Boneeaters: Goals for impact of reader choices

My objective of giving the reader consequential choices is to shape the story.  The success of the (individualized) story itself will be if, reading it from start to finish, the flow is strong, impactful, and interesting.  Can each path lead to a story that is built in a way that the story stands alone and is entertaining and “realistic?” Taking my last blog of very rough choices for early Vanishi background, what would be some possible paths and consequences of the choices?

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Boneeaters: Early Vanishi background and choices brainstorm

Now, time to explore the character progression model for Boneeaters.  I’m going to start with the idea of using OCEAN as I had blogged about before and also if the reader had selected Vanishi.  So, let’s create a rough and dirty (start to a) plotline for the Vanishi backstory.  This would be one of several chapters to take her from childhood to the landing in Chapter 1.  The idea would be to do this for all 4 possible protagonists and have the reader assist in creating their profile.

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Boneeaters: Chapter 1 – Arrival

Sometimes pure fun takes over, since I had this in my head, felt it was worth just belting it out and then getting back to the story construction.  Here is my concept for the very first introduction sequence on the Boneeaters website – an animated comic to introduce people to the story and their first choice.  This would also serve as the home page of the site, why not just hit it with everything we got, no preamble?

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Boneeaters: Using psychology models for writing stories

When creating a story and making characters, you build each character’s personality profile, and (hopefully) your story unfolds in a way that the character’s actions and choices feel “true” and in line with the profile you made for them (either because they followed their traits or made an effort to change). For me, the better this is done, the more satisfying the story. I’m inspired when creating stories to try to dig into this idea and my favorite stories often ruminate on character’s “fatal flaws” (aka personality traits they can’t escape from) such as Breaking Bad or The Godfather. So, embarking on my new Boneeaters story creation, I want to implement a system to dig into each character’s personality. For my project, I want to present the story with a long sequence of making choices so the reader can shape each character and have all of that impact the storyline itself and literally change the ending.

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Boneeaters: Resetting the project

Now is the time to turn my attention back to Boneeaters. I started this project as a fun exercise to explore how to write good stories. And, no sooner than I wrote up some stuff for Boneeaters, it (not me, the damn story itself) broke every rule I thought I knew and showed me that what I learned so far is perhaps not as much as I thought. The work I did so far on Boneeaters has led me to another life-long goal project I’ve wanted to do: build an interactive web-based video adventure game. Inspired heavily by games such as Jade Empire and Mass Effect, I really like the concept of revealing a story at the reader’s direction and with choices that change the story itself.

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Envoy 82: Plotlining from the end backwards

This blog digs into the history of how Envoy 82 was created. This is a MASSIVE SPOILER blog post, and if you have not read the series, please do so first. It is free and quite fun, grab it here: https://darkbraincomics.com/envoy82.htm I began Envoy 82 well into DarkBrain’s run, so I had a few years of producing comics under my belt. I had hired in great talent while making those comics and I wanted to implement what I had learned so far. Nathan Reese had been editing many of my series and his insights were quite powerful. One of the biggies was to start with the ending, then work backward and ensure that everything in the story drove to the ending.

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Much of DarkBrainComics restored!

I was able to take a big bite out of restoring content to DarkBrainComics.com. Twelve series were put up with a total of 2,200+ pages of free content and over 5 hours of free video! It really feels like the old DarkBrain is getting the celebration I wanted it to have and to make content available to anyone. Titles restored: Mirror/Mirror, Church of One/Two, Columbia’s Underbelly, Locked Out, Envoy 82, Grace Comes Home, God Play, Too Important, Zeopatra, Pissy Pussy, Sexy Sundays with Pissy Pussy, Haunting Ivy, and The Butcher. I also put up The Vat, but that one is in bad shape technically, still, it is such an emotional title for me that I wanted it up there too.

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Making DarkBrainComics free

As a first step in my new direction for DarkBrain, I want to celebrate the work that we completed in the project so far. As such, I am going to open up a significant portion of our comics to be completely free. I will be updating darkbraincomics.com as this rolls out, and not duplicating posts here on darkbrain.com. This site I intend to be more of a blog and to focus on my next project… Boneeaters.

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Resurfacing? Rejecting integration

Looks like time to poke my head out and see what I want DarkBrain to be or become… One thing that I have decided – it is about “integration.” This is a term I heard in a career workshop when I discussed my comic projects (which I was clearly passionate about) vs my normal career (which I did not speak of in anywhere near the same passion). The suggestion was to try to integrate my passion into my career.

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