The new KM episode is up!

Discussion about Knightmare in youtube's Geek Week.
stockholmsyndrome
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Re: The new KM episode is up!

Post by stockholmsyndrome » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:37 pm

On the whole a very positive reaction to geek week episode. In the build up Tim Child stated something along the lines of 'a monster is getting out of the box, this will either be the start of a new generation of Knightmare, or the last'. Is it unfair to ask what people think the likely answer is?

The heart is saying yes, and partly head is saying in a post potter/lord or rings world it could do very very well given its popularity first time round. The other part of the head is saying it won't come together, and all our dreams will be crushed by the suits who make these decisions.

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Re: The new KM episode is up!

Post by TimeMaster » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:09 pm

I have to admit that I liked the Geek Week episode a lot more than I though I might! However, the same question is going through my mind as Stockholmsyndrome, namely - will it lead to more new Knightmare? I think that in the earlier posts, Tim Child spoke of using the Geek Week episode as a pilot to be marketed to interested broadcasters. I wonder if he has secured much interest?

(Hopefully the positive viewing figures for the Geek Week episode will help)
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Re: The new KM episode is up!

Post by StayBeautiful » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:13 am

I'm very late to this so apologies!!

(Watched knightmare the first time around, discovered these boards when trying to find out why the challenge repeats stopped, and discovered the new episode via the boards. ..)

Like many I'm so chuffed that there's a new episode. I felt just like a child again and my all time most feared character - Ariadne - still got my pulse racing. I'd not heard of Knightmare VR (one to look up...) so that Slice Me Dice Me puzzle really got me. I thought it was an update of the causeways to begin with... then those blades came crashing across!! Brilliant... I thought at that point that the puzzle must be impossible but was still a bit surprised bythe death all the same. I know there's been some debate over whether it's a level 2 or level 3 puzzle - I think it'd be great as the final you-know-you've-nearly-made-it obstacle in a game.

The episode certainly provokes thought though and there were two things that struck me in particulate:

1. Spellcasting. This business of saying the word after spelling it didn't seem popular, on this thread at least. I wonder how it would work on a practical level if there was a whole series - what on earth would you do to dispell? ? Saying out the gobbledegook word with the letters rearranged would be a bit odd/ difficult wouldn't it? Especially if time was of the essence - you'd just want to end the spell not worry about pronunciation!

2 Adults vs Kidsies. I agree with previous posters that many of the originals teams were a but annoying so I'm not going speculate about adults' personalities. What has really got me thinkingis the posts congratulating the team on realising they needed to spell "feet". I was surprised because it seemed obvious to me as soon as they faced the SMDM - even having never seen the puzzle before. Now I'm not saying this to show off, it's to make the point that pitching knightmare must be pretty tough. Riddles or clues need to be a bit tough so that they present a bit of a challenge but not so tough as to be impossible. So - I guess the feet clue worked well. Some of us got it, some didn't. Now, would kidsies have got it? Maybe, but imagine a team of youngsters smart enough to solve a whole bunch of clues designed for a adult audience. We might be impressed but there's a fine line between impressively smart and precocious and annoying. But if the clues and riddles are pitched to be easier for kids, would we as an adult audience be so caught up in the game? Or would it feel a bit boring? It seems as though the age if the teams needs to be considered alongside the determination of the target audience. So - being utterly selfish - I'd want to play along and therefore I'd want adult teams.

Finally - Tim Child mentioned an uncut version earlier in the thread. Did this happen??

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Re: The new KM episode is up!

Post by Mystara » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:06 pm

StayBeautiful wrote: 1. Spellcasting. This business of saying the word after spelling it didn't seem popular, on this thread at least. I wonder how it would work on a practical level if there was a whole series - what on earth would you do to dispell? ? Saying out the gobbledegook word with the letters rearranged would be a bit odd/ difficult wouldn't it? Especially if time was of the essence - you'd just want to end the spell not worry about pronunciation!
I found it amazing that anyone cared, quite frankly. I'm fairly sure that, even throughout the run of the origin series, spell casting changed between whether you needed to give the name of the spell at the beginning or not.
StayBeautiful wrote: Finally - Tim Child mentioned an uncut version earlier in the thread. Did this happen??
Yes, but it may get held back for a possible Knightmare convention.
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Re: The new KM episode is up!

Post by Canadanne » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:23 pm

StayBeautiful wrote:This business of saying the word after spelling it didn't seem popular, on this thread at least. I wonder how it would work on a practical level if there was a whole series - what on earth would you do to dispell? ? Saying out the gobbledegook word with the letters rearranged would be a bit odd/ difficult wouldn't it?
That is a rather hilarious observation that hadn't crossed my mind at all!
Mystara wrote:I'm fairly sure that, even throughout the run of the origin series, spell casting changed between whether you needed to give the name of the spell at the beginning or not.
That is true, I seem to recall Merlin sometimes saying the name of the spell before spelling it out. For some reason it does seem annoying when they say the word at the end, though (as if the audience is too thick to realise what they were spelling!), and since it wasn't necessary in the past, I didn't like the way it seemed to be compulsory now.
StayBeautiful wrote:But if the clues and riddles are pitched to be easier for kids, would we as an adult audience be so caught up in the game? Or would it feel a bit boring? It seems as though the age if the teams needs to be considered alongside the determination of the target audience. So - being utterly selfish - I'd want to play along and therefore I'd want adult teams.
Personally, I think the original Knightmare got the difficulty level just right. There were plenty of riddles and puzzles that had me scratching my head when I rewatched it as an adult, and I've seen many other people saying they still can't answer the riddles now. So I don't think there's any reason to think that teenage teams = dumbed down viewing.

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Re: The new KM episode is up!

Post by HobGoblin » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:27 pm

I actually think I'd have been more successful at KM when I was a kid than I would be now. I sometimes feel my general knowledge was much better when I was in school and constantly learning/discovering. The adult world of work, pubs and chores simply isn't as good for solving riddles!
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Re: The new KM episode is up!

Post by wombstar » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:07 pm

Nah not me, I learnt more in a year after leaving school than I did at school.
Probs a good job I was rejected back then, would have been a bit rubbish. lol
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Re: The new KM episode is up!

Post by GrandDizzy » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:01 am

Well I have only just found out about this episode and only just watched it. I don't come here very often so I guess I'm not as much of a hardcore Knightmare fan as most of you. I haven't read through this thread yet but just want to post my thoughts about this episode.

OVERALL

Overall, while I was very excited about this, I find it a very odd mix of professional production values and distinctly amateur work. On a conscious level, I found that confusing; at the subconscious level I found it jarring. What am I watching here? A fan project or something professional? The episode itself didn't seem to know, and that was perhaps the biggest problem.

THINGS I LIKED

• First and foremost, SO wonderful to see Hugo back as Treguard once more! :)
• Solid performances from the guest cast.
• Excellent costumes.
• Great script which felt more or less just like classic Knightmare.

So all the elements were there for a great show. However, I'm afraid that most of what I have to say is criticisms. I am not writing this just to moan, I write it respectfully, as a fan, in a spirit of providing feedback so as to help improve any future productions.

CRITICISMS

• My biggest complaint of all was the backgrounds/graphics. Now I really don't like to be rude about other people's work, but I must be honest here and say I really did not like the graphics and that spoilt the whole thing for me. The rooms taken from original Knightmare artwork were covered with coarse digital noise and looked really ugly. As for the other rooms it all just looked really flat, blocky, aliased, plainly lit, covered with heavy noise, and basically everything just looked like cheap videogame graphics. Treguard's room was the worst. It just looks so unfinished and lacking in detail. There could at least have been an animated fire burning in the corner?
• There seemed to be no reverb at all on any of the mics. The classic series made good use of reverb to give that castle/dungeon feeling.
• There seemed to be very few sound effects (eg for the life force). That, to me, is an absolutely essential detail. Without sound effects, it just feels dead and lifeless. In the classic series, it always seemed to me that if there were a bit of an episode where not much was going on, they would show the life force for a few seconds just to give the scene a bit of "life" (excuse the pun).
• I found a lot of the camera framing highly questionable. One shot that comes to mind is near the beginning where Daisy is talking to the team and she is looking out of frame in profile. One of her eyes is hidden. Other shots place the team at the bottom of the screen with the ugliest of dead space above their heads.
• Many of the cameras are interlaced. Obviously a budget constraint but still a shame.
• Some very dodgy editing in places which I am sure most people picked up on. But also some subtle details such as Treguard giving important dialogue without cutting to a shot of him. Conversely, someone thought it was a good idea to show Daisy awkwardly squeezing between the chair and the wall?
• Also some timing issues with regards to people talking over each other, though that is less of a post-production issue and just needs lots of pre-planning.
• I really feel Treguard's room should be a real set. Even just a black, featureless room would have been better than this cheap-looking videogame room. IMHO, Treguard's room needs to have a strong sense of reality in order to provide the "anchor" to the real world, whilst the dungeoneer is out there walking around a fantasy world.
• While Hugo always was, and always will be, an outstanding performer, for some reason in this episode his voice and delivery seemed to lack the strong, harsh, deep and piercing quality he always used to have. He seemed a little placid during this shoot, though as for his voice seeming softer, I suspect that may be down to the micking.
• I did not like the choice of contestants. Now I don't mean that in a personal way, they were lovely people, I just don't think they were Knightmare material. First of all, they are probably the strangest most sinister-looking group of contestants I've probably ever seen on ANY gameshow. And that kind of defeats the object, because the show is supposed to be about taking a group of "normal, average people" (who are portraying the good guys) and putting them in amongst strange fantastical characters. But these contestants were so "un-average", they almost looked like part of the cast. I also thought these contestants were a little too cocky, jokey and familiar with Tregard. There was no sense of this being real with anything at stake. They feel like "relaxed videogame players" rather than "serious contestants".

SUGGESTION FOR THE CONTESTANTS
For future productions I think contestants should be chosen who:
1) Are "normal" looking. Plainly dressed, inconspicuous.
2) Of a serious and sensible disposition, who will show proper reverence and subordination towards Treguard the dungeonmaster
3) Really want to win, perhaps with a prize on offer of some significance.
4) Have been adequately prepared by the producers (and all staff) before shooting to make sure there is a serious and sober frame of mind, having had no contact with Hugo prior to shooting, and Hugo only speaking to them in character.
5) Perhaps a few common sense rules given out with serious emphasis. Don't talk to Treguard unless he speaks to you. Always follow his instructions. Don't make jokes.
6) It would be wonderful to get younger people on the show, perhaps children again. It's so much more engaging to watch contestants who almost believe it is real and get emotionally involved. And then there's the golden rule of gameshows which says the viewer always likes to think he's smarter than the contestants, which is easier when it's a bunch of kids playing :)

All this might seem unnecessary but for me one of the greatest strengths of the show was always its sense of "reality" and dramatic weight. Hugo's performance has always sent a chill down my spine (and I am surely not the only one) when he looks at the camera menacingly and tells you "It's only a game… isn't it?". For me, this is the heart of what makes Knightmare great, and this is totally undermined when you have contestants casually waltzing onto the show, smirking and making impromptu Monkey Island quips. All of Hugo's performing is just rendered trivial by this.

None of this is meant as an insult to these four contestants, whom I liked as people. I count myself among those who would not be suitable as a contestant because I am very jokey too. I don't think people like me should be on the show! The show needs to feel real. It needs contestants who are young, naive, nervous, and very, very middle-class :D

SUGGESTION FOR THE GRAPHICS
Finally, I don't know who did the graphics and I really don't wish to be rude, but if another episode is made, I think it would be very wise to ask the fan community for contributions, because there are people here who would have happily provided artwork that is arguably far more in line with classic Knightmare artwork. Alex Fruen is one such candidate (http://www.knightmare.com/fan-stuff/mis ... eon-design). And I am another, being a professional graphic designer with plenty of illustration in my portfolio.

Well, all of my criticism is given with love, as a fan. I hope I didn't cause any offense. Clearly, this wasn't a 100% professional collaboration and I assume a lot of fan effort went into making this episode. So even if the final result wasn't perfect, the effort is still appreciated nonetheless, especially the effort in actually bringing Knightmare back! :)

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Re: The new KM episode is up!

Post by Canadanne » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:05 am

I know what you mean about the "fan project" feel, missing all the little details that made the original production so excellent (plus the editing issues you mentioned), but I think it's just because of the time and budget constraints. Not ideal, but we can't really expect anything more polished under the circumstances. (I don't believe any fans were actually involved in making the episode, though, as implied by your last paragraph. I assume David Rowe worked on the graphics, as there's going to be some Geek Week stuff in his upcoming Art of Knightmare book.)
GrandDizzy wrote:I am not writing this just to moan, I write it respectfully, as a fan, in a spirit of providing feedback so as to help improve any future productions.
Yes, I hope it's clear that all of us who criticised elements of the episode were doing so in that spirit. We just want the show to be the best (and therefore most successful) that it can be!

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Re: The new KM episode is up!

Post by wombstar » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:15 am

GrandDizzy wrote: It needs contestants who are young, naive, nervous, and very, very middle-class :D
I don't think it matters what 'class' your in, how would it matter?

Other than that you're pretty much spot on with everything else I think, but it was never going to be a fully polished episode, as for the 'fan episode' feeling I thought it was more of a spoof of itself which felt a bit weird to me.

The contestants had personality which I think isn't a bad thing but they did appear to be attempting to crack a few jokes and live up to their youtube identity's, at least that's how it came across to me, adding to that spoofy vibe I get when I watch it. It was a 'celebrity special' after all. Dunno about their normality, they looked liked regular kids too me.


At the end of the day, it wonderful they thought KM was still popular and relevant to even make the episode, and it has kicked some new life into it.
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Re: The new KM episode is up!

Post by pjmlfc05 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:09 am

GrandDizzy, I think you made some valid points and I do agree with some of the things you have mentioned.

I will say that it would have been amazing if 4 people from the forum had the chance to have taken part in the geek week episode. Don't get me wrong, Stuart, Dan, Phil and Emma were nice enough but it's a shame the likes of us didn't get a chance to participate.
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Re: The new KM episode is up!

Post by Mystara » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:28 am

Valid points, GrandDizzy, and Canadanne has hit the nail on the head really.

In a typical series, the team would have several weeks for technical setup. Rooms would be tested and rehearsed, camera angles worked out, etc. for this production, the team had one day. That includes all set construction (e.g the voids), costume design, light setup, software calibration, etc. this is largely why there was no antechamber set - there was simply no time.

Similarly, there was very little time available for editing.

Regarding the team, again, it all depends on how you view the episode. If you see it as a brand new episode then yeah, it's going to be different. If you take it as a one-off, special, geek week episode, I think this is the only way it can be done.

Regarding graphics - I am fairly sure that David prepared some, but that at least some of them went unused. If I remember rightly , David made an antechamber that had to be replaced at the last minute. The local chroma key expert was telling me that the dungeons actually have to look a bit fake or cartoonish. Apparently making them highly realistic produces a weird effect. I found it interesting that they actually have to worsen the digital environment. Perhaps that is the source of the digital noise you mention.
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Re: The new KM episode is up!

Post by TimeMaster » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:31 am

Slightly amused by GrandDizzy's assertion that contestants should by middle class (counts me out then!) ;) Seriously though, you've made some good points GrandDizzy, and given probably the best review of the episode that I have read so far.

I view the Geek Week episode as a sort precursor to future Knightmare (I hope!). I seem to recall Tim Child saying that a lot of the reason for making the episode was to use as a pilot to market a potential production companies. Does anyone know whether Tim has been actively seeking a collaboration with a production company on the basis of the Geek Week episode?
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Re: The new KM episode is up!

Post by HobGoblin » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:31 pm

Yes, what happened to the extended episode (and KnightFayre)?
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Re: The new KM episode is up!

Post by Mystara » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:36 pm

Delayed for a possible convention.
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