What better way to present a classic Nickelodoen Game than with a classic Nickelodean Figurehead, yes Mellisa Joanhart herself helps to instruct you through the many features of this all inclusive Viacom Interactive's Nickelodeon Director's Lab!
The Game is laid out in a Room with several doors, each leading into the differect aspects of Filmmaking and all contributing to making your imagination come alive with bits of snot and smiley faces. The rooms needed to make your masterpiece a reality are of course:
The Sound Lab; a Sound Effect producing room with mixer controls, recording abilities and of course a loop tool to make your noises ever more annoying or maticululously perfect for your audience's needs!
The Music Lab; for creating your theme tunes and dramatic music for your intense drama productions, everything is well laid out and it's one of the easiest to use music creation systems I've come across. With nine different instruments and the ability to layer them you'll soon find yourself making the catchiest jingle your friends will love.
The Video Suite; Cut together frames from all your favourite clips, adding in visual effects or just stamping in a random image over someones face, the main action will commence in this room.
The Graphic Studio; Got a frame missing? Want to make a real cartoon? This is the drawing room, with Paint-like tooks such as Line, Circle and Square makers, Fillers and more snot than you know what to do with, this is the place to make a masterful piece of art, or just scribble on a page.
The Title Editor; Well, your film is going to need a title right? Play around with Fonts, colours and changeable backgrounds to get your best Hollywood Headline up and ready to show the world just who's calling the shots around here.
The Directors Lab; Once you've laboured away in all the other laboratories it's time to head here to splice everything into a film, import whatever you've created elsewhere and really sit down to become a proper movie editor, It's up to you what goes where, whether it's titles in the middle of the film or screams at the beginning, be creative and see it all come together!
Finally we have the Screening Room; Your own personal home cinema to sit back, relax and watch your final product as it hits the big screen.
While the program is of course primitive to that of the main sound, music, graphic and video editing softwares available, for a young audience Nickelodeon Directors Lab really is easy to grasp and fun to use, you can happily get lost for hours just playing around with all the added content of the game; clips, sounds, music files and images taken from a wide range of sources including some of your favourite classic Nickelodeon Cartoons.
Unfortunately the recorded clips of Mellisa Joanharts advice is the only part of the program that likes to run with the jittering speed of a cart pulled along by rabbits. Luckily you can skip her introductions and play the game without too much difficulty, still enjoying it to it's full potential.
The games shortfalls really aren't that many when you look at it as a whole, every aspect of it has been engineered to 'make learning fun', a term not often associated with the truth, but in fact this game does succeed in doing so at any age.
The look of the game as a whole is also fantastic, the colours are vibrant, bright and definately make the game much more appealing.
To add to that appeal there's many hidden things in each room that you wont notice initially, such clicking on light switches and different areas that will spark different mini animations to occur.
Overall the game provides an excellent piece of silly filmmaking software as well as a complete interactive learning experience that will allow you to understand each process of media development both individually and as a whole.
What are you waiting for? Go make some blockbusters!
To run the game you will need DOSbox, simply run the Setup.exe file then mount the Origin Folder (ie the one you should have unzipped) and run the install.exe, following any instructions.
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