Liethr (my beta) had his sister create this completely fucking incredible image of the Kazan from nothing more than descriptions in the text.
I am completely blown away by this. I personally think she should get paid. Feedback welcome!
My personal situation is not exactly getting better, as since I make just enough to not qualify for any kind of subsidies, the cost of insurance, prescriptions and just basic living is eating at my savings.
Thus a lot of the highly disposable income I once had is not so disposable anymore. That means, for all of 2015, I will probably only commission one artwork (either from Armesan or NikitaStewart)
It’s a toss up between three choices:
1) The Wedding of Sara and Liara and the Processional of Blades
2) The Final Moment of Benezia
3) A series of colorless sketches for Dragunov, Branson, Tetrimus, and other characters.
Interested in people’s thoughts.
I haven’t gotten around to final review or posting yet, but there will be two new updates to the OSABC line up in the next week or so.
First up is due to a request from AlsoKnownAsMatt, the ANN Media Archive. This will be mostly story-based interviews (as opposed to Westerlund style, text only transcripts) with Emily Wong and various people in the story as it moves along. The first interview will be that of Emily and Shepard when Shep announces her marriage to Doctor T’Soni. The second will most likely be Wong’s interview with Liara in the immediate aftermath of Shepard’s death.
The other new feature will be the STG Files : Benezia Incident, a pack of STG related stuff — profiles on OC’s and modified minor canon characters, STG backstory and investigations into Saren and Benezia, and some ideas of what Benezia and Saren were up to prior to ME1. Like the Cerberus Files, the STG Files is told from an in-universe perspective, but the writers are not all terrorist racist nutjobs, so it’s far more unbiased than a Season of Sorrows Unending.
If you guys and gals who read this have any more ideas, comment and let me know.
I’m about 65% done with the next ATTWN chapter, and it is almost entirely fluffy. I had a couple of PM’s asking me for more fluff and a couple asking for less, so I thought I would address the issue.
Mass Effect is a game, and as a game it cannot indulge in the things that make up ‘normal life’. A lot is abstracted — going to the restroom, eating, sleeping, etc. That being said, going from A to C and not bothering with a clearly there but boring B is not a sin.
Going from A to X, however, and skipping everything between, certainly is.
A lot of the reason ATTWN even is happening is ‘fluff’. The circumstances behind Shepard’s death, while similar to canon, do not actually follow canon. Namely, the mystery of how the Collectors were able to pick up the Normandy when REAPERS couldn’t, and the sheer stupidity of reviving someone who fell from fucking orbit.
ATTWN has to deal with a lot of fluff to establish both Shepard growing beyond what she was before ME1 (because growth is a criterion of the story, and a CORE CONCEPT that will come up again and again in ME2 and ME3 Premiseverse) as well as preventing massive infodumps.
That being said, I’m attempting to strike a balance between emotional backstory and action. I’m interested in thoughts on this issue.
I have a mad and unthinking desire to try to write awkward Garrus/Miranda romance, possibly along with Tali having to merge the robot-dog with Urz to save his life and turning him into a battle-mount, and a Shepard who both Liara and Ash are in love with, and since he didn’t want to pick between them both got catty and now sleep with each other just to spite him.
There may be something wrong with my brain.
Whenever I am stuck on a boring conference call, I will start uploading a crappy sketch of some scenes in OSABC or ATTWN. They’ll be done on a steno pad, so lines are an issue, but hey.
Keep in mind the key word is CRAPPY. I cannot be held responsible if you end up spitting coke over your keyboard or hurting yourself laughing at these images.
Here is the first one:
“I have seen the dark universe yawning
Where the black planets roll without aim,
Where they roll in their horror unheeded,
Without knowledge, or lustre, or name.” – H.P. Lovecraft
The canon ME-verse is a place of bright futures and hope, a place where evil is viewed with disgust and rejection, where the darkness beyond the stars boils down to incompetently coded AI’s and oversized fish with ego problems. The only true horror is that of the sorrowful disgust we experience at seeing the Reaper mockeries of existing races, a horror put paid to easily enough by fire and sword.
Evil sits in nicely defined packages, and Garrus’ complaints about shades of gray are manifest only to the clean-arrow view of the universe a turian would hold. Likewise, the terror invoked by Nazara and the visceral horror of the fate and plans of the Collectors is derailed by their cartoonishly-bad execution, ending with the fate of the galaxy being decided by if you can beat a space ninja or not.
I am afraid, gentle readers, that the Premiseverse is altogether a much nastier place. I had a PM asking me why I made my AU so dark, and why change it from the way it was.
My answer is simple: because in horror there is a chance to explore meaning. Drama for the sake of drama and action for the sake of action is what canon ME explores. And despite the plot holes, it does so very well. That does not mean that every interpretation must merely reshuffle events with that narrow framework.
There are three basis points for horror in the Premiseverse:
Too many choices in ME can be factored down to doing things the Paragon or Renegade way. It is, I suppose, meant to provide the illusion of choice, but instead all it does is cheapen the meaning of such choices. The reality of life is that we are often forced not to pick between good and evil, but from a selection of various evils. The triumph is in getting the job done without corrupting the soul of your species at the end of it all.
There are those who claim making everything dark is ‘unrealistic’, yet I do not think these people have any idea of what reality is like. I assure you, neither my country nor yours in real life is a “good guy”. Every government on earth has done things that would make you ashamed. To suggest that for some reason humans are the only people to descend to this level is more Star-Trekesque bullshit, which I reject utterly.
A second (perhaps more valid) objection to the darkening of the ME verse is that so much decency remains. That is because the darkening is due to those in power, not any sort of magical change in people or aliens themselves.
The big alteration in the Premiseverse is that the old levers of power (asari Thirty, salarian Six Families, Turian Palavanus, Human nobility, etc) did NOT lose power and fade to insignificance as they did in canon ME — instead they retained their power, and plan to keep it.
What happens in the fullness of ME2 and ME3 hasn’t been planned yet, but by ME4 in the Premiseverse, much of this old guard had been removed, allowing peace and calmness to settle on the races.
The style of horror I prefer is the slow reveal and the philosophical horror, rather than slasher style or shock style. I am still in the process of developing this style, as seen in Fear Unrelenting.
NPC200 suggested I go ahead and at least chart out the various ground military forces of the Premiseverse. They can be found below:
Feedback is appreciated.