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 Theater productions in Landmark

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Pookiemonster



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Join date : 2014-03-14

PostSubject: Theater productions in Landmark   Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:29 pm

So I've been thinking about how you would go about staging a production in Landmark.

Obviously, the acting's a bit limited so this will have to be continually readdressed as Landmark's functionality evolves. The inclusion of SOEmote will be fantastic, though. Until we get voice capability, it'll be mainly chat-box-based text. I think until then acting will be pretty rudimentary, but we could probably do some cool stuff.

So what do we need for a successful production?

Director - Just like in real life, we'll need someone to coordinate the actors and bring the script to life. The director's job will be more than just "you go there and say this." There's not much in the way of nuance yet, but it's the director's job to also figure out what props are needed, how to do any special effects, and what sets and costumes will be needed.

Set Designer - The set designer's job is, naturally, building the set. Unlike a real-life production, however, the sets can be incredibly elaborate from scene to scene since they can all just be put in a template and placed when we need a scene change. This also includes props. In Landmark, it will also be the set designer's job to actually place the templates and do the scene changes.

Stage Manager - This could actually also be the Director's job, but I'm listing this as a separate responsibility since traditionally, it is. The stage manager is more or less the director once the show goes up. The stage manager usually sits just off stage in one of the wings and has a view of the whole stage and all the action. It is his or her job to "call" the show - that is, much like a conductor, the stage manager gives verbal cues to lights and sound when to play effects, do a blackout, change lighting presets, etc. The stage manager is the lubricant that keeps the show running. In Landmark, I see the stage manager or director sitting in the back of the theater with a view of the whole stage. The set designer should also be at the back of the house, as that might be the easiest vantage point to lay down templates and add/delete props.

Vocab note: When I say the "house," I mean the actual auditorium part of the theater. The stage is the stage, and backstage, or "back of house" is behind the stage, the wings, the green room, dressing rooms, etc. The house is where everybody sits to watch the show, and "front of house" is the lobby area.

Note I didn't mention the actors - that's a given.

The actual performance of the show is up to the director. If there are practical props involved (props that do things), I'd imagine it's the director's job to figure out who's responsible for activating/deactivating them. My suggestion is to have the director/stage manager or a crew person be the only one who manipulates props so you can keep the permissions to a minimum and not have actor accidentally clicking on props while they're trying to move/position the camera so they can keep up with their own responsibilities.

"Backstage" communication should be through a separate production channel, and naturally all lines are said in public chat until we have voice.

Any sets and props created for the show are the property of Leyspring Theater. My idea for the workshop area was to have chests full of props and materials so the set designers had access to whatever they needed and didn't have to dig into their personal stores or go harvest lots of stuff. Naturally we will for the first few productions, but after that it'd be nice to have everything we needed in the workshop. Too bad you can't store templates in chests. Smile Maybe we should suggest a craftable blueprint item for storing templates.

Can you imagine once we get voice? We could do musicals, too.

I'm excited at the possibilities.

Thoughts?
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Pookiemonster



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PostSubject: Re: Theater productions in Landmark   Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:30 pm

I forgot some thoughts on a few other traditional positions that I see as folded into what I have above:

Producer - It is the producer's job to make sure that the director has everything he or she needs to put on the show he or she envisions. In terms of Landmark, that means mostly permissions, props, costumes, and materials. In terms of permissions, that falls to whomever owns the claim. IN terms of materials, I see that as the set designer's responsibility. For props, it's a combination of the director and the set designer. In any case, there should be a clear delineation as to who has what responsibility.

Propmaster - See above. I think when the crafting system becomes more robust, this might actually be pretty important, but for now the responsibility for props can be the director's.

Costumer - I'm not sure how outfits are going to shake out. If they're mainly marketplace items, it's not fair to require anyone to buy anything with real money. Are costumes tradeable and can they be put into chests? Perhaps people can donate costumes to the theater. If they're crafted, then this might become another responsibility.
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Tsagh
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PostSubject: Re: Theater productions in Landmark   Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:59 pm

It seems like you're on the right track here. For CBT purposes, let's start thinking about how a 1-act could be produced with a skeleton crew. I think a lot of the roles can be filled by different people for different productions, and in some cases many of the roles filled by just one person.

I do believe that marketplace outfits ARE tradeable.
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Voidlust



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PostSubject: Re: Theater productions in Landmark   Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:07 pm

There is a lot to touch on here, more than I have time for at the moment, but in regards to the skeleton crew idea...

I think one of the easiest shows we could produce would be either a stand up comedy routine / duo etc. Set design would be light, so would most of our other needs.... just tossing it out there, there are a lots of types of performances not everything has to be Les Mis Smile
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Zeuljii



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PostSubject: Re: Theater productions in Landmark   Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:29 pm

Two thoughts fwiw:

1) Animation of voxels by placing template over template, at first capturing frames, and then live with a coordinated team of template placers.  Then voxels interacting with live actors.

2) Twitch or similar broadcast medium for voice. Maybe even pre-recorded?
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Pookiemonster



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PostSubject: Re: Theater productions in Landmark   Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:40 am

Just a quick note,

Most of what you're talking about I thought it best to leave up to the directors. Every production is different, and it's entirely possible to have a whole 3-act play with lots of characters be done by only a few actors. That's a creative decision best discussed for each individual production.

I'm speaking globally, as in what every production will need to run smoothly. So in a sense, I am talking the bare minimum. It's entirely possible that the director and set designer are the same person. Really, all you need is just one person to coordinate the whole thing.

While I'm thinking macro, I was also thinking about vaudeville, comedy, spoken word recitals, concert performances, etc. Everything.

And, er... what does CBT mean? Smile

My biggest thought is that the theater should actually be run by someone or someones so that everything is coordinated.

Maybe leave the show submissions up to those who want to direct and have the producers accept or deny submissions and set the schedules, so to speak. In terms of scheduling, it would be more "when the production is ready" instead of a set go-live date. So say a couple people want to do shows... we say great, go work on it. Then they put the shows together and once everything is ready they work with the producers to schedule a time for performances. The producer(s) would also coordinate rehearsal and building times so that if there are multiple shows going at once, they won't get in each others' way.

I think the intention for this thread is also to figure out how the theater will work logistically rather than discuss shows to do. Heck, you can do a one-man show if you want to talk skeleton crews. Wink I actually was thinking of doing a vocal recital once we get voice capability.

As far as that goes... I don't think requiring 3rd-party programs is the way to go. No ventrillo, no twitch, etc... yes, I think it would be great to broadcast and/or record, but we shouldn't require the viewing public to have to turn to any software other than Landmark.

Wow this got rambly... that's what happens when you post before coffee.

TL;DR: I really just wanted to iron out the higher-level running of the theater and we can let the directors handle how to put up a production on a show-by-show basis. I think this might turn out to wow us with creativity much like we wowed the SOE team with Landmark.

But yes, I do have ideas on individual productions if we want to discuss things on a more specific level.
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Tsagh
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PostSubject: Re: Theater productions in Landmark   Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:01 am

CBT = Closed Beta Test

You're right, the first step is to build the facility so that it's usable.

The reason for talking about how a production could be run, is that there are some big differences between real world and EQNL. We need to anticipate needs and adjust as necessary. Of course, creative license would be given to each director, but the first production is probably going to be yours! If we talk through the difficulties now, we can avoid some major problems when we try to fit a round concert into square hall.

I agree that the goal is to avoid third party programs, especially in the long-term. For now, I'm not convinced that we should rule out taking advantage of them while we are waiting for game systems. That being said, we should also plan productions to avoid as much third party reliance as possible, so there isn't a barrier to participation.
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Zeuljii



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PostSubject: Re: Theater productions in Landmark   Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:30 am

Without physics, it might make sense to have a diagonal or domed curtain to increase the audience capacity, but in order to lift it without deleting the set, you're going to need huge templates with zero voxel data and air... and that's invisible, so there needs to be some cue for alignment (much like tape on a regular stage). That cue could be hidden under the stage, so that person may not need to be able to see the stage but may need a room somewhere to work from.

A performance can be done by an individual on a street corner, true, but a theater is a feat of engineering as much as art. The design of the theater requires foreknowledge of the logistics and mechanics of the production.
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Pookiemonster



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PostSubject: Re: Theater productions in Landmark   Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:10 pm

Tsagh wrote:
CBT = Closed Beta Test

You're right, the first step is to build the facility so that it's usable.

The reason for talking about how a production could be run, is that there are some big differences between real world and EQNL. We need to anticipate needs and adjust as necessary. Of course, creative license would be given to each director, but the first production is probably going to be yours! If we talk through the difficulties now, we can avoid some major problems when we try to fit a round concert into square hall.

Oh absolutely! That's the reason for my first post. I do think that each production will have its own unique solution, though, which is why I was talking on the macro level and exploring what's possible. If we figure out what we'd need for, say, Les Mis, then we'll be well equipped to do a small one-man show or something. I'm trying to stay on a more general topic that applies to everything. I think if we put some systems/regulations/practices into place it'll make things run a lot more smoothly.

I'll think about a small production so we can experiment and see what I come up with. To be honest, I'd rather not be the director on this thing since I'm not entirely sure I can safely commit to any sort of reliable online time. Or at least not as much time as it might require. I've got plenty of time to coordinate behind the scenes, though via emails and forums. We'll see what I can do about getting some devoted Landmark time.

I think, Zeuljii, you're getting ahead of us. A proper working curtain just isn't possible right now (or maybe it is but will need experimentation), but that doesn't mean we can't have a curtain template that we can place and delete. Your point as to cues for alignment is already in my thinking and that needs to be addressed when we build the stage so that the set designer (I stubbornly hold to my titles! Wink ) can place and manipulate scenery easier and more quickly.

And I had also thought about using some quick building for animation and special effects, but we're certainly not there yet.
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Voidlust



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PostSubject: Re: Theater productions in Landmark   Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:36 pm

Zeuljii wrote:
Without physics, it might make sense to have a diagonal or domed curtain to increase the audience capacity, but in order to lift it without deleting the set, you're going to need huge templates with zero voxel data and air... and that's invisible, so there needs to be some cue for alignment (much like tape on a regular stage).  That cue could be hidden under the stage, so that person may not need to be able to see the stage but may need a room somewhere to work from.

A performance can be done by an individual on a street corner, true, but a theater is a feat of engineering as much as art.  The design of the theater requires foreknowledge of the logistics and mechanics of the production.

I do have a few ideas running around in my head for the curtain functionality specify but I need to get the stage built to test them out. I think at least one of the few I ideas I have should work and have a nice effect, only issue being, they all would require at least one "crew" member to operate.
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