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A 6-episode documentary series on the people and culture of videogames.
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AREA 5

4,396 backers pledged $247,481 to help bring this project to life.

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Not-So-Ideal Backer Livestream Options Survey

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For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

Upcoming Livestream Backer Survey

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Hello friends! We need your thoughts! Twitch has removed the ability to password-protect their broadcasts (when did that happen?!) which is exactly what we intended to do for our backer-only livesterams. So what to do? We have a few options, none of which are ideal, that we'll be polling you all on next Monday. We'll give the survey a week to collect your responses and then we'll figure out how to execute on our first livestream which will happen some time during the week of March 30th to April 3rd. Sorry we can't give you a definite date, but our schedule is always in flux and planning that far out in specifics is asking for trouble, but we'll be posting another update as soon as the date is set! 

 TrainJam was a huge success! We gathered hours and hours of footage of what's really the most unique game jam in the world.  Of course, it's hard not to have a good time when at any moment you can just look out the window and see stuff like this!

Right after that we hit the floor at this year's Game Developers Conference and shot plenty of material for our first Outerlands season of CO-OP. For those who watched our show waaaay back in the day, you might notice that we've updated our gear a bit since then:

 Should be one of the best looking CO-OPs ever! 

Last update I (Matt, the one who writes these posts), mentioned we'd have more updates on backer rewards today, but unfortunately I've got nothing new to report. It's taking WAY longer to go through all the spreadsheets than I thought it would, so, quite frankly, Humble and Fangamer aren't even involved yet. I won't make any more empty promises about backer reward updates, but I'll let you know progress as it happens.

Check your inboxes for the survey next Monday!

<3, AREA 5

Too Long Without Updates and What's Comin' Up!

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Home (For Now)

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AREA 5 is finally in a full-team huddle after traveling and dividing-and-conquering these last few months for Outerlands. That means it’s time for us to update all of you! The team has been watching and logging footage every free moment since we began shooting in March. While there are software programs which are supposed to streamline this process, we’ve never found anything that’s equal to the task of simply watching and then renaming every file by hand. Most of this task has fallen on Ryan’s shoulders. That guy is a machine.

Outerlands adds up so far to about 8,500 files and 3.5TB of data. I have no idea how many hours of footage that would be stretched end-to-end. Thankfully we’re in the digital age! I’m pretty sure we’d need an entire other office just to store film reels. Double those numbers, add in a few hundred more GB for good measure (not everything one shoots is worth logging) and the “storage problem” begins to add up. That’s where Cesar came in. For the past month in-between shoots, he took on the task of building a Network Access Storage (NAS) device. Our five year old Mac Pro honorably sacrificed its life for this greater good:

While it ain’t pretty, this system holds 22TB of usable hard drive space in a RAID 5 configuration. That may not mean much to many of you, but the short of it is that it gives us redundancy should several of the drives in the NAS fail. The dead drives can be rebuilt from algorithmic backups stored on the other drives.

So what’s on that sexy monstrosity? Our latest shoots are from sending Ryan and Cesar to EVO 2014—the largest, greatest fighting game tournament anywhere—and Jason and Matt to GaymerX—a videogame convention for everyone regardless of gender or sexuality (which also began as a Kickstarter!). There's lots of little interviews and shoots we've gathered up as well, but the other big event was our NYC->Rochester->Buffalo->Candada->New Hampshire->Boston road trip. I'll post a few pictures here, but there's quite a few more over on the area5.tv cross-post and their captions will give you a pretty good picture of what we got during that epic quest.

In the tunnels beneath MIT
In the tunnels beneath MIT
Frank Cifaldi at the Strong Museum in Rochester, NY
Frank Cifaldi at the Strong Museum in Rochester, NY
Assalamualaikum Babycastles Opening
Assalamualaikum Babycastles Opening
Matt chatting with Ralph Baer, creator of the Brown Box
Matt chatting with Ralph Baer, creator of the Brown Box

What's next? We're settling back for a few months to dive into editing on this beast. We want to hone in on the layout for the episodes and then target our next locations and shoots on filling out their themes with the best stories. We're heading to Argentina and Chile near the end of September and beginning of October. Austin, Toronto, LA, Washington DC, Seattle, and Virginia are all in the cards at the moment. And, of course, we'll be constantly shooting all around the San Francisco Bay Area; our next local shoot will be at the Computer History Museum in San José which will help us round out our story on the PDP-1 which we began at MIT in Boston.

And there's another AREA 5 Kickstarter! Well, it's not so much ours as it is something we have a stake in. Should it get funded, we could have a hand in a 3D concert film/documentary on Infected Mushroom! It's been in the works for over a year and AREA 5 put a ton of work into the pre-production and the Kickstarter video from Spring through Fall of 2013. The project is being run and managed by our good friends over at Golden Gate 3D, but if you take a close look at the Kickstarter video, you'll see the AREA 5 stamp all over the shooting and editing. If it's something you'd like to see made, tell your friends!

- Matt

Slacker Backer Now Available & Outerlands Heads to NYC and Beyond!

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Hello hello! We've worked with the kind folks at Humble Bundle to offer up Outerlands Slacker Backer options! If you or your friends missed out during the campaign, it's still not too late to back the project and get digital downloads of the series or the series Special Edition!

Just head to our website: http://area5.tv/outerlands or go directly to Humble Bundle!

Outerlands is making it's first journey to the East Coast starting tomorrow! We're sending out Ryan and Cesar on their lonesome tomorrow and Jason and Matt will be joining them next week just in time to hit up the NYU Game Center graduate showcase on the 22nd. But it won't stop there! After we're done filming with several folks in NYC and Brooklyn, we're driving out to Rochester NY to visit the Strong Museum of Play, then on to Buffalo NY and up into Ontario, Canada, before heading BACK into the US and driving all the way east to New Hampshire! We'll wrap in Boston on June the 3rd before flying back to San Francisco. Frank Cifaldi, who you might remember as being featured in our Kickstarter video and in his own short showing off the first-ever Super Mario Bros. review will be joining us in Rochester. He'll be there for Outerlands, but also on a journey of discovery all his own!

There's going to be lots of long days, lots of good times, and tons of great content for Outerlands that we think will surprise and delight all of you. There are dozens of people that have all had to come together and work with us over these past weeks to make all the ducks line up in a nice little row (you know who you are) and we can't thank you enough for all your patience while the scheduling came together!

And to all of our backers, we'll have a lot to share with you on our return, though we probably won't be able to get to a livestream to show it off until after E3.

Finally, to everyone that's offered to buy us beers, hold a boom pole, or just come out to say hi--THANK YOU!