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 It's Finally Over! 
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Unread post Re: It's Finally Over!
Dagoonite wrote:
I always liked Asimov because he could make two people sitting in a room talking carry the same level of excitement as a good action scene.


Hahaha. I love Heinlein for the exact same reason. He can just make dialogue flow so naturally, you forget you're reading a piece of fiction. Any time I have issues feeling inspired, I can just read 'The Cat Who Walked Through Walls' or 'JOB: A Comedy of Justice' and *poof!*, I have ideas again. =)


Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:37 pm
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Location: Flint, Michigan, U.S.A., Earth, Sol system, Orion arm, Milky Way, Virgo supercluster
Unread post Re: It's Finally Over!
As a point of advice, a piece of Halo fiction set in that time area without Spartans (even if you have something similar with a different name) is like an ice cream shop without sprinkles: a lot of people might not care but some are going to ask where the sprinkles are and be confused and frustrated when you say there aren't any. I didn't figure out until it had gotten underway that it wasn't official, until about two weeks ago that it wasn't following canon (which made me consider saying "screw it" about the whole thing), about the same time it took a turn I didn't like (everything about the Halo, which made me consider disregarding it even more), and a week or so ago that there would be no payoff-- if I hadn't realized those things that early I would've been more disappointed that it didn't even lead to so much as a color change for a website.
It is impressive that you did it all by yourself (although I figured it wasn't more than five people).
I didn't sign up until now because I had a feeling it would turn out like this and I didn't want to get too into it, at least not as long as I had the excuse of not having an account-- I am the owner of some very powerful laziness-- which makes it all the more strange that I rounded up and tried to put in order all the threads on HBO.
I'm still surprised no one told Chair about Helen's statement that ONI knew what we were doing, I thought it was crucial information and could ease things considerably, and I considered joining just to send that along.
I hope you gained good experience and I wish you luck in whatever you do next.
Also, IRC? do you ever go to #hbo?
Also also, I missed having an edit button.


Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:47 pm
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Unread post Re: It's Finally Over!
Since two of you hit upon similar subjects, I'll hit that first.

Carver, ZackDark, the both of you understand now why I keep writing. I want that to be my goal, that some day I can write like that.

ZackDark wrote:
Hm, somehow I think that it was better off in written form. Maybe an audio-only would also be exciting, but, somehow, I feel that had it been in audio-visual form, it would require a helluva job from the director to have the same impact it had.


Actually, I agree. It wouldn't have the same tone, the same feel. The way that I imagine it is bursts of action surrounded both by showing how Foxtrot is dying, then how he's hallucinating. He was never alone down there. Even as he ran through wheat fields that existed in his mind, he was right next to C463. (Who's name is another 7 reference out of the hundreds I put in there.) Every single Orion was there with them, helping them along, fighting back the Covenant, the insurrectionists... It's more showing how far his mind had gone at that point. Each dose of stims only made things worse even as they gave him the ability to stand back up.

And showing how he was more and more happy as time went on. By the end, all that he really knew was the mission and that he was going home for Christmas.

But I agree. It wouldn't be the same. I worked hard on his suit's battle report, which made a huge difference. It was the second time that I left only hints as to what was happening, forcing you to fill in the rest. The audio dialogue only made it worse in a way, because you still didn't get a real knowledge as to what happened or when.

I always wondered about how people reacted to the one with him in training. Nobody said anything, so I think I missed my mark on that.

General Vagueness wrote:
[...]if I hadn't realized those things that early I would've been more disappointed that it didn't even lead to so much as a color change for a website.


I know. Believe me, up until people seemed to openly realize that it was an alternate reality, I had a continual pressure in my chest. I understood what was going on, and how people could take it. In the original plan, the website would have had a subtle little link that said quite clearly "Yo, I'm not affiliated with anybody, yo." With the forums? The only way that I could have done something like that was step out from behind the curtain, which would have ruined it.

I never meant to deceive anybody. I never thought this would be taken as official -- I thought I'd put enough hints in there. Apparently not. Now I know, however.

As for me doing it myself, I did have a lot of help during the planning stages. A lot of interviews, a lot of the medical stuff was done for me by others (particular shout out to RelentlessRecusant), and a lot of people honestly just seemed to enjoy having their brains picked by me for some odd reason. I also had people do a pass over the core of the Chair/F484 stuff. I had to do a lot of modification due to the players, and ended up cutting some stuff out (like how F484 met Lord Hood) but they corrected a lot of errors that I'd made.

You know, I always found it strange that players didn't seem to pick up on any of the hints that what Chair was doing was sanctioned by ONI.

Also, I am now!

Also also, that was my FAVORITE PART OF THE MOVE! The Edit button is king!


Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:03 am
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Unread post Re: It's Finally Over!
I was half expecting an ending like 'station complete...what do you mean we have to stay here? screw you, risk your own lives.'

The way it ended was a pleasant surprise. If Helen hadn't ordered Muldoon arrested, I would have tried to shoot the BLAM when he entered the office. Reading through the posts now, all the encoded messages left by Chair takes on new meaning. Well done!

I had Hive's legacy code 'donated' by an Orion given how Helen respected them and her sudden change from the Wicked Witch to Fairy Godmother. But, I still had my doubts.

I can see a sequel to this ARG, oddly.

Finally....

It's Christmas. The Captain approaches the Monument. Searching for one name in particular, he stops. Laying his package before the Cenotaph, he touches the name inscribed there and, without a word, turns and departs. Pull away to see the name F484 on the monument, a hardbound paper book, an olive branch, and a bag of unground coffee beans.

(ps If you're familiar with Red vs Blue, I have the music for Sarge's speech in Revelations running through my head.)


Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:28 am
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Unread post Re: It's Finally Over!
Dagoonite wrote:
You know, I always found it strange that players didn't seem to pick up on any of the hints that what Chair was doing was sanctioned by ONI.

I just figured she was some sort of beneficial insider, that strange officer you know who tells you the little inside details. That, and I think we all knew that our relationship with her was important, so we were hesitant to really press...until the end when I was afraid you were going to dump one of the EM anomalies on the bridge and send the whole ship into chaos. When you had Chair snap back at me for trying to use the safety regs for answers regarding the encrypted messages, I was holding my breath while I typed the response because I honestly thought that we were in danger of losing a huge tactical asset.

Dagoonite wrote:
The real-world military code threw me off something fierce. I figured, that kind of research deserved a reward, which threw me off my game a bit. The speech, too. That quite literally destroyed EVERYTHING I HAD WRITTEN IN ADVANCE. The way that Raschad and Wolfe were handled, very surprising. The way you focused on a throwaway detail that I included for realism's sake -- superconductors would alter an EM field, I figure. You guys focusing on that changed the game, in all honesty.

Most of it was little things, though. I'd have to go back through the individual threads. Sometimes, it came down to something so minor as how you'd worded something that invalidated my plans. Sure, I could rewrite them, but still, I was left staring and saying "WHAT THE MUFFINS DO I DO WITH THIS?"


Could have fooled me. The speed and calm that you put into Helen during the regs scene and on the suggestion of the EM jammer had me under the impression that whatever I had done was a step in the right direction.

And here that was just me running a desperate loophole search and trying to put an obscure paragraph from "Halo: First Strike" into play.


Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:40 am
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Unread post Re: It's Finally Over!
PsychoJoe wrote:
I was half expecting an ending like 'station complete...what do you mean we have to stay here? screw you, risk your own lives.'


I'm mean, not cruel!

Actually, that would have violated one of the basic principles that I had written into this from the very start: Nobody is a villain, everybody is a hero in their own mind. This includes ONI. Hell, especially ONI. They view themselves as making as many sacrifices, if not more, than the Orions. They do the dirty things and carry the weight so that others don't have to. For the most part, they're more like Chair than they are Muldoon; patriots who believe completely in what they're doing, and regretting their actions even as they do them. They simply see the greater purpose, even when they haven't been informed of what the greater purpose is. No, I wouldn't have them throw the Captain to the dogs like that.

Even in the end, Muldoon had a noble purpose. Why put everybody in cryo? Because then when they arrive for debriefing, everything would be fresh, and the best intel would be there. Why did Ives do what he did? In hopes of sparking an intervention, so that they could better understand the full capabilities of what they were dealing with. He would have hurt Raschad, yes, but not killed. (Yet, anyway; three endings had him killing Raschad.)

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Reading through the posts now, all the encoded messages left by Chair takes on new meaning. Well done!


Everybody that I showed it to loved that. It was a small thing, but I put so much effort into it once I fully realized how it could be used. Chair was never sure what condition Foxtrot was in, so her entire storytelling was trying to see if she could get a response in a gentle way. "This is your life." Her, reaching out to her son, hoping...

It was actually what cemented Helen's attitude in my mind. She didn't think of you as worth much initially because nobody could compare to her children. When she realized who Hive was (another carefully weighed decision on the part of ONI) she realized that one of her children held the Captain in the highest of regards, which was a game changer for her. It was the reaction on the part of all of you to her attempts at atonement that finalized how she treated you. You could have gotten demanding whenever she redacted anything from that point on, but you didn't. It said a bit about the Captain's character.

Quote:
I can see a sequel to this ARG, oddly.


Oh, this I gotta hear! Indulge me!

Quote:
It's Christmas. The Captain approaches the Monument. Searching for one name in particular, he stops. Laying his package before the Cenotaph, he touches the name inscribed there and, without a word, turns and departs. Pull away to see the name F484 on the monument, a hardbound paper book, an olive branch, and a bag of unground coffee beans.


I see, as the Captain departs, him seeing an aged, heavily scarred A419 staring at him. A419 snaps a quick salute, gives the barest of nods, then turns and walks into the snow without saying a word.

thereIwasn't wrote:
When you had Chair snap back at me for trying to use the safety regs for answers regarding the encrypted messages, I was holding my breath while I typed the response because I honestly thought that we were in danger of losing a huge tactical asset.


Oh, if only you knew how much I was grinning when I wrote that. I was absolutely cackling with glee when I read your reply. I'm sure my roomies thought I'd lost it. Yes, you calling her on it was a trigger for a branching that could have ended VERY badly depending on how you handled it. That one could have ended with the destruction of the Unchained Fate, honestly. There were a few endings I had planned that resulted in Chair's death.

Quote:
And here that was just me running a desperate loophole search and trying to put an obscure paragraph from "Halo: First Strike" into play.


I WAS RIGHT! HA! Ahem, sorry.

I roll on my feet well. Usually, enough time to get a cup of coffee and I have a response in mind. Since things slowed down while I was at work, it gave me enough time to plot and plan, write up a few ideas, and expand on moments where I'd been caught off-guard and had to come up with something on the spot.

I literally started this a day after I got the OK from Wu. (Hey, Wu! If you read all this, there's a homage to you in there; another guy with a Ringwold name.) I spent that night pouring over ideas, solidifying the characters of Helen and Hive, and making a document of BS regs in case I needed them. Completely at random, anything that came to mind. Also names, since I suck at names. For example, Randall Teboe and Ingrid Ruddy are the names of my roomies. Nothing like the characters, but still. I needed a name, and there they were. Heck, my name is even in there.

All that prep work helped me out immensely. I had resources to call on if I needed them.

As an aside, you can thank Myung for interrupting Helen's getting up in your face with the description that you were wanting. When I see somebody go the extra mile for something, I like to reward them. ...That and the comment about more research into military regulations than ever wanted to do made me laugh a little harder than I should have.


Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:27 am
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Unread post Re: It's Finally Over!
lol

The coolest thing, though, (for me at least,) is to be able to discuss all the process here with you.

How we broke your story, how you broke us, how we broke your roommates. All this makes the ARG oh-so-more special.

It's just like going paintballing and then hitting a bar/cafe/ice-cream-joint afterwards.


Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:57 am
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Unread post Re: It's Finally Over!
Quote:
I see, as the Captain departs, him seeing an aged, heavily scarred A419 staring at him. A419 snaps a quick salute, gives the barest of nods, then turns and walks into the snow without saying a word.


That was actually the 'epilog'. The sequel would deal with the explosion that resulted in the mission, and possibly the return of....


Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:01 am
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Unread post Re: It's Finally Over!
ZackDark wrote:
lol

The coolest thing, though, (for me at least,) is to be able to discuss all the process here with you.

How we broke your story, how you broke us, how we broke your roommates. All this makes the ARG oh-so-more special.


Ha! That's why I stepped out after the end. Again, if you have any questions about anything that didn't make sense, or if you thought you saw any plot holes (there were a few things that I never found a good opportunity to discuss) I'm more than willing to discuss those as well.

PsycoJoe wrote:
That was actually the 'epilog'. The sequel would deal with the explosion that resulted in the mission, and possibly the return of....


That's what I meant, too. I imagine A419 as being sort of a keeper of the old traditions. The silent lorekeeper, in a way. He doesn't know who the Captain is, or why he was there, but somebody was honoring an O4 properly. That deserves a moment of respect. Him disappearing into the snow being symbolic, and... Hush, I have a very cinematic mind at times.

...

...

Oh, I friggin' hate you. I hate you so freaking much right now I want to stab you in the eye at least a hundred times. But I'd need to bone up on police procedures and code, determine the overall mission that would be going on better, at least ten websites, maybe more, full voice cast, research some more stuff about autopsies, find somebody to code, preferably somebody with no life that knows flash as well, some artists (MULTIPLE), determine what happened to the crew after the mission, maybe get some honest-to-goodness photographs...

I hate you.


Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:22 am
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Unread post Re: It's Finally Over!
Wow.

Thank you, just thank you.

I just wish I had participated more actively in this, but I got scared of screwing up after someone asked about Dr Halsey, and decided to leave it to someone who actually knew what they were doing.


Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:26 am
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