Nobody on the Gang of Five reads this blog, so I think I’m safe to note why I’m leaving the site. I don’t really see a need for them to know, since I’m pretty sparse over there anyway outside the RPing section, which has a mere 3 other active users these days.
But yeah, with my new job starting up, I’m retiring from role-playing on that site and will focus exclusively on solo creative projects starring my characters. TBH, the RP scene on that site has been very disappointing for years, and I was starting to get mad that the few players left were basically ignoring what I wrote for my characters. In Insane Cafe, I had Hailey drop a uniform and her security card in a pile outside Dr. Zanasiu’s unlocked cell, only for him to ignore both and “find an ID card a security guard forgot” down the hallway to do his machinations. He also completely ignored Lúcia Shelton introducing herself to him, despite her having the last name of his longtime teammate who died mysteriously years ago. Then his author wrote that a fleet of nauseated security guards abandoned their posts, and when I asked the GM why, he said the other writers all thought Hailey had poisoned the water supply. When I said I never had her do that (she couldn’t, she didn’t have her keycard?), he replied “Well, it sounds like something she could have done.” I fully admit I got more needled about that than I should have.
Honestly, none of these were the dealbreaker I’m making them sound like, I was just tired of collaborative writing by this point anyway. I’ve been feeling way more fueled by my five novels starring my owned characters, to the point I’m pretty annoyed by the fingerprints the other authors have left on the works (like Chief Broadstreet in Officer Echo.) I’d really like to go self-publish them, or send them as manuscripts to agents, but I’m worried of the legal ramifications regarding some plots/characters having starting out as shared content. Luckily, I see tons of reasons I could have improved them and don’t really want to publish them anyway. I’d rather go write new ones that are better, but in the future I want to 100% own the storylines I tell.
I hate to admit I was also frustrated by how the other RP writers never seemed to care about the supplementary content I wrote. In total I’ve released 40 short stories, 2 novels, 3 novellas and 5 flash fictions, and I announced every one of them in our shared Skype channel. They’d all ignore me except for one who I needed to badger via private PMs before he’d read anything. After releasing Gamer 2, a tie-in video game I’d worked for over 4 years on, I got the exact same indifference as I did with everything I’d ever released for our universe. I just think it’s time for me to find a new creative circle, maybe one with a bit more reciprocity.
My last piece for the Into the Black RP universe is this finale for Blanking the Slate, as the RP petered off and I hate for it to end with so little left in the storyline. (The GM never got back to me with one-sentence epilogues for his two characters, despite saying he would, hence the two blanks at the end). I’m not retiring Emilena or Flora, but I’ll be creating an entirely new canon that borrows nothing from the RPs, to save myself from any legal headaches down the line.