Mar 242015
 

“I’m not sure I understand.” Sarah asked as she looked at Alan puzzled. “Why does me being here cause problems?”

Alan gave her a wry smile and leaned back in the chair.  “Isn’t it obvious?  No?  Tell me, Sarah, what do the other Caledonians say about the forest?”

Sarah furrowed her brow in thought.  “Well, it’s all just superstition and rumors, really.  They say that the woods are full of ghosts, evil spirits and monsters.  But there isn’t a shred of evidence to – oh.”  Sarah looked up at Alan in realization.  Just then, the door opened and Tony stormed in fuming, dragging Andrew in by his ear.

“Alan, Andrew just told me what happened.  I suggest that-”

Alan held up a hand, stopping Tony in his tracks.  “In a minute, Tony.  Yes, Sarah, ‘monsters’.  That’s what we are.  And that’s why we must remain hidden from the rest of the world.”

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Mar 242015
 

“Welcome to the Greifswald Arcology, Miss Redford. Can I call you Alyssa?”

Alyssa nodded shyly, adjusting her tie. True, one was not supposed to wear a tie with a skirt-suit, but she liked the look, and GenCo hadn’t minded. “We’re very individual here,” the interviewer had said. “Creativity is our greatest asset.”

“It’s my pleasure to welcome you to your new home, Alyssa,” her tour guide – a smiling, somewhat older Chinese gentleman – continued warmly. “You may call me Lee, and I manage the dorm you’ll be living in. Any problems with your quarters may be taken to me, as well as concerns with the facilities. Please, do not hesitate! We prefer to prevent mechanical difficulties before they can happen.”

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Mar 232015
 

“The thing I want to get out of the way up front is that we’re not gonna have any of this ‘but she can’t replace our buddy’ shit.”

Rose nodded to show she understood, hustling to keep pace with her new squad leader. The transfer had come through this morning; one minute she was a  member of the United Kingdom’s military, the next she was the latest squaddie assigned to X-COM. Or, to be more specific, to the Hellhounds.

Everyone and their mother had tripped over themselves to tell her all about the Hellhounds. Highest success rate in X-COM, they said. Never a failed mission in their life, they said. Didn’t their colonel beat down a muton with a tire iron or something? They were the Heroes of Brisbane, the Exterminators, the Cleaners, and everything else.

Oh, and one last thing. One last little thing.

Every rookie they brought on board died a horrible death. But no pressure, right?

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Mar 222015
 

DrWutson: Okay, so: I can’t give direct advice on your abilities because of the anti-cheating heuristics, which is also why you can’t tab out to access the stream during play.

Merhousemaid: But you can give general advice about our roles. Right?

DrWutson: Did ya one better, sent over some numbers.

LanguidLiquid: Dayum. This is what you managed just in the two hours you’ve had the manual?

DrWutson: It’s a talent of mine. That’s abilities, ability scaling, how items influence that scaling, how different tech paths will influence the items. That’s just raw numbers, though. It won’t tell you how to, say, apply CC or psych your opponent out. Those are skills you’re going to have to learn in the field.

MechaEnt: Aaaaand -

MechaEnt deftly flung a slime at an enemy, activating her SLIME SHAPE ability as she threw. The minion morphed into a thick spike that drove into her target – a ROBOTIC RACCOON – before sprouting lashing tendrils that beat the robotic animal to death. The mecha-corpse exploded, and MechaEnt and her party were bathed in LEVELUP LIGHTS.

Immediately, the three of them opened up their spreadsheets from DrWutson and began carefully thinking about their progression paths.

Merhousemaid: Our audience is probably laughing at us.

DrWutson: People who laugh at new players making an effort to get better aren’t worth your time. Everyone sucked once. Even me, even the other so-called “masters” of GenGame. The difference between a professional and a noob is the professional has had the chance to fail more.

Merhousemaid: Mmm, makin’ me regret that you’re all the way in Switzerland.

DrWutson: Down girl.

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Mar 182015
 

Time seemed to have frozen momentarily with Andrew standing there fuming and Sarah looking at him in shock.  The room was quiet aside from the fire crackling in the hearth and the occasional bird singing outside.  Andrew tapped his foot impatiently, waiting for her to make the first move.  Perhaps she would try and make a break for it?  Would she scream?  She didn’t seem like much of a fighter.  But she was just… staring at him.

“You’re… you’re…” she stammered after what felt like an eternity.  Andrew rolled his eyes and put his hands on his hips.

> Andrew: Admit to being a monster of the forest.

“What am I?  Go ahead, say it!  Monster?  Freak?  Beast?  Or do you have something else?”

“Amazing…”

“I’m sorry, what?”  Andrew’s thought process screeched to a halt at her response.  But he didn’t see any fear on her face, but instead… excitement and curiosity.  Sarah gingerly stepped forward and started looking him over.

“You’re amazing.  I’ve never seen anything like you before!  You’re some kind of animal-person, right?  I didn’t even know this kind of thing was even possible!”

“Wait, wait, wait.”  Andrew shook his head, trying to comprehend this new development.  He formed his fingers into claws and pulled a scary snarl.  “You don’t think I’m some ferocious monster?”

“No!  Not at all!  In fact…” Sarah smiled and patted him on the head, looking him up and down critically.  “… you’re actually kinda cute.”

“Um… thanks?”  Andrew mumbled as he scratched his head.  He definitely hadn’t expected this sort of reaction.  Although perhaps he should feel grateful that she didn’t fear him.  All his life, Andrew had been taught that the Caledonians were dangerous, but now that he had one right in front of him who actually wasn’t scared of him, he started to have hope.  Perhaps he could use this girl as an example to Tony that Caledon and Sylvan could-  Andrew’s face fell along with his heart as the weight of the situation crashed down on him again.

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Mar 162015
 
Maven

Maven here.

…I wanna talk to you about Vermillion for a minute. As Domo wrote yesterday, creating it in comic form just isn’t viable. It’s not been viable for some time, and that’s been hard on me. I didn’t want to cancel it, but we reached the conclusion that it just wasn’t going to get made.

Then I came across this comment this morning:

Nonesuch says:
Absolutely loved Vermillion Academy just because it had that difference in tone from the GenGame/GenCrawl stuff. Julius was good, the premise was interesting, if it had been straight prose I would be devouring it by the page, the art was just a bonus…

I have to ask, how many of you would actually want to see Vermillion Academy in straight prose? I designed it to be a comic, and I have no idea how things like Delphi’s sight gags would translate into a text-based medium. But maybe it could be done, with no or less overall art. I know that writing the scripts is a lot faster than drawing the panels…

What do you think, readers?

EDIT: Also I guess I could do Circle of the Force that way, maybe, idk. If I do that though, I’m giving it the original project name, the Mouse be damned…