Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shard Twenty - Pieces Coming Together

Gasp. I haven't updated my blog in a long time.
Haven't really had a lot to share, actually. I do a lot of smaller updates in my deviantART journal, so I don't leave much left over for here. But with any luck, starting now - or soon, at least - I'd like to keep this blog a little more up-to-date. And perhaps a bit more focused; it is named after my Fragmented Infinity storyline, so why not dedicate the blog to some behind-the-scenes information on that?

To make it sound a little more enticing, let's call it "inside the mind of a budding storywriter" instead of just behind-the-scenes. I've been having an amazing experience thinking up my stories, as well as a rather frustrating one. Seems like an interesting topic to work on.

So to sum it all up. The blog, from here on out, will focus primarily on my experience working on Fragmented Infinity, as well as my occasional personal updates.
I'm working on writing the story, as well as making visual art based on it; digital paintings, 3D models, you name it. And on top of all that, I'm currently redesigning the Fragmented Infinity website.
So all in all, there's a pretty wide scope I'll be able to cover here. Assuming someday this story ends up being a success, I'll be quite happy to have the journey documented. And hey, if it ends up a failure, it'll be a good lesson of what mistakes to avoid.

Hopefully it turns out well!


So, lets jump straight in to the topic, shall we. (No reason why I should wait until the next blog entry to get things started.)

I've been finding inspiration in such strange places lately...

Anyhow, a recent example of strange inspiration is a design for Jeni Senka. I've played around with possible weapons for her for a while now (I don't know how long it has been since I created her), but a katana-style sword is the idea I keep coming back to. (At one point it was a sword with a hinged blade; I appear to have lost the envelope I doodled it on.)

Quick scenario buildup. I've been working on a few visual art projects recently, one of which is an image of Jeni. Outfit design as been a major focus; I've got Jeni's body style roughed up in 3D using DAZ|Studio, and one small accessory I added was a small knife holster on her ankle. The rest of the design will probably see a good number of zippers and military-looking straps and belts.

Jeni's ability, which is currently named "Shadowcall", has also been fresh in my mind lately. When she was created, Jeni had a carbon-copy of Jio's Shadowmeld ability; the ability to "meld" into shadows. (for the purposes of this ability, shadows are more than a simple absence of light, it is a substance all its own.)
But having two characters with the same ability seemed, for the lack of a better term, just redundant. So I set about making her ability different, yet the same; in its final form, where Jio can become incorporeal shadow, Jeni can instead make shadows physical. The reversal makes her style entirely different, while still maintaining a strong connection with Jio's Shadowmeld.

Long story relatively short: after watching an episode of an unrelated anime (To Aru Kagaku no Railgun), I jumped on my bed and pretended to swing dual swords. (totally normal.) After a moment of studying the differences between backwards and forwards sword stances, it somehow all came together into Jeni's final weapon design; two swords, her primary being a mechanical katana (the mechanical part is still in a rough form, but aside from that, it's a normal blade), with her secondary being a mere sword grip and hilt, which she keeps in that knife holster on her ankle. Combined with her Shadowcall ability, the sword grip simply channels her ability to create a shadow blade, in roughly the same katana-style sword as her mechanical sword.

Explained like this, it seems to come together in a roughly logical fashion, but in context - the image has been in the works for a few days, the ability was worked out a few weeks ago, and the final design came together in a five-minute brainflash - to say it was a shock for me would be an understatement.

If I had to give this story a moral, it would be

"When life's got you stuck, jump on the bed."

...wait, that doesn't sound right at all.