Monday, October 31, 2005

Did U Get that Grunka I Sent U?

I found some interesting things about my Grunka (so to speak). I got the name from a line of kitchen utensils at IKEA, but knowing that they always get their names from places and things in Sweden, I decided to dig a little deeper. As it turns out, the word grunka means “thing,” as in “Did you get that thing I sent you?” It’s basically the word in Swedish you use when you don’t know or don’t specify what that thing actually is. I guess you could say that my Grunka is some sort of a generic monster (just a something that comes out of the jungle and eats people, perhaps using some kitchen utensils from IKEA).

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Is Smitty a Red Neck?

I was out of town for the last five days, so I haven’t made any additional progress on the chapter. However, tonight I should start on page 6. Last night I was looking at some of the dialogue I’ve written so far, especially for Smitty. I’ve basically given him a hick or red neck accent to better portray his “earthy” nature. Since I’m currently reading Allan Moore’s From Hell, I may also have a little cockney mixed in (although not on purpose).

Starting on either page 6 or 7, the group will be attacked by a jungle monster called a Grunka. Back when I was still working to create an online game version of Imperium, the Grunka was featured on the website. It looks a little like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, but much larger and with several more limbs. It also doesn’t have any intelligence, other than the desire to eat people.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve written many notes for the RPG, specifically the starship section (i.e. ship systems, ship types, etc.). However, I haven’t actually entered them yet so for now they remain only notes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Lucid Moment

Just a quick update (mainly because I keep forgetting what I was going to say): pages 3 and 4 are done, and I should start on 5 tonight.

Today I had one of those lucid moments that come so rarely for me, concerning the RPG. Basically, the cost of a print version of the rules in color would be x3 as much as black and white. Since these rules are new, I wanted to keep the price low to encourage people to buy it, so color would make the cost too high. Although I could do it all in b&w, including the graphics, it really doesn’t look as good as color (not surprisingly). However, today it occurred to me that I could have two versions: a downloadable one in color (which avoids the expensive printing costs), and a second one in b&w specifically for printing. This way, both versions will be around $3-6, and a color one is available if so desired (although only for download). Of course, I’m probably the only person actually excited by this, but it’s good to know I still have some brain cells left. ;-)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Script Writing

I didn’t do any renders last night, but I have been writing dialogue, which really makes the rendering process go more smoothly (more planned that is). Before the chapter starts into its first action sequence, Smitty and Alexander talk for a little while and we get some more insight into the former and Gordians in general.

I have also been working more on the RPG, including artwork which are mostly renders done with Poser. These include new images of the different races. I’ve also taken the Five Family crests and made them more presentable. I’ve added a section of Reputation and Faction, which is almost verbatim from the design document for the original Imperium Online game. As I’ve mentioned before, my intent was to reuse stuff from the game so it didn’t go to waste. However, it most cases I’ve had to start from scratch.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Those foul mouthed Gordians

Pages 1 and 2 are done, and I think I should have enough material to put up a preview for chapter 8. So far at least, I’m pleased with how things are looking. The set is very lush, and I’ve tried to include a little more shading (per suggestions by Thip). My wife is proofreading my work again, so maybe I won’t have too many typos either.

The Smitty Gurkin character is a much more “earthy” than the other more aristocratic characters. Gordians are crude by nature, which allows me to include some harsher language and scatological humor, etc. Having said that, however, there isn’t really what you’d call “swearing” in the chapter. I decided early on that I wanted the story to be PG-13, so I’ve purposely avoided using the F word, among others. Future stories might be different, but I wanted to stick with keeping Alexander the Prince more children friendly.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Chapter 8 Begins!

I started on page 1 of chapter 8 last night. I had already done the prep work on Tue and Wed, mostly getting the set ready, including the title character Smitty Gurkin. By the way, Smitty got his name from a wrong number my wife received many months ago. Someone called and asked for a guy named Smitty and with a last name that sounded a bit like Gherkin. Anyway, after modifying the spelling, I though it would be a fun name for a “colorful” character which is how I would describe my Smitty Gurkin (ie: a foul-mouth Gordian).

Anyway, I got the renders done last night for the first page and started some of the post work. I’m layering in some additional foliage since Prill is a jungle planet and I want it to look as lush as possilbe. I’ve also included a companion robot named Squirt (instead of Quirk, which is what I mentioned in a previous post). The ironic thing is that Smitty himself is short, so he likes having a robot that’s even shorter.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ch 7 Online

The new chapter is online now, although I’m again second-guessing myself on how I could’ve done things differently. However, I’m already thinking about the next chapter, which I hope will be better (with more action).

Chapter 8 is called Smitty Gurkin who happens to be a Gordian (as in “Gordian knot”). In the databank section, I talk a little about the race: they’re basically a cross between a fantasy dwarf and a warthog (with a personality to match). He will be meeting Alexander when the prince arrives on Prill. The planet, by the way, is tropical jungle with rain and vines, etc. I may also include another character as a foil or at least counterpoint for Smitty. If I decided to use him, he’ll be a robot named Quirk. I’m still not sure, however, if I’ll need him. Anyway, there will be at least two action sequences in this chapter so I’m hoping to make up for chapter 7. ;-)