Friday, October 10, 2014

The 100-Post Milestone

2 years ago I created the Shonen Otaku Corner as a way to share my writing and love of fictional media.  Starting with my very first post ever on the second season of Yu Yu Hakusho I've written many game and anime (mostly game) feature stories that have given me excellent practice, strong examples of my skills and at least some recognition.  With over 50,000 page views and some posts shared on official and fan Facebook pages, I'm modestly proud at how this blog has turned out.

I wasn't sure what I could do for something as special as my 100th post.  Different online personalities have done them in different ways (Linkara's rant on Spider Man: One More Day for his 200th comes to mind).  But my reviews and articles come on a case-by-case basis, and I didn't have anything planned for my 100th post.

So instead of a new review or the second part of the Mortal Kombat post, I thought I'd make this 100th post special by making it about the thoughts and processes that go into my writing instead of the end result.  Specifically, the three big projects you can see in the tabs at the top of the page and how they came into being.

The KOF Retrospective

I wasn't an SNK fan from the series' beginning.  In fact, I've never even seen an arcade cabinet with a KOF or even Fatal Fury game ever before in my life.  I originally got into the series with the Orochi Saga Collection on the Wii, and as you can tell, I got hooked big time (starting with KOF '96).  Not only was the music and art design excellent, but the story was a multi-game shonen epic with well-made characters that made me want to learn the stories of each and every single one while playing with their distinguishing fighting styles.

Since I was so passionate about the franchise, I wanted to make something that could effectively share that and convince more people to play the games for themselves.  As inspiration, I looked at other online personalities that did just that with their own favorite franchises: Spoony's Ultima Retrospective, Linkara's History of the Power Rangers and Welshy's Saw retrospective (which he sadly never finished).  Each of those were entertaining, analytical and informative, exactly how I want my writing to be.  They showed why they loved each series so much, but weren't afraid to mock some of their stupider aspects.  Plus, with KOF telling its story through images with text, I could convey the story effectively without the need of a video.

And thus, I played each game one by one, multiple times, all while writing the details and my thoughts.

The Fighting Game Camps

With my current ongoing series of articles on the many different fighting game franchises in gaming, I more or less asked myself "why stop at KOF?"  There are people just as passionate about their own favorite fighting game franchises, and each one has its own stories to tell.
With my skills honed in KOF my curiosity motivated me to dive deeper into the other franchises to see what kind of stories they told and observe what makes their fans so hardcore.  I obviously couldn't go over each and every game in each franchise like the KOF retrospective unless it would be made over the course of several years, so I instead made it a detailed summation; an introductory piece to each franchise as a whole, if you will.  It's been a very fun and fascinating trip so far.  It kind of feels like traveling to different countries around the world and partaking in their local sport or seeing a play with each one's local folk tales.  You wouldn't think there'd be that kind of variety in a concept as simple as having people fight each other, but like any genre, there is.

As a side note, the second part of the post on Mortal Kombat is being delayed.  Instead I'll be writing a piece on a rather.... Bizarre fighting game.

The Diary of Frank West

As I said, my articles are usually meant to be both informative and entertaining.  Something fun to read, but with the reader getting something out of it.  With the Diary of Frank West, I wanted to make something purely entertainment.

I'm a fan of Dead Rising and its sequel Dead Rising 2 (haven't played the third yet).  They're great silly fun with somewhat unique plots, if kind of cheesy at times.  There are many jokes to be made as the ridiculous nature of the improvised weapons, gameplay mechanics inconsistent with reality, and the way the straight-faced story plays itself against said ridiculousness for a hilarious contrast.  Whether a friend is watching you play Dead Rising in the same room or chatting while playing Dead Rising 2 with you in its co-op multiplayer, there are laughs to be had.

So for the Diary of Frank West, I decided to make my own comedy series blending a number of different styles of entertainment writing: A let's play mixed with the occasional liberties of a fan fiction along with an alternate character interpretation, all using absurdist humor.

The general writing process went like this:
1. Play Dead Rising for a while.
2. Write down bullet points of what happened, including notable silliness, plot points, and thoughts and complaints Frank may be thinking at times.
3. Wait a while, smash my head against a wall for 10 minutes, huff paint and watch online videos that likely make me dumber.

(That was an exaggeration. I do not support the use of illicit drugs or inhaling paint.)
4. Using the bullet points as starting points, write what my damaged mind probably remembers.  In the case of this series, I remembered.... Vietnam spies, an amnesic Ozzy Osbourne, blowing people up with Hokuto Shinken and enchanted healing food.  Whoooooah man.

If I wrote it and said "Oh my god that's the stupidest thing I've ever read," it got kept in.  Before playing the original version of the game I had played through the Wii version literally a dozen times, so I was able to plan a number of jokes regarding the main story ahead of time.

The end result was as insane and crazy as I had wanted it to be, but that may be a double-edged sword. Some people get absurdist humor, but others may read it and believe me, not Frank, to be out of my mind.

I'm a little concerned some people might be offended.  Frank's traits were meant to be stupid and offensive to the point of being a caricature. I was trying to cross the line twice, but at times, like Frank's misogyny and the cultists'... Implications, I feel as though I may have only crossed it once.  I might go back to adjust it sometime.

I'm considering doing a sequel using Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, but I'm not sure there's much of a demand for that because the first one has been kind of hit or miss.  It was fun to write regardless.

As has writing for this blog on the whole.  For the handful of readers I get, I can't thank you enough for your support.  You're what keeps me going.  Hopefully with 100 posts to present I can finally get a paid writing job.

No comments:

Post a Comment