Hectic few weeks


After a hectic few weeks here’s the promised update.

It was incredibly expensive for the old xtranormal to run the old website – rendering, storing and streaming the millions of movies that were created. There was a lot users could do on the website for free, and it was easy to do it, so a lot of free movies were made and stored on the website. But at the end of the day not enough people paid to cover the costs of running the service so the inevitable happened.

And when it happened, and the website closed, everyone lost access to the movie making tools, the movies they’d made, the projects they’d saved, and any assets they’d purchased.

So although you might be hoping for another free site, we’re not going to do the same thing – primarily because we don’t want to go out of business, and we don’t think you want us to either. We want to be around for a long time, we want to make new story telling tools, new characters and develop even better ways of making movies.


Some of what we plan to do to improve your movie-making experience will take a while to fund, develop and test before we can release it. So to get people back making great movies again we are currently working hard to make a downloadable version of the software available.

This will be similar to STATE, which was the download version of the movie-maker. You can do all the same things you could do on the website, plus it gives access to so much more – characters that move around the set, moving cameras, multiple characters in a scene, your own pet unicorn….. (maybe that last one is not strictly true, but it would be cool if it did).

You don’t however have to use the extra features, you can stick with the same controls that were on the website, and you’d still have the advantage of having the software on your computer which you would own, and can use….. forever. Or at least for as long as your computer works! You would also have the characters and the movies you create on your own computer, so you’re then not reliant on us looking after them for you and risk having them disappear again. You own the movies, you store them, you share them where and when you want.

This has a benefit for us, it means we can focus our resources on support, developing new tools, features and characters – rather than spending money on cloud hosting and video rendering and server costs. Why not let Youtube do all of that for us?

That’s the plan. At the moment!

But to be able to deliver that, we face a couple of challenges. The first is to rebuild the application from the bits and pieces of technology we have restored. The other is the text-to-speech voices (TTS) which are quite expensive and heavy to download. These are licensed from other companies with whom we’re in active discussion.

We will have made progress on both issues by the next post.

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By the way – we have a lot of people coming to the site from many countries around the world. If anyone reading this could help with translating these posts to Brazilian Portuguese or Spanish please contact us we’d really appreciate your help so that we can post these in a selection of languages.

Posted on June 3, 2014 in nawmal_news

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