A Prerequisite qualifier

Since I’ve now linked to the Darwin’s Soldiers Wiki, some of you may actually click said link and follow through to its contents. Perhaps you may then proceed to read some of the stories I have written in this universe, and notice that they contain anthropomorphic animals. I feel the need to qualify.

I am not a ‘furry’, I joined the original Darwin’s Soldiers role-play as a 17-year old science fiction fan new to the internet, who read the premise about “scientists in a base attacked by terrorists are forced to fight for their lives” and thought this sounded awesome. My only character I’ve played for six years, Dr. Rudyard Shelton, is human, and most of my other characters either do not have their species specified or get a species mention in only the most ancillary of fashion (for example: “Paul, a rabbit, proceeds to do only human things with hand and fingers and never mention his species again for the duration of his appearances in the role-play”). This is because my attention is on the character’s personalities and actions, and just like I couldn’t care less about the color of their skin, I likewise put little stock into species.

The whole thing is a bit of a self-inflicted sore point for me; why did I put so much effort into a furry role-play if I myself do not care about furries? I don’t know. You’ll have to ask my 17-year old self. But I have, and my only real course of action is to ignore that aspect of Darwin’s Soldiers in my games. Characters who appear on screen will be human, and scenarios will be picked that minimize the plot holes that this could crop up (When I get to RPG Maker, for example, I plan to set it on Gaman, a planet I designed to be explicitly human-only.) In its current incarnation, there will only be five characters in this AGS game, and I find it believable that 5 AI could somehow all choose to have human monikers.

I’m sure that if anyone ever digs into Darwin’s Soldiers, I will have to field this question again, but I suppose it doesn’t hurt to address it on my own terms before the time comes.

The Main Character

For the purpose of the video game, there is very little you need to know about ROSS, The protagonist of this still-unnamed video game. He escaped his prior lodgings, which are insinuated to be rather unpleasant, and now travels the Internet as a fugitive program. The first thing he’ll do is break into a secure server by impersonating a human being, his specialty at his former lodgings. (For all zero of you interested in the actual canon, this takes place between Drake’s demonstration at New Peenemunde and ROSS meeting Shelton at that fishing town).

I’m not going crazy on the personality, as this is my first game, and AI have always struck me as more straightforward in their emotions (if you could call them that) than organic beings. ROSS will be hesitant to trust others and a pretty straightforward ‘loner’ type who learns to trust others…if ‘Memento’ taught me anything its that you need a really simple premise if you plan on changing the world in any unrecognizable way. admittedly my changes to the world order aren’t nearly as big as Nolan’s, but I’m playing it safe for my first game. For a class I read a ‘comic’ book recently called “Meanwhile” by Jason Shiga, and while I enjoyed it a fair amount of the class didn’t get it, and I think it’s because his plot (which involved time travel and mind reading and a machine that can kill everyone on the planet) was just as confusing and complicated as his narrative structure, and people need something to grasp onto to anchor them in the world. Since I barely understand how the world of the video game works, I’m making that the variable and keeping story (something I understand) anchorable.

Taking AGS out to coffee

Going through the tutorials for AGS, and we seem to be getting along quite nicely. I’d began a project once before, which didn’t get very far. But it does mean I have a bit of a background, albeit not much.

So one of my big things about video games is: the story being told MUST require the genre. What I mean is; if the story could be told without being a video game, it shouldn’t be made as a video game. The same goes for any piece of media. A great example of this is a game that just came out called Miasmata. It’s about a plague-stricken scientist trying to find the cure on a deserted island while being stalked by this weird catlike creature. The game involves finding plants and using what skills a plague scientist would realistically have; cartography, botany, and desperate ineffective self-defense skills. Miasmata’s story could not be told in any other genre.

For that reason, I’m choosing to tell a story that focuses on artificial intelligence and what it means to be a virtual program. For a few days now I’ve struggled with determining how exactly I would do that; would every room be a circuit-board or a jumble of wires with zipping lights or something?

It was halfway through posing at my day job (I’m a nude model) that I realized I could portray AI as if they see the internet the same way we see the real world. So, picture an opening scene where the protagonist stands on a lonely sidewalk in a quiet town. Only, highlighting every house gives the response “It’s a server” and a found key is called “password” in the inventory. Make sense? We’ll see if the idea sticks. Tomorrow, a little more info on hos AGS is turning out, and a breakdown of our protagonist.

Take Two

I bet all zero of you reading this are noticing the significant timestamp between now and the last post and have given up on this blog. While I’m sorry to have let you nonexistent people down, I’m back in the saddle and working on a game. It’s just not the same game.

I finished the Javascript class and made a checkers game, but I didn’t really learn enough to make the game I hoped to. So this quarter, I plan to take this blog a different direction; I’m going to make a bunch of games, each using a different popular ‘game maker’ on the internet. The first up is “Adventure Game Studio”, and in order to keep my interest peaked in the project most games will expand on some story in the Darwin’s Soldiers canon.