Is it actually Friday already? I had to check before posting.
Anyway, jumping right in before I get interrupted again!
route is around 16% complete and Will’s route is still around 23% since I
haven’t had much time to write.
The overall script is inching up toward 80% complete and I’m
so excited to reach that milestone. We’ve officially surpassed 400,000 words
written at this point! OuO
Artwork: Lots of
artwork focus this week, as expected!
I finished arting and coding the sprite for Shane Lewis,
I also updated the sprites for Spencer (though he looks too
tall and needs further adjustment), Courtney, Elliot and Danny. The latter two
took the longest since they have the most expressions and variations (being
main characters and all).
We also received a new sketch from our BG artist and she is
working to finish the background for The Murder.
sprites mentioned above have all been placed in-game with any coding updates
required. This means the little weird glitch Danny’s sprite has in the demo is
now officially gone from the game itself.
In other news, the last of the physical rewards were mailed
out Wednesday morning. We’ve heard from a few backers about them and know that
they are, at least, in the process of arriving to their destinations.
I’ve been contemplating a bit more about a character design
contest and I think I’m going to hammer out the details and get that going soon
(ish) since we’ve had a few people express interest.
Summary: That’s it, I think! I was dreaming about
cropping sprite images last night. LoL Ally’s sprite is the next to get
updated, then Kara’s (I basically am updating them in the order they actually
I wasn’t able to touch base with our coder before writing
this so I don’t know how the first chapters are coming along coding-wise, but
they are coming along! LoL
And that’s it! We’re all hard at work. I’m getting the
sprites all spruced up (and working on writing when I can but I probably wrote
all of 200 words in the last week) and Sprocket and Casey are also working
I feel like this update was a bit short but I keep getting
interrupted so I’m going to wrap up there.
Don’t get discouraged if sometimes the ideas in your mind don’t come out the way you want them to. You’re doing great, bud, and it’s pretty fabulous how you paint pictures with your words, even if your mountains look a little more like hills! Keep on going, you’re doing great my dude.
one major thing about padme’s story that i still take issue with is how quickly she forgot about shmi skywalker. still on tatooine, still a slave, her only child taken from her, miserable and worked to the bone until her violent and lonely death at the hands of the sand people. no.
if i know padme, then she went back for the woman who gave her a meal and a warm bed in an unfriendly port when padme was literally fleeing for her life. shmi showed her incredible kindness even when she had every right to be jaded and cynical with the entire gd universe. padme was horrified to learn that slavery still existed in the galaxy! how could she forget about the enslaved woman who took her in?
and for george lucas to decide that shmi was a write-off character that everyone, EVERYONE, except anakin, her own son, forgot/didnt care about, is lazy and terrible writing. i dont buy that for a second. padme was led by ironclad morals and for her to forget the slave woman who saved her on tatooine so she could return to a life of opulence on coruscant is just…. not true in my eyes. the jedi couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything about it but that shouldnt have stopped padme.
Ok I don’t have anyone to talk to right now, I just had to be socially trans in person for an hour while signing legal forms, and I’m strung out and tired. SO I’M GOING TO RANT ABOUT CONSTRUCTED LANGUAGES AND MAGICAL SCRIPTS.
Look, I get it. You want your conlang/magic script to look mystical, cryptic, special. You want it to look different than any other language while still looking like a language people write in. If you’re a spiritual person or magic-user this may even be a language you’re channeling and that you believe to be ancient in nature or otherwise pre-existing. But 95% of conlangs and magical scripts look totally fake and made-up, and this is not a judgment I’m casting on their actual grammatical structure or language theory or the languages they were based on. The thing that makes a language look like one people ever actually wrote in for hundreds of years, that makes it look like the letters/characters are all from the same language, is that it looks like a language that’s been written in whatever tools you are claiming or feel like it was traditionally written in.
Let’s take cuneiform:
Looks super-neat, right? Man, who’d ever think of having those wedges in an alphabet! It’s totally different than most modern languages out there and very distinctive, and the wedges are consistent across the letters, so it makes them all look like they’re from the same alphabet. This wasn’t just arbitrarily designed as a font style. There is a reason for this!
Cuneiform writing was pressed into wet clay with these shaped bits and that’s why it looks like that. It got stamped with wedges. That’s how (this type of) writing was done at the time. It’s a technological solution and that’s what makes the lettering get that peculiar stylization. You’ll get variants based on craftsmanship and tools, but basically the method is the same across various implementations. Once someone tried to write that in pencil, you could imagine it’d look different, and you’d see evidence of people’s hand-motion between strokes, becoming more of a tilt between letters.
For instance, English looks like it does, even in tumblr’s sans-serif fonts, because it can be constructed with a pen. When it gets fancy with a variable-width pressure-sensitive pen nib, you can get more complex and flowy, but notice the flow and arc still go with the movements natural for a hand to make:
Those little trails between letters exist today because nib pens were drippy and left ink trails. The written language adapted to the tools to incorporate the trails and still make it look legible, and that’s why we have cursive writing at all. This is a simplified history but it’s basically there to make you think about the letter shapes in various traditional ways of writing in English and why it looks like it does instead of like cuneiform.
Which brings me to conlangs. If you want your brand new ancient-looking language to truly look like people have used it for eons, write it out with the tools you think those people would have used, and keep adapting the letters if you find that, say, a brush or nib pen can’t construct the weird arcs and whirls you’ve designed the language to have. Languages by and large are made to be convenient to write. If you don’t know how to write kanji, Chinese words probably look complex and arbitrary to you. But their shapes are logical when you see them written with a brush:
So if you have some arcane-looking swooshy script but it still looks kind of fake, think about where the weight should really be. It should be where the brush presses down heavier and the trailing marks are where the brush lifts up (and usually leaves the paper and ends the stroke). Where the stroke is wide on one end is where the brush initially met the paper. Above, you can see how one swish immediately flows into another, the strokes are like arrows leading across the page when you understand how they’re created. Pick up a brush and figure out an actual stroke order for your symbol. If logically the stroke seems like it’d leave someone’s hand smearing it trying to follow its arc, then logically that symbol would eventually get redesigned if it were in an actual language. Someone would figure out a better way to write it and everyone would adopt that way over time.
So practice writing your language with different tools. Consider a calligraphy course or even just a kit with a guidebook (or youtube training videos!). Written language is a tool that people use, magical as it can be. And if you’re using it for magical purposes such as woodburning it into tools or painting it onto things or writing it onto paper, consider that your symbols will change a bit according to the tools, just like with mundane languages. A wedge-shaped wood burner will get you something a bit closer to cuneiform. A brush will get you something flowy and not super-precise. Pencil will not leave ink trails and will get you something more technical and practical. Your written language logically should shift for that and adapt like a proper tool. And if you do that right, if you really use it, then it will look much more genuine because it will have experienced an actual evolution of form adapting to the physical tools it’s been worked with via.
And if you’re not using it for magic but are just using it for a fantasy setting where people use it for magic in the story, all the above would still apply to them.
Even with just one symbol not meant to be in a greater language, think about the tool you’re creating it with. It’s hard to make a realistic brush-style symbol in pencil. Use the tool that fits the symbol and you’ll produce something much more genuine-looking.
That’s it! I’m not a language expert, this is not meant to be A Real Factual History Of All Language, it’s just a rough primer in How To Make It Look Like A Language Is Actually Written With. It’s not meant to be a critique in whether your magical language is “real” enough or “magical” enough either. It’s simply some pointers in how to make a magical/constructed language that’s actually reasonable to write with and suits the tools you’re writing it with and the purposes you mean it for. Hundreds of years of written language evolution is hard to replace, but I believe in you.
While I'm thrilled that American Gods has a series, I'm also a little disappointed that Good Omens hasn't yet got the adaptation many people feel it deserves. Do you think that will ever happen now after Sir Terry's heartbreaking passing?
It had better. Or else I’ve spent the best part of the last three years writing the scripts and setting it up at the BBC and with Amazon for nothing.
Hey Dana. I was wondering if you have any plans to develop and pitch a show of your own. If you do, what advice do you have for people who want to create their own show?
I did have plans to pitch a show. And I pitched it! And Disney bought it! And now I’m developing it! It’s difficult and exciting ESPECIALLY because I’m doing all this for the first time. I hope I can show some images someday!
If I were to give one piece of advice to past me, it’d be to get comfortable writing entertaining scripts. As a showrunner the most important thing will be The Show, and 90% of The Show comes from The Writing. It’s difficult to find writers who will 100% understand your vision but if that’s an area you’re comfortable in you’ll never be an dire straits. I had never professionally written a script before my pilot. If I did maybe that part wouldn’t have been as stressful at the time haha.
But let’s say you’re already good there. You’re good everywhere!
How to pitch a thing! I used to love making “pitch books” as a kid, though I had no idea that’s what I was doing. It was just fun to develop worlds and characters! So even if you’re in HS or younger, making “pitch books” is a great way to spend your time and practice for the future. So get to it! Here’s just one format you can try:
1. Cover page with short description of show and a fun image of your main character!
2. ½-1 full page describing your main character/s! (Don’t start with exhaustive explanations about the world, or any legends, or w/e, we’re here bc we want to connect with a character).
3. A couple pages with any other important characters you may have!
4. A page describing the most important relationships between your main character/s and others!
5. Simple 1 page description on how your world works! If it’s too complicated to get on one page, SIMPLIFY! Even the most complicated ideas can be pitched in 1-2 sentences.
6. Important places! The main characters house? The bad guy’s castle? Stuff like that.
7. Give em a couple episode examples! That’s where your show comes together, after all.
And you’re done!
Fill your pitch book with fun images that show off your characters and your world! You don’t have to follow this format exactly, it’s your show, your pitch, do whatever you think will show off your ideas best. If you’re making an epic you might want to dedicate a page to where you want the show to go, and how the characters will evolve. Everything depends on what you want to make. But above all: Make it interesting to read!!! Make it fun to look at!!! Boredom is your enemy, fight against it!!!!
Are my exclamation points making this easier to understand? GREAT!!!!!
Now get out there and pitch some things cause I want new shows to watch.
me: *always eats at the same places and always orders the same food* *social behavior doesn’t come naturally to self* *has hyperempathy* *has trouble expressing feelings/matching facial expressions to emotions* *has awful body coordination/struggles w/ simple instructions regarding hands-on tasks* *gets upset w/ a minor change in routine*
me: *writes small scripts for ordinary social interactions to avoid anxiety* *stims/cannot keep still* *likes certain things so intensely that it frightens self/could talk abt those things all day* *is confused by how some ppl always know what to say or do most of the time* *has trouble making and keeping conversations*
me: *didn’t realize a friend was invinting me to her sister’s birthday party when she sent me a picture of the invitation bc she didn’t explicitly say so* *is naive/childlike* *easily distracted to the point of dissociation* *was teased during childhood for being too uptight/teacher’s pet* *emulates fictional characters/other people in terms of personality* *used to repeat words randomly as a child/still does that as a young adult, esp. words in other languages just bc “they sound pretty”*
me: *is baffled when ppl express interest in spending time with me* *has poor time management skills/ is a serial procrastinator* *deeply dislike certain textures/sounds/smells* *is photosensitive* *is considered weird by friends and family* *has unusual manneirisms*
me: ok so i may THINK that i am autistic but what if i only think that bc i want ATTEntiON???????