Thursday, August 28, 2008

What I've Been Up To

In the long, dark teatime of this blog, I've been silent. But I don't want you to think that I've been, you know, laying around all day in my underwear, eating Cheetos, and masturbating. I hate Cheetos.

No, I've been productive. If, of course, you define finding other ways of wasting my time to be productive. Which I obviously do.

Over the summer, I've completed yet another version of my fantasy script Unbound. Which stinks. Again. Just not sure where I'm going wrong there except for the disheartening prospect that I might not know how to write after all.

Someone, somewhere (Although I can't find the link at the moment) made a post about coming up with your own MMOs. Already having the venerable ClotH tumbling around in my backpocket, I sat down to think about making it more than a vague parody or a story vehicle and fleshing it into a viable gameworld. As usual, though, I overshot the mark and wound up comgin up with not one but three different MMO concepts. Who knows, I might even get around to putting them down. On paper, as it were.

Then there's Kongai. I haven't been playing much - a match here or there to keep my toes in, some time beating up the AI to perform sanity checks on the numbers (I really have to get around to making some kind of bot to do that for me. Wouldn't be too hard. Just need to it to run a lot of monte carlo tests for me, and that's the sort of repetitive thing a program should be good for. Sigh, one of these days...) - but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about the plucky little game that could. I think I'll wait until I have a few games under my belt before I talk about balance. But, in the meantime, I've been thinking about balancing my own ideas. That's right, I haven't given up on tinkering with my own cards, something I've mentioned having created in passing several times in the past. We're up to two full expansions now. 8 groups, over 40 characters, and some fifty odd items in various stages of completion or at least more than a line or two jotted down on a notepad. I tend to make more characters than I need for each group and winnow the number down as I go along, merging and blending unsuccessful characters into one another to get to that final five. As for items, well, six generals plus five for each group and the numbers add up. Items are easy, anyways, it's making sure they're not imba when paired up with certain characters that's frustrating.

Also, this year's National Novel Writing Marathon is coming up and, lately, I've been trying to come up with ideas. I figure I'm going to be extremely busy this year and won't have a whole lot of time to devote to the madhouse. Not enough to be trying to crack the 200k Club, at least. So I'm looking for a smaller, simple story that I can reasonably expect to get through instead of letting my freak flag fly.

I have three ideas at the moment, as is my usual want. The first is a superhero story that I might just save for next year's Script Frenzy as it might make for a good graphic novel.

In a nutshell, it's about a hero who wakes up after years of brainwashing to find herself in a world where the villains won and the heroes have been subjected to various tortures and degradations. Together with the daughter she doesn't recognize, she's out for revenge.

The second is a bit of a sidestor set in the crazy alternative/other world of the Empire from last year's Stalking the Wolf. It deals with the story of a Princess, the reluctant next in line to the throne, and the assassin sent to kill her off. I'm not sure, really, how to classify it except that it's equal parts science fiction, thriller, and quietly character driven drama.

And, finally, there's a bit of a supernatural idea that's going to wind up drenched in smut. It's about a pack of werewolves (Giving them the "Lestat" treatment of modern, misunderstood monsters) and their youngest member, a boy drawn into a world of destruction and mayhem, of sex and violence, where every day is a life and death struggle - and that's just from the other members of his new family. Each of them is interesting in its own rights and I'm probably going to spend the next month working up their outlines and deciding which one I want to run with.

Then there's all the writing exercises that I've been doing. And the blog posts that I've written only to crumple up and throw away and the ideas for posts that I've had only to salt them away for a time when I could finish them.

So, I've been jerking around. But the results are strewn across any number of files and notepads, perhaps to one day pay dividends.

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