June 11, 2012 at 3:31 PM ET
The company that created some of our favorite video games is now helping to power a new animated film.
Valve — the development company behind "Portal," "Half-Life" and "Left 4 Dead" just to name a few of their hit game franchises — has partnered with Shane Acker, the director behind the feature film "9," to work on a new movie called "Deep."
Acker and the crew at Brown Bag Films are using the game engine created by Valve — known as the Source Engine — to make the new animated film, according to Variety.
"Deep" will be an action-adventure film with an "underwater Western" feel, according to a press release from Brown Bag Films. "Deep" will take moviegoers to a post-apocalypse world where what's left of humanity lives in sunken ships under the sea. The story revolves around the crew of a nuclear submarine and a mysterious group known as the Wayfarers.
Valve has provided the film team with "new tools and technologies" based on the Source Engine. According to the announcement, using the game engine has helped make the filmmaking process quicker and cheaper:
The tools enable flexible cinematography and editing, a simplified character animation process and economical lighting, sound and visual effects. Render time is cut to nearly nil, enabling rapid revisions to animation, which brings dramatic savings in time and money over traditional production.
Meanwhile, since they are already working with a game engine, the "Deep" crew has already begun work on a playable game level to be distributed through Valve's online Steam service.
With film and video games increasingly crossing over -- and with more and more movies being translated into games (and vice versa) -- this certainly seems like it could be the future of things.
"The collaboration with Valve has been a wonderful experience for all of us," said the film's producer Gregory Little. "The opportunity to produce it in this groundbreaking way gives us great creative freedom and allows us to leverage new distribution channels and platforms."
— Via Variety
Winda Benedetti writes about games for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games and other things here on Twitter or join her in the streamhere on Google+. And for more video game news and reviews be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page right here.