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Author Topic: Two ideas, feedback appreciated (interested artists even more so)  (Read 674 times)

Rowanas

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I figured I'd post these up to get feedback and maybe hook a tasty little artist.


1: Vatican Black Ops
So, for ages I've had (technically it was a collaborative idea generated by discussion with my mum (who is also a giant geek NESTED PARENTHESES!) but I've developed on it a fair bit) an idea for a comic about a Black Ops team that operate out of the Vatican, doing various morally-grey (the church, surely not!) activities, including but not limited to - putting down cults, dealing with demons, spying, discovering evidence, burning evidence, political assassinations etc.

The Vatican runs it because they're rich, but technically they are drawn from the various Christian denominations (the protestants swear they get given the shittier barracks).  The idea was originally for a roleplaying game, and with a little fusion of RPG parties and the A-team, coupled with my lifelong fondness for power armour I decided to give them all exoskeletons of varying strength and bulkiness suitable for their job.

I've always been fascinated with saints and sainthood, so it didn't take long before anything more important than a lighter was powered by saintly relics.  The relics all subtly (or not so subtly) bless the thing they're powering, so a radio powered by the finger bone of Saint Philip (a cheerful man throughout his life) might uplift the spirit through the saint-blessed words of the speaker while that same radio powered by a shard of the blade that slew Saint Adelbert lends an irresistible tone of command (let's ignore the fact that Adelbert got murdered for being too bossy).

It was my intention that the story progress, slowly revealing details of a conspiracy (le gasp!) of infernal nature, and introducing the various other organised or semi-organised religious Spec Ops teams like Dervishes and Bikkhu Brigades, introducing both antagonistic and awfully helpful demons and otherworldy spirits, examining the nature of belief and the way in which one can follow the tenets of their faith while still attending to their duties, or the ways in which you can stray with or without losing sight of the true path back to salvation.

2:Vessels
I was kinda annoyed when Altered Carbon came out, because it shares similar themes, and no one had heard of the book.
Another idea i've had for ages, and have slowly built upon - Vessels is a cyberpunk story, though less grimdark than is typical for the genre, that follows 3 sets of people in telling various stories about the world and the impact of the separation of mind and body.  In Vessels, we've largely entered a post-scarcity era - what we would think of as middle class are now so vastly engineered and wealthy that they can more or less do and be whatever they want. Decadence and ennuie naturally follow, and for many youths their primary entertainment is crime or purchasing Vessels (bodies) from the army to go on FPS-style shootouts, which is how the west now largely handles their requirements for disposable soldiers like the penal legions of old.
The core technology at play is the ability to upload yourself into a company-owned server and stream your consciousness into another vacant body. People hire personal trainers to exercise their vessels while they gallavant about the internet or stream to new bodies for various purposes.  Insurance is handled in the form of data-preservation-clauses which obligate the company responsible for you hiring out your body to keep your consciousness-data around until such time as you would've died naturally, and many are keen to get themselves killed on a job in order to be allowed to live what they feel is a better life online (though this is insurance fraud much as any other insurance scam would be). Crucially, the infrastructure required means that while you can upload your brain permanently (though digital duplication is a crime, as is remaining conscious while uploaded as a form of duplication), technology only allows one to stream into another body - we can copy neural patterns, but not physically overwrite other brains. Religious and political organisations obviously have mitts in this whole thing.
I suppose this brings us to the core - One of the three pairs focused on is made up of two law enforcement officers who investigate and resolve Vessel-related crimes (bodyjacking, failure to make good on data-preservation-clauses, preservation-fraud, duplication, criminal misuse of Vessel etc). through their work they become acquainted with two other pairs, one a middle class genetically-engineered mother and her son, the others a Vessel-class (considered a lower class, they have to work a reasonable amount in order to live a comfortable life, where working means 'hiring out your body as a Vessel while you float around cyberspace for a day') couple, one an enthusiastic adopter who would very much like to shed his mortal coil, and his partner who would rather live a real life with popcorn and sunsets etc.

Oh, and everyone in cyberspace is rendered by the animal that best represents them, as decided by their own subconscious self-image.

-----
I've got some neat ideas on using coloured text/text bubbles to indicate the nature of speakers, perhaps giving
readers clues as to their motivations, and yes, definitely playing with it for drama.

So, there we go. As is true for probably anyone, I've got four billion less well-developed ideas, including an adventure story about a technologically-advanced girl exploring a post-apocalyptic icescape and whatnot.
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I agree with Urist. Steampunk is like Darth Vader winning Holland's Next Top Model. It would be awesome but not something I'd like in this game.
Unfortunately dying involves the amputation of the entire body from the dwarf.

Urist McScoopbeard

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Re: Two ideas, feedback appreciated (interested artists even more so)
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2018, 11:33:34 pm »

Seems like you've got the Vessels one more thought out, but the Vatican Black Ops is pretty easily graspable, what you might call High Concept, and thus you can do just about anything you want with it.

I guess what it comes down to is whatever medium you want to work in. You've expressed interest in an artist, so... probably some kind of web comic I'm guessing, in which case, I would go with Vatican Block Ops, as it really lends itself to a lot of pulpy (in a good way) imagery and wild action. Which we always need more of in web comics.
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Rowanas

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Re: Two ideas, feedback appreciated (interested artists even more so)
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2018, 01:57:16 am »

Cheers Urist,

Yeah, the Vat black Ops calls back more to the classic 2000AD pulp style, while Vessels would be more of a thinking comic.
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I agree with Urist. Steampunk is like Darth Vader winning Holland's Next Top Model. It would be awesome but not something I'd like in this game.
Unfortunately dying involves the amputation of the entire body from the dwarf.

Cathar

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Re: Two ideas, feedback appreciated (interested artists even more so)
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2018, 02:19:00 am »

Hey,

So, these are good ideas that would I think need a bit more development. I'm low key interested by Vessels, but it sounds like warframe to an uncomfortable degree. However I am interested in any take into a post-work hard science fiction story with an emphasis on the effect of having a totally idle population (we already live in a post scarcity world in 2018, but the economy is still based over work against value exchange, and I am convinced that the suppression of work is the next big step in humanity's development). I'm a bit less convinced by Vatican Black Ops, mostly because of the christian theme (just not my thing let's say)

Now before you develop your ideas, I suggest you take extra time to think about what kind of production you want. If you want a comic (or worse, a comic serie), you will have to pay, and that will cost you a lot (think to the tune of 1k euros per ten pages for a begginer, freshs out of the academia artist). I will strongly advise you against trying to get free art in general, because not only this is frown upon by the community, but this is the best way to have your project crash and burn as the artists you will contract will come to understand the amount of work required and will just drop out. And if by miracle you manage to pull this off, you will face legal issues when you will try to publish it.

So ; my advices maybe : try to get a warchest and some kind of a budget. Hop around to see who is looking for work, dA is a good place for that, and you'll have an idea of what you can get for what you can pay. An illustrated novel may come cheaper than a full comic for exemple.

Edit : Also maybe give an exact account of what you're looking for. Amount of pages, drawings etc. with numbers, so we know exactly how much work is required for the project.

So yes in conclusion ; ideas are okay-fine but maybe need to be developped further, but what will make them rise and fall is how you do the realization imho

Anyway, good luck on your project o/
« Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 02:48:10 am by Cathar »
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Rowanas

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Re: Two ideas, feedback appreciated (interested artists even more so)
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2018, 05:03:31 am »

Cathar,

Thanks for the feedback.  I'm surprised by the warframe comparison for Vessels - it doesn't really sound like it has anything in common. did you mean that Vat Black Ops sounded like warframe? I get that comparison much more easily, though it hadn't occurred to me before.

On production - webcomics are the way to go for fancies, I think.  A printed up comic shall remain the reserve of the famous, or at least well-established.  You make a good point about saving up though.  It's hard to assess though, because i'm really more of a work-it-out-as-I-go-along kinda guy.  New and unconsidered themes emerge in the process of writing, and any collaboration yields new ideas, so worknig out a page/panel thing is impossible.

I'll give them a little more thought as well, try and refine some of the concepts I have floating about into concrete objects.

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I agree with Urist. Steampunk is like Darth Vader winning Holland's Next Top Model. It would be awesome but not something I'd like in this game.
Unfortunately dying involves the amputation of the entire body from the dwarf.

Cathar

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Re: Two ideas, feedback appreciated (interested artists even more so)
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2018, 10:09:06 am »

No worry, happy to help. For the warframe comparison, it's mostly about

So...Someone already had the idea, it doesn't mean you cannot work on it too but maybe give it a personal spin.

As a sidenote, did you already worked with artists? In a group ? As a brainstormer, scenarist etc? Or is it your absolute first experience ?

And if it is, can I ask you how old you are, and would you be opposed to the idea of learning how to draw yourself?

People get offended when I suggest that learning how to draw is usually a far, far better way than to rely on free labour, for your project to be done. It's very long, but it's a skill that you'll keep forever, and if you're a creative person this is probably the best way to go
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Rowanas

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Re: Two ideas, feedback appreciated (interested artists even more so)
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2018, 05:58:18 am »

I've been musing on this for a while, but I'm already trying to not suck at two different activities already - adding a decade of art practice is both far too long term and also a drain on limited time resources for a mediocre end result.  Creative is not simply creative; I write, but I don't think there's been a spot of illustrative talant in my family.... ever.

I talked about various ideas with an artist acquaintance of mine, both for ideas and for feedback on how she would approach the artist-writer relationship, which was useful, but all of my friends are useless and entertaining wankers - there's no one I can summon up to talk about this in my day-to-day.
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I agree with Urist. Steampunk is like Darth Vader winning Holland's Next Top Model. It would be awesome but not something I'd like in this game.
Unfortunately dying involves the amputation of the entire body from the dwarf.

Cathar

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Re: Two ideas, feedback appreciated (interested artists even more so)
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2018, 06:57:22 am »

I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but that engine will never run without a fuel source, so at some point, if you have no mean to realize your vision, you'll encounter a hard road block. You probably won't get limited by your ideas, but realization is what may stop you.
Tho, I don't want to discourage you from your endeavors, and I'll have a look at your writings when it is a bit more developped, if you so wish, and may occasionally lead a helpful hand with the drawings, but I can't carry a big project without pay, and I doubt anyone would.

So basically here's what you can do :

• Refine your project so it's clear that you are commited to your work and we know what we're dealing with.
• Define your expectations precisely (I don't like plans either but they are necesssary for collaborations) : what do you need, what style are you looking for, etc.

Just to make it a bit clearer : put yourself in the shoes of an artist that may be interested in working with you. They'll be asking stuff like "what do I need to do ?" "How much time do I have to spend in this ?" and "what is there for me in this project ?". Trying to answer those questions would get you a long way into finding partners

Then when it's done and you've commited efforts in your endeavours, I can give you a hand to have them started. Again, I insist I wont carry them very far either way, you'll have to find someone else later
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Rowanas

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Re: Two ideas, feedback appreciated (interested artists even more so)
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2018, 08:05:47 am »

Hah, thanks.  You're the only person who has provided any sort of insight or critique, which I appreciate.

I mused on writing up a proper plan, like stories and interactions or even a storyboard, but given that new ideas occur, I didn't want to have to redo the entire plan everytime something changed, especially if I have no real odds of getting them completed (perhaps the planning should be the exercise I focus on).

I suppose that, like organising food with friends, I really need to form a solid, definitive opinion on things like art style, length and even which universe I'd like to work on, rather than winging it and being happy with whatever happens, because uncertainty is unhelpful.  Part of that was because if I happened to meet someone who wanted to collaborate on things, I'd really just be happy to do anything, whether they prefer one or the other, or something else entirely, I'm fine to go with the flow in any case.

Ok, for the moment I'll do what I can do, and build a plan for my otherwise loosely-assembled plot.

Thanks, you've given me more to muse on.
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I agree with Urist. Steampunk is like Darth Vader winning Holland's Next Top Model. It would be awesome but not something I'd like in this game.
Unfortunately dying involves the amputation of the entire body from the dwarf.

Urist McScoopbeard

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Re: Two ideas, feedback appreciated (interested artists even more so)
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2018, 10:12:31 am »

I've been musing on this for a while, but I'm already trying to not suck at two different activities already - adding a decade of art practice is both far too long term and also a drain on limited time resources for a mediocre end result.  Creative is not simply creative; I write, but I don't think there's been a spot of illustrative talant in my family.... ever.

I talked about various ideas with an artist acquaintance of mine, both for ideas and for feedback on how she would approach the artist-writer relationship, which was useful, but all of my friends are useless and entertaining wankers - there's no one I can summon up to talk about this in my day-to-day.
Hah, thanks.  You're the only person who has provided any sort of insight or critique, which I appreciate.

The truth is people really aren't overly inclined to help each other with creative projects. Especially when starting from scratch. Those who find writing partners or drawing partners or x/y/z are not only lucky, but few and far in-between. People really want to see you helping yourself. Then they might join in--probably just to give suggestions or fan art or some derivation of your concept. Just a word of warning for how you approach the project--you really have to fight for it and work it yourself.
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Rowanas

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Re: Two ideas, feedback appreciated (interested artists even more so)
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2018, 04:27:42 am »

Cheers Scoop.  A little feedback, guidance and a few opinions are all I really expect.  As a writer, I'll hop on board any project that asks (or accepts my offer of help), but I realise that that isn't the rule.
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I agree with Urist. Steampunk is like Darth Vader winning Holland's Next Top Model. It would be awesome but not something I'd like in this game.
Unfortunately dying involves the amputation of the entire body from the dwarf.