28 / Aug / 2023

You guys remember 4 years ago when I said I'd be writing my own novel? Don't get too excited, because that plan has long since been abandoned.

But, with that said, there are 2 other projects that I'm working on; both of which are on a much smaller scale, and not something for which I'll make any promises. Instead, I'll take a different angle and try to be a bit more transparent about them as I work, which will most likely mean making an update to the site that I've been holding out for. More on that part later.

The first "project" I want to mention is actually more of a concept than anything else, and to be honest I don't think it'll go anywhere, but it's something I'll hold out a sliver of hope for: A video game!

Please, fellas, contain your excitement. As I said, it's not likely to go anywhere, which is the main reason why I'm putting it out in the open without having the pitch completely finished. But first and foremost, what's this game even about?

To sum it up in the shortest way possible: A side-scrolling beat-'em-up set in Silent Hill University.

You play as a customized character (with the customizations emphasizing the aspects of peoples' identities that college students are most worried about; i.e. race, sexuality, and political standing) who attends university in a college town. It's not exactly "middle-of-nowhere," but it is remote enough for the campus to be considered its own sort of "downtown." You're entering second year, meaning you'll have a few more freedoms than when you first came in here, but you're still learning how to take advantage of college life. On move-in day, you were optimistic, but then things took a turn for the worst...

Almost overnight, without any warning, the townspeople around campus were struck by something that made them lifeless. Not as in "having no life," but "being less than life." Hell, maybe even less than death. They've become something eldritch; something cosmic. Zombies? No, they're too inhuman. Monsters? Maybe, but somehow that description feels incomplete.

You don't know what the exact nature of their affliction is, but you sure as Hell don't want to get it yourself. The good news is that, for some reason, it doesn't seem to affect students at all. The administration does seem to be acting up a bit, but then again, you'd probably go crazy if enigmatic psuedo-humanoids were taking over everything.

Which they are.

Actually, the eeriest thing of all is probably how nonchalant the rest of the students are. The world is crumbling right before their eyes, and all they can think about is which path to take to the library so they can start working on those papers. They have futures to secure, damn it! They can't be bothered by these Silent Hill shenanigans when there are real problems that affect them and the rest of society!

Well, maybe as long as they're ignoring it, you might as well look into the situation. Maybe once you find the solution, people will actually be willing to do something about it.

The story isn't quite hashed out, since I want to get the worldbuilding done first and foremost. Rather than building the setting around the story, I'd prefer to build the story, and its possible (multiple?) endings around the setting.

Speaking of which, my ideal vision of the artstyle would be of 2D characters in a 3D environment, similar to how Square Enix made their Octopath games, but in a side-scrolling area instead of top-down. I'd like for the visual style to be based off of cata_dioptric's art (with these images as examples), and if it were possible to have her as an art director (wishful thinking), that would make the ideal atmosphere.

To cap off this concept, I'll give some info and flavor text about the playing styles...

Scrapper (fists)
"You like to get close. Real Close. First-name-basis kind of close. Makes sense, considering it'd be awkward to kill someone you don't know."

Improviser (melee weapons)
"So you're not allowed to have weapons on campus. That's fine. After all, that knife of yours is for utility purposes. And that hammer's for nailing posters onto your wall. The crowbar? Yeah, that's just for a personal project."

Shooter (guns (duh))
"You know you're not supposed to own this sort of thing, considering how against-the-rules it is to carry an AR that you modified with a coat hanger to fire at full-auto... on a college campus. But hey, if the administration has a problem, they can come and take it."

Scrapper + Improviser = "Misanthrope"
"You know those guys in horror movies who wear freaky masks and use oversized knives to cut people up after strangling them? Yeah, you're one of those."

Improviser + Shooter = "Anthropophobe"
"The closest you'll ever let anyone get to you is still an arm's length away. By the way, how's your love life?"

Scrapper + Shooter = "Extremophile"
"Hey, don't worry. We all miss our shots sometimes. Some of us are just more prepared than others to deal with the consequences."

Scrapper + Improviser + Shooter = "Four Suits"
"Let's be honest, you don't really need to excel in something. You just need to know a little bit about everything."

My second project is one that I've kept inside of my head for a very long time, and to be honest I might have been brewing it subconsiously since I was a little kid. Thing is, I never properly manifested the idea in any form besides conversations with friends and in-my-head ramblings. This project is "A Guide to the Physnet," and it's essentially a worldbuilding exercise in imagining the Internet as a physical space. Hence its name, the Physnet.

My initial plan was to write everything down about the Physnet as I could, then make it as a seperate series of pages on this website in a manner similar to charl0tte. The thing is, because this idea has spent so much time inside my head, I have a hard time actually putting it on paper. Every time I sit down to hash things out, my imagination outpaces my hands, and I inevitably can't focus on actually writing anything down. This is why, despite my initial intentions of documenting everything and then dumping it as a massive surprise-update, I've decided to jump straight to putting it down in the online format, and gradually work on it as time goes by.

Surprisingly enough, the most difficult part about A Guide to the Physnet isn't getting the ideas down; it's writing out an introduction and choosing what kind of tone I should put it in. At first, I put it down in a much-too-transparent tone where I blatantly say "this is my idea of what it would look like," but after fleshing out some of the Physnet's properties, I decided that it needed more formal tone. This changed again to a more in-between tone ("business casual," I would call it) after I fleshed out the ideas some more and revisited the intro once again.

So, as much as I'd like to say "expect me to post the 'intro' sometime within the next day or so," I first need to pick a tone and settle on that before making it public. And, incidentally, keep up with college assignments.

I hate to be vague about this project in particular, since it's much more toned-down than the idealistic game idea that I've already written 9 pages about (yes, really). But, considering the fact that you'll be seeing more of the Physnet either way, I don't think it's that big of a deal.

Anyway, thanks for being a good sport and reading this wall of text all the way through. I hope you also appreciate me moving my old blog posts to another page, because honestly, putting every single post on one page makes it exhausting to look at the one-pixel-tall scroll bar. Goodbye for now, and see you when I see you!