A little more than a year ago, video game engine Unity put together a short film to showcase their unique real-time rendering platform. Since it involved robots, post-apocalyptic landscapes, and meditations on the nature of consciousness, it was right up Neill Blomkamp’s alley, and he and his Oats Studios compatriots have made a sequel to Unity’s “Adam: Chapter 1” titled “Adam: The Mirror” that continues the amnesiac robot’s story while utilizing Unity’s unique software.

The first short introduced us to our humanoid robot friend, but didn’t explain a whole lot about the story. Not that it had to: it was essentially a demo reel for Unity, which allows developers to create environments and characters that can be edited in real-time — as opposed to the traditional method of layering on shape and color and lighting, which is more difficult to change further along in the process. With Unity, Oats Studios how has all of these characters and sets stored in their database that can be reused and changed however and whenever they want.

The original video blew game developers and storytellers away, winning multiple awards including a Webby. The story centers on Adam, a human whose memories have been erased and whose brain has been imprisoned in a robot body. In the first video, he and his cyborg compatriots are driven out of a mysterious facility and picked up by another bot whose legs can grow stilts and who generally looks very cool. In the sequel short, “The Mirror,” Adam learns who he used to be and what crimes he had committed thanks to a psychic robot with no eyes. According to the description on the website, a third installment is coming soon.

Programs like this represent the future of not only the gaming industry, but also of moviemaking and advertising in general. I’m calling it now: In the future, every ad for a new company’s software will turn into its own intriguing short film universe.

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