DMotR: Director’s Commentary

By Shamus
on Feb 25, 2007
Filed under:
Projects

This is getting out of hand….

My library of screen captures for DM of the Rings is now 5,531 files, which take up just under 6 gigabytes. They are sorted into 54 folders, according to the barely-serviceable system of organization I’ve managed to devise.

We are exactly half way through the second movie, although I’m not sure that we’re half way through the comic. I skipped over half of the first movie, and it wasn’t until Moria that I made a point of putting in all of the major plot points. I’ve since become aware that the story is a non-renewable resource, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Early in the strip, I’d skip scenes freely if nothing funny came to mind. Now I milk each section of the story for gags because I don’t want to run out of movie. On the other hand, I’m leaving out half the story (Frodo and Sam) at this point, so it’s really hard to tell when the strip will end. Comic 100? 200? I don’t know.

Looking back, I do think I’m getting better at making these. The early comics look cluttered to me, and they flow poorly. The latter strips are easier to read, have more compelling screenshots, and I’ve gotten much better at finding just the right facial expression for the given situation.

I like the turn things took when the party split. The large cast made it hard to define anyone. Now I have three distinct players to work with, and their personalities tend to write a lot of their dialog for me.

My original idea was to go for 24 strips, with the comic ending at Amon Hen. I actually have this “final” strip made. Once the thing took off, I started inserting strips into the original continuity. This is why we have 12 strips take place while in Moria, and only one strip on Mt. Cahadras.

I thought I’d be sick of these by this point, but it’s actually more fun now that I have a process worked out. Someday this story will end, and when it does I’m really going to miss it.

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12There are a dozen comments.

From the Archives:

  1. Huckleberry says:

    Nosy question here, if you don’t mind: can you sketch that “system of organization” of yours? I’m really interested in how people organize and systematize stuff.

    And I *really* like it that you’re aiming for 200 comic strips or even more :)) Yay!

  2. Farvana says:

    Maybe you can find another movie to do an RPG parody of?

    If you keep your eyes out and try making a few prototypes, I’m sure you can find one that will be as easy to work with.

  3. Guy Royse says:

    Maybe, since the hobbits left to go play Star Wars, maybe you should follow this up with a Star Wars strip?

  4. Maia says:

    I’m in the more comics are better camp as well, I also like the idea of a Star Wars strip (can everyone really be a Jedi?). I look forward to this strip so much, I love it!

  5. Ilium says:

    Yep, a Star Wars “sequel” would rock. I can see it now. “Hey, isn’t this ‘Obi-Wan’ guy the same NPC from your D&D game? Gandork, or whatever?”

    Great stuff. :)

  6. Steve R says:

    There’s couple of classics you could do, would be interesting as RPGs: Back to the Future and Police Academy. I had a few ideas and then decided: Alien, definitely Alien.

  7. theonlymegumegu says:

    Star Wars is a given, but I definetely second the suggestion for Alien (even Aliens).

  8. Shamus says:

    I’ve thought about Star Wars, but no jokes come to mind. At least, no RPG jokes. Just regualr parody type jokes are easy, but the trick is finding an angle that hasn’t already been driven into the ground.

    I have a bunch more stuff written for Star Trek. Not as a roleplaying game, but just a more or less direct parody. The material pretty much writes itself, but for whatever reason it seems to tend towards the crude. I’m not sure if I’ll ever use it. I don’t own the show on DVD, and I’m not that big of a fan. Still, there is plenty of time between now and the end of DMotR, so we’ll see what I come up with.

  9. Cat Skyfire says:

    I just came to DMotR through a friend. I find it hilarious, and, as a DM, entirely too true.
    Keep up the wonderful work!
    And who knows, maybe by the end, you’ll continue it past the movies. Just because the ‘grand adventure’ is over doesn’t mean the players want to stop playing their now-powerful characters.

  10. Andre says:

    Shamus, I think we need to see how the hobbits are doing at some point, as I’m guessing they’re going to return to the game eventually, and it would be cool to see what’s happening in their Star Wars game that leads them back to this game.

  11. Lanthanide says:

    I concur. An interlude of 2 or 3 comics into the Star Wars game would be great. This could be done during a part of LotR where you can’t think of any good jokes – skip to Star Wars for a little bit and then skip back to LotR later when the characters have arrived at whatever their next destination is (the gaming sessions kept going in the meantime, of course). You could possibly even use that technique to have the characters talking in the following comics about some events that you would like to happen, but don’t have enough screencaps from the movies to do.

    Then later, when the hobbits finally come back, you can have 1/2 of that comic dedicated to a “this happened, then this, and then finally this was the last straw” type thing with references back to the first lot of interludes.

  12. Eric J says:

    As a sequel, you could do the movie “Dungeons and Dragons.” Your comic has got to be more entertaining.

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