I’ve been wanting to add flash movies to OCModShop for a while, but there was a lot of work involved, and it didn’t seem worth doing.
One of the reasons I moved from an expensive datacenter to FIOS is so I could start delivering high-bandwidth content without spending an arm and a leg.
Well, SouthPeak sent me a copy of X-blades (review here) yesterday, which was released over a week ago. In the reviewer scene if you don’t crank out a game review within a week of its release, then you might as well not do it.
I didn’t even ask for this game: they just sent it to me. Normally if a vendor sends something without asking then it gets put on the very last of the list: I have a backlog of product that we need to review, and most of it we asked for.
Regardless, I felt this was a good academic excercise to try and get some gameplay videos up. Recording the video wasn’t hard… just use FRAPS. I lowered the resolution of the game to 1280×720 and recorded the video.
Now I needed to embed a watermark. Adobe Premiere has a lot of overhead, but is also one of the most comprehensive video editors around. I opened up Adobe Premiere CS4 and imported the videos. Hmmm… no sound. After much research, I found that Premiere CS4 has some major bugs, one of them being no sound from some video streams. I even updated Premiere with all the patches, and no go. I eventually had to convert the file to Windows Media so I could even use them in Premiere.
BAD ADOBE. BAD! Why are you charging thousands of dollars and implementing one of the most horrible rootkit copy-protection schemes of all time when you’re releasing BETA software?
But I digest.
I eventually went through all the hassles of converting the videos. Now I know what I need to do. In hindsight I should just rip the audio out and place it down in Premiere as a seperate track.
I finally converted my video to FLV, but needed a player. I finally found a free one that worked, but it was really finicky, and took a lot of coaxing to get working, but now I have the code snippets saved so it works every time.
In the middle of all this troubleshooting, the Flash Player couldn’t find the video file and spawned an error. I knew the file existed, even used different URLs and absolute paths, but nothing worked.
Then I found out it was Windows Server 2003, and by default it doesn’t know what to do with an FLV file. It has no MIME type specified in IIS, so I had to create it… and the type differs depending on the flavor of Flash you’re targeting.
So I did these steps so IIS could serve flash files:
And of course, ISS hung hard so I had to reboot. Once it did, then the Flash video finally worked.
All-in-all I spent a good six hours working on this problem, but now I can push out a Flash video in no time flat. Yippie!