Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Suspense Week, Day Two

Behind-the-scenes time again! If you're looking for the latest bits of story, click on the image below for the gruesome finale of season one:

Otherwise, prepare for an early sample of Dragomir's life as I give you... art.

THAT, my friends, is the first Dragomir I ever drew. The other sketches I did of him have since been lost to either the trash or the depths of my closet, but this stupid picture somehow managed to sit on my steamer trunk for the last year without being moved.

And y'know what? I don't like it too much. His outfit is weird, the helmet goofy, and he promised to be way too tall. The original character sketches also lacked personality: they all had a wide-eyed, vacant look about 'em that doesn't appeal to me at all, now. Libby got in on the act, too:

She looks more like a dwarf in this picture. I do not approve. (Don't ask whose floating angry expression that is beside her, I have no idea.) King Jeffrey's preliminary sketch was the exception to this weird rule:

It also added a sinister, scheming dimension to the man, rather like Dick Dastardly. His little moustache eventually got shunted to Kierkegaard, and Jeffrey turned into a dangerous idiot rather than an outright villain.

I have a few more sketches from the old days, but I'll save those for tomorrow. Let's look at the last five members of the First Ten instead!

Queen Daena

Daena's one big change from concept to fruition came with the creation of the Matriarch. She was originally going to sit it out in her tree throughout the story, even after the events of Ad Infernum, beating off the… things… until somebody came back to rescue her. Possibly years later. Daena proved a popular character, though, and as she got more and more screen time I decided to give her some measure of freedom.

The result was a medieval armoured carrier. I don't hear anybody complaining.

Like Jeffrey, Daena was originally going to be 'Daena the Queen'. Didn't sound right, so I nixed the title swap.

Prince Logan

Logan started life as more of an idiot scamp, getting into areas he wasn't supposed to be able to access and requiring Dragomir to get out of his prepubescent debacles. I quickly realized that Logan was NOT an idiot, though, and letting him act as something of a benevolent puppetmaster for Dragomir proved much more enjoyable.

Another title swap here. Surprise!

Captain Cedric

Cedric changed drastically between the vision in my brain and what came out on paper. He began life as a fussy, strict, clean-shaven fellow who took his job way too seriously. That last part survived, but Cedric ultimately transformed into a beefy, hairy bastard - part of a conscious decision to set his name at odds with his appearance. Cedric just sounds like the name of a clean-freak.

I love this line from the original document:

"Will have to die at some point, as he’s not quite interesting enough to last forever as a character – stuck as he is, and won’t be changing."

I guess Cedric moved away from this idea, because he turned out to be quite interesting with the whole secret-poet part of his personality. Yet… he still got ripped in half. Poor Cedric.

I love THIS line even more:

"Had his testicles bitten off by Prince Logan’s pet kangaroo under mysterious circumstances – has caused a constant loop in the game that has him perpetually upset, no matter how things are going in the castle."

Which makes sense from a Sims point of view. Guess I wanted Cedric to suffer from the very beginning. I hadn't even envisioned the kangaroo as a werewolf at this point! I just wanted somebody to be sans-thinger. I'm sick.

Robert the Librarian

Dragomir's writing mentor was going to be much more prominent than he turned out in the final product. Robert was planned to act much more like a typical NPC, simply handing Dragomir books and waiting until Dragomir hit another level of reading and writing capacity. Their relationship eventually grew into an amiable friendship… though it may have stripped Robert of some of his importance, as he usually gets little more than cursory mentions. Poor Robert.

I'd also planned to have Logan bedevilling Robert's library much more often, back when Logan was less of mastermind and more of a spoiled brat. Aside from Robert's chapter in AFK, I don't think they've had any interactions. Go figure.

One last thing:

"Has a pet emu named Vincent that also serves as a rapid-speed mount whenever Robert needs to get around the library in a hurry."

… apparently animals were much more prominent in my mind back then…

Philip the Ghost

Yep, Philip was ALWAYS going to die. Poor, poor, POOR Philip. He was meant to become a more prominent character, with a buddy-buddy relationship between him and Dragomir eventually forming, but that went in the wood chipper. I like ghost stories, so expect Philip to get more screen time in the future.

The Rats

These little Machiavellian bastards started out as a mere food staple in the castle. Deeeeeelicious. That didn't last past the first thought, of course, and I quickly took a page from Douglas Adams by turning them into highly-intelligent, hive-mind schemers.

Over time, the role of the rats subtly changed. They were envisioned as the consummate allies for Dragomir, able to flit about the castle and bring him the information he needed to survive what happened in the hole. They turned OUT to be more self-serving than that, holding back information in the service of their agenda and causing Dragomir a great deal of aggravation. I like 'em much better that way.

Tomorrow: some more old pictures, and the layout of the castle!


  1. That is some AWESOME history of the story and it's characters. Plus it explains how some of the greatest and most hilarious ideas were less planned out, and more developed as a response to how much people liked a particular character, or how the story simply moved away from a single direction.

  2. Even without his important bits, Cedric was the manliest of men. Competition only from Libby, though I imagine she'd get disqualified for not being a man at all. Beating up the one who disqualified her might put her immediately back in the running.

    Ripped in half is a pretty sweet way to go, by all accounts.