Friday, June 15, 2007

Call To Arms!

Time to let the nerdy/creative side of me roam free. A few months back, maybe in November, I got the wild idea of authoring a sort of play-by-email role-playing game. I would write up a chapter that included all of the various characters my friends created, and then those friends would get to make decisions that influenced the story as I continued to write. From something as simple as: "Egdar walks into a corridor and sees a door to his right, and a door to his left." To more complex actions that involved multiple group members.

It never really got off the ground. I wrote a few chapters, but the response wasn't overwhelming. The structure was pretty flawed, and the people who were eager to participate didn't have much direction in what they should be bringing to the table, which made it hard to get into. This time around, instead of doing a play-by-email format, I'm thinking of starting a blog-version. I will update the story once every week, which should give participants plenty of time to either comment or email me direction for their character. Also, people who are interested, but don't have a persona in the story, can always toss out ideas for plot twists and other obstacles along the way.

I'm not completely sure what sort of setting I want to start the first story in, but it could really be anything from Ancient Rome to the distant future. If there is enough interest, I'll start up a post about a possible setting for the first little story. I sort of want to make the first story short and sweet, so we can all get a feel for the beginning, middle and end of a story--and to also let other people have a chance to join in, in addition to trying out a different setting.

I enjoy thinking about fantasy novels and MMO's, but there seems to be a big gap between my idealization of MMO's, and what I actually experience while playing. On the other hand, while reading fantasy (or even main-stream novels) perks my interest, I don't actually get to influence the story at all. Playing a MMO, I get to be the author of my very own, unique character--the only problems are the limitations the game world has on what I can and cannot do.

This whole idea really came about again because of a conversation Tyler and I had today while we were both at work. I was telling Tyler that I really enjoy writing and reading, but the lack of a social side is a big drawback for me. If this blog-game-story works out, it will be a social writing experience, which I think could be amazingly fun.

Ideally, the blog-game will be a limitless story that I write, but also a story that you as a reader have influence over as it progresses. I'm pretty excited about trying this out, and I think the end result could be a very cool story--one that I wouldn't have nearly as much fun writing by myself, and literally no chance of being as diverse with only my thoughts to make up the story.

I'm most excited by the limitless possibilities, and also by the idea that you can really contribute as much or as little as you want to. You can send me an entire dialog between yourself and another character, or you can just take a back seat and let the story develop without your influence. But the more interaction the better! I'm also thinking that quite a few people will be interested, but won't necessarily want to spend much time on their end--which will be perfectly fine, because there can be a lot of non-main characters in the story (think The Simpsons supporting-cast).

So, if any of you gamers or ex-gamers or just people who read and write in general (Drizz? Tyler? Marc? Tessa+Jrad? Stacey? Pokerbloggerdom??) are interested, let me know so I can test this sucker out! Love, lust, death, dismemberment, backstabbing, honor, justice--I can't wait to explore the studio space... I mean, really... explore the space.



Blogger Tyler said...

Let's do this...

If you want a more comical setting, it's all about Pirates vs Ninjas: Assassination on the High Seas!!! :p

Not sure that would really work. Seriously tho i think the main decision at the start is to decide whether to set the story in a highly dangerous/violent setting or in something more subtle.

Like say the difference between having the main characters be mercenaries for hire while a war is going on and a group of rag-tag musicians trying to make their way in the world. Could always kill off on of the musicians and have it be a mystery... :p

High violence? Low violence?

3:32 PM  
Blogger meanhappyguy said...

I guess I'm leaning towards high violence for this first story, just so we can kill off people easier! I'm sure there will be people who are excited to write, but will be wishy-washy once we get going.

Wishy-washy = swift death!

3:36 PM  
Anonymous William said...

Dude...I'm the hapless time-traveler who got sent (naked?) from the 22nd century back to...the 21st century? Or maybe I appear in a dwarf packed bar in Middle Earth and must dance my way to freedom and safety...

6:57 PM  
Blogger meanhappyguy said...

LOL! Slick Willy, always with the smooth talk.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in. Whats the story setting? - Marc

9:35 AM  

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