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 Tate's... topics. Yeah let's call it that

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Bronze Spice
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PostSubject: Tate's... topics. Yeah let's call it that   Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:44 am

So sometimes I write on my blog on RPA, and I think 'The GAC might also enjoy this.' So here's a thread where I will dump said blogs. First up is something I've titled 'Then and Now'

So for a few months I've been revisiting my character thread and revamping old characters so that they represent what I currently hold as their true incarnation. This might be to better realise the original idea behind them, or to abandon it in favour of fresh ideas that make the character like new again. I'm doing this because a friend at college told me that I can build skills if I bring my mind back to it with some frequency, and while I improve my drawing skills, my skill in writing is currently my number one talent, so it makes sense for me to want to hone my craft, as it were. So this is my kind of then and now thing.

There are some characters in my thread that I've kept and every time I look over them I cringe with the horrible implementation of mediocre concepts. The solution: reimagine them. It's been working well so far. Let's take one of my most recent reimaginings: my Transformers characters. Earlier on, back when I was still in high school and Pokemon: The Change was still running (jk, it's still going 0_0) I joined a Transformers roleplay started by crazydawg444, I think. Well, the characters were s***. Basically the only inspiration driving their conceptualisation was how much I liked the vehicles they transformed into. I was tired of cringing at them and so I redid them. This process took a few weeks for me to fully type out the new ideas behind them, but in the end I'm left with two decent characters that I'll probably never use anyway, but it feels satisfying to scrub away the shame.

On my character thread (linked in my signature) I've added little asterisks next to the names of various characters. At first this was just to mark active characters but I've added markers for characters that I have improved and wish to improve. You can read up on future developments to characters that I just want to tidy up, or in some cases, completely repurpose. I'm currently aiming my sights on the first character I ever used on the RPA, Schizo.

Schizo, as Azazeal, Enigma and Sy23 will probably remember, is a "schizophrenic" entertainer robot suffering from the not-very-well-thought-out equivalent of a multiple identity crisis. What was really going on was me trying to create a method of spewing random lines of dialogue out of this character so that he came off as crazy. This just wasn't good implementation of what still seems like a fun concept, especially when schizophrenia isn't actually all that linked to multiple identity crises. I guess I could have gone with the name Mic, an acronym of that condition, but Schizo sounds funnier. Even when you got into more technical details about him he started to make less and less sense. So apparently they can just copy identities, those Schizo robots, in just a few minutes and without any special equipment, and use various identities to engage in interesting conversations with people. This just enters a downward spiral the more you think about it. This is why he'll be one of the characters that's getting a complete makeover.

As I've mentioned in the new 'watch this space' -like sections of the sheets that I intend to improve, I've created this vague, overarching cosmic universe that houses a lot of my favourite characters like Krista, Flank, Samantha, Lucia, Darcy, The Storyteller, Klodax, Huntsman, and many others. It is largely disconnected from the respective universes of the roleplays these characters are/were in, with the exception of Krista; I imagine it takes place in the Sentain universe. Ultimately, the goal of revamping an existing character is to bring them to a point where they can exist in this universe. I bring this up because it helped me gain an idea of where I should take Schizo and my other robotic character, Adam.

So Schizo and Adam both involve the idea of human consciousnesses, or souls (which is an easier word to type) in robot bodies. Schizo copies them while Adam's is downloaded from some kind of archive of volunteer minds or the ghosts of Windows programmers or something. While ICSS (the roleplay Schizo was a part of) was active, I watched an episode of Cowboy Bebop that dealt with humans uploading their souls (easier to type) into a network, effectively functioning as a kind of afterlife. This sparked a transcendent religious movement of people who want to escape life and be immortal, however some of those people were using it to escape debts and other harsh responsibilities of being alive. I was thinking of implementing this with Schizo during the roleplay, but I let it go. This is a good opportunity to implement that idea because it gives me a lot more opportunities to write about more serious things. I've left a brief description of how I plan to work Schizo into this on his sheet.

Just quickly I'd also like to talk about Schizo's 'brother', who is essentially another character concept I had created alongside Schizo when I came to the RPA. A bit of trivia, both he and Schizo were originally concepts for alternate characters for Nerrone's Rangers before I settled on Samantha. He was realised in the form of Max's mech suit. Honestly, out of every character I've ever made, this one has the least going for him. There is nothing salvageable about his initial concept that I can use to breathe new life into him. At first, he was just a giant robot made of digging vehicle parts, and that was the only real thing about him that I cared for. I never got to use this character in the roleplay I submitted him for and so he just ended up in the thread. This singular good idea that came with him was reincarnated in the form of one of my Transformers, Cav, now known as Cat after the reimagining. (Could The Reimagining make a good Steven King book? It could be about people who constantly change as the author keeps rethinking them as characters). Cat transforms into a backhoe excavator and so she has the whole 'robot made of digger parts' thing down pat. With that idea gone, this character is nothing more than an empty husk, and may well be the first character I ever completely discard.

I guess now that I think about it, this was the first and most extreme character reimaginging I've ever done, so far as to make a completely new character out of it. That just makes this digger robot nothing more than an outdated version, which I usually discard anyway. It turns out it was useful for something. It's just a case of then and now.
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Bronze Spice
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PostSubject: Re: Tate's... topics. Yeah let's call it that   Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:46 pm

Here's a thing I did.

You find this kind of thing on deviantart a lot. I decided to put a few of my most important characters there to help flesh them out. What happened actually surprised me.

For starters, when I was writing down Krista's and Kassandra's sexualities, I paused. This is because they both have running jokes about being gay, with Krista X Seren being the running joke of Sentain, and Jad accidentally saying that Kassandra and Nova-Sol "ate each other to a standstill" during SWN, creating another running joke for that game. I actually considered making it a part of their characters, however, even though I first thought of them as straight, and both characters having at least one reason to be as such (Krista having been part of the Nazi war machine, which did its part to exterminate anything that wasn't hetero, and Kassandra being on the lookout for a male of her exact species). In the end, I decided to make Krista bi, because I honestly find the idea of actual Krista X Seren appealing, and because it would create an interesting dynamic considering she still visually identifies as a Nazi. Kassandra's still straight because it was just an accident that became a joke for one session. Although she still wants to snuggle. So, the furthest thing I have from a straight character is my little Nazi. This is progress, people.

Flank is smack-bang in the middle of gender appearance simply because in his race, the male and female dichotomy is really warped, so both genders are on equal, almost identical footing. Basically, guys and gals look the same, at least to others. This probably contradicts how some fields, like physical build, are based relative to his race, but I can probably fix that later. Samantha, originally intended to be somewhat of an opposite to Flank, ended up staying that way, which I'm happy for.

I put Lucia and Darcy here to help flesh them out because right now they're about as black and white as they were when I first created them. In the anime face generator *shudders*

Nathaniell is here because Krista was too and I was running out of space in the 'completely sane' field.

Also, I'm surprised by how many female characters I have here. Most of my characters are male, but it's obvious that I care more about my girls.
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Pink Spice
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PostSubject: Re: Tate's... topics. Yeah let's call it that   Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:26 am

That's very interesting. Maybe I should do this for some of my Spore captains some time.

When it comes to my Spore captains most of mine are actually female. I try to give all of them very different personalities which I then use to determine which ones I use in the adventures I play and how I will play them.

My fave captain is Fluffy. She's a felinite, asexual and has no attraction to anyone (another one of my captains is a and hetero). Fluffy is a violent, lawless merc with no empathy (making her a psychopath and thus completely insane).

She is also one of my most OP captains.
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Bronze Spice
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PostSubject: Re: Tate's... topics. Yeah let's call it that   Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:16 pm

Here's another blog post that I've pasted here without editing.

Previously, in the blog entry detailing what kind of tattoo ideas I had a few years ago (retrospectively called Dumb Ideas vol. 0), I talked about how I wanted a Bible quote tattooed on my back. CartelSaide, quantifiably/infinitely wiser than I was at the time, explained why that idea was incredibly dumb, and not because it was going to be a Bible quote, but rather due to the fact that it was a long paragraph of text that I'd need to hold my shirt up for other people to see while they read my back.

That idea died down, and in addition to that, I became agnostic. Maybe I should have made an entry on that too, but it was entirely unceremonious. My parents also seem to have stopped practising Catholicism too, so now I live in... not really a 'non-religious' household, but a household that previously used to be religious. Right now all I can think of is this.

Anyway, I've had more time to think of a better and more personal tattoo. The start of this concept was a bluebottle jellyfish, more appropriately known as a Portuguese Man O' War. I've been stung by a couple, so your guess is as good as mine as to why I'd want a tattoo of one, but I did, and still do. My parents told me to sit on the idea to make sure that it wasn't just a passing interest, which is wise because first impulses aren't always the best. Anyway, several years have passed since that first concept and I'm still up for it. I decided on a style that I'd want (tribal, because less is more) and asked a friend to design it, giving him a tonne of explanation in text as to what I wanted it to look like.

Then, I was very rude, learned how to use a pen tool and drew the bloody thing myself three days later.


This is better than I ever hoped the final design to look like. I admit I was having my doubts about the jellyfish earlier, but as this design evolved as I pencilled it onto some scrap and brought it into Photoshop, they were laid to rest. This is not just a jellyfish any more, this is filled with personal touches. So let's start, shall we?

First of all, this is primarily still the jellyfish. Shape of the 'head', the crest, and the short and long tendrils. But as I gathered references, I remembered something else that looks like this jellyfish: the Tripods from The War of the Worlds. My first blog entry has me talking about why that movie is bad in my eyes, but one thing it brought us that surpasses any previous incarnation of the story is the Tripods. They are the best designed iteration yet, and the scariest, too. Movie or not, WotW is a big part of my life, so I made the design synonymous with that of the Tripods. Again, the shape of the hood, the crest, the short tendrils and the three, long, sweeping legs. The way the legs are broken towards the top is a direct reference to their design.

So what else is here? Well, you've probably noticed how the top part looks like an eye, and boy am I fucking proud of nailing it; it's perfect! Why though? Now we're delving into personal reasons why this design is personal to me, meaning it's not that obvious. The eye is a reference to The Storyteller, one of my favourite roleplay characters. His shtick is subjective reality, and as we all know, reality is really defined by what we make of it, hence the eye motif. The Storyteller sports a pair of eye-like wings, so the eye is like his calling card.

Finally, the comb-like shape under the eye. On the bluebottle, it represents the cluster of short tendrils just under the main body. On the Tripod, it's the writhing coils under the hood. I've also come to think of them as another set of eyelashes, reminiscent of those stylistically linked with A Clockwork Orange. My sister got me to read it a while ago, and while I wasn't really a fan of it, I like the small connection I have with it enough to consider it a part of this design. However it's those eyelashes that seem to have been referenced in my two favourite Pokemon, Sneasel and Weavile. They're devious, dark-type Pokemon, so they may have been visually inspired by the absolute psychopath that is Alex. Even if it's just a coincidence, I still maintain the connection to my two favourite 'mons.

So, now that I've designed it, what will I do with it? I'm getting it tattooed on my right arm, with the legs reaching down to my elbow. Not sure when, but it's going to happen.
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