I was trying to think of something to write about and I had a run of bad luck. Every time I had an idea, I was pulled away and forgot it. So, I finally sat down and began to wonder about my future stories. Were there any giving me trouble? Maybe I could toss one out and see if blogging about it clears things up. That doesn’t typically go too well since I don’t share everything and that makes it hard to respond. Yet, this one could be more of an overall idea. Doesn’t hurt to try.
At some point, I came up with the series ‘Lords of Hyperscape’. Can’t remember when, but it was probably around the end of college. I had tons of ideas that weren’t connected to Windemere, Vampire Earth, or Super Earth. Actually, this might have been long after that since I believe it was inspired by Zoids and IGPX. These involved team tournaments where a newbie or ragtag players join up to climb the ranks. ‘Lords of Hyperscape’ had a similar premise and world:
People connected to an international game world that had a hub where you hung out and meet. There were various worlds such as RPG, Shooter, Sports, Racing, Platformer, etc. For each world, a player would have a different avatar. Competitions began to form, so a league was established with massive sponsors. These would become the new celebrity athletes of the world. (I designed this before ‘Ready Player One’ and multiplayer gaming getting big became a thing. Figures that I’d miss this boat.)
The story itself involved a new team being run by an eccentric millionaire who simply wants in. He recruited various people including a former soldier, a gaming fanatic, personal announcer (every team has one), a statistic worker, and a woman who turns out to be the league owner’s daughter. Things aren’t going well until a young man sneaks in to the practice zone and wins the match. They recruit him and then realize something is weird, which includes a smell. The gaming fanatic followers him to learn he’s homeless and living in an old arcade that he’s maintained and redirected power to. Not that he’s a natural, but he’s spent a lifetime playing games. They go on to have several adventures against the other teams and some other big things happened like rogue A.I. making death real (Sword Art Online before it came out) and a cheating team that is crippling others somehow.
That was the original and then I ran into trouble when I did the merging of everything into Windemere. There are no video games here. An old arcade wouldn’t make sense, so what in the world could I do? My answer ended up being illusions. The sport became one where characters would be placed into illusions and compete in various fashions such as manhunts, dungeon adventures, reenacting battles from opposing sides, and whatever else I could figure out. The league would continue and so would the heroes, but I think the young man would be a tough one. Would the audience really connect with him being in a place with older technology that they’ve never seen before? Totally different vibe if he’s using an out-of-date illusion tech than an Atari 2600.
Another challenge is the story type. I’m leaning more towards a collection of short stories that entail a single season instead of multiple volumes. This would mean I streamline things and can handle dropping various stories that required high tech. Not everything can switch to magic with ease. The rogue A.I. could be an issue, but the cheating team may be combined with that idea.
It’s just so hard to figure out how this works. I’d have to design the sport and tech with a hope that it makes sense. I considered having it all be psychic with the players and audience transported to the same astral arena by a group of telepaths. Those people could be the masters/nobles, so each team would have one. This gets in the way of the ‘Phi Beta Files’ idea, which might be next Sunday’s problem child. I also considered not doing the illusions and go with Clutch Ball, which is a sport that involves teams using a variety of riding beasts. Honestly, the illusions felt more fun and gave more flexibility. I could have them be one thing for a race and another thing for a manhunt. Could even have characters put on the guise of the Windemere champions vs the Dawn Fangs. So, you can see that I’m stumbling around here.
Maybe a big part is that this isn’t a ‘core’ book, so I’m not sure what to do. I’ve been wondering if these ideas are worth it even though they still interest me. That dwindling time issue causes me to stress. A collection of short stories based around this could still work out:
- Team Made
- First game
- Getting attention
- First loss
- Friction in team
- Cheating team
- Romance story
I really can’t list ideas right now until I think more about this. Sorry.