Knowledge About Composite Video
1. Characteristics of composite video
Within the series, the Mark 2 Lancer Assault Rifle is originally developed by Professor Adam Fenix, the father of series protagonist Marcus Fenix. Its chainsaw bayonet when accelerated will quickly kill its victim; this is usually represented by a short animation where the target is executed by dismemberment. The Mark 2 is the successor of the older Mark 1 model, also known as the Retro Lancer, which has a traditional blade-type bayonet. In Gears of War 4, Marcus Fenix wields a customized Mark 2 Lancer which features several design changes. His "Custom Lancer" serves as the in-universe basis for the Mark 3 introduced in Gears 5, which comes in two variants: the standard Mark 3 with a chainsaw bayonet, and the Lancer GL which is capable of firing laser-guided clusters of grenades with its under-barrel mortar in lieu of a chainsaw bayonet.
The Lancer has had its ammo capacity, magazine size, and firepower constantly downgraded and upgraded throughout the series due to gameplay balance concerns.
2. Development of composite video
According to Cliff Bleszinski, Epic Games' original design director, the development team decided early in production for the first Gears of War that the default gun should be "very distinctive, multifunctional and, most importantly, fun to use", with inspiration drawn from The Evil Dead, Doom, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He emphasized the developers' belief in the importance of a unique silhouette for the Lancer, so that it would be easily identifiable and instantly associated with the series' gun-based combat. He explained that within the series' fiction, it is "critical to develop a firearm that is effective in battling the Locust one that is devastating from both a strategic and physiological standpoint". Senior concept artist at Epic Games James Hawkins developed several design iterations for the game's melee combat, which began as a circular buzzsaw before evolving into the chainsaw bayonet. Bleszinski recalled that the bayonet design was very well received by the rest of the team once it was unveiled, noting that "the chainsawing experience became increasingly rewarding" as the team refined the Lancers feel and effect. On the Lancer's ability to perform gruesome executions, Bleszinski remarked that "intimate violence is a pillar of Gears gameplay".
Writer Joshua Ortega indicated at a New York Comic Con panel in early 2009 that the Gears of War franchise was intended to be a long term plan that would go on for at least a decade, and called the Lancer "the new lightsaber".
3. Cultural impact of composite video
FandomThe Gears of Wars series' popularity have inspired homemade recreations of the Lancer using components like Lego blocks, and a Nerf Longshot paired with a toy chainsaw.
Critical receptionIGN ranked the Mark 2 Lancer Assault Rifle 10th place on its list of Top 100 Video Game Weapons, with praise for the chainsaw bayonet and automatic rifle combination as well as the execution mechanic. OXM staff included the Mark 2 Lancer in its list of "the 15 greatest guns in Xbox history" and called it their ideal "dystopian future-gun".
Nicholas Bashore from Inverse ranked the Lancer as the best weapon in the series, and noted its iconic status in the franchise as well as the entire video game industry.
Luke McKinney from Gamesradar said the Lancer is "not an assault rifle with a chainsaw - it's a chainsaw that can also hurt things too scared to come closer". He described the "sheer release of joy, the yelling, the noise and clenching muscles and the endorphin release" when he pulled off a Lancer execution for the first time, noting that it is so effective "even the Locust use it, dropping the Hammerburst like the ridiculous non-chainsaw-inclusive piece of garbage it is". Edge Magazine staff said the "violent, messy, grim, clunky and somewhat absurd" Lancer "epitomises and fortifies the games style, tone and themes", and emphasized that in the video game medium "where guns are more common than plotlines, the Lancer does the seemingly impossible: it stands out".
Edwin Evans-Thirlwell from Eurogamer described the Lancer as "barbaric yet precise, a clownish torture device that doubles as an unpretentious assault rifle with a generous magazine". Evans-Thirlwell recognized the Lancer's enduring popularity, calling it "one of the most recognizable video game weapons ever designed - an improbable hybrid worthy of Jekyll and Hyde", which he considers to be a summation of the series' "oddly persuasive mixture of styles and tones". However, he noted that while the Lancer might be the signature weapon of the series and its "rockstar frontman", he expressed a preference for the Gnasher Shotgun's superior firepower. Michael Goroff from EGM is less enthusiastic about the Lancer compared to other reviewers. He described the Gears of War series as one that "goofily fetishizes its weaponrythe essence of the games creativity lives within its guns". Goroff remarked that the series' guns are close enough to reality that players would recognize and embrace them as weapons, but are in truth too wacky and ridiculous to be taken seriously.
4. Production and release of composite video
In June 2019, Medrano noted that she was working with Erica Lindbeck, Brock Baker, Brandon Rogers on a "new project," likely referring to Helluva Boss, which she mentioned in a tweet in late July. In August, she posted illustrations of the main cast of characters. The company Horseless Cowboy worked with Medrano in order to record and cast actors who could use their voice talents to sing and effectively deliver lines. Lucas Bermudez of Screen Rant attributed the success of Hazbin Hotel as the sole reason for Helluva Boss being greenlit.
On November 25, the pilot was released on Medrano's YouTube channel, with Medrano contributing her writing and animation skills in this episode. Writing production for more episodes began in December 2019 with 8 episodes ordered. Beginning in October 2019, Spindel Horse animator Sara "Sherval" Fisher, who previously worked on Hazbin Hotel, also began working as a compositing lead for Helluva Boss. Additionally, Sam Miller, who worked on backgrounds for Hazbin Hotel in 2019, did background designs for the show. Apart from Fisher and Miller, Eddie Mead worked as a clean up artist and Genevieve Tsai as a character designer. while Kaden Westbrook was an animator In December 2019, Medrano reported that her and Rogers were writing episode plots for the upcoming season, while looking for storyboard artists. Episode writing continued into January 2020.
On February 14, 2020, a music video titled "Oh Millie," featuring Moxxie and Millie , was released on YouTube. It featured a song by Parry Gripp, with singing by the voice actors for Moxxie and Millie, Richard Horvitz, and Erica Lindbeck respectfully. Fisher, who worked on the main show, was also a compositor and production manager for the video. In June, Medrano stated her intent to feature more black characters in Helluva Boss and Hazbin Hotel in a thread where she called on black animators to share their work to her as a resum to potentially work on the series in order to help "talented people in need of opportunities." A few months later, in August, the recording for the first eight episodes of Season 1 was completed. The same month, Lucas Bermudez of ScreenRant predicted that more episodes of Helluva Boss would be released to YouTube "as a web series" because of the COVID-19 pandemic, mentioning the news that Hazbin Hotel had been picked up as a series by A24.
Then, in September, the French dub of the pilot was released on Medrano's YouTube channel. In October 2020, it was announced that the first season will be released in late 2021. However, the first episode of that season was released on Halloween (October 31, 2020), as Medrano implied in a Instagram post. She also stated on October 7 that the season would be started in fall 2020 but not all the episodes would be dropped at once, with the first eight episodes the beginning of a "much grander season." Also, on October 31, Medrano stated that the "first self made season of a cartoon has begun." In the episode, Rogers and Horvitz return as Blitzo and Moxxie, and while Lindbeck returns as Loona, she is replaced by Vivian Nixon as the voice of Millie. Baker was replaced by Bryce Pinkham as Stolas. Guest stars of the episode include Jinkx Monsoon, Mara Wilson and Maxwell Atoms. Wilson voices a former human teacher at Puppies Junior School who committed Murdersuicide after her husband had an affair with a mistress, while Monsoon voices Martha, a wife who appears to be "happy and wholesome" on the surface, but she and her family are actually homicidal, and Atoms voices Ralphie, the husband of Martha, who is also homicidal. Additionally, Medrano voiced a "random cashier lady." The same day, Jefferson Friedman released a single from the first episode which was titled "Stolas Speaks."
5. Promotion and merchandise of composite video
The Lancer is a popular subject for Gears of War merchandise, with replica models often offered as standalone purchases or in a retail bundle to promote the release of video game instalments. One of the earliest examples was a life-sized Lancer replica offered by Amazon.com as part of a special Gears of War 2 retail edition bundle for pre-orders of Gears of War II prior to its launch date on November 7, 2008. The replica Lancer is 36 inches long by 10-inches tall, and weighs 13 pounds; its trigger produces chain-saw sounds and a rumble effect. Other examples include 1:1 scale replicas of Lancers by TriForce Sales made from high density foam, fiberglass and polyurethane composites; a yellow "Car No. 13" Lancer with checkered taxi cab accents; and scale replicas of Marcus Fenix's Customized Lancer, including a limited edition gold version, by video game accessory makers PDP.
In 2013, Epic Games auctioned off three signed replica Lancers to help fund the medical expenses of a former Insomniac Games staff member following a hit-and-run car accident.