We're a little ways into 2015, and I haven't been too busy here. People aren't as interested in my original works as my fanfictions, so there's that, but I've also just been writing less than I was earlier. I'm trying to get better about that.
First up: I've started livestreaming games! And more recently, with commentary.
For now, the theme is Nintendo stuff, but it varies and I also livestream/record story based games, such as Life is Strange and the TellTale stuff. I'd love to hang out with some of you guys on the Twitch chat some time!
Here's some art of new characters getting added to Rokudai! Some are revamps of old characters, some are totally new.
Anyway, here's a smattering of stuff. Long post to follow.
All right, this technically isn't a big deal because not much is going to change in the immediate future, BUT, I'm me, and when life realizations happen, I prefer my friends knowing. Basically, I came to a realization this past week -- I think I'm bisexual. At least, that's an easy way of putting it. A more technical term would probably be, like, demisexual.
In regards to the Kinsey Scale, I technically rank as an 'X' because I don't actually have any sexual experience and don't specifically want to have sex most of the time. This is probably strange in that I have sexual urges and experience sexual frustration all the time. Every day. But I would grade my attraction preferences more like a 2 on the Kinsey Scale, I guess?
"Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual."
I don't specifically want to have sex with men, but I don't specifically want to have sex with anyone these days. More like I want to kiss and cuddle and all that shit, and I've come to realize that, when I break down the societal bullshit and actually allow myself to dwell on such things, there are definitely dudes I would be OK with doing that sort of thing with, and that there are definitely dudes I've been attracted to personally in the past, I just didn't really associate it as attraction because I was thinking strictly in terms of intercourse. When I stop thinking in terms of technical intercourse and more in terms of physical intimacy interest, I realize I'm not strictly heterosexual, and there's a very good chance that in terms of actual intercourse I'm probably not strictly hetero, either. But my sexuality is still very adolescent, I'm still a virgin, so there's not really an easy way for me to know, nor am I the sort of person actively interested in experimentation with sex, because, well...going back to the term 'demisexual.'
Basically, my sexual attraction is probably composed in layers. The top layer is just hormonal, physical, in which I'm predominantly heterosexual. The deeper layer, the one actually involving sexual thoughts, desire for physical contact, etc., is demisexual, which basically means there has to be a strong emotional attachment, bond, connection in order for me to even think about having sex with someone. This includes fictional characters, as even in that realm my attraction is typically limited to characters I have an emotional attachment to, which is sometimes expressed in fiction I write (ex. writing a short story about GoGo Tomago and getting inside her fictional head establishes an emotional connection, elevating my attraction from basic aesthetic pleasure to 'I would want to bang this person if they were real'; same goes for characters in SRU/Rokudai, in particular, and other such things).
In terms of characters I write who share this layer of sexuality with me, Aaron Leekpai and Marisol Vargas come to mind.
In terms of actual physical beings who are male that I realize I find attractive, there is obviously Robert Downey Jr. but also Steven Yeun, Troy and Abed, Kyle Bosman, and that guy that plays Dean on Supernatural, and probably others I will realize over time as I actually allow myself to think about that. In terms of, like, fictional characters who are dudes that I'd say I'm attracted to, Bolin comes to mind, probably Dudley from SF (ironically not really any of the other dudes in SF), Iron Bull, Garrus, Varric (hey look a buncha Bioware characters FANCY THAT) and Jon Snow, actually. Maybe Tyrion, too, now that I think of it, but only when he's clean shaven.
But if all that's too hard, you can just use the term 'bisexual' and we'll run with that. In other words, like Korra, Nishiko, and Jane Fitzpatrick, I'm sometimes attracted to dudes, will probably have romantic interactions with dudes at some point here and there, but in the end, ultimately, prefer women to men. It's a spectrum, a scale, rather than a switch. I like ladies too much to not have a longterm desire to be with a woman, but I've realized that if I actually allow myself the thought, I can be into guys, too.
WHAT IF DOWNRIGHT FIERCE WERE A FIGHTING GAME?
DownRight Fierce as a fighting game would be most comparable to SkullGirls -- indie, small-scale, more focused. A smaller cast of characters. The mechanic that would set it apart from most fighters would be the way that any given match would change per round.
So here's how it would work.
Round 1: You play as Act 1 versions of the characters.
Round 2: You play as Act 2 versions of the characters (5 years older)
Round 3: You'd play as 'heightened' versions of the characters.
Here's a breakdown of how that would work.
Say you pick Nishiko, player 2 picks Marisol.
Round 1 would have the two of them in their high school forms, with basic movesets. No matter who wins, Round 2 would do a time skip. They'd fight again in the same location, adjusted to reflect 5 years having passed. The characters would be five years older, so their appearances would change, but their movesets would be adjusted, as well. Basically, certain properties of their attacks would be different, and in general, they would both be more powerful. Ex. Act 1 Nishiko's basic fireball would travel faster, and/or be larger in her Act 2 varient. Act 1 Kayla's throwing knives would become multiple knives in her Act 2 varient.
IF the match lasts until Round 3, both characters would become a 'heightened' varient of themself. Nishiko would enter 'Psycho State,' Marisol would enter a 'Balanced' State, etc. Basically, it's kind of like an anime transformation. Basically, Round 3 wouldn't last long as all damage would be increased, everyone's movesets would be like a step above Act 2.
Specials: inputs for moves would stay the same across forms. Nishiko's fireball would be the same input no matter her form, it would just gain more modifiers. Potentially, there'd be a 'Ki-Control' meter, and players could burn this meter to activate elevated versions of attacks. Ex. Act 1 Nishiko could burn a bar of meter to turn her Act 1 fireball into an Act 2 fireball. Each character's meter would function differently. For ex. Act 1 Nishiko might have access to three bars, but Act 1 Seiko has a maximum of 5, and further, their meters build at different rates with different moves -- Nishiko's builds fastest when she is landing strikes, Seiko's builds fastest when she blocks attacks, etc. By the time it gets to Round 3, the meter would either not exist OR perform some other function. Ex. Nishiko can burn her meter to give a boost in speed/attack for a few seconds, whereas Seiko can burn her meter to heal some life; Marisol could burn hers to gain auto-guard for a brief time, Kayla would gain auto-evade, etc.
Music: in particular, the music would have a certain theme to it. Basically, each character would have a theme song, and each COMBINATION of two characters would have a 'combat' theme. The default setting would cycle/shuffle between these three possibilities. Ex. Nishiko vs Seiko matches would play one of three tracks: Nishiko's theme, Seiko's theme, or the Nishiko vs Seiko specific theme. Ideally, each track would have three variations -- one for each round, ramping up in intensity.
Mirror-Matches: The actual logo of DownRight Fierce depicts two versions of Nishiko; her younger and older self. But there's an extra layer to it. It's depicting older Nishiko mentally connected to a 'shadow' of her former self. A mental projection she grapples with in a mindscape. Mirror-matches would consist of a character fighting against a mental projection of themself, so it'd still fit within the narrative. Basically, they're fighting against their own inner demons and the battle is technically metaphorical.
WHAT IF ROKUDAI WERE A VIDEO GAME?
In video game form, Rokudai would work best as a 'visual novel' format. The game itself is presented mostly as talking abdomens, and the player has to make choices or maybe even solve 'puzzles' to advance.
Presentation: Characters would be sprite based, essentially, but their outfits and expressions/poses would change. Basically, the art Shannon has done for me with different outfits is the best example of what I mean. Nothing too fancy, but enough to convey the passing of time and characters' emotions. Backgrounds would probably be simplistic and blurred, with occasional "cut scenes" or special shots being high res depictions of certain moments. Ideally, the game would be fully voice acted. The real focus and desire of playing the game would be to capture the feeling of being inducted into the group, getting attached to the characters.
Flow of Gameplay: The game would be laid out in one of two ways.
Either 1) The player always plays as Jane Fitzpatrick, and different choices drag the plot and character focus in different directions
2) the player plays as all 6 main characters across different parts of the timeline, and the choices affect each one sequentially
or 3) the player chooses one of the 6 main characters in any order; each character's story is stand alone and takes place some time in the timeline.
The option I like most is 1, as Jane is pansexual and technically could have a different gender as decided by the player. This would be a non-canon version of the story, taking the characters and main beats of Rokudai and creating an interactive story with them. Players could play as James, Jamie, or Jane (male, non-binary/etc., female) and depending on which identity they pick, the character's appearance and some of their interactions would be different. Ex. Jane could end up romantically involved with Coral or Siku, but not Katrina. James/Jamie could be with Coral or Katrina, but not Siku.
Alternately, to simplify things, Jane could just stay Jane and her appearance would be dictated by the player. IE her character identifies as a female but could express different ends of the gender spectrum in her choices/dialogue/clothing due to player choice; her romantic interactions would vary and the characters' default sexual orientations could be worked around in the right circumstances. Ex. Katrina is heterosexual, but if Jane makes certain choices she could still end up in a relationship with Katrina.
I think I like the latter option the most, but that's because it'd be the simplest to execute. On the one hand, I dislike the idea of romance being treated as a "reward" via manipulation, but on the other hand, I like the idea of the characters' sexualities being more fluid based on Jane, specifically, as that could be one big expression of the 'demisexual' aspect I brought up previously about myself.
How to make choices: There'd be the typical way to make choices, which is having a selection of dialogue options during conversations, which would normally be timed a la TellTale games. However, there'd be parts of the game where Jane is using her phone or laptop, and the player can make choices at their own pace. Ex. they could see Aaron post a vague status message on social media, and depending on how they respond, they could 'unlock' a side conversation where Aaron reveals some personal bit of info, which could then later be used as a dialogue option in a future conversation.
So I envision the gameplay being MOSTLY character interaction/dialogue but then breaking off into occasional "exploration" segments, where players can exoplore phone/internet stuff and/or the campus or a particular building on campus. This would be rewarded by gaining knowledge about things that could open up different dialogue options later on.
Endings/Special Scenes: Depending on choices the player makes, there are special scenes that would be unlocked that require certain conditions -- ex. romantic scenes with particular characters, or for example a different scene based on whether the player chooses to have Jane forgive or murder CJ's killer.