Sunday, March 7, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

UPDATE MARCH 7, 2010: It's been a long time since this was updated.

UPDATE JULY 5, 2009: It's been two months, so I've updated this post with more questions.

UPDATE MAY 5, 2009: I have decided to update this post with more relevant questions as we approach the end of the season.

A few weeks ago I asked people to send in any questions they have about myself or Master Chief Sucks at Ordering to try and cut back on the number of messages I receive or questions I get in the comments. I'm aware no one actually reads these things and therefore this will not cut back on said questions whatsoever, but it's worth a shot anyway.

While most of these questions were actually sent to me, some of them are literally "frequently asked questions" that are asked by many people and so I just added them under a universal question. I also retyped all questions with correct spelling and grammar, don't be offended, I'm just OCD. On to the questions, and feel free to send more.

Why did you start making Master Chief Sucks at Ordering?
I originally saw Master Chief Sucks at Halo by DigitalPH33R in the summer of 2007. This was before there were hundreds of parodies on Youtube. I saw one particular parody called Master Chief Sucks at Plumbing by Ninjaadventures and was inspired to try my hand at a similar video called "Mudkip Sucks at Pokemon." However, I hit writer's block and instead made Master Chief Sucks at Ordering McDonalds after an irritatingly long wait at the McDonalds drive through where my friend made the now famous comment to "throw a plasma grenade through the window."

Why is the third episode called Master Chief Sucks at Ordering Finales if it's not the finale?
Because originally it was intended to be the finale, but I decided to make more episodes later on.

What programs do you use for the voices?
The most frequently asked question of all. Master Chief is voiced by the Microsoft Sam text-to-speech program found by default on all computers running Windows XP and some earlier versions of Windows. I'm not sure if Vista has Microsoft Sam, but if not there are download links on the Internet. To get to text-to-speech, go:
Start-->Control Panel-->Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices-->Speech.
To actually record the voices, go to:
Start-->All Programs-->Accessories-->Entertainment-->Sound Recorder.
Master Chief is the Microsoft Sam voice, the Arbiter is (as of season 2) the Microsoft Mike voice, and Cortana is the Microsoft Mary voice. Depending on who manufactured your computer, you may need to download the Mike and Mary voices.

Why do some characters' voices have "AT&T" in their name?
For the other characters, I use the AT&T Text-to-Speech service found here. Test the various voices and see if you can tell who's who; if you can't, the cast list is in the credits at the end of each episode.

Why do some characters' voices have "Talkany" in their name?
Talkany is a downloadable program featuring many different text-to-speech voices. The most notable is "Big Robot," the voice used for CATS in the famous "All Your Base are Belong to Us" Flash animation.

Why do some characters' voices have "Audacity" in their name?
They are characters who have special voices not found in AT&T or Talkany. They have their voice edited with the free audio editing program Audacity.

Why do some characters have the same voice?
Only generic, minor characters like "Newscaster" or whatever repeat voices. The voice of Ridley, a minor character, was later used for Sergeant Johnson, a more important character. However, you may have noticed Anonymous and Joe Biden have the same voice. This may not be a coincidence...

UPDATE MARCH 7, 2010: ...actually, it is a coincidence. This was part of a larger plotline involving Anonymous that has long since been dropped from the series. Reggie Fils-Aime and young King also have the same voice as Anonymous and Biden.

What music did you use in this episode/what movie is that video from?
The original source of all music and videos in each episode is listed in the video description.

Why are you wasting time making a trailer instead of the actual episode?
Like all real TV shows, I plan the rough release date of each episode months ahead of time. I'm not wasting my time making a trailer; you won't be getting the real episode any earlier if I didn't. If Episode X is coming out on Date Y, it's still coming out on Date Y regardless of if I make a trailer a few weeks earlier.

Why do you release episodes so sporadically?
I released ten episodes last season (though one was a remake of the first episode and the last two were released the same day in the form of the season finale) and I released 12 episodes in season 2 (though the one-year anniversary movie didn't count towards this total). 13 episodes (not counting recaps) will be released in season 3. Real TV shows run from September to May with some hiatuses and so does my series. I like to think the suspense keeps you wanting to come back.

Why did you rip off [name removed]?
Now we get to the more edgy questions. I didn't "rip off" anyone on Youtube. I was inspired by DigitalPH33R and Ninjaadventures' respective series and credit them at the end of every episode (until season 2, when the differences between my series and his became so great it wasn't necessary anymore). As for the person whose name was originally in this message--next time, try checking when the person registered at Youtube and when they posted their first video. I can't see the future.

Did you know someone else ripped you off?
When this question was originally posted in the FAQ, the answer was no. Unfortunately in the time since then a ripoff video of my series has appeared on Youtube. I will not link to it as it only gives the derivative video more views while you are unable to do anything about it. If videos like this receive no attention, the creators will not be inspired to make more.

What program(s) do you use to make the videos?
For the first season and second season up to "Master Chief Meets the Network," Windows Movie Maker for the editing of videos and the aforementioned Sound Recorder and Audacity for audio dialogue and editing. Starting with "Master Chief vs the Superweapon," Sony Vegas is used for creating episodes, allowing for much more creative freedom and special effects. I use the free Photoship clone GIMP to edit images for more elaborate sequences.

Why does the Burger King appear in the first episode and Master Chief doesn't do anything?
The King appears when Master Chief says not to "be a Burger King fanboy," and that was the stock picture I used. At the time, I had no idea I was even making a second episode, much less using the King as a character later on. Think of it as unintended foreshadowing.

Why do you hate Scientology? Or is that just a joke in the series?
I do hate Scientology, and if you must know why, there are some videos on Youtube that can explain it. But as a bit of warning, there are graphic images in some of the more detailed videos--Scientology is dirty, dirty stuff, and its critics are not afraid to show you why.

Do you plan episodes ahead or just make it up as you go along?
I have a rough idea of what events I want to have happen and when, then make up the rest as I go along. For example, I knew the ending of season 2 as far back as January, but not all the events between then and now. The ending of the series was planned a long time ago, and most of season 3 was mapped out before it even began. Hopefully, this intricate planning is reflected in the more cohesive and interesting plotline of season 3.

Were Joe Biden, John McCain, and Sarah Palin members of the Network? Was Hillary Clinton a member now?
Biden was a member but left like the Arbiter, Cortana, and Obama. McCain and Palin were just pawns of the Network and aren't actually members; they got killed offscreen for their failure to win the election. Clinton wass not actually a member and had her own allegiances that were revealed in "Master Chief vs Hillary Clinton."

What happened to Mario, Luigi, Link, and Samus?
They were all killed in the prison for being useless redshirts. Luigi died of a heart attack after eating too much spaghetti.

How do you make those fight scenes?
In the past, "fight scenes" in the series amounted to a series of still images with character faces edited over the real faces. Starting with "Master Chief vs the Superweapon," however, I have been using Sony Vegas's head tracking tool to add the character faces into actual video clips of fight scenes from movies and video games. This makes them much more realistic and enjoyable to watch. I must thank my friend 47pik for teaching me how to use this tool.

The story of the series is rather convuluted. Is there a resource to better understand it?
Yes. I developed the Master Chief Sucks at Ordering Wiki last July as a database of info on the series as it started to develop a complex plotline. At the new, more professional wiki, you can read all kinds of information that you never knew or cared about before, like the characters, episodes, trailers, battles, and even the series timeline. Go check it out or Satan will kill your firstborn.

When is season 3 starting and how long will it be? Will there be another set of "minisodes" over the summer?
Season 3 will start in September 2009 and will run for 13. Episodes 11, 12, and 13 will be the three part series finale in May 2010. Yes, that's right, Master Chief Sucks at Ordering is ending next May. All good stories have to come to an end eventually and this one is no exception. But expect the same high standard of comedy and drama right up to the very end.

In the timeline, when do the "unknown post-schism events" take place?
The scene where Master Chief saw Jack Thompson and Tom Cruise talking about him took place in 2006. Meet the Ancients takes place in January 2009. I have no reason for choosing these dates other than that they'll never be revealed in the series itself.

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