No Good Deed (Sequel to The Show)

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Re: No Good Deed (Sequel to The Show)

Postby arbon » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:52 pm

between the cliche gentle and rampage


Y-know, I like that description. It fits with my tastes well, and most of the better G/T or Macro/Micro fall somewhere between the two. You want the rampage for a dramatic standpoint, offering danger and suspense to what otherwise might be boring, but you want the cliche'd gentle because it's very hard to care about someone who casually commits atrocities and even harder to care about a set nameless, faceless victims who show up for nothing more than to die. It's a shade of grey, allowing for complexity and depth in the merging of two opposite genres within the macro community. I think I'm going to hold onto that quote, if you don't mind.

And sorry, I'm working as fast I can to get the next few chapters written and ironed out. It shouldn't be more than a few decades or so. If anyone wants to help with editing I can e-mail the rough draft and let you read it over in private, but that would pretty much spoil everything.
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Re: No Good Deed (Sequel to The Show)

Postby TendoTwo » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:30 pm

arbon wrote:
between the cliche gentle and rampage


Y-know, I like that description. It fits with my tastes well, and most of the better G/T or Macro/Micro fall somewhere between the two. You want the rampage for a dramatic standpoint, offering danger and suspense to what otherwise might be boring, but you want the cliche'd gentle because it's very hard to care about someone who casually commits atrocities and even harder to care about a set nameless, faceless victims who show up for nothing more than to die. It's a shade of grey, allowing for complexity and depth in the merging of two opposite genres within the macro community. I think I'm going to hold onto that quote, if you don't mind.


I suppose its because everyone holds a different idea of what they think of as "gentle".

To a lot of people it seems to mean someone who is a total and complete angel and goes out of their way risking their lives for any micro. Honestly, I think that's a bit ridiculous, personally I feel "gentle" just simply means one who wouldn't willingly kill micros without any good cause. A lot of people by that definition wouldn't for example consider Lira from Rick and Silvia gentle but I would, the only micros she killed were ones who tried to kill her first. She still likes to tease and toy with them, shes no angel but doesn't hurt them on purpose.

I remember commenting on this on Arilin's Knight Protector story too, the giants while smug about their size and strength only killed in self defense and were all things considered fairly nice and understanding people, she considered that in-between but like I said, everyone seems to have a different idea of whats violent and whats gentle, that seemed gentle to me (you can't expect a giant to NOT defend themselves from a legitimate attempt at their life after all, and they flat out claimed they tried talking to them first anyway).

I really don't feel a story that tries to appeal to both violent and gentle fans would work, at least, not with the same character playing both roles. I remember reading a giantess story n a long-dead GTS site once, the charter started out nice, then while still remaining nice to the main character went on a rampage in the city for no real reason. Predictably, the gentle fans saw her as a monster (you can't really ignore the fact that you are slaughtering thousands just because you are nice to one or two people) and the violent fans were just bored until the rampage part started.

Most of DTF's characters that play both sides tend to come off to me as more conflicted (the whole thrill/instinct thing me and kool kitty89 kept talking about) rather than one or the other, although most of them hadn't killed or injured a micro before on purpose, whether by choice or just simply having never been in contact with one before, and most of them tend to reach the conclusion to not hurt them when they finally do, even Gerald showed shades of his trust in micros having been betrayed rather than flat-out hatred towards them, especially when he told Ashley not to feel sorry for having cared about the micro's lives. (DTF's Advice story is a good example of a conflicted macro that ends up on the "violent" side).

I guess the short of it all is that I don't consider a character that teased or toys with micros to be violent or non-gentle, just ones that purposely hurt, kill, or otherwise torture them to be considered violent.
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Re: No Good Deed (Sequel to The Show)

Postby kool kitty89 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:47 am

Kusanagi wrote:Seriously though, I love Jack and Jill, it is like the flip side to Rick and Silvia, that much darker and more desperate without going overboard. That oh so awesome spot that DTF resides, and that I try to (miserably) maintain, that spot between the cliche gentle and rampage. Course I'm just speaking from my own bias, but the hell with it, more Jack and Jill please!

Agree. ;)

Purely "gentle" or "rampage" stories are pretty boring . . . I for one really don't care much for the latter at all (with a few exceptions), and the former can be pretty limited too, though I'd probably take that of the two. (DrKarl's "Visitor" series really tended towards that end, but was still pretty interesting . . . same for PoetVirgil's Online, though those are very different stories overall)
For the story to be interesting, even with the "gentle" sort of character scenario in this genre, there still has to be some level of danger or risk in the interaction itself to really make it interest (at least with those elements present in certain parts of the story). You can (and should) have other conflicts as well, but having those elements of awe and danger/risk (as subtle as they may be at times) in the character interaction itself is kind of the core within the extreme size-difference premise in general IMO. -And you can even have situations where that interaction is almost entirely innocent and playful, but still have undertones (possibly subconscious) of the physical dangers of interaction at such scales.

More recently I seriously started thinking about this and what really drives the interest behind this (in general and for me personally), and what specific scenarios or specific elements within those really pull me into the interest in general. Some of the realization behind that is what contributed to some new interest in developing my own story ideas and to finally reading Arilin's "Dark Romance" essay on the topic.

The actual character conflicts of the gray areas between pure "good" or "evil," "hero" or "villan," etc, is something that goes WAY beyond the context of this set of sub-genres of ours, and this is something that certainly could be applied on top of the above comments, but also in general.
I just like more complex characters as such, and even if you want to have a really super nasty character that the reader loves to hate, it's always interesting to me if there's some sort of compromising feature thrown in that contradicts this to a subtle extent, and gains him/her/it some small degree of sympathy from the audience. (likely more so for some people than others experiencing the story)

It's kind of like comparing the story structure of Greek comedy/tragedy to Shakespearean comedy/tragedy and more modern great works. This comparison doesn't work so much on the character end of things, since there were some more complex (not black and white) characters in the Greek plays, but I mean to draw an analogy between the sort of black and white simplified character structures and the "pure" comedy/tragedy of ancient Greek plays vs the greater mixture of story elements in the likes of Shakespeare's works. (in the end, still being real tragedies or comedies, but with a mixture of other elements in all cases as well)
There's probably a better comparison than that, but this one jumped to mind. :p



arbon wrote:Haha, I got a mention as well. It’s a good thing this particular story is over, because the discussion is quite literally all over the place. I mean, Jeez Koolkitty, I haven’t found any actual works from you yet, but by the time you actually get around to writing and posting something I’m willing to bet it will be lengthy and it will take inspiration from /everything/.

I wouldn't be discussing like this if this story wasn't finished already . . . which is a point I specifically mentioned earlier too. ;)
TBH, I regret not putting up that separate discussion thread for Jack and Jill earlier . . . the original thread ended up kind of messy because of that.

As for my own work . . . I don't have a huge enthusiasm for writing with any sort of consistency, with the exception of discussions on various topics of interest. (which I easily go overboard on :p . . . and I've done that a LOT more on some other forums than I have here; I'm a huge nut for hypothetical discussions on a number of topics . . . from fantasy to philosophy, technology, history, entertainment, etc . . . but especially the meshing of technology and history -"what if" scenarios if you will; speculative fiction is awesome ;) )

That said, I do have a few story ideas I've gradually been working on for a while, but they haven't gone much in the way of actual story, and a lot more in general concept/premise and setting (and basic development of a couple characters).
If I had the genuine urge to start pouring out page after page of story, I'd definitely do that, but as it is, it's mostly been me occasionally musing on the topic and then making notes for it. (for a long time it was nothing but mental notes . . . I think the initial story ideas started materializing in early 2010, then I lost interest for a while, and I finally started typing out notes and details at the tail end of last year)
And it may seem even stranger, but I didn't even really consider blending in some of my personal favorite interests into the scenario until pretty recently. (the historical thing was there from early on though . . . setting up a backstory for the setting and having the main character reflecting on some of that was the only "meat" I had to it early-on) I'll stop there though as I'll ramble even more if I don't.

Honestly, I was cautious about mentioning having a story idea in general for a while . . . not so much self-conscious, but I didn't want to get expectations up for something that may or may not happen anytime soon (or ever). The first time I mentioned it on here I think was early 2011 and I coupled that with "if I ever get around to writing" to not press the issue too much. ;)
And I maintain that now too . . . and I'll probably restate that if I do post the first segment of the story too. (I'll probably have more I want to continue, but when/if that will happen I probably won't commit to :p )
And from that perspective, I totally understand why there's long-neglected stories from some really good writers on here, including some of DTF's works in question.

I also have absolutely no plans to do any sort of creative writing professionally . . . it took me long enough to settle on a computer science major, and I'm happy continuing with forming a career somewhere in the area of programming/software development/software engineering. (I have a huge set of interests, and it took me long enough to narrow down "some sort of science or engineering field" to that one . . . and I'm still not sure what specific field I really want to aim at :p )






TendoTwo wrote:What I meant was actually their creation, Donkey Kong was originally going to be a Popeye game but Miyamoto couldn't secure the rights so he created Donkey Kong, Pauliene, and "Jumpman" instead.

There's also the whole thing about Donkey Kong being created specifically to repurpose a bunch of existing arcade machines that were running what ended up being a relatively unpopular game. (sort of like Lunar Lander to Asteroids) The name "Mario" itself is, granted, more of a chance event or "accident" as such, from the initial "jumpman" to adopting the name of the Nintendo of America office landlord. (Pauline gaining her name in a similar manner, though she of course wouldn't be re-used as Mario would)

TBH, I think the Success of Donkey Kong in general and that springboarding Myamoto's status within Nintendo had more to do with his ability to push with later prominent characters/game designs in general rather than the name and visual design of Donky Kong's original player character to be extended into later games in general. With the typical art styles being used, it wouldn't be that hard to imagine "Mario" not being implied to be directly carried over to later games and series (Mario Bros in 1983 and then the Super Mario Bros franchise itself manifesting in the late 1980s). In fact, they largely retconned what little identity and backstory "Mario" had in the Donkey Kong days when moving on to Mario Bros. (aside from the name . . . and the fact he was faced with a challenge involving platforms and jumping around obstacles/monsters)

But in general, when deciding to re-use the basic identity/design of a character (even if only in name, basic appearance, and general actions associated therein), developing further complexity and even shifting directions to well beyond what was ever depicted or implied in the original work (or early concept phases of a single work) is pretty much inevitable. The other option would be to not re-use that character at all (or as often), and design new characters and/or series to fit to that game/story/whatever.
In fact, I know some gamers and gaming history fans who are rather critical about the state of excessively long running series and sequels compared to the innovation of fresh or new designs apart from that -personally, I don't agree with that and think that the two things are neither mutually exclusive nor bound to be "better" in any given instance. (there's a lot more factors that come into play more in terms of making a game and/or story good or even great; the fact that sequels to an established IP make marketing easier is certainly a big win for the management/marketing end of things, so as long as a game actually fits the style/quality of a series well enough not to actually hurt PR, that makes a lot of sense too IMO)

Plus, some people like to blame problems with game design or story (including non-games) to "forcing" a design as a sequel/spinoff rather than an original game. (I just touched on that with Star Fox adventures earlier, and again, I think that was screwed up because of the way they went about modifying it rather than the issue of converting Dinosaur Planet into a Star Fox spin-off in general . . . the only common complaint -unrelated to game design or story quality- would be it "not being a Star Fox game" in gameplay/design, but that's no different than complaining about the RPGs in the Mario franchise)

Sonic was originally about a rabbit that grabbed objects with it's ears.

Sonic wasn't anywhere near that straightforward AFIK . . . in fact, the rabbit thing wasn't even remotely close to the main character design being considered. (there were a bunch, and one of the few that came close to the level where Sonic was chosen was the Teddy Roosevelt-like caricature which was later reworked into Eggman/Robotnik)
And in terms of the game design concept itself (character/story aside), the main concept came from Yuji Naka wanting to have a very fast paced "Mario like" platform game some specific added features that catered to the speed aspect.

And it's funny that you mention the rabbit character concept, since several Sonic inspired games (Quik the Thunder Rabbit and Jazz Jackrabbit) did use that, but perhaps more significantly, the fact that Michael Katz (1990 Sega of America president) along with Sega of America marketing staff became very concerned over the use of a hedgehog as the theme character for what was to be a major release for the Genesis. They felt that using an animal that North American kids wouldn't generally recognize or associate with would make it tougher to market in general (I think he may have even suggested that a rabbit would have made more sense). In the end, of course, they worked around that, and the excellent game design itself combined with the massive amount of advertising put behind Sonic's image in 1991 totally mitigated any possible problems (and internal concerns) related to that in any case.

And Star Fox was originally just a 3D testing app made to see how well the FX chip could perform, that they found fun and made into a full game.

No, just no. Star Fox emerged from years of work with 3D game design from Argonaut programmers (namely Dylan Cuthbert), most notable Starglider and Starglider 2 on 8 and 16-bit home computers. (and brief programming experience with Flare 1 Slipstream hardware intended for the cancelled Konix Multisystem)

There was indeed a rudimentary 3D test demo using software rendering on the base SNES hardware, and Argonaut presented that to Nintendo suggesting that the very limited performance allowed with software rendering could be expanded by a coprocessor of some sort to be included on-cart. (something already being done on the SNES in various forms -like the DSP-1)
Following that, Argonaut and Nintendo formed a partnership over both 3D game design projects (beginning with what later became Star Fox) and Argonaut commissioning Ben Cheese to design the M.A.R.I.O. chip (later renamed Super FX GSU-1). -It's also notable that Argonaut already had experience with Ben Cheese from their time with the Konix Multisystem. (Cheese was one of the 3 engineers who formed Flare Technologies and designed the Slipstream chipset -Cheese designing the DSP -which was the processor used for sound and 3D math)

The more arcadey game design (compared to the freeroam sim style of Starglider) is something Argonaut was already considering trying with a 3rd Starglider entry. In fact, this is something Dylan Cuthbert had already pushed towards with "X" on the Game Boy (Japan only) where he designed the 3D game engine for Nintendo R&D1, and he's stated in interviews that a lot of the design aspects that went into X later contributed to Star Fox. (X was designed after Cuthbert's initial work with the Multisystem in 1989, but before starting work on Star Fox -needless to say, the graphics are significantly more primitive than the 1988 Starglider 2 and more on the level of the 8-bit versions of the original Starglider)

I'm sure Nintendo's game design and programming staff had a lot of input on that as well. I'm pretty sure the story and character design came mostly from Nintendo's Japanese staff, particularly going by the types of story concepts Argonaut was typical of up into the early 90s, but I could be wrong with that assumption. (it's definitely a big departure from the stories of the Starglider games)
The 3D art design and modeling was certainly Argonaut's style though, and Starglider 2 shows that pretty prominently.

In any case, Star Fox was a deliberate game, not a "happy accident" of any sorts, and progressed from years of work preceding it on Argonaut's end. It didn't grow out of a tech demo, but it did become a possibility thanks to Nintendo agreeing to partner with Argonaut and adopt the coprocessor design Argonaut proposed. (I'm not sure when the actual design of the Super FX chip started . . . Argonaut could have been banking on that already and had Cheese working with them before the Nntendo connection was established, but I haven't seen anything on this one way or the other)

Mario, Sonic, and Star Fox were all created by accident and these weren't their original plans, but I think we all agree its better it happened this way.

I'm really going to have to disagree here . . . none of them were really created by accident, and all 3 cases have rather different examples of characters, story, and game design coming together.



I don't disagree that there are many other examples that apply to the sort of outgrowth akin to what DTF did in Nature, but I don't agree with the examples you gave in general.

In fact, the best example that comes to mind, is probably Dark Shadows. That originally started as a gothic drama with a smattering of fairly subtle supernatural elements tossed in, but part way through the first season, things were looking shaky, and with the real possibility of the show not making it beyond the first season, the writers were given some room to go a little crazy with things (might as well have fun with the script and go for some interesting ideas that network executives typically wouldn't allow for a show concept). They upped the supernatural elements starting with ghosts making definitive appearances in a major story arc, followed by a phoenix character in the next story arc, and finally the arrival of the vampire Barnabas Collins early into its second season. Barnabas was only originally intended to be part of a relatively short story arc as well, and had originally been characterized in the typical "cold" villain like Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula. However, Jonathan Frid (playing Barnabas) decided he wanted to put a more complex spin on the character rather than a straight up villain, and he adapted the character to what some refer to as the "reluctant vampire." He retained traces of his human morality and was thus in deep self conflict with what he was, yet was still driven by the instincts and dark nature he had.

What had been intended to be part of a single story arc became the core element and defining character of the series which would go on for another 4 years, and produce a feature film tie-in. (not to mention a re-make series in the 90s and the recent Burton film) Not only that, but it established a sub-genre for supernatural horror which really hadn't been visited before (especially in mainstream mass media).

Not identical to what DTF ended up doing, but closer to the same creative branching I think than your video game examples. (I'm sure there's some good examples in the video game world as well . . . and bad examples as well -where the drastic deviation of an earlier/smaller/simpler idea or complete story/design gets distorted into a mess)

I know the humans didn't consider them part of the same society, but didn't the cousil view them as the same race? A Sturkor was about to forcibly sign up all of humanity with the Thak when Grady intervened after all.

Yes, I was just contrasting exactly how far off it was to catigorize them as such given the overall situation.

And BTW, I have never played Wing Commander, so all those references are really going over my head :(

I still need to play most of them myself, but I've read enough about them to know the basic premises and the game's universe in general. . . . and I think those comments may have ended up being more generalized than direct responses to you. (DTF should certainly have a better idea of what I'm talking about . . . though some of those references are rather subtle as well, and embedded in relatively brief story elements in some cases -like the "other races" involved that were mentioned at some point in Wing Commander 2 or expansions to that game iirc -some bird like race in particular)

I was also speaking in general about story design, and particularly the complexity of the political/social dynamics (as well as individual character interaction) in DTF's Nature and Patron's War universe. It's just really cool. ;)

Well, that's understandable, a single guy more or less who really held no political or bureaucratic power just signed up the entire human race as allies with a giant alien race that is at war with another, and the Lyth although saving humanity in the end did still cause trouble for them while fighting the Thak. Not to mention the Thak just cared about the strategic location of the planet they invaded, not humanity itself, except that now they do since they are Lyth allies.

IIRC, the Thak were most interested in terran territories (including the planet they attacked) due to the "True Homeworld" thing. There was specific mention among the Thak in "Nature" of some artifact they were searching for which would lead them to the Homeworld. (which is implied to be Earth, of course)

I forget how the Lyth responded to the whole "search for the True Homeworld" thing, but I know the Thak and Vylpurans were more intimately interested in it.
In fact, I'm not sure the Thak interests in humanity (and the colony they initially invated) had become clear to the humans or Lyth in Patron's War. (I don't remember much mention of the True Homeworld at all at that point, but I'll have to re-read it to be sure . . . it was obviously a significant underlying plot element in any case, and that had already been established in Nature)

Well the thing about Rick and Silvia is that it has a persistent world rather than an ongoing plot, its essentially a series rather than a single story being told from start to end, so even if major character gets added or removed, or a large shift happens, it can just keep going forever really.

That's true about the worlds DTF has created for several stories too, including Nature. The difference is that Patron's War has a big gap left open for a story to be completed or continued already. Then again, those two things aren't mutually exclusive . . . he could branch out to stories in that universe without ever tying them into the main plot. (be it events taking place at the same time, or ones that occur after the end of the war or before the formal meeting of Thak/Lyth/etc with humanity)
Hell, Ginbug has done just that with the universe in the Nova Force series (or the "Ginverse" has he calls that :p )

Heh, its funny how I still haven't gotten around to stories like First Crack At This while you keep mtneioning it and you haven't gotten around to kusanagi's older stories while I have.

OTOH, I was following First Crack at This from the beginning . . . and I've been keeping up with The City's a Stage for pretty much the same reason. DTF's stories are the only ongoing stories/series that I've jumped into, caught up with, and continued following on here, let alone ones that pre-existed my joining the site . . . or me starting to consistently watch this site in 2008)

Then again when I see several stories I like by the same writer I tend to just do a mass-search on what threads that writer has started in both the current and archived story forums. Really hoping F Project and Acting gets continued, Connections seems very very unlikely. (Frontlines and it's sequel F Project are kinda similar to Nature except the role of advanced race/first contact is kinda reversed, but with a slightly more limited scope).

That's how I found DTF's stuff . . . happened upon Nature first and then searched for the rest. (kind of ironic that I found pretty much the best one first, and did so in the results a pretty random/unrelated search -so really by accident)
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Re: No Good Deed (Sequel to The Show)

Postby TendoTwo » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:58 am

For Mario, I meant more that Jumpman/Mario would have never been created if the Popeye game had been made instead.

And for Sonic, from my understanding, that was why the rabbit idea was rejected, because it would slow the gameplay down, and yes, they did want something fast paced.

But wow, I can't believe I was that dead wrong about Star Fox, I could have sworn I read that somewhere long ago.

I am pretty passionate about gaming history (and it's clear you are too) so I am pretty embarrassed to have been so wrong on that one. If you don't mind me asking, is this all from knowledge you have read about or experienced over the years or do you have sources you read for this? Because honestly I want to read about it too.

kool kitty89 wrote:That's true about the worlds DTF has created for several stories too, including Nature. The difference is that Patron's War has a big gap left open for a story to be completed or continued already. Then again, those two things aren't mutually exclusive . . . he could branch out to stories in that universe without ever tying them into the main plot. (be it events taking place at the same time, or ones that occur after the end of the war or before the formal meeting of Thak/Lyth/etc with humanity)
Hell, Ginbug has done just that with the universe in the Nova Force series (or the "Ginverse" has he calls that :p )


If there is one thing many people here like DTF for, its his worldbuilding, many of his stories craft great settings. So yeah, many of his stories could be added on often due to this, Nature didn't end just because a Patronage was formed.

However, Rick and Silvia feels different than these, even from Nature, because while nearly all of his stories build detailed worlds, most tend to follow a set plot. The new chapters are continuing the same plot thread and eventually reaching a conclusion (for the ones he does finish), and reading one from the middle wouldn't make much sense.

Rick and Silvia is more of a world that has already been built, and keeps being expanded upon, and each chapter is it's own self-contained story, even though its the same characters and set weeks to months apart from each other with continuity, its not one ongoing single plot like Nature was or many of his other stories.

kool kitty89 wrote:Then again when I see several stories I like by the same writer I tend to just do a mass-search on what threads that writer has started in both the current and archived story forums. Really hoping F Project and Acting gets continued, Connections seems very very unlikely. (Frontlines and it's sequel F Project are kinda similar to Nature except the role of advanced race/first contact is kinda reversed, but with a slightly more limited scope).


I remember seeing DTF's name come up often, but I don't remember if it was Nature that made me read his previous stories, I did remember others I had read before long ago that I had forgotten. (I know I had read that gingerbread one before).

Reading through Rick and Silvia felt very weird when I did that though, I could have sworn I had seen a different version of a very very similar story long ago. Maybe I am just not remembering it right, but I did remember reading something very similar to that Thanksgiving story, namely the part where Silvia was licking Rick, except I could have sworn it was him that Lira made that "hello lunch" comment to. The Pred Phase story seemed very familiar too, except I could have sworn that whoever was Janet's role in that one was a human in a car when whoever was supposed to be Ven found her, I specifically remember her jumping out of the car when she saw giant feet because of a point being made that violent macros were likely to step on vehicles, I think whoever was Silvia was a wolf in that one too.

Maybe it really was just Rick and Silvia I had read long ago and just completely remembered it wrong, but it was a pretty big sense of Deja Vu, especially since I remember that jumping out of the car scene clearly.
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Re: No Good Deed (Sequel to The Show)

Postby kool kitty89 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:04 am

TendoTwo wrote:For Mario, I meant more that Jumpman/Mario would have never been created if the Popeye game had been made instead.

Maybe that's a better argument for Donkey Kong's character in general . . . as for Mario, I'm not sure that's the same sort of situation since Myamoto may still have come up with other character designs for what became Mario Bros and eventually Super Mario Bros. Of course, there's the original issue I brought up of Donkey Kong's success springboarding Myamoto's career in general, so you could still argue that point. (but it's different than the original premise we were discussing)

And for Sonic, from my understanding, that was why the rabbit idea was rejected, because it would slow the gameplay down, and yes, they did want something fast paced.

I've never head that argument specifically, and honestly I don't see why changing the main character necessarily has anything to do with the gameplay. (albeit the rolling mechanic is somewhat more fitting for a Hedgehog . . . though that would be even more applicable to some others, like an armadillo ;))

But wow, I can't believe I was that dead wrong about Star Fox, I could have sworn I read that somewhere long ago.

You're probably thinking about this:
The game company Nintendo worked closely with Argonaut during the early years of the NES and SNES. They developed a prototype on the SNES, initially codenamed "SNESGlider", which was inspired by their earlier 8-bit game Starglider, and then ported this prototype to the SNES. Programmer Jez San told Nintendo that this was as good as it could get unless they were allowed to design custom hardware to make the SNES better at 3D. Nintendo assented to this, and San hired chip designers to make the Super FX chip
(this one's from wikipedia, but there's several similar statements elsewhere)

And that's all basically true too, but it just leaves out a lot of what led up to that (Argonaut's previous works) and what else led up to the actual development of Star Fox (namely "X"). On that note, I'd forgotten to mention the issue of Argonaut producing an NES demo as well as moving that over to SNES. (I'd guess the NES one would have been rather like the 8-bit versions of Starglider and the NES version of Elite -all wireframe and very low polygon count)

I am pretty passionate about gaming history (and it's clear you are too) so I am pretty embarrassed to have been so wrong on that one. If you don't mind me asking, is this all from knowledge you have read about or experienced over the years or do you have sources you read for this? Because honestly I want to read about it too.

You'll find some of it in editorials and interviews specifically related to Argonaut and/or Star Fox, like these:
http://www.blamethecontrolpad.com/argonaut/argonaut.htm
http://www.ign.com/articles/2008/10/31/ ... lider-saga
Among some others (do a search for Dylan Cuthbert interviews) There's a few other notable Argonaut programmers to look into, but his is the only one that pops to mind.
And some old magazine articles for some added bits of info . . . tempered by other details and statements too. (got to take everything with a grain of salt, especially technical details that get watered down -and inevitably distorted or oversimplified- for the average reader)

And there's more on this if you read up on Argonaut's history in general, and the development of the Starglider games. Plus, there's a smattering of relevant info mixed in here with the Konix Mulisystem:
http://www.konixmultisystem.co.uk/index.php
Particularly:
http://www.konixmultisystem.co.uk/index ... starglider

Aside from that, there's some random added details that have come up in forum discussions (some archived ones, but also one's I've been involved in), and mostly by accident. You'd be surprised how many little details appear from other topics that end up crossing over and adding specific details that aren't even easily available otherwise. Beyond the development of Star Fox specifically, you could look at the Super FX chip itself, and see how its Ben Cheese was part of Flare Technologies prior to that (along with Martin Brennan and Jon Mathieson) specifically being the one to design the DSP in the Flare 1 chipset (later developed into Slipstream), and that all 3 had previously been working on Sinclair's Loki project (successor to the ZX Spectrum) before they left during the Sinclair-Amstrad merger. And then how all 3 of those engineers were doing independent consulting work in 1989, with Cheese eventually ending up with Argonaut and Brennan working for Atari Corp in '89 to finish the Panther video processor they were working on for a new console. Then Brennan suggested that Atari work on a new design, bring in Mathieson, and develop what ended up being the Atari Jaguar chipset (that project started in 1990).
And some of those details I've only found thanks to these interviews:
http://www.konixmultisystem.co.uk/index ... ent=martin
http://www.konixmultisystem.co.uk/index ... ntent=john
(granted, the Ben Cheese connection to Super FX was detailed much more on other sites)

There's also a retrogamer article on Star Fox, but I haven't read it . . . and it actually glosses over some of those interesting connections that led to Star Fox and Super FX. (it probably has some other interesting tidbits too though)

It's actually kind of ironic that both major console attemps using Flare's designs (Multisystem and Jaguar) ended up under funded and mismanaged. (especially as time for release neared) The "Multisystem 2" didn't really end up better off either. (the Flare team also designed the Nuon -with Ben Cheese onboard again too, and that also ended in market failure)
The Super FX ended up being the most commercially successful game console component design any of the original Flare team ever worked on, and hell, even with Argonaut themselves disappearing a few years ago, their hardware spin-off from the Super FX project, ARC international, is still in business. ;) Then again, I'm sure several of those engineers have gone on to work on projects that were more successful on the market, and I wouldn't be surprised if some ended up working on some GPU designs. (Ben Cheese himself isn't around anymore though).

I remember seeing DTF's name come up often, but I don't remember if it was Nature that made me read his previous stories, I did remember others I had read before long ago that I had forgotten. (I know I had read that gingerbread one before).

Actually, I think the first stories of his I read were on Eka's Portal. I think both the first entry of Darwin's Revenge and the Gingerbread Man story were on there at some point. (I know the former was)

Honestly, there's several other of DTF's stories on macrophile.com that would have made me look up his other works, but it just happened that I found Nature first. And more so that I found it and caught up to the series while he was actually still posting Patron's War in late 2007 . . . he added the latest segment not too long after I made my comment (actually I think that was my first post on the forums -I'd been a lurker up to that point).

Also, I realized I made a mistake about reading all of Rick and Sylvia marathon style, since I only did that up to the stories he wrote to 2008. And there's a couple more he posted after I started following that series.

Reading through Rick and Silvia felt very weird when I did that though, I could have sworn I had seen a different version of a very very similar story long ago. Maybe I am just not remembering it right, but I did remember reading something very similar to that Thanksgiving story, namely the part where Silvia was licking Rick, except I could have sworn it was him that Lira made that "hello lunch" comment to. The Pred Phase story seemed very familiar too, except I could have sworn that whoever was Janet's role in that one was a human in a car when whoever was supposed to be Ven found her, I specifically remember her jumping out of the car when she saw giant feet because of a point being made that violent macros were likely to step on vehicles, I think whoever was Silvia was a wolf in that one too.

The only story I can think of that's that much like Rick and Sylvia . . . or specifically, the original Writer's Pen Pals and Blind Dates is Poet Virgil's "Online"
forums.macrophile.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=6168

I think he made one or 2 others in a similar style to some of DTF's stuff. (I remember some things that were reminiscent of some parts of Country to the City and Darwin's Revenge) He ripped all his FA stuff down, and only a few of his stories are on macrophile though, so that's gone now AFIK.

There's also some of Lennox's stories that were reminiscent of some of DTF's stuff iirc, but (again) not so much of anything from Rick and Sylvia.

Maybe it really was just Rick and Silvia I had read long ago and just completely remembered it wrong, but it was a pretty big sense of Deja Vu, especially since I remember that jumping out of the car scene clearly.

I think that scene may have been in one of Lennox's stories. (ATL or its sequel maybe?)
forums.macrophile.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=10826

viewtopic.php?t=11484

There's also Out of Reach: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=12443 (yet another unfinished one . . . still worth a read IMO)
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kool kitty89
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Re: No Good Deed (Sequel to The Show)

Postby TendoTwo » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:16 pm

kool kitty89 wrote:I've never head that argument specifically, and honestly I don't see why changing the main character necessarily has anything to do with the gameplay. (albeit the rolling mechanic is somewhat more fitting for a Hedgehog . . . though that would be even more applicable to some others, like an armadillo ;))


The grabbing would have slowed down gameplay I mean, as for the armadillo, yeah, I remember even seeing concept art of that, a hedgehog and an armadillo were the final two character designs being considered. I think a hedgehog was chosen because some high up executive or designer or what-not liked the spiky look.

kool kitty89 wrote:You're probably thinking about this:


Phew

Well, it is a relief to see I was just under-informed rather than made a complete idiot of myself with something that had no basis.

Thanks for all this on Star Fox and the development of 3D software/hardware for the NES and SNES BTW, to be honest I meant gaming in general, but I love reading about major points in the industry like this as well :)

kool kitty89 wrote:Also, I realized I made a mistake about reading all of Rick and Sylvia marathon style, since I only did that up to the stories he wrote to 2008. And there's a couple more he posted after I started following that series.


Its funny how you find things like this, I read through Rick and Silvia a few times because, well, I found the mushyness of it cute. But just lately I found a story somewhere in the middle of the series which I had never noticed, whoops. Funny how you still find stuff like this sometimes. Admittedly, it was because it wasn't in the links you posted once a while ago, and ironically.... I forgot the name of it :roll:

It was a short scene about Lira buying some scrap from Tom, but while it was very short and not that important plot-wise, it did explain a LOT of details about how the macro and micro's economies worked. Some of the later stories that brought up money would have made more sense to me if I had read that story first.

Its funny, the reason I care about that one and the gingerbread story (even if the Gingerbread story was supposed to be just really silly) so much was that it brought up a LOT of points I had always considered about advantages both micros and macros could have for each other with their technology and currency. I remember thinking "Micros in Rick and Silvia are supposed to have better technology and a macro penny is a worth a fortune to them, but even if the micro's technology level was the same, with how useful computer clusters are, and how a micro would be able to perform much more delicate work, wouldn't it make a lot of sense to pay them the equivalent of macro pocket change to do that work or buy that equipment from them?" I mean, a micro would probably fit the equivalent of a supercomputer in a macro-sized watch, when it comes to computer tech, usually smaller is better.

And funnily(is "funnily" even a word?) enough, that's exactly what happened in what was supposed to be a silly nonsense story XD (Well, except the watch part).

.... course, since the basis of this is that gold is rare to micros but plentiful to macros to the point where its practically a throw-away metal, this would eventually collapse if it was over-abused and gold started becoming worthless to the micros too.

kool kitty89 wrote:Poet Virgil's "Online"

I think that scene may have been in one of Lennox's stories. (ATL or its sequel maybe?)

There's also Out of Reach


Hmm, no, it's none of those, because as I remember it (if my brain isn't going that is) it was VERY similar to the Pred Phase story, in fact, the whole pred phase thing was still there, just in the scene where Lira almost stepped on Janet and Ven stopped her, Janet(And I doubt that was her name) was a human in a car in that scene rather than a collie on foot. So either my memory is VERY hazy and it was this story that I am remembering wrong, or there is another version either by DTF or copied or someone else out there, main reason I remember(?) this is because that scene it kinda made a big deal about not staying in your car when a macro was near, I recall her thinking "GET OUT OF THE CAR" being in all caps in that scene.
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