Archive for May, 2009

Character Creation 12: Go Team Goatee

31 May

Welcome to this, the final look at our villainous villain.

So far, we’ve established his background, motivation, and character pretty well. He’s dedicated, disillusioned, and more than a little crazed. He’s an anti-villain–practically heroic, by some standards–and is somewhat more misguided than outright evil. Seems like a pretty solid build.

Now, I thought it’d be educational and helpful to take an in-depth look at the precise geopolitical circumstances that enabled his disillusionment process.

Just kidding. Let’s look at his awesome death robot squads.

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The Week to Come

30 May

Fighting off illness, fatigue, and ennui, I come before you once again to wave Chocolate Hammer’s banner high–a demonstration of strength and will that is a testament to all mankind.

And then I gently let your expectations down but mentioning, in some undoubtedly subtle way, that I might be a bit late this week as well because of the aforementioned bug.

The moment’s kinda ruined by now, so let’s take a look at the Week to Come.

  • Villainous Japery
  • This is the Pits
  • Quality’s Edge, Part 2
  • Rebel Sky
  • Colors

Fun Fact for the Week: Latin is not, in fact, a dead language. Instead, it is more technically an undead language, one that has been ghoulishly reanimated by the dark forces of science, education, and plain ol’ bureaucracy.


Ghost of the Machine, Part 6

30 May

The morning came without ceremony.

Light, bold and hot, powered its way through the thick smokescreen above and set the dusty streets ablaze with warmth and color. The soft chatter of the market square had already begun, and the disparate conversations of the street sounded as a single, unending chorus.

When Brahne twitched his eyes open, blinking unsteadily in the harsh glare from the window, he wasn’t quite sure where he was. Information seemed to reach his brain in bursts—the rough and uncomfortable sheets tangled below him, soaked in sweat; the paper of the mission packet, laid out on the pillow, clinging naggingly to his cheek; the vague and unpleasant smell of the room. The bed, parallel to his—empty.

Memories began to trickle back.

He’d stayed up in the room all night, and hadn’t seen Carrent return. For hours, he sat up with the packet, reading and rereading it, trying to make some sense of what he’d read.

Because, he remembered, it didn’t make sense. It was the most inefficient, risky, and borderline insane plan he’d ever seen. If he’d known before half of what he’d knew now, he would have petitioned for a transfer.

Failing that, he would have given serious consideration to resigning.

Carrent was mad.
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30 May

The other posts are coming later today, but I felt I needed to make a statement regarding the Freedom Force titles–now available on Steam for less than 7 dollars, together.

These are excellent games, and you would be well-served to buy them at this criminally low rate. No, Irrational does not have my puppy and/or check held hostage, I’m just a simpering fanboy over them.

Seriously, these are on my top 10 list, right up there with Morrowind and the Half-Life series.

Buy them.


Quality’s Edge, Part 1

28 May

Alright, to start this post, let me establish something most of my readers are gonna agree with.

Videogames are a perfectly valid medium of artistic expression.


Now let me establish something else most of my readers are gonna agree with.

Most videogames are not high art.
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Post-Based Filla

27 May

Alright, as you may have noticed, the posts are running a bit lateish this week. That would be because I am once again sick, have had trouble getting sleep, and need to put in serious time to write anything that doesn’t sound like a transcript of a translation of a random jumble of Korean characters. Even getting my basic obligations done is an uphill battle, and my sitework would suffer greatly from being rushed.

Anyway, I’ve got a full post coming up, but for now, let me tide you over with this. It’s something I wrote for this coming post, but couldn’t figure out how to work in gracefully.

Fair warning, you’re not going to get this at all if you haven’t seen Apocalypse Now and/or you haven’t played Team Fortress 2, which recently got an update called Spy vs. Sniper.

So, yeah. The two of you who DO fit the above category, stick around.


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From Breakfast to Hell, Part 6

25 May

The wiry man retreated into the portal. After a few seconds, he remerged, a new group at his back.

Superficially, this group was startlingly like the last one—one simply had to flip around a few genders, weapons, and articles of clothing to equate the two. And yet, there was a major difference: their attitude. Gone was the impression of a group of famous musicians, on their way to accept some oddly-shaped but significant award. In its place was a professional, reserved countenance, like a group of plumbers whose dispatch had consisted of a sudden hiss and three minutes of screaming.

Their leader, in particular, was a different species entirely from the helmeted man. His expression, even more than the expression of his companions, was businesslike. He was noticeably older than his counterpart, with odd scars and wrinkles creasing his face at various angles, but this didn’t make him look infirm—somehow, it only made him seem more inscrutably dangerous. He had a pistol at his belt—a dull, well-maintained one—and a case strapped to his back that suggested an exotic instrument, of music or of death.
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Character Creation 11: Depth

25 May

Welcome to this edition of Character Creation, which is most certainly NOT late by any reasonable standards of shut up.

This week, we take an in-depth look at the motivation of…whats’isface.

Alright, let’s look at this guy pre-war.

The Great Machine is about to get into a war with another, smaller faction, one with guerilla capabilities. The Great Machine needs contraptions that can get inside a base, then wreak tons of havoc in confined conditions. They send out a message, summoning all individuals with machinist talents.

Cue…what was the name I made up for him? Cavatte Camair? Fine. He’s an up-and-coming high artist with an excellent grasp on locomotion, and had previously turned his efforts to civilian purposes.

He was raised in a very patriotic family—all immigrants from a smaller, outlying tribe, all fiercely proud to be citizens in an empire of plenty. When he heard that the Great Machine wanted machinists to combat a significant threat to the supply lines, he instantly volunteered.

For decades, he devised progressively more dangerous instruments of war, creating a fleet of deadly automatons. Some of them could almost pass as humanlike, hidden under a shroud of ceremonial garments, until they burst free and eviscerated all that stood nearby. The carnage spawned by his creations nagged at him a bit, but he told himself it was for a good cause. People would be dying regardless, and he might as well ensure there were as few casualties on his side as possible.

Then the war ended, and things went wrong.

He was, to his confusion, reassigned to one of the major Great Machine cities. Upon arriving, he was given a briefing: his creations were to be used against the rebel insurgents within the city.

At first, he protested—there was too much possibility for collateral damage, he insisted. As well, he was not entirely comfortable with the idea of using them against former citizens.

The Great Machine made it clear that this was not open for debate.

For the next few years, he stuck on, somewhat against his will. He was known to be bitter, quiet, and reluctant to pursue further innovations in his duties. Still, he consoled himself with the knowledge he was helping the Great Machine retain its integrity.
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The Week to Come

23 May

There’s an easy way to tell if I’m going to phone it in on any particular week. All you need to do is look at how creative The Week to Come segment is.

So, coming up, we have:

  • Mind of a Killer
  • Okay, Seriously, is the Hell Just Hyperbole or What
  • One of Two Posts
  • Please Tell Me You’re Not Going to Introduce Any More Characters Mr. Rutskarn Sir
  • Avatar

Fun Fact for the Week: That middle one signifies that I’m not certain whether I’m going to write one post or another. Depending on which it is, I could be making sarcastic fun of one medium or the other, mocking and jeering the storytelling abilities of others while contributing nothing of my own. Or maybe I’ll be positive. We’ll see.


Ghost of the Machine, Part 5

22 May

The center of Pashtam Kara was often dark, the charcoal blossom of the factory smoke creating a bleak and artificial sky. The alleys between the factories and warehouses bound and entrapped the street’s inhabitants, men, women, and children who stalked this cramped labyrinth from birth. It was foul, and hot, and miserable, and it was equal parts testament and insult to the human soul that its inhabitants could adjust to it.

There were poets who said the Great Machine’s industrial sector weren’t fit for rats to live in. This wasn’t true; it was perfect for a rat to live in. It was cramped, shadowy, and full of holes larger predators wouldn’t or couldn’t investigate.

It was almost evening. The shades were being drawn, and the streets were clearing, until the only sounds were the echo of Warder boots, the far-off moaning of the train whistle, and the soft murmur of lowered voices.

In a bar populated only by those who had little to return home to and less to look forward to in the morning, a back room hummed with muttered conversation.
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