wasn’t for the show, but for Wiz’s experiments and Boomstick’s weapon collection. Then, if there ever came a time when we would do a Death Battle between Wiz and Boomstick, their arsenals would consist of everything the sponsors had “funded.”


    This means that according to “official Death Battle lore,” Gamefly provided Wiz with funding for rats for his genetic testing, one which eventually became his poison-immune pet, Ratsputin. Thanks to Netflix, Boomstick was able to build a laser guided kitten cannon, which was later upgraded into a baby launcher with funding from Squarespace… who doesn’t necessarily endorse baby launchers.


    And yeah, whenever Wiz VS Boomstick happens, all of this will be taken into account.


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. Who do you think will win the inevitable battle between Wiz and Boomstick?


  • #6: Cats & Dinosaurs - Death Battle's Road to 100

    1 month ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

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    Episodes - 8: Yoshi VS Riptor, 9: Felicia VS Taokaka


    Yoshi VS Riptor wasn’t part of the original 26. However, thanks to the quick success of Goomba VS Koopa, I was tasked with creating another gag battle. I didn’t want to make something nearly as silly and outrageous as Goomba VS Koopa so soon, as it had only been released 4 episodes ago, but an unlikely and disproportionate-on-paper match-up seemed like a good choice. I dug through a bunch of viewer suggested match-ups, and eventually stumbled upon one I just couldn’t resist; a green cartoon dinosaur versus a weaponized velociraptor!


    To this day, Yoshi VS Riptor has the shortest animated battle sequence of all Death Battle episodes, coming out to a mere 55 seconds. In contrast, Felicia VS Taokaka wound up with one of the longest fights at the time! These animations were pretty fun to work on as I got more and more creative with the choreography. (Cue Boomstick’s “Nooo! My car!”)


    Part of the reason why Yoshi VS Riptor’s battle was so short was because I had begun exploring other tools for the animations. I had previously been building these battles with only Final Cut Pro, which is a video editing program that is definitely not designed for animation. Despite this, the keyframing tools were robust and intuitive enough to create decent sprite movement. Still, I figured it was about time I started implementing After Effects and Macromedia Flash (Now called Adobe Animate) into my work. There were two problems with this. First, while I was familiar with AE, I had never used Flash before. Remember, I had no prior animation experience before Death Battle. Second, with the immense workload and super short turnaround for each episode, I realized I didn’t have the time I needed to properly learn Flash without severely sacrificing the quality of the episodes I was currently working on! While I would continue to implement aspects of AE and Flash throughout most of my animations after this, I never entirely moved away from Final Cut. I planned to exclusively dedicate my time between episodes 13 and 14 to learn everything I could about Flash… but as you know, 13 ended up not being a season finale as I expected.


    Things worked out better for Felicia VS Taokaka, but unfortunately my conversion process between Flash and Final Cut created a blurry effect throughout the whole thing that I didn’t have time to fix before release. Even with that hiccup, I think Felicia VS Taokaka was one of my better fights back then.


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    Also, Yoshi VS Riptor was the first episode to introduce official, standardized rules into Death Battle. At least, these were the original rules. They’ve changed a bit since this episode. Here, there were only three. Two of them basically covered the same thing and were combined into a single statement when the rules were later revised.


    One last thing before I go. A lot of people have asked why we referred to Riptor as a male throughout the episode when the character is confirmed to be female. I actually remember spending a lot of time trying to determine Riptor’s gender, especially since we included a line about Yoshi’s. As I recall, Riptor’s gender wasn’t established until Killer Instinct made its triumphant return in 2013, two whole years after this episode was released. I’m actually not sure whether or not this retconned the original Riptor’s gender, but either way this episode’s age clearly shows, as evident by the fact we never mentioned the Xbox One game as it didn’t exist yet. In the early days, I was a little concerned what we would do if some new content came out which possibly changed our rundowns or results at all, but I eventually concluded that since new content was inevitable, we should always treat each Death Battle as a product of its own time.


    Thanks for reading! Despite their flaws, I have fond memories of these two episodes. If you liked this entry, please give the blog a Mod below. That’s the only way I’ll know people actually read this stuff.  laughing


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. Do you prefer the shorter battle animations, or the longer ones?

  • Podcast 500

    1 month ago

    burnie

    hard to believe it’s been 500 episodes of the podcast. I can still remember the first one when we had the mics balanced on the arms of the old blue couch at the Congress office. 

  • Skyscraper Is Just As Silly As You Expect, But Also Pretty Fun

    1 month ago

    ericvespe

    It's hard to remember in these days of comic book movies being all the rage, but the state of the big studio summer blockbuster was pretty dire before movies like Blade, X-Men and Spider-Man changed the game. For every Independence Day we get a dozen Dante's Peaks.


    Enough time has passed that it's strangely nostalgic to see a traditional big, goofy disaster movie again. Skyscraper is by no measure a serious attempt at drama, but it's not trying to be. All it wants to do is entertain you by throwing one of the most charismatic action stars in history into increasingly ridiculous set pieces as he has to scale a burning building to rescue his family. If you can accept it on its own level you should be able to have some fun with it.



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    In terms of scripting it's a great example of set up and pay off. In fact you could almost call Skyscraper Chekhov's Gun: The Movie.


    If you're unfamiliar with the term, Chekhov's Gun simply means if you show a gun a wall at the beginning of a story by the end of that gun better have gone off. It's a storytelling principle that is in place so writers don't promise things they don't deliver on.


    The first act of Skyscraper is all about showing us stuff that pays off later. We're walked through this magnificent high tech tower in Hong Kong called The Pearl and things big and small are set up to be revisited later, from giant wind turbines to a garden section in the middle to even a sword hanging on the wall of the CEO's penthouse apartment.


    While the script, written by director Rawson Marshall Thurber, won't be winning any awards it's tighter than you'd expect and does right by its lead characters. Yes, there's Dwayne Johnson's one-legged security specialist Will Sawyer who is instantly likable and heroic and all that, but there's also his wife, Sarah, played by Neve Campbell, who skirts the typical damsel in distress trope. She's always proactive from scene one and nobody's victim. She's smart, kind, supportive, instantly catches on that something's wrong and calmly goes about finding a way out for her and her children. In any other big blockbuster type movie she'd just be waiting for the hero to come rescue her, but not here. It's a welcome breath of fresh air and Neve Campbell gives it her all.


    Johnson is his typical bundle of muscle, sweat and charm. Gotta hand it to The Rock. That dude never phones in a performance, which is crucial when you're dealing with a story as silly as this. You want to see The Rock trying to jump into a fiery building from a construction crane.


    Skyscraper really is The Towering Inferno mixed with Die Hard, but leans more towards Towering Inferno than you may think.


    Despite what the many sequels try to tell you, the original Die Hard worked because Bruce Willis was an everyman, not an action hero. Willis has taken the mantle of the action star post-Die Hard, but you have to remember up to that point he was a comedic romantic leading man, famous mostly for his quick-witted banter with Cybill Shepherd on Moonlight. He wasn't a muscle-bound action hero, he was just a dude who got hurt and didn't just shrug off his injuries.


    That's not what Skyscraper is. It is physically impossible to make The Rock an everyman, and that's a compliment to the hardest working man in show business. Seeing him kick ass is why people buy tickets to his movies. He's more in the Schwarzenegger mold than early Willis and he uses that to his advantage every time out, especially in last year's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle where his perfectly sculpted body was the central joke.


    In short, Skyscraper delivers on what it promises. I doubt it'll ever be anybody's favorite movie, but it's an audience pleaser and never gets boring, which is the worst sin a movie like this could commit

  • RTX AUSTIN 2018 PANEL AND AUTOGRAPH SCHEDULE

    1 month ago

    Clarissa.Gonzalez RT Live Events Manager

    Hey RTX Attendees,

    RTX & Animation Festival Schedule

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    EQNBClYLKtVsXj4l-jDBT7Q6qYlhW-opp4FpG-CY


    *Subject to change. Please refer to the mobile app for the most up-to-date info. 


     Autograph Schedule

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    *Please refer to your Front Gate email "CORRECTION-USE THIS CODE RTX Austin Autograph Codes" sent Friday, July 6th for more details and the autograph link.


    xoxo 

    Clarissa 



  • #5: The Banned Episode - Death Battle's Road to 100

    1 month ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

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    Episodes - 6: Ninja Turtles Battle Royale, 7: Zitz VS Leonardo


    From one experiment to the next, here’s a trial run of three ideas at once; battle royales, returning combatants, and sequel episodes!


    From an analysis standpoint, the Ninja Turtle Battle Royale was an interesting change of pace. For the first time, we had characters who actually knew each other, and that knowledge would heavily affect the fight! Also, for a look into how difficult the biweekly schedule could be... I had never seen the 2003 TMNT show, so I had to binge the entire series in a single weekend.


    “But Ben,” you say, “that show has a total of 169 episodes, all around 23 minutes long, and an hour long movie. That’s almost 4,000 minutes, which would take more than 66 hours to watch! How’d you do it in one weekend?”


    I’m glad you asked, dear reader, and wonderful mathematics skills! Whenever I knew two back-to-back episodes weren’t two-parters, I’d watch and takes notes on them both at the same time. Multitasking, baby!


    The original plan was to actually have the turtle winner go up against a Power Ranger in the next one, specifically Tommy Oliver, the White Ranger. I believe the idea was that Tommy was already considered the most powerful Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger, so we'd find the most powerful Ninja Turtle to pit against him. It seemed like a natural fit to me. I grew up during the time both series were juggernaut phenomenons. Most kids my age had preferred one over the other, Nintendo vs Sega style, so it would be an epic rivalry match-up!


    Buuuut it seems it wasn't meant to be. A few other ScrewAttack staff members were lobbying for me to switch Tommy out for a Battletoad. (Remember, we were a video game website first and foremost then.) For the first time in Death Battle history, I left deciding an upcoming match-up entirely to a community vote. 


    The poll swung in favor of the Battletoads, so episode 7 became Zitz VS Leonardo. 


    Looking back, the battle royale episode itself is a testament to Death Battle’s age. There’s no mention of the 2012 Ninja Turtles show, as it hadn’t even been announced yet. There’s also an unfortunate use of the word “retard” to describe Michelangelo, which is pretty embarrassing by today’s standards. Back then, Wiz and Boomstick were portrayed as pretty rude and arrogant. We had quickly dropped the hardcore, bloodlusting personalities from the first two episodes, and the characters temporarily evolved into what’s apparent here; Wiz is bored and easily angered, while Boomstick is rambunctious and offensive. We were mainly inspired by the success of online shows like the Angry Video Game Nerd. Back then, angry people were all the rage!


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    However, I don’t think it was the best choice for Death Battle. Nearly everyone agrees with the Nerd when he says Superman 64 is “oose-infested dirty fucking sewer rat shit,” but Death Battle analysis always holds some broader element of subjectivity, and often results in tearing down a fan-favorite character. It’s natural and expected for some people to disagree with any Death Battle outcome, regardless of how well presented it is. Having the hosts act like cocky douchebags accomplished little more than rubbing salt on a fresh wound, and plenty of people would lamentably attribute these awful traits to Chad and myself, rather than our characters. Thankfully, this was eventually changed for the better.


    To this day, the Ninja Turtle Battle Royale is the only Death Battle which remains blocked on YouTube in most countries due to a copyright claim. Due to its method of presentation, Death Battle’s use of copyrighted material can technically be defined as fair use. However, I honestly wasn’t too surprised this happened, because years ago I had already learned this was the episode that crossed the line.


    It's likely it was blocked because of how graphic this episode got. It featured the four turtles brutally killing and dismembering each other in cruel and cold-blooded fashion! It ends with Leo's horrifying stare at the camera while the water around him turns red with his brother’s blood!


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    When this episode aired, the greater discussion among viewers was about how weirdly disturbing the fight was. Sure, the colorful pixel art means the gore isn’t too disgusting to look at (apart from how blurry some close-ups are) but just the concept of the turtles slicing each other up with absolutely no remorse seemed too much for these characters. Yes, the show is called DEATH Battle, but it isn’t South Park or Robot Chicken. It’s more historical than parody, and while this may seem like a stretch to some, the battle sequences are more like a recreation you’d see in a documentary than a humorous skit. That being said, violent and over-the-top deaths help keep Death Battle fun, but it’s generally important to also keep said deaths in line with the character performing the execution. Having Leo cut Mikey's head off wasn't the problem in and of itself, but how it happened rubbed people the wrong way. To be clear, it wasn't weird to some simply because the combatants were from a cartoon. It was weird because their actions were so far removed from their characteristics that they no longer felt like the turtles people love. I realized that by making this battle so unceremoniously brutal, I had deviated from properly representing these lighthearted characters. 


    Don't get me wrong, this doesn't ruin the episode. For what Death Battle was at the time, I think it turned out well overall! Still, this was a good lesson to learn so early on, and it would affect my approach for several future episodes. Including one with a certain flying pony. But that’s a blog for another day!


    Also, while the episode may not be watchable on YouTube, it is publicly available right here on Rooster Teeth. So if you want to see your childhood ruthlessly stabbed repeatedly 24 times... here you go!


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. What characters would you like to see in a Battle Royale style episode?

  • Indiana Jones 5 Delayed! Disney shifts their schedule around!

    1 month ago

    ericvespe

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    There was a massive shift in Disney's release schedule today. Most of these new dates affect movies still in development, so don't worry. Avengers 4, Captain Marvel, Episode IX, Frozen 2 and all those are still coming when you expect them.


    Most of the moves are earlier than previously announced, the one exception being a big year push for Indiana Jones 5. Originally slated for 7/10/2020 the movie will now come out 7/09/2021. It makes sense, especially with the news that Solo's Jon Kasdan was reportedly doing a big rewrite after Spielberg regular David Koepp had his shot at the script.


    It's a bummer, but as long as they get it right and wash away the taste of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull they can take as much time as they need. 



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    Mary Poppins Returns moves up a week from December 25th to December 19th, The Rock's Jungle Cruise movie will release October 11th, 2019, Maleficent 2 will hit theaters May 29th, 2020 and an Untitled Marvel movie moves from July 30th, 2021 to February 12th, 2021.


    It's a good bet that the Untitled Marvel movie will be a Black Panther sequel since it's moving from a coveted summer slot to February, which was very, very good to the first Black Panther film, but that's just a guess. 


    So that's the big update. Still can't wait for Spielberg and Harrison Ford's final outing with Dr. Jones. Call me an optimist if you want, but I have a good feeling that they'll knock it out of the park.



  • #4: The Original 26 - Death Battle's Road to 100

    1 month ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

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    Episode - 5: Haggar VS Zangief


    After watching Haggar VS Zangief again for the first time in years, the first thought I had was “Wow, Wiz sounded really bored through all this! What the hell, me?”


    This was the first time we explored what I consider to be a “rivalry” match-up. You know, the classic schoolyard argument. Mario or Sonic? Batman or Superman? My dad could totally beat up your dad! Mike Haggar and Zangief had a semi well known rivalry among video game fans, of which ScrewAttack’s audience still catered to the most back then. Fun fact, we actually reached out to Capcom’s then community manager Seth Killian to find out if Zangief has a last name. He responded with a confident “Nope!”


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    “He’s Luigi Zangief, and I’m Zangief Zangief!”


    What’s really special about this episode is that it was the very first one inspired by popular fan requests. We had been saying “You have an idea for a Death Battle? Leave a comment below!” in the credits for several episodes now, so it was time to make a popular suggestion happen. However, this meant I had to change something I’ve rarely ever discussed before. I had to alter the list of 26 episodes we had already planned to do.


    I had always expected we’d take viewer requests throughout the series, but I still made up a planned series of episodes to present to our crew and investors. Can’t very well pitch a show to a big company and just say “Eh, we’ll figure out whatever we’ll do later!”


    In order to partner with Revision3, we had to agree to a plan. We decided we would create two seasons of 13 bi-weekly episodes. So I presented a list of 26 match-ups I thought could be well-received. I wasn’t sure if the show would do well enough to warrant further seasons, so I didn't think much about the possibility. We went forward with the plans for some time. However, about two or three weeks before production began on episode 13, (our first season’s finale) it was suddenly decided that we’d forgo the whole “seasonal” approach entirely. After this finale, which could no longer be called a finale, the show would just… keep going. Goodbye, precious few weeks of minimal freedom I was so looking forward too. If you’ve ever wondered why Death Battle Season 1 and 2 have way more episodes than later seasons, this is why. They were formed into seasons retroactively, with season finales being determined either during or after their production had begun.


    Frankly, I’m not 100% sure how this part of the business deal with Revision3 went down. It was all exclusively between Craig and Revision3. It seemed like an odd decision to make, and the constant chaos eventually began to negatively affect both the show and my health. Ever since joining Rooster Teeth, we’ve returned to a proper seasonal format, (thank god) but I suppose it’s possible that keeping Death Battle going strong and consistent for so long back then was necessary for it to reach the success it has today. Or maybe I was just being worked to the bone because ScrewAttack didn’t know what else to do. Who knows!


    Anyway, I’ve never publicly shared the original episode list before. To be perfectly honest, the actual file for the list was lost a long time ago, and currently only exists in my memory. I’m sure some of the match-ups are in the wrong order here, and it's possible I've got one or two wrong, but all-in-all I believe these were the original 26.


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    There are a few episodes listed there which were slightly changed, pushed back for a later season, or simply never saw the light of day. Also, you may have noticed there were a lot more video game themed battles than comics or anime. After all, ScrewAttack was primarily a website for gamers at the time. Still, audience suggestions quickly shook a lot of the plan up, and frankly I treated more than a few from this list as just temporary ideas in anticipation of that.


    And yes, we had planned to do Chuck Norris VS Segato Sanshiro from the very beginning. I can’t wait until I get to the blog where I talk about that crazy episode!


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. I'm posting each of these blogs daily at noon CST right here on my Rooster Teeth page, so if you're interested in keeping up you know when to swing by every day!


    P.P.S. Are there any cancelled match-ups in the original 26 you’d actually like to see as a Death Battle?

  • Europeans and Jeff Williams' Freelance Orchestra at ACL Live

    1 month ago

    patrickmatthewz RTX Events Coordinator

    Hey Euro-pals! 

    I know you have been having some trouble purchasing tickets to the Jeff Williams’ Freelance Orchestra. Due to the Data Protection Act, Ticketfly no longer accepts payments from customers with European addresses. Unfortunately, this policy cannot be amended or changed. But don’t fear! We are going to hold some tickets so that you can purchase them on-site when you get here! 


    That week the ACL Live Box Office will be open:


    Monday (7/30):  10am – about 8:30 pm 
    Tuesday (7/31): 10am – about 8:30 pm 
    Wednesday (8/1): 10a-3p
    Thursday (8/2): 10a-3p
    Friday (8/3): 10am – about 8:30 pm 
    Saturday (8/4): 3p – until 30 min past show start


    ACL Live is located at 310 W Willie Nelson Blvd Suite 1A, Austin, TX 78701.


    Get their early to ensure you can grab a seat. Thanks and can’t wait to see you all at RTX!

  • Community Events with Sidequest

    1 month ago

    kriss Community Manager

    RTX IS ALMOST UPON US! 


    Looking for some community events to attend during RTX weekend? I highly encourage you to check out the events hosted by Sidequest! If you are unfamiliar with Sidequest, that's okay! Here's a brief snapshot about them! 


    "Originally born from the Rooster Teeth fan community, we are perhaps best known for our SideQuest Community Weekend (formerly called RTX SideQuest), a series of meetups and parties held before, during, and after RTX in Austin, TX. Since the first RTX in 2011, SideQuest has organized safe, inclusive, unforgettable events for community members to connect with one another outside the hustle and bustle of the RTX convention." 


    Now on to the even better stuff! What events can expect from Sidequest this year? 



    • SideQuest Charity Gala (Thursday, August 2nd)
      Time to play dress-up, hang out with your pinkies out, and bid on one-of-a-kind artwork, beautifully designed props, and other great items donated from throughout the RT community. All auction proceeds benefit SideQuest’s partner charities, including Child’s Play, AbleGamers, and Operation Supply Drop. This year we’re hosting the event at The Line Hotel in downtown Austin, just a short walk from the Austin Convention Center and other downtown hotels.

    **Special note about the charity gala. If you're the creative and artistic type, Sidequest is still accepting unique items to be auctioned off at the gala. If you would like to send in something, fill out this form! For ideas on what was submitted in the past, feel free to check out this album.


    • SideQuest Barlympics (Saturday, August 4th)
      Come party with us to Buffalo Billiards on Austin’s iconic Sixth Street. Have a round or three in the company of your SideQuest family, because we’ve reserved the entire upstairs space of Buffalo Billiards for this event. And when you’re done being cordial, throw down against other community members in a variety of games. Rack up points for your team and compete for glory. Will your squad have the honor of hoisting the SideQuest Cup at the end of the night? (NOTE: This event is only for guests 18 and up.)


    • SideQuest Lounge and RTX Wrap-Up Party (Sunday, August 5th)
      Come on back to Buffalo Billiards and cap off your RTX weekend with one last night of fun. You can even bring along your RTX friends who don’t have SideQuest tickets, because we’ve locked down the entire venue for an RTX-attendees only party! An RTX badge is all you need to get in on the bottom level, but a SideQuest ticket is still required to access the SideQuest Lounge upstairs. (NOTE: This event is only for guests 18 and up.)

    You can buy your tickets here! AND Sidequest is offering y'all a 10% off discount code! When you purchase your tickets, don't forget to use RTSideQuest10 when checking out! 


    I hope to see you at one or all of these events! I have to figure out what I'm going to wear for the gala now. 


    <3

    Jackie 





  • Full Sail + Rooster Teeth Livestream on 7/10

    1 month ago

    Skilltacular Producer @ RT Games

    Our friends from Full Sail University are coming to visit and they have goodies for us this time. We’ll be playing the beta build of Fury Strike! This month, not only are we bringing back Chad James and fellow Full Sail alum, Chris Kokkinos, but Achievement Hunter’s own Ryan Haywood is joining. Lil’ fun fact about our boy Ryan: he also went to Full Sail. We’ll be sure to make lots of references to the campus and classes so we can make Chad feel left out. It’s going to be a good time.


    After this visit, the next time you’ll see the game will be at RTX! If RTX wasn’t exciting enough, playing Fury Strike on the show floor will add to the fun that awaits you.


    Tune in tomorrow (July 10th) at 3 PM CST at facebook.com/roosterteeth/ to see the latest.


    See y’all then!

    BR

  • #3: A Terrible Idea - Death Battle's Road to 100

    1 month ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

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    Episode - 4: Goomba VS Koopa

    Click here to read blog #2: Health Bars


    It seemed like such a terrible idea. On paper, it looked like an accident. When said aloud, it was impossible not to shake your head in utter disbelief and morbid disappointment.


    And that’s why we didn’t do Goomba VS the Burgertime Hotdog.


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    Yup. That was a match-up Chad pitched early on in the show’s development, and it was the planned fourth episode all the way until I actually started writing the script. It was this ridiculous idea that spurned a recurring Death Battle tradition; the gag battle!


    Early Death Battle rarely delved into character analysis with quite as much gusto as some hardcore versus community members would, so the concept of having a gag battle every so often seemed like a great idea to me. Its levity would reinforce how Death Battle was just as fun as it was informative. I’ve often said that the first season was fairly experimental, and this was possibly the most important experiment we ever did. However, I wasn’t sold on the idea of the hotdog match-up. There just wasn’t much to work with, and nobody would recognize or care about this sidelined sausage. I decided to change the match to what we know today, one of the only Death Battles to ever pit characters from the same universe against each other; Goomba VS Koopa.


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    I don’t think Death Battle truly found its legs until around episode 17, and I’d rarely recommend any of the episodes before that, but I still think this one is fun as hell! If I were to make a Top 10 Funniest Moments in Death Battle list, I’d probably still put Boomstick’s confusion over the Goomba’s “telepathy powerz” on it! This was the episode when Wiz and Boomstick’s characters finally started to become truly realized, though the voices still needed a lot work. While it featured a lot of guesswork and exaggerations for the sake of humor, if we were to remaster this episode today, I’d probably still keep a lot of the original script!


    Then there’s the battle animation, the fight that was way too epic for its own good. I think I spent more time building set-pieces and explosions than actually animating the Goomba and Koopa themselves. Given our animation quality nowadays, some people might not find it too appealing, (I don’t think there’s a single frame where the Goomba isn’t blurry) but I’m still pretty proud of it! Chad and I were a little concerned with ending the fight as a draw, since we didn’t want viewers to expect the same possibility for future match-ups. Yet the script was just so preposterous from start to finish I didn’t think people would take any of it seriously. To me, it was worth the risk.


    Goomba VS Koopa aired on January 17, 2011… and something started to happen.


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    When I said this was one of the most important Death Battle experiments we ever did, it’s not just because it helped establish the tone of the show and its characters. Goomba VS Koopa, of all things, was the episode that put Death Battle on the goddamn map.


    Five months and twenty-two days after first premiering on Revision3 and YouTube, Goomba VS Koopa became the first Death Battle to achieve one million views.


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    If you read my first Road to 100 blog, you may remember ScrewAttack videos back then usually reached around 20k to 30k views at best. Also, YouTube in 2011 wasn’t at all the hip and popular playground is today. To have our fourth episode ever smash all our expectations and reach one million views was a HUGE moment for us! And even better, it kept going! As of writing this, the video is very close to reaching 12 million hits on YouTube. All these years later, YouTube statistics still show that hundreds of people watch it every day.


    All for a dumb turtle fighting an ugly mushroom with feet. Whodathunk.


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. Do you have your own idea for a gag battle episode? I’d love to hear about it!

  • Ready or not...

    1 month ago

    Neal_W

    I don't know if anyone will read this. I guess I'm writing it because I feel like I need to explain myself. You know, in case anybody is wondering, in the next few days, who the hell I am, and why I am in videos when I never was before.


    Things are pretty exciting right now, and I'm scared shitless about it.


    For two years, I've been working at Rooster Teeth as an editor for Achievement Hunter. A few months ago, an opportunity came up to work on projects for The Lab. A friend of mine encouraged me to apply, because he thought I'd be great at it. I thought he was nuts. But, I knew the position was one step closer to my childhood dream of being a filmmaker/director. I could be proud of myself if I went for it. I would have taken a risk that'd I'd never taken before, and I know that trying and failing is the secret to longterm success. So, I applied.


    The application was daunting; I would have to update my resume, write a cover letter, present my video portfolio (which consisted mostly of half-baked college projects), and additionally write two new screenplays and five show pitches. All of this had to be done after work hours, over the course of one week.


    I got to the interview stage, where I was asked to make a humorous video, featuring myself and made with Rooster Teeth resources, that had to be under a minute. I had a few days to turn it in.


    What I ended up making was a stupidly simple concept for a video. I called it Rapid Fire. I sent it in.


    For some reason, they liked it. I got the job.


    It's now a few short months later. I've passed on my role at Achievement Hunter to their new editor, Jacob, who I hear is nice and has the same Jurassic Park t-shirt as me. I started working at the Lab, helping the rest of the team with their own projects. Then, they helped me record three episodes of Rapid Fire.  The first episode comes out today.


    To be clear, I don't expect this show to rock anybody's world. It's a simple, fun, slightly odd show, but it's nothing groundbreaking. It is, however, a huge step for me. I took a risk applying for this job, and this show is my first creation that I get to see judged and, likely, criticized by the Rooster Teeth community. Hopefully, I see some people enjoy it, too. The show might fail, and I'll need to start from scratch. Even if it does well, and we make more, I'll need to come up with new ideas. That's what The Lab does. So now, that's what I must do. Failure and criticism are inevitable, because that's how you move forward and discover new things. Every day is both super exciting, and absolutely terrifying.


    I don't know what's coming up. I might read a lot of negativity, or positivity, or maybe people just won't notice. Whatever happens, right away I will have to move on to the next project. Whatever that may be.


    If you are reading this, if you've seen the video, let me know what you thought about it, or what you'd like to be different. It might not always be fun to read comments on your work, but it's the only way to grow and learn.


    Wish me luck!

  • Detroit Become Human

    1 month ago

    burnie

    Played this game for a week, a couple hours per day and somehow managed to kill ALL of my characters right at the end. Literally the last "scene" of the story. Some of my endings were so miserable, only 2% of people experienced them. It was such a huge let down, I can't even bring myself to go back and try to discover the other endings. 

  • News from Anime Expo

    1 month ago

    Gray

    Hey guys. 


    So we just got done with our panel at Anime Expo and it was insane. SO MUCH BIG NEWS. Let’s start with a project I’m thrilled to share more news on - gen:LOCK! Now we’ve already told you about this guy, but, oh, there’s so much more. 


    Today we announced some amazing new cast members including esteemed voice talent Kōichi Yamadera as Kazu Iida, a gL recruit from Japan. Yamadera-san has been in a couple tiny shows like Batman Ninja, Cowboy Bebop, and Ghost in the Shell, y’know, so maybe you've heard of him. 


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    We’re also thrilled to announced that Dakota Fanning is joining our cast as Miranda Worth, an expert pilot and someone who is very close to Chase. Yes, THAT Dakota Fanning from The Alienist, The Twilight Saga, and so much more. 


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    We also revealed our first supporting cast member, with Monica Rial (Dragon Ball Z, RWBY) playing the part of Colonel Raquel Marin — yes, it’s her voice you’ve already heard in the virtual call in the gen:LOCK teaser! As excited as I am about how this cast is shaping up, we have so much more yet to reveal. So maybe you should stop by RTX Austin, check out our big RT Animation panel and see what other names we might drop, along with the latest gen:LOCK teaser that we’re working on. It’s going to be a giant party.


    We’re also excited to announce the launch of a website for the new mobile game, RWBY: Amity Arena! CRWBY has been playing an early prototype of the game around the offices and we’re all absolutely addicted to the gameplay. If you haven’t yet heard of RWBY: Amity Arena, it’s a new strategic duel game from the renowned developer of Crusaders Quest, NHN Entertainment. If commanding RWBY characters in a real-time, high-energy strategic duel against friends or competitors across the world sounds fun to you, check out videos, photos, and more info about RWBY: Amity Arena here: https://rwbyaa.hangame.com


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    And if you’ve been enjoying the English translations of the RWBY anthology manga from Viz, the next one is Weiss, arriving in August!


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    Thanks everyone and can’t wait to see you in only 27 days at RTX Austin! ...wait only 27 days?! Guess we gotta get back to work on all the cool stuff we want to share!! See ya in Austin soon!

  • #2: Health Bars - Death Battle's Road to 100

    1 month ago

    Ben B. Singer Ben B. Singer

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    Episodes - 2: Akuma VS Shang Tsung, 3: Rogue VS Wonder Woman

    Click here to read blog #1: The Pitch


    Welcome back! It’s Day 2, so here goes another blog about Death Battle’s topsy-turvy history. If you missed my first entry, you can read it here, and I hope you’ll stick with me as I recount each episode’s past from now until the release of Death Battle episode 100! This time, I’m chatting about episodes 2 and 3… but I missed talking about the premiere last time, so I’m gonna cover that real quick, too.


    The online premiere of Death Battle was a little rough. Fortunately, we’d scored a deal with Revision3, an online network which would distribute the show and help sell it to sponsors. We actually had a sponsor for our very first episode! That was a pretty big deal for 21-year-old me, as was getting to open the Revision3 app on a Smart TV and actually play my own show on a television screen! But not everything about Death Battle’s first few episodes went so smoothly.


    Death Battle was set to premiere on December 6th, 2010. On December 5th, literally one day before, fellow YouTuber Noah Antwiler released a video called “The Deadliest Character,” which was shockingly very similar to Death Battle. It hit me like a bomb. I had no idea this was coming, and my show was airing in less than 24 hours. I’d spent so much time and energy on Death Battle, and all of a sudden I was terrified everyone would think it’s nothing more than a rip-off! It was pretty nerve racking, but turns out I shouldn’t have worried. Noah’s was more of a one-shot parody with entirely different intentions. Still, many long-time viewers know of the so-called “Death Battle curse,” where coincidental announcements and releases seem to unintentionally match Death Battle’s own schedule. (Like how the day we announced Bayonetta as a combatant for Season 3, Bayonetta was also announced as a DLC character in Smash Bros 4. Weird, right?) I think the curse started here, at the very beginning...


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    Episodes 2 and 3 had a lot of “early series weirdness.” We hadn’t quite locked down how Wiz and Boomstick should sound yet. In fact, their voices were so similar, some viewers thought both characters were played by one person! By episode 3, we were toying with some new ideas, and began coming into our characters as you know them today.


    But one of the most common questions I get about early Death Battle is “What’s up with the health bars?”


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    Those were weird, right? So here’s the thing. For the first 19 episodes, I did nearly everything. Including animation. I’ll cover that process more in a later blog, but essentially I knew I wouldn’t have time to create a thrilling animation for each episode with everything else on my plate. My plan was to focus on making the animations a showcase, exhibiting how specific abilities and character stats would play off each other, and not worry too much about making an exciting fight. Considering our audience at the time was primarily gamers, combining the health bars with a strategic battle display would be the best way to express our analysis and results in an efficient and timely manner. 


    Then halfway through animating Akuma vs Shang Tsung I made a kickass mid-air battle sequence that changed my mind forever.


    As I was working on Rogue vs Wonder Woman, I realized the health bars would only end up distracting people from having a fun time, which the fight animations were very quickly evolving into. Hell, the finishing blow in that episode is two chicks making out! Only 3 episodes in, my original plan for the animations was completely abandoned. Of course, this meant I had an even greater task with making the animations fun and exciting despite my extremely tight schedule. I think you can tell by how janky several early fights were, including the one in episode 3. But I was having a blast! I still remember how I made my first ever custom sprites for this one. It was Rogue taking off her glove and grabbing Wondy with her hand.


    Anyway, like much of Season 1, there are a loooooot of problems with these two episodes. It’s pretty obvious we had zero rules in place and little reliance on calculations yet. Most of all, I’d forgotten how much of a sexist asshole Boomstick used to be! Seriously, it’s so stupidly bad it’s kinda funny.


    Thanks for reading! I won’t be posting over the weekend, but come back Monday and I’ll be chatting up one of the most important Death Battle experiments ever; Goomba VS Koopa.


    -Ben B. Singer


    P.S. What's your favorite battle animation from Season 1?