After ENDLESS WAR returned from its “dream” – where we played an earlier, less intricate version – the full gameplay mechanics of the Discord MUD impressed me enough to draw my updated “RFCKsona.” Admittedly, I spent too much time drawing it, and the rifle looks weird, but I captured an exciting moment for me in this drawing, and through writing this essay, I can share that experience with others, and I think I’ll start drawing more again.
The specific exciting moment was the inception of “Terbie.”
Up until my avatar was turned 3D, I’d kind of imagined the green smile to be the face of a mascot “Terbie Betzom” of this website. I’d kicked the idea of him being in a suit, maybe like a member of Anonymous, but I never had anything solidified. I like the direction this goes better, because even though it was simple enough to draw some arms and legs on the face, the face became autonomous, which has similarly inspired me to get out there and act more autonomously as well.
Hours after I published these pictures, I wrote something possibly cringy.
The problem with that is if you’re worried about whether someone will take it as cringe or not, you risk the chance of not getting out there. If you’re embarrassed that someone’s going to think some way about you, just remember – who are they, really? If you like that person as a friend or more, you can reach out to them and clarify, or just step back and realize that as long as it’s not offensive or rude, what’s the problem? I’ll think about things like that as I draw. Admittedly, this was more complex of a drawing than I would prefer for writing essays like this, but at least for the first thirty minutes, it evoked those same brainstorming and meditative tendencies that I enjoy getting myself into.
This drawing probably took over two hours.
The one below of Terbie took maybe ten minutes to draw? In this newer version of ENDLESS WAR, you can design a pet after you meet certain criteria, so I was going to go through the many iterations until I figured out something I liked, but went with easier options instead. The end result was this freakish slug thing and for being semi-randomly generated, I think he/it is a fine pet. I don’t know the pronouns to use for Terbie, there, yet. I defaulted to “he” because of the whole “Terbie Betzom” avatar wearing a suit idea, I guess, but “it” is probably fine, too. “He/it,” maybe?
I had fun drawing both, though, and both have in-the-moment inspirations.
I drew the first draft of my RFCKsona and the outline of Terbie and entered the command to “goto” home base. I washed then cooked spinach and carrots in my rice cooker while thinking over what else I wanted to do with my drawing before posting it in the #community-service chatroom. The PRESS signifier was a cool idea… I returned to find myself killed off before arriving safely inside the base. Shot in the head! Twice! Well, since everything is canon, I drew the PRESS armband, drew the bullet holes, revived myself, and went about trying to put myself back together before posting the pictures.
The pictures were quietly well-received.
I’m having fun with the game, even though it’s much more complex and easier to die now. I wonder if it’s the competitive nature of it being so new? Or whether it’s always been so easy to be killed off for being in the wrong area for too long? Either way, I have spent too much time today gathering up resources, making my slimeoid, making my rifle [which was spared along with my slimeoid after my first in-game death in this version], but like everything in life, once you’ve set up the infrastructure for how you want to operate, it’s easier to start your operations.
While drawing, I thought of how often I want to play.
I have woken and sometimes spent over one hour sitting in bed, leaning in a position that is comfortable for my back, while I read stuff online. If I threw a few text commands in, I could benefit from the thing I like, perhaps, most about the gameplay mechanics: things take time. Moving between parts of the map takes multiple minutes. The mechanics forces you away to prevent you from spending all of your time playing. You might still spend too much time playing, as I did today, but the time I waited between districts – where I’d move to mine for slime, build my slimeoid, create my rifle, then return to base – let my mind meander in much the same way that drawing does. You might focus on the lines, cleaning up edges, or figuring out how to make things just right, or you might focus on tasks to do or whatever else is lingering subconsciously for longer than it needs to…
I think what excites me, too, is the creative energy.
Although Terbie doesn’t have a hat in-game, a conversation with an opposing team member – they were a Rowdy and I’m a Killer, inspired this narrative beat for these two pictures. RFCK-Zombiepaper entered the Dojo to formally create and name his rifle. He decided on an oddly-specific name, thanks to a friend of his IDFKA, and found it difficult to name because the name was too long. A training Rowdy joked about his naming process. They talked, the Rowdy took a minor liking to Terbie and gave the opposing Killer some friendly advice, before leaving. Terbie had just been formed, and was still getting acquainted with the world, but was so struck by the attention that he formed a slime-hat based on the Rowdy’s signature hat. Even after they were both later struck down along by another Rowdy, when RFCK-Zombiepaper revived, Terbie revived his old shape and self, kept his slime-hat as they continued on their way.
I’m looking forward to more narrative beats.
|Sources: My personal experiences playing ENDLESS WAR.|
|Inspirations: I tend to like writing about things I spend a lot of time on to reclaim some of that time, I guess, but also, it was fun writing that little bit above, which I wouldn’t have written were it not for this essay.|
|Related: Other Media Meandry and Applied Self-Confidence essays.|
|Picture: I’ve been keeping these drawings as I do things in-game for the same reason I mentioned above. If it was just text-only, then what would the fruits of my efforts show? But since I can draw these avatars, it’s fun for one, and I might get art drawn by artists of these characters later on. The specific details of my RFCKsona’s first death in this new version, and third total, were a little scattered during the killing and the killed process. I’m going with the killed description as appears in the text.|
|Written On: 2020 April 26 [1:56pm to 3pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 April 26 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|