I’ve been thinking about building out “The Story” within videogames. Summarizing my research: I didn’t want to learn game development to create setpieces and I wasn’t looking for anything particularly fancy. While writing Novel 01, I realized I could have benefitted from visual continuity help. Now that my preparation period before writing Novel 02 can be casually longer, I can create major setpieces of Eville in Minecraft. I spent 43 minutes today to roughly sketch out Sammohini’s bedroom.
Spoilers?: Minor [visualizing in 3D]
Without my livestreaming meandry, I wouldn’t have recorded that build.
I uploaded the video and will record other videos as I jump back into my Minecraft server. That video should help advertise the writing of Novel 02. My decision to go with Minecraft was rooted in the idea that while I could go with more detailed videogames like 7 Days To Die, I don’t need to have specific representation for everything I’m trying to convey. I’m not going to use Minecraft to tell my stories. I could, and if it feels right, I could meander through some multimedia thing, but I enjoy writing fiction.
I don’t need to have a specifically designed chair; a block is enough.
I’ll enjoy recording all of my videos as I build out the greater Eville Medical area, starting with Sammohini’s apartment, because it will help me learn how to work within Minecraft and provide a sort of visual language for what I want to do when I invite others onto the server to help me build out the map. As you can watch in the video, I had an easy time picking up the mechanics and building out this room. Fortnite’s Creative Mode was completely displeasurable. I haven’t played 7 Days so I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it much more over Minecraft. The thing that convinced me to dig into Minecraft is how popular it is, so it would be easier to find new collaborators or even to drum up interest.
I’m sure 7 Days is like that, too, but that’s my reason.
If there was something maybe I should have done differently about this room, it would be scoping out the particular dimensions prior to building. The thing with this Minecraft experiment was that I wanted to see how easily it could be for me to dump my thoughts into this world. I could always adjust the sizes later, but if it was annoying to work in, like Fortnite, then why would I be concerned over specific sizes? I started by building up a reference point at the recommendation of my friend that’s helping me setup a Minecraft server, then built out my smiley face – :] – and since that was easy, I kept on going.
Below is a less obscured screenshot of Sammohini’s room.
This was how I roughly imagined her bedroom to look in Novel 01.
We’re standing at the door to the bedroom. Her bed is on the far, right side of the bedroom. On the left side of the room is her computer desk where she will often work. To the right side is the closet. She might live in this apartment for a while, so she may have various iterations of how she arranges her furniture. There was enough room in the closet where I could probably build up a few bedrooms, one on top of the other, depending on when we’re looking at her bedroom, since I don’t anticipate fully recreating her apartment complex in this particular space.
I will save that level of ambition for after I build out other structures.
For now, my next plan is – once I finish all of my medical paperwork and do some downsizing over the next week, so as to sufficiently reward myself with “playing” in Minecraft and “working” on Novel 02 – finishing her apartment. If I can figure out how to make her room enclosed without it being dark, I would also build up more floors so that I could build out various incarnations of her bedroom – but maybe all I’d need of that is the start of the second room and then going from there.
As I proceed, I’ll probably draw out maps in Paint, for other visual references.
I could even see using games like 7 Days if I wanted to have a more detailed world for storytelling, but this, along with the additional rooms bit in the previous paragraph, is me trying to reign back my creativity. My focus is building out a reliable reference point for all of the major setpieces that will appear in Novel 02. I’m happy enough with how Sammohini’s room turned out that I don’t need to make any major revisions to it at this time. I will go back in, especially as I learn more about Minecraft, and modify things, but I’m more concerned with laying down foundations across the major setpieces, rather than worrying about how specific blocks or pixels look.
I’m building out this Minecraft world like I wrote Novel 01.
I wrote extensively about how I was preparing for Novel 01, then wrote. It was exhausting in many regards but also the one thing in my entire life that I am the proudest of having achieved. I did it! I wrote a novel as I intended. It’s a little rough, sure, but that’s what having a longer preparation period like this should help to smooth out. If there’s one thing I know that I could have improved with Novel 01, it was its visual references. I didn’t have accurate, to-scale references available to me, so I either wrote a sufficient [or excessive] amount of detail or skimmed over things.
Having these setpieces built out prior to writing should help.
For places like Sammohini’s apartment, they’re fairly strict for visual design, but other parts within Eville Medical can be designed by others. I did use randomizers to come up with some names and ideas. I think it would be fun using one of the most popular videogames ever made to help me write Novel 02.
We’ll see what happens.
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: Besides what I wrote above? Well, for 2021, I’ll be trading off my Saturday and Sunday essays. Ideally, it would be one essay about Novel 02, and then another about “The Story,” but if I have more to write about one or the other, then that’s how it’ll happen. I didn’t include the template picture because I’ll also work on that, but otherwise, writing that plan down is nice because then I can act toward that.|
|Related: Essays helping build “Novel 02.” This novel is formally called “A Story About Self-Confidence: Something About Anxiety,” and is a sequel to “Novel 01,” which is part of the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.”|
|Written On: 2020 November 01 [8:57pm~ to 9:34pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 November 01 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|