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Ten years from now, videogames are so immersive that teenagers learn lethal skills just by playing. They’re called hapheads.
Ten years from now, videogames are so immersive that teenagers learn lethal skills just by playing. They’re called hapheads.
Ten years from now, videogames are so immersive that teenagers learn lethal skills just by playing. They’re called hapheads.
561 backers pledged CA$ 30,802 to help bring this project to life.

Worldbuilding*

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We were lucky enough to get "Fearless" Fred Kennedy from Edge 102.1 to voice a recruitment ad for our fictional company, Aster*sk. We thought we'd share a bit more about the company and what went into creating it. 

Aster*sk is the company in Haphead that manufactures the new haptic cables. A disruptive technology that adds a sense of touch to videogames, it's enabled people to attain physical skills just by playing.

Although it focuses on hardware rather than software, Aster*sk isn't a no-name brand -- their logo spins in the eye of a player when they start their game.

Click to see the original before effects.
Click to see the original before effects.

For the Aster*sk factory floor we were inspired by the doc Manufactured Landscapes, where we were struck by the lack of mechanization -- because human labour in the right political climate is much cheaper than robotic labour.

The premise in the show is that Hamilton, originally a steel factory town, has been designated as a Special Economic Zone much like Shenzhen.

Click to see image before effects were laid in.
Click to see image before effects were laid in.

The factory has consumed the available real estate and labour and now ships in workers from Toronto and other surrounding areas.

We had access to an ink factory as a base for our effects team to duplicate and sew together. Years ago director Tate, Ian and our DP Tony had shot a vid for the ink factory that had gone viral.

The name came about because asterisks are always suspicious*. For example, they reframe "temp" as "flex", despite the flexibility being for the company's benefit... not the workers.

When we were getting the script cleared with our lawyer we were surprised to find a number of companies unironically called "Asterisk". We replaced the "i" with a "*" to help us avoid a lawsuit. The slogan above, meant to reassure investors and consumers with a statement that is literally true but meaningless, was a nice byproduct of this change.

Interested in joining Aster*sk? Back our Kickstarter at the physical reward level ($35+) and get your own Flex Employee Access Card! Its embedded USB includes the 1080p version of Haphead season one and the extras -- such as Aster*sk employee review interviews.

*Except when they're not. See what I mean? 

Wm Brian MacLean, Rob (deleted), and 1 more person like this update.