Electron Dance
1Jul/14Off

#warningsigns: A Short Film About Videogames

ws-progress

A detective searches for answers after investigating a mysterious series of crimes. But the answers find him first.

#warningsigns is a short film about videogames and the future. Twitter has already issued its verdict:

"a subversive and challenging video about games, gamedev and journalism"

"interesting and unsettling, something I'll have to watch again"

"intelligent and masterfully crafted"

"#warningsigns is terrific"

"I lasted three minutes"

And Kieron Gillen has also put in a nice word. You should set aside fifteen minutes to watch the entire film. If you have the bandwidth and screen estate, please note you can watch at 1080p HD resolution. The film, preview screenshots and credits can be found below.

A year in the making. Turn out the lights and settle down. This is #warningsigns.   

The Film

After you're done, you can always take a look at the making of #warningsigns which includes a breakdown of the music, scene by scene.

Preview

ws-art

a democracy flourished here

ws-baskets

now kill the child

ws-assets

constant innovation means never having to stop and get things right

ws-knife

we are the weapons of progress

ws-snapshots

Credits

Writer & Director

  • Joel Goodwin

The Detective

  • Joel Goodwin

The Four Questions

The Pioneers

  • Chris Crawford
  • Dona Bailey
  • Sir Clive Sinclair
  • Gerald Anderson "Jerry" Lawson

Featured Games

  • Jumpman (Epyx, 1983)
  • Canabalt (Adam Saltsman, 2009)
  • Prey (Human Head Studios, 2006)
  • Braid (Number None, 2008)
  • SCRAM (Atari, 1981)
  • Fotonica (Santa Ragione, 2011)
  • Immortal Defense (RP&G Creations, 2007)
  • Dear Esther (The Chinese Room, 2012)
  • Drill Killer (thecatamites, 2011)
  • Kairo (Locked Door Puzzle, 2012)
  • Waves (Squid In A Box, 2011)
  • Cart Life (Richard Hofmeier, 2011)
  • Epic Sax Game (Pippin Barr, 2012)
  • Proteus (Ed Key & David Kanaga, 2013)
  • Boson X (Mu & Heyo, 2013)
  • Dys4ia (Anna Anthropy, 2012)
  • Mirror's Edge (DICE, 2008)
  • Dishonored (Arkane Studios, 2012)
  • Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics, 2013)
  • Sonic & Knuckles (Sonic Team, 1994)
  • Memories of a Broken Dimension Prototype (Ezra Hanson-White, 2013)
  • Pong (Atari, 1972)
  • Mercenary (Novagen Software, 1985)
  • Half-Life (Valve, 1998)
  • Cell: Emergence (New Life Interactive, 2012)

Music

Audio

Excerpts taken from

Other Resources

Special Thanks to Regular Commenters

Gregg B, Badger Commander, Eric Brasure, Shaun Green, Richard Goodness, Jonas Kyratzes, Amanda Lange, David T. Marchand, mwm, Matt "Steerpike" Sakey, Matt W

 

Download my FREE eBook on the collapse of indie game prices an accessible and comprehensive explanation of what has happened to the market.

Sign up for the monthly Electron Dance Newsletter and follow on Twitter!

Electron Dance Highlights

Comments (17) Trackbacks (1)
  1. Fantastic film thoroughly entertaining
    Well done HM

  2. Wow, that was… a lot to take in! I’ll second SW though — thoroughly entertaining. I think I need to rewatch it and let it stew a bit.

    Well done HM, and great choice in music, as usual!

  3. Wow, powerful stuff. Reminds me of “Who Killed Video Games”…

    Can I nominate “who won E3” to the list of distracting questions? I’m sure we can think of more.

  4. @SW: Thanks! It’s been a long time coming.

    @Gregg: Thanks. I’m going to keep out of conversations about interpretation, although a good chunk of the film is unambiguous. I basically create videos simply to get music out there. This is also the reason it’s not on YouTube – copyright issues preclude embedding. I might put a copy on YT anyway as it behaves better than the dailymotion one does.

    @Amanda: Thanks! I’m sure there’s half a dozen questions that I could’ve put in there. The ones I put in seem to come up again and again.

    I’ll talk a little about the secret Weapons of Progress twitter feed, the book and the making of the film later. I think the film should keep all the attention for now.

  5. I find myself wanting to rewatch this – so thanks for the YouTube version, as that can also be enjoyed in the living room. Fingers crossed it will stay in place.

    Yeah, there’s some obvious messaging in there but also some bits that are a little more open to interpretation, and stitching the overall thrust of argument together is going to be fun. Although, well, we’re all readers of ED so chances are we’ll grok it to some extent already.

    Re. the Weapons of Progress twitter feed – I clocked that was you instantly, HM. Your writing style is highly distinctive. :)

  6. @shaun: The main problem with the Youtube version is that it cannot be embedded. Dailymotion on the other may nd add a 30 second advert on the front (and there are some minor stability issues). Its my fault for using music and movies I have no permission to use, I suppose, but this is what I do.

    The ending was going to be fully explained at the end of the series, but the series is now a book… So you’ll have to wait for the book for that.

    Damn it. I can’t even hide behind a twitter facade. I tried using American spelling in some tweets but none recently afforded that opportunity. I thought by ramping up the output it might give the game away.

    Then again I want sure if anyone was paying too much attention to the account. I know Eric was – and he only recently suspected it was me. I tried to troll Richard Goodness but he had none of it. I had a few interactions, a brief one with Tale of Tales, but nothing serious until this week.

  7. To be fair, I wasn’t even aware of the twitter account until it followed me, and at that point its avatar was familiar from images you’d used elsewhere. And hey, it’s no bad thing that your writing is recognisable – quite the opposite!

  8. The dancing protagonist from Mother appeared in the banner image for a good year, I think. Kept expecting the series to be “ready soon”.

    I wondered if following you at this late stage was too forward. Yes.

  9. I have no idea why but the new YouTube version supports embedding. Go figure.

  10. I didn’t realize that you was WoP until this week, but it was the kind of revelation that made perfect sense in retrospect. I am sorry your trolling attempt was unsuccessful, but Eric and I actually did talk about the account at some point. I don’t know if he knew or suspected at the time.

    I have watched the movie. I need to digest it and perhaps watch again. But…i would say it was worth your time, man. Amazing job.

  11. Thanks Richard. It’s difficult to say whether the film is “doing well”. There was a flurry of retweets early on but things have slowed down somewhat. It’s been watched around 300 times.

    The Weapons of Progress twitter account will continue and I’ll explain why in a separate post or possibly in an Appendix forum posting.

  12. A dirty X360, that moment of falling, Sonic…

    Was this all an elaborate attempt to troll me?

  13. Ha ha, I hadn’t even thought of that. The depths of hidden messages here are awesome. Not even I know them all!

  14. Almost 700 views at the time of this comment. I’d say that is doing well. Seven hundred people is a lot of people. Imagine them all in a room together.

    Great work HM.

  15. Thanks Ketchua. It’s actually higher as I got about 85 views on Dailymotion before switching to YouTube – so we’re around 750 right now. Seems like the excitement is dying down, though, but there’s always a good chance some major internet celebrity will usher in some new attention. And, of course, some people have have got it in their “get round to it later” queue.

  16. WE’RE ALL SONS OF THE PATRIOTS NOW!

    And in hindsight maybe #warningsigns didn’t reach as many as it hoped but it was a worthy effort all the same.

  17. Thanks Monggerel. At least I went in with my eyes open: my YouTube work has never done particularly well but is that any reason to stop trying?