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Messages - Blackthorn

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[APR 2019] Erotica / Re: [Apr 2019] - Erotica - Discussion Thread
« on: April 29, 2019, 09:50:59 PM »
Much as I'd like to participate it won't be happening this month. Testing on the seventh is taking all my time. Hopefully I'll have something in May. At least I have time to read and vote

[APR 2019] Erotica / Re: [Apr 2019] - Erotica - Discussion Thread
« on: April 02, 2019, 03:41:47 AM »
I was eagerly waiting for the first of the month. I haven't participated in the contest for something like 3 years if I'm not mistaken. I did not expect this particular theme.

I'll do my best to come up with something so I can get the uh....creative juices flowing...

Writers' Corner / Re: Take a look at my magic system?
« on: March 30, 2019, 01:37:50 AM »
Gemcutter that was far from dull. You actually reminded me about piezoelectric crystals. Some aircraft use them as an ice detection system where the buildup of ice has an affect on the resonance of the crystal if I remember correctly.

Crystals is indeed a better term, though my system would include gems as well. The minerals are, in all honesty, not incredibly important.  The powers they hold are really very arbitrary.  Some importance will depend upon size and clarity, but mostly this system will not be quite that detailed.

While I find your system incredibly interesting I am trying to steer away from real world properties. I'm also not going to be using traditional metaphysical ideas about Crystal's. They are mostly just a means of concentrating and transporting
 magical energies. I haven't worked out the intimate details completely.

Incidentally my sisters name is crystal. This apparently causes every mention of the word to be auto corrected into a possessive noun.

Edit: I forgot to note the idea of the stones is to hold magical energies. My mages are incapable of holding the energies within themselves or channeling without a focus point. As minerals come from the earth they are in a way connected with those energies. I'm thinking the crystals will shatter if  completely emptied of energy.

Writers' Corner / Re: Take a look at my magic system?
« on: March 28, 2019, 03:02:46 PM »
Thanks skip, this has already been very helpful.

So gems was a generalization that I should have avoided. Stones would be more accurate, though  I was thinking about having a fairly powerful magician adapting to using Ivory from walrus in a cold environment.

The powdered stones is an interesting question and one I had not considered.

Yes I meant runes, however I find that I prefer the idea of no runes.

As for harnessing energy mages are born with the ability to sense the energy and through training learn to harness that energy. Mages can transfer energy from a source to a stone over a period of time with a low difficulty.  I think creating a stone will be a more ritualistic experience. That is the area where a large storm or other significant event would be necessary.

Writers' Corner / Take a look at my magic system?
« on: March 28, 2019, 12:49:02 AM »
Hello everyone, I haven't been around in a couple of years. Lately I  have been working on a magic system for a series I've planned in my head for something like seven years.

I think I have nailed down a lot of the important tidbits, however I am sure there are elements I'm missing. So what I'd like to do is give a rough outline of my magic system along with some of the drawbacks and see what you all notice that I'm too close to see. I should mention I'm going for a sword and sorcery, dungeons and dragons type feel to the story.

If this belongs in the work to be critiqued section or some other relevant thread please let me know.

My magic system is  based on the idea of harnessing energy from the natural world. Mages have the ability to transfer energy from a storm for example and channel that in to a vessel for a lightning bolt spell. As I have the system now the energy is transferred in to a gemstone with a magical ruin. Only by saying the word associated with the ruin can the energy be released.

Energy can come from five natural elements fire, water, wind, earth, and sun. I know its cliche. There is more to the system but I think it's best I start here.

There are a few problems I have associated with this system, mainly revolving around the gems.

Gems are now even more valuable meaning a distinct supply and demand issue that favors the rich....this could be interesting but it's not what i want for my story.

My mage has now become a very heavy traveler with too much luggage, she is also the target of every two bit thief within 10 miles.

Necromancy is a significant part of the story but doesn't seem to work well with this system.

I know there is more that I can't think of now. So if you don't mind what are some issues, advantages,  and alternatives that come to mind?

Lucky for me drones still need maintenance just like any other aircraft.

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Writers' Corner / Re: Writing on the go
« on: March 22, 2017, 02:43:55 AM »
Personally I use the app WriteOwl. So far I've found it simple to use, but even mobile I don't find much time to write notes.


Ahummm... I'm sorry to say @RLStevenson, but andrewsarchus, predator of humans? How?

It's fantasy.  I don't mean to be blunt about it but I don't see what difference it makes when the creature was alive. Unless of course it's a problem with suspension of disbelief.

Err, I'm sorry, I'm answering to a post that says :

An actual predator of ancient humans (and one of the terrifying creatures I've ever seen) is andrewsarchus. Have a look at it!

So to me it reads like we're talking about "actual" facts, not suspension of disbelief. I might be mistaken and he might mean "imagine if Man and Andrewsarchus had lived alongside each other" — and that would be just as correct, in the light of fantasy, as human riding dinos, which I back with all my passion — but it's not what I understood, so no, I'm not answering in the light of fantasy.
Fair enough,  now I look at it the way you did I see what you mean.  My apologies.


Ahummm... I'm sorry to say @RLStevenson, but andrewsarchus, predator of humans? How?

It's fantasy.  I don't mean to be blunt about it but I don't see what difference it makes when the creature was alive. Unless of course it's a problem with suspension of disbelief.

Why would a virus need to be engineered to be a predator?

1 an animal that naturally preys on others: wolves are major predators of small mammals.
2 a person who ruthlessly exploits others: a sexual predator.

Evolution is natural, and is what makes wolves merge in the country side, birds become reactive to movement, but also what makes stick insects look like sticks, some trees secrete poison and communicate by pheromones etc, etc.
Evolution is entirely part of the process, and it only happens so much faster for viruses and microbes because they reproduce so quickly.
I didn't mean to imply that it would need to,  that's my mistake.

Simply something that I think would need to be taken in to consideration for certain plot lines.

I've used aliens, trolls, werewolves, demons, and humans in the form of cannibals. None have truly fit the predator category because humans have an amazing ability to adapt. If a real predator does exist humans will invent a way to kill it and most likely drive it to extinction. Humans don't just find defenses or better ways to hide, they adapt and conquer.

While germs are a good example of a real threat to humans there's still the question of where it came from originally. A self mutation in a virus is plausible but to specifically be a predator it seems likely that some form of engineering may be involved which leads to believe that the germ is only a weapon.

Really its hard to say without more context, but I'm the long run humans will never submit to being nothing more than prey.

Links, Competitions and 'Stuff' / Re: Help for a friend
« on: February 17, 2017, 12:29:26 AM »

[FEB 2017] Fanfic / Re: [Feb 2017] - Fanfic - Discussion Thread
« on: February 08, 2017, 11:44:01 PM »
I don't mind fanfic but crossover isn't really my favorite kind.

That being said I have a great idea and it's been almost a year since I wrote for the contest.  Hopefully I can manage to set aside some time to write a story this month.

Writers' Corner / Re: Writing a wizard duel???
« on: January 23, 2017, 12:12:22 PM »
Apparently magic fights are harder to write than sword fights. At least, outside of Harry Potter, which apparently has just enough a difference that there's a distinction.  [emoji14]
Harry Potter is essentially a gun fight with wands and weird effects

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Writers' Corner / Re: Writing for games
« on: January 17, 2017, 07:04:16 PM »
this is what i love about you, eric.

"i don't have much to say" -- proceeds to shovel hectares of rich, sparkly wisdom on everyone.

Ha. You guys hit the specific stuff ... all I offered was some general tips. :)

Is it important to know what engine will be used, or what the plan is for release before writing basic story and dialog for the game? Or would it cause to many issues reworking the story?

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It certainly could. Here's some of the things that might trip you up.

- Character limits. If the engine you end up using has a hard character limit (like say, 200 characters per conversation node) and you've written dialogue segments with 250 characters, now you have to revise all your dialogue segments.

- Your engine doesn't support conditional conversations. Let's say you've decided to give the player options in a conversations. An NPC asks them a question. Your plan is that if the PC has a certain treasure, they can say one thing. If they don't have the treasure, they can say another. If after writing that it turns out your engine doesn't support requirement checks on conversation nodes, now you're stuck rewriting your conversation flow.

There's also lots of other things that could trip you up before you even get to localization. A limit on the number of conversations you can have, a branching conversation system that works differently than you expect, and so on.

Finally, if you do decide to publish in more than one language, you've got to make sure you're ready to handle localization. The big one? Gendered names. In Spanish, for example, names and other word are gendered. So when considering localization, you have to make sure all your NPC names are properly gendered (Male or Female) so that words can be translated properly.

For example (and my Spanish is rusty, so forgive me if I get this wrong) the Spanish word for crazy is "loco". But it's gendered like many others. So if you're saying Bob is crazy, it'd be "Bob es loco" whereas if you're saying Jane is crazy, it'd be "Jane es loca" ... but if you wrote "Bob is crazy" in English and did not save a gender tag for Bob (telling your translation team he's male) your translator wouldn't know how to translate the line to Spanish, since he/she doesn't know how whether to use loco or loca.

So yeah, I'd suggest either having an idea of what engine you're using, or creating a tech document with your programmer (assuming you're making it yourself) that clearly specifies how your text will be saved. For example, "NPCs will have 100 characters for a greet" and "250 characters for a conversation" and "conversation prompts can check against booleans to see if they display" ... that sort of thing.

Either way, it sounds fun! And it could not to be nearly as complicated as I'm making it out to be. This is just stuff to be aware of.
In that case I think for now I will be simply writing some short stories to get a feel for the characters and the world. At least until we can be sure of what engine is being used.

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