Deployment: Wearable Puppets

CplYapFlip

BMO
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S237
In passing discussion on the discord today it came up that Division Deployment had come to the consensus that a puppet doesn't qualify as a "costume" and was therefore not deployable.

I appreciate that this is a many faceted discussion but this seems like a wild decision to make, and a slippery slope in particular for our alien compatriots. Where is the line between wearable puppet and "costume"?

Our tier system supposedly has the feature that on the rare occasion an event requests it, we can put our best face forward. But with this decision, if a Tier 3 costume was then converted into a puppet it would.. no longer even be deployable?
I doubt that the rare hypothetical event runner who wants the best of the best is going to turn their nose up at an amazing wearable puppet being in attendance.


A puppet requires all the input as making a costume, AS WELL as needing to figure out the internals and additional rigging required for performing.

Again, I can appreciate if our existing parameters are not yet able to examine a wearable puppet set up-- but deploying wearable puppets seems like something we should attempt to adapt to rather than just disregarding.
 

PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
It's a very interesting topic because of how grey the line may be. For example, Saber 's recent Skirmisher requires her to wear the puppet all around her, acting almost like a suit. Whereas with my grunt, as it's been pointed out, although I'm attached to and controlling all the limbs (minus the head), I'm physically outside of the character, and in a sense, out of costume. On that note - something like full scale Flood forms (which members have made); would they also fall under the category of a puppet, since they aren't a human character?

But as Ranger pointed out in the Discord, the line has to be drawn somewhere. As cool as a 343 Guilty Spark on a rod, or Halo 3 Rat on a leash would be, though they technically could be considered puppets, aren't to the same scale as other characters.

Perhaps one criteria would be the amount of involvement the puppeteer has in controlling the puppet - for example, is it only one or two hands, or is it full body?

Going back to the example of Saber's Skirmisher, I'm going to bring my Photoshop skills to the table and blur the line even further. She used stacks of padding in the feet to add hight, as well as body and head rigging - elements that many Spartans also do to add height (for lore and appearance), hold the suit to them, and make it more stable/comfortable.

No blame or hostility is aimed at anyone, this is all a discussion of curiosity. I had previously thought my grunt to be deployable, and if he's not, no big deal - I've still got a heck of a cool puppet and my DIN from another costume.
 
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RandomRanger

DMO and Armory Assistant
Division Staff
Community Staff
Member DIN
S063
Hi guys. First I wanted to thank you for moving from discord and creating this thread so we can better attend to your concerns. Before I address them, I want to make sure that I properly understand your concerns.
Which of these best describes your contention?

* Deployment should be something that's available to more than just costumes
* Grunther was misclassified as not-a-costume and should be considered a costume
* Inadequate documentation lead to confusion about the requirements for deployment/a costume, and the current ruling would be acceptable/more digestible if its reasoning was made transparent in the FAQ

Or, if I've missed the mark entirely and didn't capture your thoughts, please let us know so we can be sure to address them.
 
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Saber

Active Member
Member DIN
S028
It's a very interesting topic because of how grey the line may be. For example, Saber 's recent Skirmisher requires her to wear the puppet all around her, acting almost like a suit. Whereas with my grunt, as it's been pointed out, although I'm attached to and controlling all the limbs (minus the head), I'm physically outside of the character, and in a sense, out of costume. On that note - something like full scale Flood forms (which members have made); would they also fall under the category of a puppet, since they aren't a human character?

But as Ranger pointed out in the Discord, the line has to be drawn somewhere. As cool as a 343 Guilty Spark on a rod, or Halo 3 Rat on a leash would be, though they technically could be considered puppets, aren't to the same scale as other characters.

Perhaps one criteria would be the amount of involvement the puppeteer has in controlling the puppet - for example, is it only one or two hands, or is it full body?

Going back to the example of Saber's Skirmisher, I'm going to bring my Photoshop skills to the table and blur the line even further. She used stacks of padding in the feet to add hight, as well as body and head rigging - elements that many Spartans also do to add height (for lore and appearance), hold the suit to them, and make it more stable/comfortable.

No blame or hostility is aimed at anyone, this is all a discussion of curiosity. I had previously thought my grunt to be deployable, and if he's not, no big deal - I've still got a heck of a cool puppet and my DIN from another costume.

While my Skirmisher has puppeted elements to emulate more realistic movement, it's a costume at it's core.

That aside, I'm glad it can be used as part of the discourse that not all deployed suits fit the same spartan-shaped mold, even though I have no interest in getting the Skirmisher approved for anything.
 
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CplYapFlip

BMO
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S237
Hi guys. First I wanted to thank you for moving from discord and creating this thread so we can better attend to your concerns. Before I address them, I want to make sure that I properly understand your concerns.
Which of these best describes your contention?

* Deployment should be something that's available to more than just costumes
* Grunther was misclassified as not-a-costume and should be considered a costume
* Inadequate documentation lead to confusion about the requirements for deployment/a costume, and the current ruling would be acceptable/more digestible if its reasoning was made transparent in the FAQ

Or, if I've missed the mark entirely and didn't capture your thoughts, please let us know so we can be sure to address them.

What deployment "should be" is a Pandora's box to get into another time. Though I concede we may be unable to avoid this topic coming down to that at its core.

Splitting hairs about wearable puppet vs costume feels like a "uhm ackshully a banana is a berry" situation, so I suppose a mix of the other two.

I do personally feel Grunther (and thus any future puppetry builds) being ineligible for deployment is a mistake, and if the end of this discussion yields no changes the FAQ absolutely needs to be transparent about this. Again calling back to the fact that a wearable puppet requires all the ins and outs of a costume plus more, we may as well save some folk from putting in that extra work if deployment happens to be their aim.
 
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Cadet

Executive Officer
Division Staff
Community Staff
Member DIN
S111
In regards to Puppets Vs Costumes, I can share some background from when the Deployment Program was being developed and Refined.

From the beginning the Deployment Program was designed to recognize the achievement of completing a Halo Universe Costume, and to provide feedback on that Costume based on accuracy, construction, and fit. The key word being Costume. However, there was always the intent that Deployment be open to all Halo Universe costumes. That the program would not just be open to UNSC or other Human characters and costumes, but to all costumes, Covenant, Flood, or Forerunner. With this inclusivity of characters in mind, there was an understating from the beginning by the Deployment Team that some Covenant or Flood costumes that might come our way might need special considerations in regard to making the human anatomy fit and that some special techniques or tricks, including ones that some might consider puppetry in the costume might be utilized to achieve the look of an alien character. The thought was always that the end product must be a Costume, which was generally accepted among the Team to mean that it must be capable of being worn and that it obscures the person inside in order to be eligible for Deployment.

So, what separates a Costume from a large-scale Puppet? I understand this might seem like a find line or a gray area, and admittedly it can be, and the definition of a Costume and Puppet varies from person to person.

The Skirmisher is a good example of the thought process of the Deployment Team.

I would say 100% that Saber’s Skirmisher is a costume and would absolutely be able to be Deployed. The difference between that and Grunther, and what makes one a Costume and one a Puppet in the eyes of the Deployment Team, is that while there might be elements of puppetry at work in the articulation of certain items like the legs and neck, the Skrimisher is viewed as a costume because it is worn and operated from the inside, with the user or operator obscured to the best of their ability with understandable concessions made for the differences in anatomy in the legs. Contrast this with Grunther where Alexander is completely exposed and separated from the Grunt. The operator of Grunther is completely visible and distinct from the Puppet. This is also why even though Grunther is attached to his operator, and as such might be considered a “Wearable” puppet, we don’t consider it being worn in the sense of a costume being worn, because the Grunt and Operator are two distinct, visibly separate entities.

We will always allow reasonable concession due to the differences in the anatomy like the legs of the Skrimisher, if a good faith effort is made to obscure or hide the user or operator. We will always allow the use of lifts, stilts both regular and digi-grade, as well as things like articulated arm or hand extensions to achieve the desired look of a Character, but at the end of the day, it must be physically worn by the operator in a fashion that conceals or makes best effort to conceal the operator to be considered for Deployment.

Again, I Love Grunther, I wish I could do an event with him and get pictures with Caboose, we just feel the is more Puppet than costume.

If there is enough interest in starting up, say a “Constructs” program for large scale puppets, remote controlled Monitors or Infection forms, even remote-control operable Statues or Armor sets permanently mounted to mannequins, we can definitely explore that avenue and build a program around it but at this time we view the Deployment program as something specifically for our member’s costumes. If a member builds a large scale or “wearable” puppet and think it should be considered for Deployment, than we are always welcome to have a conversation about that specific creation.
 
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PlanetAlexander

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
because the Grunt and Operator are two distinct, visibly separate entities.
I think this might be closing in on the key to splitting the two categories. Instead of stating size, how enclosed a costume is, perhaps it's a case of seeing if there is a split between the puppeteer and the puppet - and I can also agree the Skirmisher is closer to a full costume than a puppet. I never considered Grunther a "costume", and generally only called it a "cosplay" for the tags/SEO, and to imply the scale of it. But like YapFlip said, the Deployment FAQ page should be updated once there is an agreement on the topic, because as niche as this kind of project may be, the FAQ isn't too clear about it:
1673909809896.png

And so we're all on the same page: This General Grievous puppet was shared with me on my build thread. Because the wearer is obscured by the cape (which is technically part of the costume), I imagine - aside for the complete difference in IP - that this would fit the category for deployment?

Contrast this with Grunther where Alexander is completely exposed and separated from the Grunt. The operator of Grunther is completely visible and distinct from the Puppet
I'll be back when I get my Harry Potter invisible cloak :p
 
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RandomRanger

DMO and Armory Assistant
Division Staff
Community Staff
Member DIN
S063
Thanks for the follow-up CplYapFlip .

One of the key differences between these works is that, as Cadet said, costumes are operated from the inside. A puppet is something that's manipulated externally. There's a little external manipulation via the legs of Sabers skirmishers, but I'd say that the majority of it is operated from within the build, and what's external has been attempted to camouflage. As such, there are no conflicts with the deployment process.
With this in mind, I'd say that (if we accepted Star Wars costumes) I don't see any reason why that Grievous build couldn't go through deployment.

If PlanetAlexander wanted to deploy Grunther, and he found some way to make it where he himself is operating from within the inside of the costume, then I don't see a reason it couldn't be deployed. For example, if he was hidden inside of a coil like this I believe it would be deployable. Granted, the photoshopping is garbage, and there are probably better props to choose from I'm sure, but it does transition the user from being outside the work to the inside of it which is more of the point.
1673912524986.png


I would also like to reiterate that deployment is an entirely optional process, and in the history of the Deployment process, there has never actually been an event that was locked to a particular tier. The closest we've had to my knowledge is the LA event which requested deployed members, but we also had a number of entirely non-costumed members in attendance and I don't see any reason why Grunther wouldn't have been welcome at that event.

Just for clarity because I see size has been mentioned. Lore accuracy to size is not a consideration during tier deployment. Someone could make a grunt costume that's 7ft tall and still get Tier 3, so long as it's proportional and scaled well and vice versa. There are no issues with deploying a 5ft Spartan.

The deployment process is intended to celebrate the creation of a new costume. We notably do not deploy props, weapons, vehicles, etc.
 
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CplYapFlip

BMO
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S237
From the beginning the Deployment Program was designed to recognize the achievement of completing a Halo Universe Costume, and to provide feedback on that Costume based on accuracy, construction, and fit. The key word being Costume.
The thought was always that the end product must be a Costume, which was generally accepted among the Team to mean that it must be capable of being worn and that it obscures the person inside in order to be eligible for Deployment.

Why is that the keyword? It’s understandable things like puppets weren't considered at Deployment’s conception but now that it’s front of us, why decide to disregard change entirely? What purpose is served by creating this division?

If there is enough interest in starting up, say a “Constructs” program for large scale puppets, remote controlled Monitors or Infection forms, even remote-control operable Statues or Armor sets permanently mounted to mannequins, we can definitely explore that avenue and build a program around it but at this time we view the Deployment program as something specifically for our member’s costumes.

Why would it need to be a separate thing from Deployment? Why do we need a second separate program for (what sounds like) fundamentally the same idea?

Why can Deployment not grow and adapt to the natural innovation that arises as crafting methods become more accessible?

If a member builds a large scale or “wearable” puppet and think it should be considered for Deployment, than we are always welcome to have a conversation about that specific creation.
Which we often direct folk to talk to their Membership Officer to start the discussion on.
1673922712691.png
 

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RandomRanger

DMO and Armory Assistant
Division Staff
Community Staff
Member DIN
S063
Costume is a key word because at its core the 405th is a costuming community, and that is what our processes have been designed around. Expanding too far beyond that may confuse newer members as to what our mission is, which is building costumes. There are several topics unique to costuming that the deployment process attempts to help its members with by providing constructive feedback. For example, one of the most common things I’ve seen people struggle with is scaling and making armor fit. This is not applicable to a puppet. There are things that art, like puppets, share in common with a costume, such as accuracy; however, accuracy is only a part of the story (and not even a majority of it) and to focus too much on that risks an invitation of unintentional elitism and nit-picking that I don’t believe is in line with 405th values.

You mentioned the slippery slope of not accepting puppets, however, I feel you may not have considered the slippery slope if puppets were to become deployable. It would open the door for other non-costume works to enter the deployment process as well such as props, vehicles, paintings, etc. The deployment process is simply not structured to accommodate this, and I don’t believe incorporating it would do our members justice. What I do not want the deployment process to become, intentionally or not, is a tool used to determine what art is cool and what art is not, or what art people should/shouldn’t be making. I want to encourage people to be creative and have fun with making art, and I don’t believe the deployment process is the right way for us to achieve that with non-costume works. If there is strong interest in providing a feedback/celebratory system for non-costume works, then this is something we’d be happy to look into, and whatever we come up with would do a better job serving our members than trying to fit a square peg through a round hole via deployments.
 
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CplYapFlip

BMO
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S237
There are several topics unique to costuming that the deployment process attempts to help its members with by providing constructive feedback. For example, one of the most common things I’ve seen people struggle with is scaling and making armor fit. This is not applicable to a puppet.

I’ve never personally made a puppet but I can’t see how it would leap into the world with zero scaling involved. A puppet needs to be scaled, the base needs creation with whichever method (stuffed fabric work, expanding foam, strategic skeleton frame, etc) and the vast majority of puppets that can arise from the Halo Universe are going to further have armour done in whichever method. All of which require finishing in similar if not identical methods to armoursmithing.

What unique topics are special to costuming that are not covered by puppetry?

When it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, but has wire rods attached to its wrists is it any less a duck?

There are things that art, like puppets, share in common with a costume, such as accuracy; however, accuracy is only a part of the story (and not even a majority of it) and to focus too much on that risks an invitation of unintentional elitism and nit-picking that I don’t believe is in line with 405th values.

What is Deployment?
Deployment is an optional process where a 405th member may submit their completed costume for evaluation and sorting into one of three (3) tiers based on the accuracy of their build and it’s fit to the wearer.

Deployment, as it stands, and as it is laid out for the general membership, is about accuracy.

How one feels about whether or not accuracy should be measured at all is separate from this conversation; its a conversation I would gladly participate in as well, however it is eggs and apples to this discussion.

If we’re upholding 405th values, we are risking losing all 3 of those values by not recognizing subsections of creation based on a technicality.

If leadership thinks making a separate secondary recognition system is the best way to Honor our members then so be it. From my perspective at the bottom of the staff totem pole I would find choosing to make exponentially more work to be a strange move, but sure.

You mentioned the slippery slope of not accepting puppets, however, I feel you may not have considered the slippery slope if puppets were to become deployable. It would open the door for other non-costume works to enter the deployment process as well such as props, vehicles, paintings, etc.

Perhaps the new rule for deployable or not should be whether the creation can boogie down.

ezgif.com-gif-maker_4.gif


I can understand feeling like the flood gates will be opened, but drawing a line between static (props) and dynamic (costumes) seems to have been the jumping off point when Deployment was first conceived, and puppets are pretty dang dynamic.

Posing or Movement could be included with the A/T poses we already require, to show off how dynamic (qualified) a creation is.
Or Regiment and Battalion MOs can be leaned on to help grey areas rather than expanding what is submitted when applying.

Again, all further options that could be utilised as opposed to simply saying "sorry, no"

I strongly feel that when a solid argument can be made that something is more than a prop, it should be easier to bend and adapt rather than shut the gates. And a puppet has more in common with costuming than it does with props. It may be a banana in a dish of blueberries and cranberries, but it belongs there.

If there is strong interest in providing a feedback/celebratory system for non-costume works, then this is something we’d be happy to look into, and whatever we come up with would do a better job serving our members than trying to fit a square peg through a round hole via deployments.


I get what you're saying, but when we're the ones who made the square hole in the first place it's strange to keep making different shaped doors instead of one that can accommodate everyone.

But again, if its decided that many shaped holes is the way to go, and everyone who wants to is getting inside--then I guess that's the way to go.
 
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CplYapFlip

BMO
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S237
We should ensure staff aren't discouraging submissions by saying otherwise. But I'll leave Division to all get on the same page with each other.

My closing argument re: puppets deployability is this:

It's Unity, Armour, Honour not Unity, Costumes, Honour;

Please keep this in mind when a puppet does apply for deployment. Thank you.
 
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Sean Anwalt

Sr Member
Member DIN
S530
Interesting. I had never considered puppetry as a form of costume, but there are many good points.

I myself choose to remain neutral on this topic, because I don't know enough to have an intelligent conversation in the matter; for behold, are we not all puppets on the strings of fate manipulated by the wanton lusts of the universal force called destiny? Or maybe not. I got tired of typing this, but just know it goes way deeper and I don't wanna 'off the rails' this thread.

Be interested to see where this goes, though!
 
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