I thought I would take this time to pen a quick article on what I’m working on at the moment besides Immortal Game.
Well to speak breifly about Immortal Game before I talk about other projects. Immortal Game is written out many, many pages in advance and even further out the storyline is sketched out quite solidly. Our fabulous artist Rachel is working on the pages so the comic is rolling along well and I’m really happy with how things are turning out so far. You’ll notice Rachel and I have started putting some ads up on the site and we are starting to generate a bit of money. Single digits, so nothing too exciting yet, but it’s early days. All the figures are moving in the right direction so it’s a very exciting time.
So what else is happening? The big thing I’m working on is a full blown graphic novel. I’m pretty hyped about it, I won’t lie. Any Australian right now will know that we either do or do not have a refugee problem, depending on your view point. It’s all over the news. I feel quite strongly about this issue, I think the numbers of refugees coming to Australia is minuscule compared to many other countries, and I think we are leaving people with no choice but to try to get to Australia by boat, which of course is very dangerous. But since the vast majority of people claiming refugee status are found to be legitimate refugees, so we know they are fleeing danger already, I don’t think it’s surprising we are seeing people come by boat. I will admit, I came into this issue quite pro refugee, but only from the libertarian position that we should not imprison people who have committed no crime. I didn’t know much else about the issue. But I knew I wanted to write something, so I set out on a journey to inform myself.
I contacted a refugee advocacy body and found out there was a refugee detention center quite close to where I live, which I had no idea about. I went to the center a few times with people from the refugee advocacy group and spoke to quite a number of refugees. It was an incredibly eye opening experience. So I had information from the refugees, but I also wanted to look at other sources of information, so I read the Report the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers wrote after being commissioned by the Australian government to advise on policy. Not light or quick reading let me tell you. Next I recorded interviews I conducted with academics who had conducted research in the field of refugees. While I came into the issue with some ideas already set, I was ready for them to be challenged and changed. Honestly though I found little if anything that dissuaded me from the position that we should accept refugees and we don’t need harsh policies like mandatory detention. The answer, many people told me, is looking at alternative paths that people who can’t access a visa and fly to Australia can access. The argument that we will be swamped by refugees if we go down that route isn’t a credible argument I discovered, because we still have a screening process and only legitimate refugees are allowed through the humanitarian program. It would require infrastructure, yes, but it would give people another option to getting on boats. Last point, one academic pointed out to me that the drop of refugees during the last conservative government has much more to do with what was happening in source countries at the time and much less to do with the policies of the government of the day, which is the main line being run by the opposition at this point.
I don’t want to delve into the issue too much here, because I’m writing a comic about it. It’s a narrative that explores all the issues I found to be key to the refugee issue. I’ll be sending the manuscript off to publishers once it’s to a standard I’m happy with, and we will see where we go from there.
The other big thing, well we will see if it becomes a big thing, is the British Council of Australia is running a competition for the creative industries called Realise Your Dream http://www.britishcouncil.org.au/art/realise-your-dream. I’ve made an application. What is my dream? To work on the cutting edge of narrative delivery, and personally I feel that’s being realised in the gaming industry. Sum up my position on this briefly, I’m already a visual writer, I’ve naturally gravitated to comics even though I’m not a mega comics fan, at least not in a western sense. I’m much more a manga/anime person. Games are incredible vehicles for stories, they let us interact with the narrative, let us drive it ourselves, in ways film and print media can’t. They are by their nature static. I want to work in an industry using cutting edge technology to bring us cutting edge narrative. Yes, storyline is often a lacking if not non existent part of games. But some stories coming out of the game industry are amazing. The industry is changing. I’ll leave you with some videos that basically outline what we can do with the games medium by people who know a little more on the subject than I do. That’s kind of the point as well, I want to learn.
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/beyond-fun this video first got me thinking about the potential for the medium.
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/mechanics-as-metaphor-part-1 this personally I think is an amazing concept that hasn’t been harnessed properly yet, and demonstrates the utter versatility of games. As a side note I didn’t get the loneliness game until the end. I was just having fun breaking the groups until I read the dialogue at the end. What does that say about me I wonder?
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/mechanics-as-metaphor-part-2 continues the above idea.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiDbv7nftM8 I actually woke up on a weekend, walked like a zombie tiredly to my computer, looked at twitter which I just mostly lurk on, at least for the moment, and caught the link to the live stream of this video, and by some force of divine intervention I caught the live stream right at the beginning purely by accident. Twitter as yielded me a great many things. While this is an amazing video from a world building and design point of view, at the very beginning if you don’t watch it all, it outlines the limitations of first person shooters as being a linear construct, and the game they’ve made in response to this a really exciting attempt to try and break that.
So yeah. Let’s see how all of this turns out. And for those of you who are scared I’m leaving comics, I’m not! Comics and writing in general is something that I will always work on, I just want a creative day job as well. As always, feel free to let us know you think the comic going, any comments, characters you want to see more of, any and all of that. Enjoy!
Top Web Comics, right now, is by far our largest source of views. If you came to us from TWC, hope you like what you’ve found! If you happen to be from TWC, thank you so much for providing so many webcomics all in one place for people’s convenience, and for providing such powerful advertising for publishers like Rachel and myself.
To increase that power, you can vote for us on TWC. I’m penning, well, typing, this little post in response to some amazing work in progress artwork that Rachel has put up as a reward for people who vote for us on TWC. Go vote and check it out. It’s simple as. Click the ‘Vote for us on TWC’ button, surprisingly I know, and pick the name of the character you see on the TWC page (hint, the name is in the image itself *gasp*).
Voting for us, right now, is our lifeblood. Sweet, sweet lifeblood. Rachel and I are working on some more forms of advertisement to ramp this comic into something we can make a living out of. But for now, if you want to help us out you can vote for us every 24 hours.
We’ve reached a large milestone with Immortal Game. You might remember way back at the beginning of the prologue we were in a place called Yventhir and now we’ve jumped to Mexicali. That’s a real place! Well, who says Yventhir isn’t? But it is a drastic leap so I thought I would give a short explanation regarding locations.
Yventhir, or the other side as it’s known to some, is a realm that sits beside Earth. Another dimension. It is the home of many intelligent races, the most notable the Harithsvir, or high elves. We’ve seen a few of those so far. Magic permeates all of Yventhirian society and is understood by some as a religion and others as a science. Other than that, a realm of conflict, politics, commerce and exploitation is relatively familiar to those ignorant of the other side. Necromancers and lumomancers can enter the spirit realm present in any dimension, known as the Ghostlands. The Ghostlands is a reflection of the physical world through a kaleidoscopic mirror. The deeper you go, the stranger the dreamscape becomes. Incidently, it also becomes more dangerous as necromancers jaunting in and out are not the only inhabitants of the Ghostlands. Earth is the realm of the humans, as most of our readers would know. Magic does exist on Earth despite popular belief, and even though there is an unspoken code that magic isn’t flaunted on this side, every now and then a mancer just feels the need to put an unbeliever in their place.
How does someone move between Earth and Yventhir? Think with portals There are gates between the two worlds. Some are hidden, some are lost, and some are jealously guarded. But there is a lot of movement of peoples and goods between the two worlds, more so than the number of gates would suggest. Microportals are small gates that spontaneously appear and disappear at random locations on either side. Knowledge of these portals is highly sought after in the collective underworld, and if you look hard enough there is always someone who can get you across, or obtain anything you want from the other side. Always make sure you know who you are making a deal with though, because that old little man could end up being, among other things, a dragon…
Wow my first post. Well it has been a long road to this point for Rachel and myself, but I’m happy to say we are finally at a point where we are producing, and providing to you, Immortal Game. A comic that we are both very happy with, and we hope all our readers will be as happy with our work as we are.
How did it all begin? I started writing what became Immortal Game in 2008 on my breaks at my first full time job out of university. There are countless influences on Immortal Game but at the time I started I was reading Justina Robson’s Keeping It Real, so it probably deserves a special mention. Also worth a mention is my old boss (I’m unsure if he wants to be named?) at the time who encouraged me to start putting fingers to keyboard. Above all is my wonderful partner Tendai who has supported me through many projects that have brought me back to Immortal Game. None of this would have been possible without her.
It was about this time I met Rachel through Deviantart. I worked with a number of artists during that period, but I was always impressed with Rachel’s work, and kept sending more jobs her way. To my delight she always accepted my jobs until she offered to run Immortal Game with me. I’m sure you will hear more from Rachel in future, but for now just marvel at her amazing pages.
Now that it’s started, how is it going to continue? Well, the plan is to update every Monday and Friday and that’s what we are going to start to do. We have some pages up currently, and we were so happy with them Rachel and I wanted to start letting people know about our work as soon as possible, so we’ve started the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ImmortalGameComic and we’ve jumped on twitter https://twitter.com/RevillionIG and we also have a forum I’m meaning to clean up. Rachel and I both have competing demands on our time though, so to have a smoothly flowing webcomic that updates regularly we need a backlog of pages. This means we will put the brakes on our updating twice a week for a little bit in the near future to allow pages to build up. Once we are happy with the size of the backlog we will continue our twice week Monday Friday updates.
How can you support Immortal Game? With the comic still in its infancy, the only thing we really need right now is readers. Bookmark us. Check back for updates. Tell your friends about us if you think we are worth sharing. You can now vote for us on http://topwebcomics.com/, you’ll find the button below the comic on the Immortal Game site. If you have media contacts and want to do an article on a new webcomic we would be over moon with that, get in touch with me if that’s the case. Down the track we will accept donations, we want to release an on running series of wallpapers for readers to purchase, a selection of merchandise and a whole new small comic. But right now just enjoy the comic, and if you feel others might enjoy it please let them know we exist!
It is an exciting start, and Rachel and I are looking forward to sharing it with you all!