Machinima Masters Rooster Teeth Cook Up A Real-World Zombie Apocalypse

Machinima Masters Rooster Teeth Cook Up A Real-World Zombie Apocalypse (photo)

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When it comes to Internet success stories, the gaming comedy collective known as Rooster Teeth helped carve out the mold of what it looks like when a bunch of normal guys effing around manage to grow an actual phenomenon. They helped popularize machinima, the practice of using already extant game engines to make all-new content. In the early 90s, machinima got used to make everything from music videos to one-offs that became viral memes. But Rooster Teeth were amongst the first to actually create an ongoing machinima series in the form of “Red Vs. Blue.”

“RvB” chronicled the wayward fates of two opposing squads of Spartan cyberwarriors on the terrain of one of the first “Halo” game’s early multiplayer maps. The bumbling soldiers on Rooster Teeth’s inaugural production captured the hearts of players just as Microsoft’s sci-fi FPS was growing into the phenomenon it’d later become. Most impressively, the dudes at the Austin-based production house were able to break away from the gravitational pull of “Halo,” grow their own community of RT fans and produce other series.

The most recent of these is “Immersion,” which pits commonplace video game tropes up against real-world testing with two hapless gamers as the guinea pigs. The latest episode of “Immersion” takes on two recurring features from the games of today. First is the proliferation of zombies throughout blockbuster video game releases. It’s one thing for franchises like “Resident Evil,” “Left 4 Dead” and “Dead Rising” to throw tons of the undead at you, because they’re all built around that mythos. But, when otherwise realistic series like Activision’s “Call of Duty” games start mining the zombie trend, one can only surmise that they’re trying to broaden their appeal and make some cash in the bargain.

The other trope that episode 8 of “Immersion” examines is the multiplayer feature known as Horde Mode. In 2009, “Gears of War 2″ introduced a new multiplayer option called Horde Mode. It tasks a team of players to survive against randomly spawned waves of enemies that get tougher as you go along. Since then, lots of games have included variants to this formula but the basics generally persist. Hunkered down around an ammo stash, everyone playing needs to spot and kill as many antagonists as possible. You’ll generally be able to revive a fallen comrade if he falls down on the field of battle, but put yourself at risk in doing so.

I really like how the arc of our two hapless heroes in this “Immersion” ep moves from foolhardy overconfidence to frustration to panic. It happens all too often in co-op video game play and would probably happen in true-life zombie scenarios, too. Filming for this “Immersion” installment took place at RTX 2011, the production company’s convention. The zombies horde is made up from attendees of the Rooster Teeth fanfest and, all things considered, I think they acquitted themselves well. You can view more episodes of “Immersion” here.

Do you think you and your friends would do better than Geoff and Gus in facing down a zombie horde? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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