So. It's been forever since I've posted a motivation thread, due to not writing a damn thing for the longest time. First thing's first: the rewrite of The Chris Parable has been cancelled, and work on Hazelmyre is on hiatus. I've decided to just try to get one smaller story up to test the waters and get back into the groove of things. What is that story about, you may ask? Well, I'll tell you.
It's a piece of fan fiction about my favorite DC Comics character Vic Sage, AKA the Question; specifically, the version of the character seen in the 2005 miniseries by Rick Veitch. The plot will be simplistic, following the faceless protector of Hub City through one particularly godawful night in which he is poisoned by a group of criminals and left in an alleyway. With just five hours to live, an antidote to find, and a whole drug ring to take down, it's easy to say that the Question is in way over his head. I only started yesterday, and progress so far has been at a snail's pace: one page down, with work on the second page underway.
Anyway, yeah. Don't expect this to be a particularly large story, as I mentioned above it's mostly just for finding the inspiration to write CYOA stories again. I plan for it to be rather linear, with four endings based on your choices, and for it to be in total around a few dozen pages or so. Anyway, feel free to do whatever in this thread: offer helpful advice, berate me, ask questions about the story and its progress, or just dick around.
I haven't been keeping up with any progress reports sadly, mostly because the day after I posted this thread I came down with a particularly bad cold and was out of commission for a while. I don't have anything new to really share here, but I figured I'd post the one page that's finished to keep you all satisfied.
A little background information, for those not familiar with this particular version of the Question (or the character at all, really): the Question wears a mask made of a substance called 'pseudoderm' which makes it appear that he has no facial features. It's cemented to his face using a gaslike substance, which also changes the color of his hair and clothing to make it harder to ID him. Confused? Just turn to these handy two panels from the Question's first appearance which, for the most part, have remained entirely canon and summarize it far better than I can.
Now, in the 2005 miniseries upon which this storygame is based, the writer reimagined the Question as an urban shaman who goes into a trance like state upon inhaling the bonding gas, which has now been retconned as a hallucinogen. While in this trance, he can speak with cities (really him speaking in embarrassingly weird slam poetry and listening to random bits of passing conversations) by accessing their chi, and the city can give him clues to his objective. That's not the only use of his shamanistic powers, but that's all you really need to know right now.
Why did I explain all this? Well, you're about to see. Roll the first page:
"Speak to me, Hub City."
"It's bad, man..."
"... it might be cancer..."
"... worse than anything I've ever seen."
"Tell me your secrets, oh vile seductress of the innocent children."
"We're in deep shit..."
"... they're making a move tonight..."
"... I think I'm gonna be sick."
"Where might this move be, oh crime-ridden terminal tumor of the world?"
"This warehouse I just got, for..."
"... some fucked up shit, man..."
"... it's over by the docks, can't miss it."
"Your help is appreciated, oh desperate drug-adled whore begging for dope." With these words, you turn and leave.
The sky above is a pleasant orange color, the sun just about to set. Clouds float around waiting to dissipate into nothingness, birds chirp a delightful song, and down below the ordinary people make their way to and from work, buying Venti soy mocha coffees with a light whip, unaware of or perhaps blissfully involved in the dark underbelly of the city.
They cannot see that day by day their beloved city is falling apart slowly, painfully.
You can See.
They cannot hear its pleas for help.
You can Hear.
They can only walk in the mundane world.
You walk between two worlds.
Now, right at the start you can see I'm hopping right into the action. No real set-up, just dropping you right into the world. Now, the description will contain the same basic information I've left here (although far less in depth) so people entirely new to the character will have something to go on.
Anyway, tell me what you think I suppose, I gotta get back to work and I'll try to keep up with weekly progress reports every Wednesday from now on.
Haven't been keeping up with progress reports, mostly due to the lack of interest in this thread. Well, progress report I suppose, got a good chunk of the story done and should be finishing it up in the coming days. Turned out a little more game-y than I would've expected. Once I finish up one last path, I'll get to work on revising and adding some stuff then I'll publish it.
Also whipped up a title page. Here's a preview.
EDIT: Forgot to mention, but I also decided to do away with the shaman personification of the Question, and kept it more in line with his characterization from the run by Dennis O'Neil (which I highly recommend to any comic fans). Mostly it was because I just couldn't write that characterization well from what I felt.
Lookin' good, sweet-cheeks.
The story's up. If you encounter any bugs, please alert me to them.
I can imagine.
Well. Riding off the high of my newly published story, I decided, I'm going to write another one. Once I'm sure I can handle it, Hazelmyre will continue to be worked on, as I plan on it being a bit of a larger story.
Right now the new story is in the plotting phase, but the basic setting I have in mind is a Sin City esque story, set in a rotting metropolitan dystopia with neo-noir elements and stylized violence. Will try to make it a bit longer than Hard Night, and it'll definitely be more akin to a traditional CYOA in nature as I decided to do away with variables due to them making me rip my fucking hair out while testing Hard Night.
Stick around, will try to keep up with weekly or bi-weekly progress reports with this one.
First page is done. Decided on the title 'Metropolis', named after the city it's based in. Made the first page an homage to the opening of Sin City. Here's a teaser:
There's a saying in this city.
Turn the right corner in Metropolis and you can find anything.
Pretty girl on the balcony. Long blonde hair like a golden sunset. Crystal clear blue eyes. Skin white as porcelain. She's the one.
You walk up to her, she's got a cigarette dangling from her cherry red lips and is fumbling with a zippo that refuses to light. You pull out a box of matches. Light her smoke. She laughs, wispy gray clouds of smoke rising about and partially hiding her face. She looks mysterious. Exotic. Sexy as all hell.
It reminds you of those old noir movies you'd watch. The troubled private eye, being approached by the mysterious femme fatale in his office. Roles are switched here.
You chat for a bit. Her smile widens, pearly white teeth seemingly unaffected by her smoking. Must brush them. You don't see that a lot in the city these days. It's gone to shit, and with it the people's hygiene.
A gunshot pierces the quiet of the night.
You walk away, leaving her stone dead body on the ground.
What I'm planning on doing, actually. Keep it fast, punchy, laconic.
Mostly a thing to set the scene. Like its inspiration, Sin City, the player will jump around between perspectives of different characters in the city; in this case, a getaway driver (which will, for the most part, be an expansion of a story I wrote for Dark City a little over a year ago), a gangster, and a private investigator (can't have noir without one, amirite?). Then, once the player has gone through these stories in any order they choose, it'll end with another portion featuring the 'taxman' as the character in the introduction is called.
Hm. Was considering maybe using the title 'Gomorrah'. For the most part Metropolis is a working title.
Work on this story is gonna be put on hold as it's a bit of a larger project, and I'm still not confident if I can handle something like that just yet.
Gonna get to work on another smaller story, this one also a noir-inspired one. Think Blade Runner if Deckard was a hitman going after a target in a seedy futuristic bar that plays synthwave, and only synthwave.
Plan on having it only have a handful of endings like Hard Night, but with more ways to go about your goal. Wanna be sneaky? Be my guest. Wanna go full on John Wick mode? That's cool (so long as you remember not to waste all of your ammo). Maybe you wanna have some fun before you shoot a motherfucker? Feel free to.
Work so far on this is going pretty good. Plan on finishing it in two days or so. Shouldn't take too long.
And last but most certainly not least, my third story I am currently working on. Order of priority is TechNOIR (as the cyberpunk story is called), Gomorrah (as the Sin City inspired story is called), and finally this, a sequel to Hard Night known as Bright Days. The story will be more story-driven and have more paths. Like the last game, it's a fanfiction superhero story set in the DC Universe where you play as the Question. Planning on making this a series, thinking of calling the entire series 'Questionable Tales'.
Anyhow, this game involves heading to Chicago in your civilian guise of investigative journalist Vic Sage for a story involving some art display. However, while there, you discover that not all is well in the city as gang crime is at an all time high, lead by a mysterious costumed criminal calling himself 'the Banshee'. What else to do but don your mask and tackle it head on, teaming up with Chicago's resident vigilante the Blue Beetle along the way?
As I said above, this is the least of my priorities so it may be a while before it comes up. However, I did decide to write the first page as well as do a title page (as you can see, I made the link larger and in red due to some complaints about the link being hard to see), because I'm addicted to those now. Here's the first page:
"Question," you hear your blue clad ally shout, "look out!"
Taking heed, you do a quick duck and roll, seeing the throwing knife go flying past where your head once was. Recovering quickly, you run at your attacker, delivering a leaping kick to his torso, sending him to the floor. He clutches at his ribs, a pained expression on his face, before closing his eyes. Ribs cracked at the very least, lung punctured at the very most. Don't have to worry about him anymore either way.
Blue Beetle grapples over to you, and not a moment too soon as the rest of the gangs decide to circle around you moments later. Back to back, you pick up a discarded metal pipe as Beetle readies his Air Gun. "What is it," Beetle muses, his tone drenched in almost child-like exuberance, "twenty against two?"
"Just about," you note dryly, "it's not even fair... They'd need at least twenty more to pose a threat."
"Bwahaha! Too bad they don't have that many!" Beetle laughs.
You release a quick chuckle, before the two of you leap into action...
After this the only option is a simple continue choice reading something along the lines of 'wait, how'd this happen?' which then sends you back to the day before, with you first arriving in Chicago as Vic Sage.
For tone, this is far more light-hearted than Hard Night and will probably be rated a 4 or so on the maturity scale. It'll have some buddy cop elements as well. I've done away with variables in this game, so it will mostly be a storygame with actual branches instead of three paths that all kinda lead to the same thing. Not sure about the endings yet, as this is, for the most part, still in the plotting and planning phase.
Cheers to the three of you reading.
There is now an ending in TechNOIR where your target leaves while you're distracted by a lap dance from a cyborg stripper.
Just throwing that out there.
Innovation right there.
Progress report for all the stories currently being worked on:
TechNOIR is currently at 1,274 words and twelve pages written of God only knows how many. Progress is at a decent rate, and Tim is co-authoring, having suggested things, wrote a few pages, and, once the story is finished, will playtest and proofread. Thanks for the help with the story Tim!
Gomorrah, formerly Metropolis, is currently at 755 words and four pages written of, once more, God only knows how many. Progress has been halted to focus on TechNOIR.
Finally, Bright Days, the sequel to Hard Night, is currently at 827 words and with three pages written of, you guessed it, God only knows how many. Originally intended for this to not be a priority, but I ended up writing the two pages aside from the intro page out of boredom.
So there's your progress report, will try to keep up with one every Friday. Have a good one everybody.
TechNOIR is finished. If any bugs are found, please be sure to PM me.
Moving weekly progress report day to Wednesday.
Decided to relax yesterday after finishing TechNOIR. Today I slacked off for a bit before knocking a few pages off of Gomorrah. I've mentioned it a few times I believe, but the game will feature three different stories, all starring different main characters but occasionally overlapping with the same recurring characters. The three protagonists are: a getaway driver (whose path will mostly be an expansion of a story I wrote for Dark City a while back), a gangster, and a private investigator.
I decided to focus one path at a time, though I have written up the first pages for all of them. I have vague basic plots for the gangster and PI paths, and am in the process of outlining the driver path and writing it as I outline. So far, the story overall contains 1,094 words, and the two and a half pages written of the driver path contains 447.
So yeah, quick progress report. I'll check back in at the end of the day as well with another, as I'm sure this is far from what I'll write all day.
The only real overlaps will probably be something like seeing one of the other protagonists when the protagonist you're currently playing as goes to the bar. Nothing major like choices made in one section affecting another.
EDIT: To add to this, the stories will all begin on the same night, to prevent anything conflicting (IE you died in one story but in the next story you see that same protagonist alive and well), so most of the cameos from the other protagonists will mostly be at the beginning. May include something like the getaway driver and the gangster knowing each other and having done jobs together, mayhaps do another game in the setting which includes one of those jobs as a story.
(Note: I didn't write much after that progress report, hence why there wasn't another one.)
Did a bit more work on the Driver path, then decided to take a quick break to do some images in the style of Sin City for all the characters. These will appear at the bottom of the first page under a header with the title of the story. The first two (the driver and the wiseguy) are pictures of actors, guess who the actor is and the movie the image is from and you'll win some brownie points with me.
The Private Eye
Along with these, there will be some items with images in this art style. For example, a pistol:
So yeah, as you can tell the style of images is heavily inspired by Sin City and its use of black and white contrast. Occasionally, an image may have a pop of color, though I have yet to do an image with that pop yet.
Will be sure to.
Progress report for this week.
Didn't get much done, spent most of the days following my last progress report cleaning the house up. What little free time I had though was spent outlining the two paths that remain unoutlined, the PI path and the wiseguy path. However, as I was outlining the wiseguy path, I realized that all the plans I had for it wouldn't fit into the game and were more suited to be in their own game. So, this game will instead feature two stories, with the wiseguy path being slated for a spin-off/sequel game down the line.
Still, yesterday and the day before I just decided to slack off and didn't write much. Today I knocked off a couple of pages for the driver, story's almost done now. It's more of a thing to whet your appetite as it were, the bulk of the story will be the PI path.
Right now story's at 1,705 words with seven pages written of the driver path out of a planned total of just sixteen pages. As I said, more of a thing to whet the appetite, PI path will be quite a bit larger.
So yeah, there's this lackluster progress report.
Gotta be honest, didn't do much. Just lazed around for most of the week. Wrote four more pages for the Driver story, decided to expand it a bit to I don't even know how many pages now. Wordcount for the entire story is now 2,060. To make up for the lack of progress, here's the intro pages for the two stories:
On your tail. Not cops. Gangsters.
The Marino Outfit owns this part of town. Hit one of their places, it's an attack against them. You're not dumb. You wear a mask, you took the plates off your car, and once you get these poor fucks out of here you're torching the car in the desert.
Heart racing like a jackhammer. Blood pumping battery acid. Eyes darting around quicker than a hare on cocaine. Reaction time just as fast.
Sharp turn into this alley. Quick u-turn on this road. It's busy. You picked a common car. You'll be hidden well. Even if not, you rigged it with a Porsche engine. 0 to 60 in three seconds flat. Fast enough to get away from these schnooks if they somehow manage to catch up with you.
You pray they do.
You turn on an empty road. They follow.
Your prayers are answered.
This is what you live for. Life in the fast lane.
Feet kicked up on your desk. Brim of your hat shading your eyes. Cigarette dangling between your lips. Just another lazy day. No cases, no clients storming in, and for once you managed to get the rent in on time.
Of course any person living in Gomorrah can tell you that when all seems to be going well, that means it's about to turn to shit fast.
Ain't that the damn truth.
A flash from one of your windows alerts you. You look up, see a silhouette. Man by the looks of it, holding a camera and taking pictures. Another flash. You stand up, the man bolts.
Taking off like an Olympic track runner, you throw open your door. You don't see anything. He's long gone.
This can't be good.
And end tape. Gonna be getting in gear to finish the story, hopefully by the end of the month.
Planning on it, so far what I've written is mostly in that style. Might be a few slips here and there though, but a round of editing and some rewriting will iron that out I'm sure.
I think writing for about five or six hours straight and coming out with 20 pages written and a word count of 3,215 is pretty good for a day's work, wouldn't you say?
So yeah, taking the rest of the day off. I joined the romance contest for those not in the know, and I'm cramming to finish my story up by the time the deadline's through. So far making pretty damn good progress, if the fact that I made as much progress in six hours as I made in the week and a half I wrote TechNOIR doesn't give that away. Yes ladies and gents, this story is only a quarter of the way done, and in terms of word count it's already larger than TechNOIR.
I'd say things are looking up pretty well for the future. Maybe not winning this contest, but, if I allow myself a moment of vanity, I think I'm on my way to being among the site's more competent writers.
Managed to rope @Malkalack and @ISentinelPenguinI into writing stories for Gomorrah. Cheers, lads.
Here's a teaser for the fancy title page of my newest, super secret project called Northwest Passage.
Oh hey, nice!
That gum you like is going to come back in style!