I realized that I could not, with my current obligations, make a comic. Family and work leave little time for learning to draw. So the alternative is to write. I have now started the story in novel form. At least it's a single medium. Unlike a comic which I'd have to write it and draw it.
It's funny. As I look back, I've cut other elements out of this story in each step. I wanted to be a one-person show, but that was too ambitious for me. My first idea was to make it a video game. I enjoy rich story-driven games like Witcher, Mass Effect and Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. It never left the idea stage and for a good reason. A whole video game that requires many people to develop, modellers, 3D animators, programmers, artists, etc. I must have thought I'd inherit a game studio at some point.
I then got the idea that I could turn it into a game that I could develop. I got inspired by an app I saw on my phone. I think it was called Lifeline. It was a game that was a choose your own adventure style that felt like you were texting someone and waiting for their reply. I was very drawn into the story, and it got me thinking I could do that. The app was finished, from a programming end and it worked well. The artwork was limited because I got a talented artist, but my funds were limited so she could only produce 20 or so pictures. And then there was the story. Due to the limited artwork, I decided to release the story in small chapters. There were two problems that I ran into. First, the story is unfinished, and there's not much of it. Second, I discovered that I didn't want my story as a choose your own adventure. I was trying to tell a linear story with choices I didn't want the reader to take. So it failed ultimately.
I continued to develop the history and world, but the story which I would tell was put on ice for a bit. I returned to it a few years later, with the idea that I could turn this into a comic. I could have a linear story now and only had to worry about two mediums this time. The artwork, which I figured would get better with time. And the writing which I've been doing the whole time anyway. The problem this time, time itself. I don't have much free time so thinking that I'd magically start drawing professional level artwork in a matter of months was naive. I've always liked the look of concept art, and it looks rushed. I would attempt to draw that and as I get better, make it cleaner. Well, you can't draw quickly and have it look good if you can't draw the fundamentals.
Frustration set in. That is until I thought, what if I make it a novel. It's a single medium. I've written things in the past, while they sucked, at least I know I've done it before. This is what I've begun. As of this article, I've already written the first chapter and almost done the second. The world I've created is super rich. I only hope that I can convey the story well enough that others enjoy it too.
The story originally started as standalone story. Scoundrel's Cross. Then there were several other stories that were also standalone. Being that they all revolved around the same time period, I eventually merged all three into a single story called Origins.
Over time, I developed the story more and added more plots to bind the three stories together. The history prior to the story has been rewritten several times
A few years ago, I had made an android app which ended up being a flop. Scoundrel’s Cross. The artwork was great, no problems there. I had spent all I could on one. The code was solid as far as I know, no bugs. I think there might be bugs with the new version of Android, but I’ve long since refunded everyone and abandoned it. I even uploaded the source code on google code, which is also discontinued.
I had even had someone to improve my writing. It was my story, but I didn’t do well in English class. So how could I get these stories out of my head and onto paper but having them sound good? I got a writer who took my initial story outline and improved it where needed. I could still tell my story.
The big issue with the app was that I was trying to tell a linear story in a choose your own adventure style. Plenty of games out there give you “choices” which in the end change the major story arc very little. I wanted to give a taste of a choice in the story without deviating too much from the main path I wanted the characters to take. My limited budget for the artwork meant I had little room to create alternate paths to give a good sense of freedom to the reader. In the end, it flopped.
What did I attempt to create if I had a bigger budget? Many paths where you influence the main character as if you were Fate. You did not control the character but simply gave the character choices. So instead of coming to a crossroads where you can either go to the beach to relax or go into a cave to explore treasure, you could open doors or reveal a hidden weapon for the character to use. Why is this different? Because the character has their own thief like personality and will stay in character throughout the story. You could influence them to take advantage of a situation and make the story darker (revealing a weapon where they use it to kill a guard) or have the wind blow to reveal a secret passage that lets them avoid an ambush. Each path, should it be a 100% linear story, should be believable in that the characters are acting the way you expect them to. In any sense, there were not enough paths and better games were already being released. I could have done well if I had made it a few years earlier, even with my own crappy artwork. But that’s for another timeline to discover.
All in all, I plan to return to that story and reboot it as a comic. That's the purpose of this site. The story of Vanya Thenideil, Joniathin the Justicar and Saro the criminal will be told.