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Team J.A.F.



Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Stories Nov 13 2013 · 215 views
SCIENCE, Chemisty and 1 more...
So story writing for NaNo got interrupted by a scientific study.
See, I have this potential scene where the enemy is using electricity, and the protagonist is waaaaay out gunned. So (SPOILER) he decides to douse the baddie with water and use electrolysis (powered by the baddie's electricity) to split the H2O into H and O. Then he'd use a spark to make the gas explode around the antagonist, thus winning in an unconventional way and showing that he paid attention in chemistry class (which is actually a theme of the story.)
But of course, I then had to consider an important fact of would this work? At all? The electrolysis part is good (use electricity to split water molecules into individual atoms) but I wasn't sure if the resulting gases would actually combust. At first I thought that the oxygen would be the one burning; I watched some recent show where they increased the pure oxygen count and threatened to blow the entire place up with just a spark. However, this is partially wrong; for stuff to burn, one of the key ingredients is oxygen, which the combusting atoms could fuse to to form CO2 or something. (Still, I guess adding oxygen allows increases the combustibility of other materials, but on it's own, it won't do anything.)
Luckily, my scenario is saved because Hydrogen is like extremely flammable. Like, "Hey, I'm the primary element burning in the sun" flammable. Like "Hey, I filled the Hindenburg and you remember what happened when that got lit up" flammable. So my scenario holds. Kind of. To truly test it, I would need to see if turning the sprinklers on a person who was shooting out electricity would produce enough hydrogen to cause a sizeable explosion... but sadly I'm missing some of the key ingredients. (Any person with electrical powers want to volunteer?)
Still, I found some interesting articles of flammability. (I hope my Google searches don't raise too many questions; I'm researching for a fictional story, nothing more!!) Anyway, one article was how to tell if something is flammable. It went something like this?
  • Does it have a flammable symbol on the container?
  • Does it say the word "flammable" on the container?
  • Does it catch on fire when you light it with a match?
(That last one may have been an addition of my own.) But yeah, basically, not quite the scientific explanation I was looking for.
I also need to research the physics of jumping off a moving vehicle on the freeway and safely landing on the ground. I may stretch the facts a bit with that particular scene. (Somehow, I really love the idea of a fight scene jumping from car rooftops on a busy freeway... moving fast enough to cause problems if one hits the ground, but with the cars still driving close enough to each other... again, this is a hard one to test out IRL.)
And stuff came up so I'll probably be busy for the rest of the month starting next week, so I need to finish this story quickly. Shame I'm only just at the expected word count right now... still worried that the story will naturally end before I reach 50K.


Genre Masher

Posted by xccj , in Stories Nov 11 2013 · 235 views

I'm a little behind on my story.  Part of it comes from preparing for job interviews.  Another part comes from just not being in the mood to write.  (Which I guess is something NaNo is supposed to fight, but whatev.)
But one thing I had to consider when cataloguing the story was what its genre was.  And its hard for me to pin it down to one thing.  Here's why.
  • It has definite science fiction elements to it, primarily involving the protagonist and his team.  There's also a lot of scientific explanations thrown around to cover various things.
  • But at the same time, the antagonist and his minions have a fantasy feel to them.  (And science fiction and fantasy are very distinct genres.)
  • There's also a fairly in depth mystery going on here.  But not a mystery in the sense of "somebody died, find the killer" but "okay, just what is the antagonist up to?"
  • And there's lots of martial arts action scenes.
So really, what would I categorize it as?  It contains a fair amount of many types of genres.  I'm labeling it as "adventure" because I think it has the feel of an action-adventure movie / story most of all.  But it is kind of hard to pin down.  It's a story world that I created on my own, so just exactly what genre should it fit into?
But anyway, more writing to be done.  Yay.


So, Update on Story Stuff?

Posted by xccj , in News, Stories Nov 01 2013 · 183 views

The most ironic thing about the shutdown?  I was one chapter shy of finishing my repost of my epic Kulagi's Kanoka.  Now, after a second data loss, I have to repost it AGAIN.  I'm not angry or anything (nobody was reviewing it anyway) but I find the irony amusing.
So I'm going to try and repost it.  (And get my post count up some more... gee, I lost all of like 30 posts!  That's a lot for me!)  No, seriously, I'm reposting it! Maybe try to do it faster than last time.  Maybe not.  I've also considered posting it elsewhere online.  I mean, I've come across other fan fiction sites before.  But I'm hesitant to do so because it probably wouldn't get me any new reviewers, and because I'm too fond of the BZP library, even in its excess of inactivity.  I might do it at some point, but I'll focus on BZP first.  At the very least, I have a good copy saved on my laptop AND external harddrive.
(Additionally, I found that somebody also copied my epic Time Disruption onto some Bionicle fan fiction wiki, so even tho it was without my permission, it still means that it's out there on the internet.  Doesn't bother me, except that maybe they should've copied a few of my other stories too.  :P )
And even tho the lack of reviews kinda depressed me, I did start a mini sequel to Kulagi's Kanoka, set during the Dark Hunter wars.  I'd love to post it here eventually and get people's take on it... but I kinda already know that nobody would read and review it.  I had a hard enough time getting reviews when BZP was in its golden age... can't expect much now when the library is almost a graveyard.
And finally, I'm thinking about doing NaNo this year again.  I'm kinda harsh on the whole National November Writing Month thing, because I view myself as better than them cause I can write whenever I want to, and I work on quality over quantity, (And even then I can produce some quantity... even tho quality is only determined by me.)  But between having a few stories I need to rewrite and still technically being unemployed, I have the time to do it, so I should challenge myself.  Although it will be different than the first time I really participated.  Then, I used existing characters from one of my original story themes and wrote a new story.  This time, I'm planning to rewrite a story that I lost years ago.  This means that I know all the basic plot twists and how it ends and everything waaaaay in advance, so I just need to push myself to type it up and flesh it out.  The issue is that I'm pretty sure the original one I wrote years ago was more like 30,000 - 40,000 words, so I dunno if it'll hit the 50,000 word mark before I finish it.  But if that happens, so what, I'll have one of my stories completed!  (The NaNo I did three years ago was 51,000 after one month, but incomplete.  I finally wrote the finale this summer, and it finished at about 72,000.)
But don't worry, I don't plan on posting it here and asking you to review it.  :P  Heck, the 582 word blog entry is already pushing it for your expected attention span.  Oh well.
Maybe tomorrow I'll write a blog updating some MOC things I've been working on.  :P


NANO Completed

Posted by xccj , in Stories Aug 14 2013 · 178 views

I just completed my NANO Story from 2010.
So back in 2010, I participated in the National November Writing Month thingy whatever.  The one where you write 50,000 words in 30 days.  Huge time consumer, and didn't help that I was in over my head as far as school was concerned.  But by the end of the month, I was just over the word count mark.  But the problem was that my story was only partially over; I had set it up for the big climaxe, but didn't continue it.
And then the story got put on hold.
Fast forward to this summer.  I decided to retackle this, since I had the plot all figured out, and just needed to write in the details and battle.  (The idea was based on a 7 sins idea that I totally stole from Makaru and Kumata back in the day)  In the process, I added another bunch of words, so the final count is 73,280.  Not quite my longest story ever, but its pretty impressive.
For the record, my Time Disruption story was 88,000 ish words long, and my Slizers epic was almost at 120,000 words, and that was also a WIP.  My longest story is currently at 220,000 words, but I've been adding to it for four years now... and those are the longest ones I have to offer.
Now I have like 4 other WIPs I should start working on.  Oh, and that whole "find a job" thing should also take priority, right?


Palm Pilot

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Stories May 23 2013 · 180 views

So, way back in the day, there were these devices called Palm Pilots or something.  They could include calendars and notepads and other stuff on them.  Basically, I always saw them as hand held computers, although clearly they were limited compared to desktops.  This was like in the early 2000s.  I know a couple of my classmates had some.
And back in 2003 or 2004 (I forget when) I wrote this adventure story that I'm sure I've mentioned here before.  It was about four friends getting trapped in a virtual game, where if they die there they die for real, and the only way out was to win the game.  (Rip off of Sword Art Online?  No, I finished this before then.  It was a rip-off of some other cartoon idea.  :P )  But one guy was able to keep out of the game, and he spend the story hacking into the program and trying to free the friends.  At one point, his desktop is compromised, so he downloads the data onto his palm pilot and goes mobile.  The palm pilot is integral to him finally figuring out the coding in the end.
The problem?  Well, I'm updating the story again, and something occurred to me.  Palm Pilots totally want out of style, and were never quite the extravagant hand held computers anyway.  But... well, what I described does sound familiar, doesn't it?  Oh yeah, smart phones.  Everybody and their dog has one nowadays, and they're clearly not a passing fad.
So, should I replace the palm pilot in the story with a smart phone?  It would be a little more accurate and true to current technology.  But it's also a classic part of my story which follows the technology of that era.  So, opinions?
(I know, first world dilemma for sure!)



Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Stories Dec 18 2012 · 176 views

What is it with some of these Anime?  12 episodes and I get emotionally attached to the characters and moved by the finale.  Doesn't happen a lot for other shows I watch.  Maybe it's cause I'm watching entire seasons back to back instead of drawn out... but still.
And by "moved" I mean slightly choked up but not bawling or anything.  :P  And this doesn't apply to everything.
It has made me think of some of my own writing experience.  Honestly, there is only one time I ever got choked up over my own writing, and that was when I killed off Duka in my Bionicle epic Time Disruption. (Oh, uh, spoiler?)  But in general, I've avoided tragic deaths in most of my writings.  Sure, I have bad things happen to the characters, and the endings aren't always 100% perfect, but usually most of them survive.  Well, there is one story where I killed off all the supporting characters, one at a time, and the protagonist had an emotional breakdown, but it didn't happen to me as a writer.  (Because he used time travel to go back and change the chain of events, thus leading to only a few deaths of supporting characters... uh, yeah, spoiler again!)  But the point is, I never got choked up as an author because I knew I was bringing the characters back.  In retrospect, Duka's death kind of came up at the last moment, and although I was expecting to give him a sad fate, his death just seemed to accidentally slide into place and thus the emotion felt more real.  (And Duka wasn't even one of the main characters either!)
But yeah, this doesn't normally happen.  I mean, Toy Story III is one movie where I got teared up a bit (not just the incinerator scene, but also the lost teddy bear scene, cause that actually did happen to me as a kid except without an exact replacement.)  And I guess the seventh Harry Potter book was a little sad in that chapter where he walks through the forest.  But do those Anime writers have nothing better to do than write moving stories with relatable characters??
That's it, I'm going back to watching the robot mecha gory ones instead.  :P


Ninjago Story Contest Entry

Posted by xccj , in News, Stories Dec 10 2012 · 131 views

Woo Hoo, I managed to finish my story and enter it into the contest. Yay! You can read and review it Here.

What the Karzahni? I just wrote an extensive blog entry and then 90% of the text gets deleted when I posted it? Oh well, I guess I can go into the detailed about the story in a later entry. Suffice to say, I hope you'll take some time to read it, and I hope it does well in the contest. (It is quite long; the longest entry so far.)

So please review! Thanks! (Oh, and go enter the contest yourself, since it only has like 7 entries and the deadline's tonight.)



Working on my Ninjago Story

Posted by xccj , in Stories Dec 01 2012 · 127 views

Y'know, for that contest.
The problem; I'm already at 7 pages and I'm just now getting to the climax.  And I haven't even done my whole big Green Ninja reveal yet either!
I know there's a lower limit of 500 words... but this might be pushing the upper limit a bit much.  :P  It might work better as a short epic instead of a looooooooong short story.


Sword Fight Story

Posted by xccj , in Stories, News Nov 20 2012 · 179 views

I haven't blogged in a while, which is sad because that's the bulk of my BZP activity nowadays. My life is just that dull right now, and I have lots of school stuff to work on.

But anyway, November is the month of writing, according to NaNo. I didn't do it this year, but I did get 50,000+ words in 30 days done this summer. And hey why not take an excerpt from one that!


Not gonna post the whole thing, but here's the premise. The protagonist has snuck onto an enemy base, and he has a sword that he can summon to his hands. Before he can progress to the computer room, he gets cornered by ten guys with swords. Battle ensues!

This is actually an older story that I'm rewriting. And I remember for this particular sequence, I just wrote "and there was a terrible sword fight" and left it at that. This time, I actually tried to include more action details into the fight. Let me know how I did!


“Third floor,” I said to myself, remembering the location of the control room. I pushed through a large hallway looking for a stairwell, but as I turned a corner, I froze. I could see the stairs, but now there were five men standing between me and them. The men were armed, but this time not with laser guns. This time, they were wielding swords.

“This ends here, rebel,” one of the men said. I heard more footsteps behind me, and I spun around, drawing my laser gun as I did so. Five more men had blocked me in, and they were also holding onto swords. The lead solder pressed forward and swung his blade even as I lifted my gun. He slashed my hand, forcing me to drop my weapon. I stepped back, narrowing my eyes. Knocking a gun out of an opponent’s hands with a blade was my trick!

“You’re mine,” the man said, and he stabbed his blade forward. But I sidestepped and summoned my own Green Sword. Instead of piercing my flesh, his blade slid across my own. I twisted my sword and we locked blade. As I forced his sword to the side, I kicked up with my left foot and caught him in the leg, breaking his balance. He stumbled, and I broke his grasp on his weapon and knocked up upward in the air. While he was stunned, I swung my free hand and punched him directly in the face. He fell back, and I reached up with my other hand and caught his sword in midair before it hit the ground.

I pointed my two blades at the man. “You still think you’re going to win this fight?” I asked.

But I had more to deal with. The other nine men in the room were still armed, and they pressed forward. I swung my Green Sword and struck the first man with the flat of my blade, knocking him out. And then I utilized both my swords to parry the oncoming steel from my attackers.

It was dangerous for all nine men to attack me at once, but two could easily charge me from each side, which meant that I had to deal with up to four opponents at once. And unfortunately, these men were not novices when it came to the art of fencing. Luckily, I had lots of skill with a blade, and I now had two at my disposal. I was able to stand my ground and fight them back, but just barely, and it was taking all I had to do so.

My blades sliced through the air as I swung them to parry incoming blows. Meanwhile, I was forced to dodge around the attacks that I couldn’t block, which meant that I was sidestepping, ducking, and leaning to the side even as my swords clashed with those of my opponents. They weren’t able to land any deadly blows, but their blades still managed to cut into my arms and legs, leaving thin cuts that began to bleed. I was barely able to defend myself, and I couldn’t last forever against such an onslaught. I needed to go on the offensive.

One man attempted to stab me, but I dodged to the side and shoved him down. This gave me an opening to rush into, and the three swordsmen behind me slashed at empty air as I made my move. One man was in range and he charged forward. I blocked his sword with one blade, but then I swung my second one and pierced his side. He yelped out as I roughly kicked him, and he went down.

Two swordsmen charged me, hoping to push me up against the wall. But I charged towards it, jumped, and kicked off it, and turned my momentum into a thrust towards the two men. They dodged to the side and I raced between them. They turned to face me, but I turned faster. I sliced the back of one of the man’s knees, and he crashed to the ground in pain, unable to stand. The other man blocked my blade, but he was now on the defensive. Before the others could join him, I pressed on the attack, pushing him against the wall. He did a wide swing with his blade, but I was able to strike his hand and knock his sword away. More men advanced from behind, so I jumped forward and kicked off his stomach as I turned to face his comrades. He collapsed, having endured too much pain, and I clashed with the next men.

The swordsmen were very skilled, but they lacked my speed and agility. Instead of fighting them face on, where they had the advantage, I circled around them, using the walls to my advantage. My quick jumps kept them from ganging up on me, and so I had an easier time defending against their blades. But I was also going on the attack, and slicing them whenever I could. I did not hold back; I issued long slashes in painful areas that would quickly disable them, and if some of them weren’t treated, they would even prove fatal. I couldn’t just use the flat of my blade to strike them; they were attacking me ruthlessly, and I couldn’t do anything less if I wanted to survive.

I reduced their numbers down to three, and I locked blades with the largest fighter. I drew back, hoping to stab at him with my borrowed sword blade. But the other men suddenly caught me from behind, and I had to do a hasty jump to avoid getting skewered. This forced me off balance, and I instinctively stabbed my borrowed blade into the ground to offer stability. Unfortunately, this led to the blade snapping in hand, and I fell to my knees. As I got up, I realized I was now down to one sword and a broken hilt.

The large fighter grinned and started to advance on me, thinking that he now had an advantage since my other sword was out of commission. As I stepped forward and used my Green Sword to parry his blade, I thrust the damaged hilt into his exposed shoulder. He howled out in grief, and I kicked him backwards.

The last two men ignored the anguish of their comrade and charged at me, thrusting their swords quickly. I parried with my Green Sword, but my reflexes were slowing. My energy was running out; my muscled aches, my breathing was heavy, and sweat was dripping down my face. But the last two men still had energy to spare, and they pressed down on me, hoping to finally bring me down.

I locked blades with one of them, and the two of us strained as we tried to break the other’s strength. Meanwhile, the second man stepped back and prepared for a side attack, which I couldn’t defend against. I drew back on my sword, and dodged around the second man’s blade. But the first man now had a clear shot, and he sliced down my right arm. I fell backwards with a cry, and my sword arm started to go limp. The two men grinned and advanced.

Pain seared through me, but I wasn’t finished yet. I reached over with my left hand and gripped my sword’s hilt. Then, using both hands, I swung my sword outward. Only this time, I poured energy into my Green Sword, and it began to glow. It came into contact with my opponent’s swords, but they were no match for it. Their blades disintegrated in the energy outburst, and the two men were thrown backwards into the wall and knocked unconscious.

I collapsed to the ground, with my arm and various cuts bleeding out. I was nearly exhausted, but I was alive, and the ten swordsmen were down. Gingerly, I reached into my pocket and took out a healing ointment that I had brought along, and quickly applied it to my worst cuts. It didn’t take care of the pain, but it lessened down the bleeding. After a minute, I started to regain feeling in my right arm again. It would need proper care later, but for now I’d survive.

The sword fight was over. But I could hear more soldiers running towards the building. I needed to get moving and find the control room, and I needed to do it fast before any of them caught up with me.



New Slizer Game

Posted by xccj , in Stories, News Oct 04 2012 · 278 views

Wait wait wait. What the heck? I finished this?

So you can continue to read the blog entry for the background story. Of if you're gonna go all "TL/DR" then just check out the game here and test it out for me. Comments appreciated, granted that you understand this is an armature project and not exactly high quality stuff to begin with.

I'm not sure if I blogged about it before or not, but I've had this general idea for a Slizer game in my head for a while. The basis is around my defunct Slizer on Mata Nui epic, where the six Slizers fight against evil worm things (named Zarxec because that's an awesome name) and their leaders who want to take over Metru -Nui / the world. As I wrote the epic, I gave each Slizer character strengths and weaknesses. Eventually, I assigned values to them too.

And then came the idea of the game. I had skill values for the Slizers and the Zarxec. I originally made cards, so that you could do a simple game where you determined skill ahead of time and then played your character cards to see who'd win. But then I was intrigued by the idea of an online game.

So this is coded using mostly Javascript. The computer randomly selects one of the Zarxec, and then you decide which Slizer will fight against it, by comparing their respective skills. Then you roll for which skill you use, and that determines the winner. A simple game idea, but gosh it's complex to code from scratch. I started coding this thing up probably over a year ago, but it kinda got shoved to the side for more important work. But I was looking through my past projects to use for my portfolio, saw this, and then got a few cool ideas for how to code it... and boom, in a night the game when from demo to actually playable.

Granted, there are a few issues with it. The characters may be a little too evenly spread out with skills; if they're big on speed and agility, they're low on strength, and as such any pairing has about an even chance of pulling off a win or not. Thus, kinda hard to use strategy, when really any Slizer can beat almost all the Zarxec if the right skill is chose (at random.)

Plus, there are things I wanted to add. Right now it's more of an arena game, but I was thinking of more of a campaign, where the enemies got tougher as time went on, the Slizers got power-ups part way through, and somehow Matoran could be added as a bonus.

Oh, and the design is still a WIP. Backgrounds are just random light colors, where I could make them more detailed and change based on the enemy character. And the character artwork is basic too. The Slizers are just set images copy/pasted in, and the Zarxec are doodles from like 5 years ago. (Or more... gosh, I wrote that story a LONG time ago.) I've already animated Torch, so I could do that for the rest of them too, but that takes more time and effort than I might have to spare. (Plus, then there's the whole idea of designing this game using Flash ActionScript, which is also brings to mind some different styles of game play and animation... but would force me to learn more of that coding language.)

So yeah, I'd be interested to know what people think about this, and if I should expand it or not in my spare time. As is, I'm going to use this in my Portfolio as evidence that I can code with beans using Javascript. What, you want me to add Javascript security to your site? Dunno about that, but I can make an interactive game instead! :D

(FYI, DON'T use Javascript for security, bad practice.)


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Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
~ Owl City

Lisztomania, think less but see it grow. Like a riot, like a riot, Oh.
~ Phoenix

I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight.
~ Foster the People

Birds sing for you, you can make this blue sky blush
~ Oh Land

On the other side of the street I knew, stood a girl that looked like you.
I guess that's Déjà vu, but I thought this can't be true
~ Train

But even the sun sets in paradise
~ Maroon 5

Crazy how that shipwreck meant my ship was coming in
~ Train (Again?)

So make now your ally, and leap before you look
~ Nothing's Carved In Stone

I'm just too much a coward to admit when I'm in need.
~ Passion Pit

Just believe in far away, ikiru tame ni sore wa
~ Song Rider

Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.
~ One Republic

I live my life in shackles, but I'm borderline-free.
~ Tove Styrke


Ha Ha

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