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How do you use puppets? – How Do Ventriloquists Say P

August 22, 2020

It is the same kind of stuff that we use to run and design games. We use puppets. We use puppets to do animations. We use puppets to run games and set pieces.


I just used this idea for our show [Game of Thrones], and we had this amazing story-driven game that involved an animated character, with an actor and a designer, and there was nothing that would be considered game-like in that story. So we built the game around that idea, and you can imagine playing that game and using your actors to do scenes that they can’t do in the book. That was incredibly cool because it was totally different than what you’d normally do with actors in a stage show. We ended up using the same animation system that George [R.R. Martin] uses for his story-driven games for The Winds of Winter. So it was sort of crazy, but at the same time, really cool.

One thing I noticed while playing with them [the puppets] that you could definitely feel that these are actors.

It felt just like they were in there, just in their body. You couldn’t tell what was going on because you’d just lose the illusion because they’re in their puppet. It’s like a giant body of a puppet but you don’t see where the puppeteer’s feet can be, where their arms are, where their head is. We can make these objects feel like it was very real, and not like a visual thing, and so that’s something that you had to do to really make the game feel like it was something real.

So if you wanted to add a bit of a visual element, you can easily just place an actor on another puppet, and the characters would be completely invisible.

You’re saying that the puppets are not visible from space?

No they are not visible from space, that is a cool thing because you get the illusion of an actor from your point of view moving around. You’d never see them in the show, but they would certainly feel like they were moving around. At the moment, they’re not visible by any of the cameras because we’re playing in the same room as George [R.R. Martin], so there’s something real there. We’re using the same system and creating the same animations and so on, but it just feels very different.

I know that you are still working on a version of the game that will be exclusive to Oculus Rift.

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