Drop Zone

So guys, time for another question. Choose your category: People or Places? I’m going to have to hurry you. I’m really going to have to push you for an answer guys, we’re live, sorry guys. Sorry guys, would you like me to toss a coin? You have to go with a category guys…

…Places it is. Which of these places is not in the UK?

mpdtest304

Never mind Millionaire, that’s yesterday’s news! The next in this year’s veritable feast of brand new quiz reboots is The Million Pound Drop, though not without its purse-strings being tightened considerably. Shifted to afternoons, it is now rather awkwardly dubbed The 100k Drop and appears on Channel 4 from tomorrow.

Starting in 2010 and running until 2015, Million Pound Drop was broadcast live, usually around 9 or 10PM on Friday and Saturday nights for a few weeks at a time. Confronted by four drops, pairs of contestants had to answer questions by gambling a real million pounds (in £25k bundles) on the drop – ideally all on the right answer, but they could split their money if they were unsure, with the caveat of leaving at least one clear at all times. Any money placed on the wrong answers, well, dropped, plummeting through the trapdoor and rumbling like thunder down a chute and into the clutches of security guards. If they made it through eight (later seven) of these gruelling questions, they got to keep whatever was left.

It was an energetic show and perfect for the weekend. It was also quite fascinating to see contestants handling a physical cash prize, which doubtless had an impact even though it wasn’t remotely theirs unless they made it to the last question. I used to quite enjoy it – at one stage, I even survived the online play-along game to unlock application for the programme. The urge didn’t last, though. Being greeted with a form that was almost forty pages long, and realising I probably couldn’t have written that much for a life story at that point, I decided they could keep their million pounds.

I likely wouldn’t have made it on anyway; I may have met one requirement of being under-35, but sadly I’m not photogenic, nor am I perma-smiley and hyperactive, which were seemingly hard and fast rules. I always thought it a bit rich of Davina McCall to shout out to the over-60s for leading the online game – as they often were – because you knew they were never going to get due representation on the programme.

Million Pound Drop all got a bit samey after a while, and meddling with the format rather than where change was actually needed likely accelerated its downfall. I’m actually curious about The 100k Drop, though. One presumes the policies of prime-time will be relaxed, and that should mean more diverse questions, and that should mean a more diverse programme. Yay for diversity. It could end up being a better show. We’ll see!

Anyway, all of this rambling at a ridiculous hour in the morning is because I wanted to do a quick sim test with the drop. It’s a compelling set piece, with an aura of ‘boss battle’ about it. It’s still satisfyingly intense when it kicks into life and the wonga falls.

I originally created bundles of cash with individual notes – the most rigid notes you’ve ever seen! – but simulating any more than a handful of these was a bit too much for my computer, so I had to go with forty blocks instead. It was relatively simple from thereon in, throwing a Rigid Body tag onto the bundles, Colliders on the trapdoors and then animating them in sequence. The scale and surroundings may be slightly off as most of it was done purely from memory – perhaps I’ll come back to MPD and give it Millionaire-esque treatment with a full set model. Or perhaps not, who knows. I don’t. It’s late. I’m going to have to hurry you guys – let’s see what’s gonna drop.

(Spunkie is in Scotland, Crapstone in Devon, and Loose Bottom in Lewes. Fucking is a village in Austria. So, now you know!)

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17 comments
  1. Very funny and very clever. An animated drop! Those £ notes look very real – could you print me some please?
    JP

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I saw the advert for £100k drop my first thought was “Well that’s another thing I don’t need to bother watching then”. They should be upping the money not reducing it!! I blame Brexit.

    By the way, I’m guessing you caught the Millionaire programme? My wife was saying “that Jeremy is quite rude”, to which I replied “yep, that’s why he’s worth watching”. Hopeless contestants on the first show though, I got every question right before the answers came up – and I’m no genius!! ;o)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      I’m enjoying Millionaire, Jeremy is much better than expected and quite funny. Agree on the questions, though – I don’t know who’s setting or stacking them. A woman got a relatively tough question about folic acid for £1,000, then a guy gets asked what shape a stop sign is for £32,000! But it’s been nice to see it back, hope they can get Jezza to do some more.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah yeah, I’ve just remembered two questions I had to wait for the answers on. That folic acid one, and the cricket ground one – I had to wait for the answers and then I’d have needed a lifeline, I wouldn’t have asked Jeremy :o)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        I was pretty shocked he didn’t know the shape of a stop sign. Rather a lot of pressure on him, though, when someone uses it at that level.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is awesome! And I learned something new… the names of some places are delightfully naughty! 😉 Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Haha, thanks Charlie! They are brilliant. I think my favourite is one I didn’t include: Shitterton. Imagine saying you lived in Shitterton – I don’t think I’d be able to keep a straight face! It looks rather a nice little place, though.

      I’ve also just found Donkey Town in Surrey – perhaps Zonkey Town can be the name of the sanctuary you’re going to open one day? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ooooohhh… I love that! I would love to open Zonkey Town one day. Or at the very least, it really needs to be video game! lol

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Robert Hall said:

    Hi Jacob. Always love seeing your work for various game shows! Do you know what the name of the typeface is for this show? I’m currently producing a template for the game to share on a fansite and it would be fantastic to have the correct font for the prize sums.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Hello again, Robert. It’s LHF Naylorville you’re looking for.

      Like

      • Robert Hall said:

        Thanks a lot Jacob – I really appreciate that (been looking for it allover). I’m pleased this show has been renewed – same for these Millionaire specials. Are you enjoying them?

        All the best and keep going with all of this! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Yes, enjoying Millionaire so far – despite the presence of Verdana! Jezza is very good and has brought an unpredictability to the show. Hopefully they’ll give it another series.

        Like

      • Robert Hall said:

        Yes, so am I and I also hope it’s going to be renewed. I think the purpose of this week’s specials is to give ITV an idea of the ratings to determine whether or not to bring it back.

        Changing the subject here: by any chance, do you have a full shot of this studio?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacob said:

        Oh, I’m sure that was the plan. I gather it has done quite well in the ratings so far, so stands a good chance of returning. I hope they keep it as a stripped event – it’s so much better that way.

        No full studio for this, just a half-arsed sim test. There isn’t even a floor, the money just falls into a black hole!

        Like

      • Robert Hall said:

        I wonder if they will introduce *more* twists if they recommision the series… And oh that’s a shame but thanks for letting me know and keep it up! 😀

        Like

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