Paracosmos Update And Other Random Things
With college done and, for the time being, only a weekend job, I've finally had time to get back to the Bionicle Paracosmos. Ojhilom is away on a winter retreat next week, and I am working on taxes, which apparently as an "independant contractor", I have to file by Jan 30 (allegedly -- working on verifying that...). So right now I've decided it's better if I take some time off from BZP for the most part. I need free-time stuff that isn't quite so unpredictable right now.
As such, I'm finishing Epic 3, "Captain of the Rahunga" this month. For those who don't know or have forgotten -- the computer game RPG takes place after Epic 2, and will need to be finished before Epic 3 can go live. But we're close, and most of what's left is Ojhilom's department, not mine, so I'm going ahead to the epic, half of which was already written.
Epic 3's main protagonist is Kopaka, and about another third of the story is from the aforementioned evil Captain's POV. The rest is from various others' POV of various kinds, including Hujo, and a reptilian good guy you might recall from the Bonus Short Story -- Bhukasa.
Some changes in plans must be announced:
- End of RPG -- We're condensing the battle sequence against the final boss a little for this skeletal version. We have a lot of the final battle, and a lot of the early steps of that battle, and virtually all of the storyline ready. What is missing is the first time you actually fight the final boss directly, and that was planned to be pretty complex code, but really not much storyline value. So for now, it's cut. Maybe in a later version we'll add that in. We'll see.
With that, the RPG skeletal version is 99% done -- we'll just have to patch up some things and I have to finish two short storyline segments and we should be good to go.
Note that there's a reeeeeeeally annoying and cheesy glitch with the final boss's graphics that we're trying to fix but aren't having much luck with (his head randomly decides to leave his body... ). No idea how that will affect timing... (We've done multi-event bosses before without this problem, so I'm hoping we just need to do a teleport into a new map with less other events in it. If that doesn't solve it, I dunno what to do.)
- Future of BP, Mata Nui stories -- After a looooooot of thinking and judging our plans for the rest of 2001-2003's storyline in the BP, we've decided we had a major problem that can be easily fixed -- I was wanting to spend more time in 2001 than the official story did, but in doing so, I was trying to stuff too much in 2001 and not leaving much for 2002-2003.
This would have made a somewhat big gap between 2001's final epic and the 2004 stuff where the mystery would start to pick up again that would have been mostly just filler plot. I'm in this to produce only the highest quality I can manage, even if it means delays -- and I've sensed for a while that there was something off so it's been hard to keep writing without finding the problem.
Now I think I've got it -- I need to heavily condense 2001 and put some of that in 2002. This way it actually makes more sense, in fact.
- Epic 3 -- And so, Epic 3 will end with the Paracosmos version of the MNOG Makuta battle. I'm infinately glad I've made this change, because previously I'd written about half of Epic 3, and that was great story, but my plans for the end of it just felt like they fell flat compared to the first half, and that's why I stopped at the half.
Now, I've only had to make minimal changes to the first half and put together an outline for the second half -- and the actual writing is coming along fast now. I am pretty confident that now Epic 3 will be up to par with the previous two Epics, and possibly even better.
- Giant Paragraphs -- Yarr, is it just me, or is Epic 2 reeeeeally awful in the giant 'graph category? Re-reading some of it, and those are purdy huge thar, like in chapter 1. I think large paragraphs are hard to read, so I now try to avoid them in posts, stories, whatnot.
(For example, I always used to get comments about how long my posts are -- and I used to use giant paragraphs. But I was annoyed enough times with others' long ones that I stopped, and the comments lessened. Ironic thing is the extra space actually makes the post longer, lol. But feels shorter.)
Will have to go back and do some chopping in my previous stories where I can, methinks.
Unless any of yall actually love giant paragraphs so much that doing so would cause heart attacks. I'm thinking no.
- Mystery versus Cool Revelations -- Epic 3 is gonna be really interesting in terms of how much of a feel of mystery you guys get from it. It's revealing a lot, especially the background of the leader of the evil Rahunga (through flashbacks in his POV). So I'm basically at that point where Bionicle was in, say, 2003 when the demand for answers is coming up against the demand for mystery.
That's new territory for me, so I'm learning as I go. It's really fun to write, and is action-packed. One thing I know is that the answers are more fun when they are learned through rocking fun combat acrobatics stories intead of librarian stories, so focusing on that a lot.
On the other hand, there's plenty of new mysteries being introduced, and there's a BIG mystery I'm just barely moving farther into but NOT answering, that's so far only been hinted at in other places, and will make an appearance at the end of the RPG. And Bhukasa gets a fair chunk of the storyline, with a big mystery surrounding him.
I guess the fun question for me as the writer will be seeing how much of this generates that feel of mystery in the reader. Something I by definition can't get since I know the answers already. I hope I do alright. (Man, it feels aaaaaalmost like a big exam coming up. Almost. Okay, not that much. More fun. )
- New cat, Buddy, is settling in well. Our other cat, Hunter, is finally getting along with him. Sorta. She till hisses every once in a while. Buddy is as friendly as ever, although he does use her tail as a toy sometimes...
- Dog Ezzy just got a new harness for walks. Whenever I would walk her myself, she would pull on the choke chain so much she would literally choke herself -- and same just hooked up to the collar. Everybody tells me it's just me -- tried everything the Dog Whisperer talks about to no avail -- but the harness avoids the neck so she basically can't choke herself. She's staying next to me almost all the time now rather than pulling ahead. Probably more of a psychological thing with me, but hey, if it works, it works.
- The above paragraph is longer than I would like. Go figure. It also uses "Dog" as a title, like "Makuta Icarax." That one's intentional -- IMO it should become standard for English.
- Second job -- This is a possibility sometime soon, and if that happens, I might just have to give up on moderating and newswriting with any regularity. For now I'm not going to take on a new job because I have tons of stuff I gotta catch up on since my final semester anyways and if I did, I honestly think I might go insane (I'm not joking). But eventually a weekend job ain't gonna cut it. Just a heads up for the record.
- S&T contests -- On the other hand, if I do have time, I've got two contest ideas (well, three, technically) lined up for the future. Main idea, which I think I'd like to try in Spring, is the first Expanded Universe contest, where enterers will come up with [something], and the winners of the poll become official, but the others get to exist in the EU too. Might be a story worked in as the award, or some such thing, not yet sure.
The other idea will only work when 2008 is nearly over, so no further comment on that one.
- Phantoka Coolified Art -- I have the wallpaper for both Antroz and Vamprah ready but I'm being a lazy bum and haven't gotten around to the av/banner versions. I'm gettin to it, I'm gettin to it...
- Lego Star Wars 2, the latest two Bionicle books, and the Atlas roxor my soxors. That's what Christmas money was spent on. I tell ya, the best present is always cash. Learn it, love it, live it.
- Carnivorous Dresser -- Finally cleaning my room after a half a year, lol. And rearranging LEGO/Bionicle stuff. Unrelated to the Paracosmos, Ojh and I have been working for years on a science fantasy story universe that we almost always use our System pieces for (now often fused with Bionicle pieces; such fusions when done right = the best MOCs ever IMO). Lotta vehicles, lotta warrior characters, all usually grouped into a few "worlds".
So today I finally got around to arranging the shelves so 1 world = 1 shelf (aside from the main world, which has 2 shelves for 2 different time periods). I set the world shelf up like a scene -- for example, one has two sides warring against each other right on the shelf. Another, the historical time period one from the main world, has everything from a typical house of this culture, to a really cool Fusion sailboat.
And then the Bionicle MOCs grouped by Mata Nui story arc, Metru Nui/Voya/Mahri Nui story arcs, and the as-yet-still-classified world characters that form the most important group in the storyline. With Gadunka and Pohatu Newva slapped in randomly lol.
From my extra pieces (which are dwindling lately) I improved a lot of the System/Fusion MOCs in the process. It's interesting how my MOCing methods have ended up now -- I almost treat my entire MOC collection as a single MOC -- with two divisions based on two seperate story universes, Bionicle and System/Fusion, and then different "world" subdivisions in those. Almost never do I actually take MOCs apart anymore because what I'm making is always something of huge importance in my stories and also something I really like by the time I've improved it about fifteen times. New MOCs come from new sets, now.
Unfortunately, I misjudged the distance between a wall and a gap, so a rock backdrop smashed into a hovercraft, sending part of a wing behind a dresser. So I naturally moved stuff out from under the dresser to simply pick the pieces up, right? But they weren't there. There's just this one spot of blackness where apparently the wing must be stuck, defying all physics and probability and everything. Hrm. I'll figure it out... I hope...
- The above section is really long, and has a long paragraph.
- Bad news -- well, all of this is putting off that Physics topic and more reference section updates. Also, unfortunately, Toa of Kenn has had to resign (I'll leave the reasons for him to tell, if he hasn't already), even though he just joined so some of our newer projects are on hold. But for whatever it's worth, those two things, and new projects, are still on my to-do list and won't be neglected forever.
- Finally, the last important bit of news is the fact that this blog entry is about ten times longer than I thought it would be when I started writing it. Good day.