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chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014




Throughout the month of March, I held a Let's Read thread for Ready Player One. The book became a sensation after its release in 2011, including receiving a massive film adaptation by Steven Spielberg that just came out, but started facing harsh criticism after the nostalgia filter wore off.

Ready Player One is a bad book in many ways. The protagonist is dull and never learns anything or improves on his personal flaws, and manages to win the ultimate prize and get the girl by being most obsessive nerd possible. Earnest Cline's writing is more like an autistic person talking about their favorite video game, with emotionless descriptions of playing arcade games and needing to specify exactly what emotion characters are meant to be feeling at any given point because none of the dialogue or first person descriptions of Wade's feelings actually indicate it. Because Cline can't write action, he glosses over every action scene and the potential for more detailed descriptions of Wade's experiences.

But there's also the potential for something better here. A lot of people in the thread pointed out ways that scenes or plot points could have been done better, or said that they liked the setting and just hated how Cline wrote it. As the number of ideas for fixing the book piled up, the idea came up for trying to make the ultimate fix fic: rewriting the book itself.

How to put lipstick on a pig in 50 chapters or less

As a compromise between allowing everyone to stretch their creative writing muscles and maintaining a coherent narrative and voice, I'll be taking on the job of "master editor" of sorts.

This book will be tackled chapter by chapter, following the outline detailed next. This will mostly follow the same plot and characters as the original book (which should make this a bit more challenging while also speeding up the creative process, rather than throwing the book out wholesale and making a totally new novel). As we cover each chapter, we'll discuss how we feel it should be written. While we should really have the plot and characters hashed out beforehand, we don't have to be completely locked into whatever we decide before starting on Chapter 1 if we find that something isn't working.

Along with discussing how we'd like the chapter to go, anyone can contribute text. You can write as much as you want, from the whole chapter to just a funny quip you think Aech should say. Obviously these bits and pieces that you write are going to be subject to criticism from the rest of the thread (including my own), so stop and think before you post your idea before you throw in something really goony.

Once some time has passed and the thread seems to have come to a decent consensus on how to proceed, I'll write the final "published" chapter. This will consist of both contributed text and my own writing. Some text will be fine to insert on its own, while others will be edited to varying degrees. There's a few reasons I'll edit someone's text:

1. To maintain a coherent voice, giving the illusion that our "book" was written by a single author instead of a collection of several dozen nerds who may or may not be writing after taking a wide range of recreational drugs.

2. To expand on good ideas that could use more fleshing out, or to shorten something that feels like it's dragging on too long or including too much information (so try not to sperg out too much about exactly what leather Max Rockatansky's jacket is made from). This can also include adjustments to allow for workable foreshadowing and callbacks, again making this seem like the product of one person who actually planned poo poo in advance.

3. General cleanup for spelling and grammar.

4. Removing something really bad. The big reason I was hesitant to open this up to text from just anyone is that goons can go from 0 to 100 real fast, and I don't want someone weird having free reign to shove in creepy sex or gore stuff.

If there's serious problems coming to a consensus on how to move forward, I'll open a vote on what seem to be the most popular suggestions. If there's no way to get even a simple majority, I'll go on with whatever I pick. Not super democratic if I have to do that, but it'll keep stuff going instead of stalling until someone blinks.

Assuming we actually manage to accomplish this honestly insane task, I'll compile all the text together into one document and find a way to host it where anyone can read our book.

Is this the first goon crowdsourced novel? It might be.

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chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014


Plot Outline

This is a chapter-by-chapter outline, simply describing what happens in each chapter. This will hew close to the book; along with making this a bit more of a challenge by forcing us to work within Cline's world and narrative, it should actually make the creative process faster by restricting how crazy our ideas can get and mitigate the "too many cooks" effect.

1. We're introduced to Wade Watts, a normal teenager in the year 2095. Wade leaves his abusive aunt in the Oklahoma City stacks and heads to his junkyard hideout for school. We learn about Wade's childhood that led to his parents' deaths and forcing him to live with his mother's drug addicted sister. He encounters a few people on his walk, whom he mostly avoids because of his difficulty in talking to them. We learn that Wade suffers from severe social anxiety that's only partially mitigated by his use of OASIS. On the positive side, he's a computer genius who creates acoustic guitar songs on a battered trash guitar to express himself while alone.

2. In quasi-flashback, he recounts when he watched Anorak's Invitation 5 years ago upon Halliday's death. Rather than joining the ranks of the egg hunters, he decided that he'd never figure out such an obscure first clue and forgot about it.

3. Wade attends virtual school on Ludus from his hideout. He encounters bullying from Todd13, which he struggles to deal with even without the anxiety of a face-to-face confrontation. Wade is sent an invite to the Basement by Aech, his best friend, before class. Aech is a dedicated hunter and 80s nerd, which Wade can't understand. Another hunter, i-Rok, bursts in. Aech keeps him around to make fun of, and they spar with some 80s references that fly right past Wade's head. i-Rok notices and mocks Wade for not being a real nerd.

4. While in class, Wade uses an exploit to read Arty's Missives. He's not really into egg hunting or the 80s, but he thinks her avatar is cute and enjoys reading her witty blog posts. We learn a little more about the hunt.

5. Wade closes his browser, and we learn that he's bored out of his skull in his OASIS Studies class. Mr. Ciders covers aspects of Halliday's biography and personality, which Wade only pays attention to for a grade. He likes OASIS for the game and isn't a fan of Halliday any more than an iPhone owner is a personal devotee to Steve Jobs. However, he finds some uncomfortable similarities between himself and how his teacher describes Halliday's social awkwardness and lack of friends in life.

6. After school lets out, Wade goes on a depression walk in the fields of Ludus. He takes a path through the woods that he never took before and notices that one of the trees has a strange-looking knot in it, with a seam around it. Pushing in the knot, the tree swings open like a door into a field where a set of black stones form a skull shape at the bottom of the hill. Ludus isn't supposed to have any adventures on it, so Wade runs back to his locker to get his armor and sword. He digs into an opening in the cliff and runs inside....and the door promptly shuts behind him. A spike trap opens and Wade's avatar falls in, dying. He's incredibly confused.

7. Googling what he saw, Wade finds that the stones and hidden entrance are the Tomb of Horrors from a very old Dungeons & Dragons module. Wade decides to try and explore the tomb despite not having his gear (since he's Level 1, he doesn't really face a penalty dying right now), but can't keep his guide open when inside the Tomb so he needs to rely on his memory. He painstakingly makes his way through, solving the puzzles and killing enemies with scavenged weapons and armor. Finally, he meets Acererak. Everything goes black.

8. Wade finds himself sitting on an ostrich, his avatar wearing strange metal armor and holding a lance. He's in a life-size version of the arcade game Joust, and his opponent is Acererak. Without really knowing what he's doing, Wade lucks into winning and becomes the first person to ever acquire the Copper Key. As he sits stunned at what just happened, he turns to find a gun pointed at him.

9. Art3mis slowly makes her way out of the shadows, holding her unknown crush at gunpoint. Wade stumbles through the conversation, but finds that Art3mis is actually a normal person who occasionally slips up and says awkward things that she doesn't mean when she doesn't have the power of blog editing. They actually start to get along and trade contact info, but Art3mis opens the Scoreboard and sees Wade's username on it. Before she can do anything, he runs.

10. Emerging from the Tomb of Horrors and back into the regular terrain of Ludus, Wade is accosted by flying news drones. In the time since he found the Copper Key, his face is all over the news feeds and it took no time at all to locate him as a Ludus student. Struggling to deal with the attention, Wade suffers a panic attack and quickly logs out. After calming himself down, he messages Aech and logs directly into the Basement. Aech is freaking out, which causes Wade to freak out. After both get ahold of themselves, Aech lets Wade know that he's going to have a target on his back for both paparazzi and IOI. He offers to help Wade with items and a crash course in the 80s to continue his hunt. Meanwhile, Aech heads out to get the Copper Key himself.

11. We cut to the next day. Wade is in the middle of a trivia flash card session with Aech, which is frustrating him to no end. We see a conflict in how they view media: Aech is so obsessed with the 80s that he lets nostalgia for an unlived era overrule his sense of taste, while Wade looks at all of the media individually and thinks some of the "really awesome" stuff is just trash. They take a break to work on the clue Wade got from the Copper Key, and some searching on the OASIS wiki finds a reference to Dungeons of Daggorath on planet Middletown. Since they both have the Copper Key now, they go together.

12. On Middletown, Wade and Aech gawk at the perfectly recreated 1980s small town. Wade receives an email from Art3mis complimenting him on beating Joust as a Level 1, as she's just received the Copper Key herself. They find Halliday's house and encounter i-Rok, who's gotten there before them. They get into a gunfight across Halliday's house until it's completely trashed and i-Rok is killed. In Halliday's bedroom, they load up Dungeons of Daggorath in his home computer. Suddenly, both are sucked into the game Tron-style.

13. Wade and Aech fight through a 3D recreation of Dungeons of Daggorath, just like their Joust game previously. Their technological items are useless, forcing them to go medieval with swords and sorcery. After defeating the wizard, the First Gate appears instead of the exit door.

14. Aech and Wade find themselves wearing 1980s US Army uniforms on a blasted battlefield, as a gigantic battle between the Americans and Soviets rages around them. They fight their way to a government facility, and on the bottom level is Joshua from WarGames. The computer tells them "The only winning move is not to play" and resets the battle, placing them back at the beginning. Wade realizes that they need to sneak their way to Joshua without killing any enemies. They're given the clue for the Jade Key when they reach the end and are booted back out to Middletown. As they leave the house, a dropship descends in front of them.

15. The dropship disgorges a squad of IOI troops, flanking an avatar in a futuristic business suit. This man is a representative of IOI who has come to offer business cards to Wade and Aech, inviting them to an interview for employment. Aech flicks the card back in his face, but as the dropship takes off Wade seems to be considering it.

16. Over the next few days, Wade struggles to deal with the initial stages of his celebrity status. He's invited to countless interviews and receives thousands of fan letters, death threats, and links to fan fiction about himself. He finds that two new hunters, Daito and Shoto, have joined the three of them on the Scoreboard. He replies to some messages offering him endorsement deals, as the money will help him get out of the shantytown. He also finds another offer of employment by IOI.

17. Having bought a new suit, Wade arrives at his chatlink interview with Nolan Sorrento, the charismatic head of IOI Hunting. Wade is tempted by the offers of money, but unsure about handing over control of OASIS to a corporation for monetization. Sorrento turns off the recorders and talks personally to Wade, identifying his insecurities and finding a common ground between having lost family members to drug abuse and OASIS addiction. Thinking that he's found a kindred spirit, Sorrento privately reveals his plan to shut down OASIS upon winning control of it. Wade is horrified and refuses, only to find himself in a chokehold for real by a pair of IOI thugs that snuck into his hideout. He's told that he has 24 hours to accept...or else.

18. Using what little money he has left, Wade builds a fake identity and orders a bus ticket to Columbus. On his way, he contacts Art3mis and Aech to set up a meeting with Daito and Shoto. He reveals the real world intimidation by IOI and warns them to be careful, as they're all equal targets. Daito and Shoto are hesitant to trust the others, but agree to remain cautious.

19. After arriving in Columbus, Wade gets a cheap apartment on his first endorsement check. He checks the newsfeeds to see that not only did an army of renewed egg hunters find the Tomb of Horrors and flood it to try and reach Acererak, IOI temporarily blocked it with energy shields before the hunters took it down. School is moved off of Ludus as the Tomb becomes a hunter camp occasionally besieged by griefers.

20. Wade starts talking to Art3mis, and they begin spending virtual time together and grow closer. As the endorsement checks and interviews keep rolling in, Wade struggles with his celebrity status and starts finding that the only time he gets a break is real life, where he’s still hiding under a false name. At Aech’s insistence, he hires a PR agent to filter our the paparazzi. The agent insists that he cultivate a hunter persona, including buying an embarrassing DeLorean.

21. Wade joins Art3mis for a Rocky Horror shadowcast at her urging, where she pulls some strings to get Wade in as Eddie. He’s incredibly nervous, but with some coaching he manages to have the time of his life. Art3mis gives him a virtual kiss at the end, and they have a short discussion on the status of their relationship.

22. Wade and Art3mis are invited to a major virtual GSS party, held online in a cyberpunk club. Their bonding is interrupted by Wade being hit on by a fan in an overly dolled-up avatar, which Art3mis scoffs at. Wade dares Art3mis to show him what she really looks like, which angers her and causes her to storm out. As Wade follows her, they’re suddenly attacked by an IOI hit squad and get into a flying car chase in Wade’s DeLorean. Wade and Art3mis argue after escaping and she logs out, cutting off contact with him.

23. In a switch to third person, we see the captain of the Kaylee as his vessel comes under attack by an X-Wing piloted by a mad daredevil. After disabling the ship's weapon systems and shields, the pilot boards and quickly cuts a swath through the crew. The last thing the captain sees before being shot in the head is Parzival storming through the door, raising his gun.

24. We find that the previous chapter was Wade watching a recorded livestream from the captain after stealing his ship and renaming it the Vonnegut. He's spent the past few months carving a name for himself, becoming one of the most dangerous hunters in OASIS as a way of dulling the pain of Art3mis leaving him. As he struggles to figure out the meaning of the Jade Key clue, he makes a decision he's never made before: to go outside.

25. Wade walks through downtown Columbus in the blazing summer heat for the first time. He finds that despite having left the shantytown, Columbus is still struggling with homelessness and crime. Wade comes across a public park and sits for a time, experiencing an environment he's never seen outside of OASIS. As he starts to wonder if Art3mis would like this place, his sour mood comes back and he returns to his apartment.

26. Upon returning to his apartment and logging back in, Wade finds a quest on Tokusatsu to complete a series of major battles from Ultraman, Godzilla Kamen Rider, and Super Sentai. Sensing a chance to make a connection, he contacts Daito and Shoto. While Daito is initially reluctant to team up with any other hunters, he relents and the two join him. Daito leaves with a grudging respect for Wade.

27. Following up on the Jade Key clue, Wade takes a trip to Archaide. The planet is filled with life as players digitize their avatars into the arcade games to play them "for real", with others spectating and betting on fights or high scores. He receives an IM from Shoto that he responds to, noting that Daito disapproves of him maintaining this outside friendship. After the trophy case fails to do anything, Wade accidentally stumbles upon a secret door in one of the alleys and finds a recreation of Happytime Pizza from Halliday's childhood. He finds a broken down Pac-Man game in the back, and after plugging it in he's suddenly sucked into the game.

28. Finding himself in a gigantic Pac-Man maze and chased by fiery ghosts, Wade begins to complete the game with his avatar. Without a way to log out, he's forced to marathon the entire game over a 4 hour period and fight past glitching graphics on the 256th level. Nearly passing out from exhaustion, Wade beats all 256 mazes and finds himself back outside with a quarter in his hand. As he puts it in his inventory, he finds that it can't be removed but doesn't take up an item slot or weight. As he leaves, the Scoreboard updates because Art3mis has just found the Jade Key.

29. Aech calls Wade the next day, letting him know that thinks he's solved the Jade Key puzzle and inviting him to help with the challenge. He flies to alt.phreaking and meets Aech at the statue of John Draper, where Aech explains the use of the Cap'n Crunch bosun whistle for phone phreaking. Using a tone generator, Aech produces a 2600 hertz tone that causes the whistle in the statue's hand to crack and expose a real plastic whistle. Blowing into it, no sound is produced but the statue raises from its stand to expose an underground passage. Before they can descend, a dropship suddenly drops off a revived i-Rok in a set of power armor. After bragging about how joining Goonfleet has helped him get this new gear, he levels his plasma rifle...which fails to fire. A radio message goes out to everyone there, revealing that Goonfleet stuck a timed explosive to the back of i-Rok's head while he was AFK and they'll only deactivate it if he can kill Wade and Aech in 1 minute. i-Rok is unable to defeat them even with his power armor and explodes.

30. Wade and Aech descend below the statue and find themselves in a clearing in the woods standing outside the house from Zork. Aech criticizes Wade for not recognizing the game, which annoys him and causes a fight. They set aside their conflict to complete the 3D recreation of the old text adventure, but can't help throwing barbs at each other; Wade feels that Aech's obsession with the 80s is dumb and feels too much like how Halliday's equal obsession caused him to turn into an rear end in a top hat, while Aech calls out Wade for shying away from the limelight and still caring enough about Halliday to follow his every whim to get rich. They finally collect all the treasures and blow the whistle, spawning two copies of the Jade Key for them. As they continue to argue, a squad of IOI troops begins filing through the passageway. Aech teleports out with a magical item, leaving Wade to fight his way out.

31. Back at his base, Wade plays around with the Jade Key and the wrapper. He finds that he can Use the wrapper in his inventory, causing it to fold into a unicorn. Doing a search for movies involving an origami unicorn and a test, he identifies it as Blade Runner and that he needs to find a Voight-Kampff machine. Returning to the same planet where he fought with Art3mis, he finds the Tyrell Corporation building and breaks in, fighting his way past an army of replicant guards. He finds the Voight-Kampff machine in Tyrell's office and inserts the key, unveiling the Second Gate.

32. Inside the Second Gate, Wade is dropped into a 3D recreation of the 1985 Blade Runner video game. He needs to chase a series of increasingly fast and violent replicants, dodging cars and running through crowds to catch up to them. When he completes it, he's given the chance to choose a giant robot as a reward along with the clue for the Crystal Key. While he has a huge number of options, he picks Leopardon because he finds the Japanese Spider-Man cartoon so ridiculous that he can't help but be ironic.

33. Quickly figuring out the red star from the clue, Wade travels to Syrinx where recreations of multiple Rush song locations exist (as Halliday was such a huge Rush fan that he built a whole planet about them). Underneath the waterfall, Wade finds a replica of Alex Lifeson's guitar. Using his own skills as a guitarist, he begins playing "Discovery" from 2112 and a hint appears on the wall that Wade immediately recognizes as requiring multiple Crystal Keys. Returning to the Temple of Syrinx, he finds Daito and Shoto already there and leaving with the Crystal Key. Wade tries to team up with them, but Daito rudely pushes Shoto to leave and Wade is left to get the Key himself. An IOI force descends on the temple, and the trio begin to fight the Sixer army. Suddenly, Daito shouts that someone is here and is suddenly logged out, leaving his avatar to be killed. Shoto and Wade narrowly escape in Wade's ship.

34. On their way back to Wade's base, he and Shoto check the newsfeeds and find news that the famous hunter Daito was found dead after jumping from his apartment balcony. Shoto immediately breaks down and drops all of his samurai attitude, revealing himself to just be a scared teenager. He reveals the truth of his and Daito's identities and history and admits to not knowing where to go in his life now that his only friend is dead. Wade reminds Shoto that he's still his friend, and promises to help him. They recall the suspicious circumstances of Daito's sudden logging out and start to suspect IOI of something. Wade decides that the Hunt has gotten too real, and he's now got one shot at finding out the truth.

35. Sneaking out into Columbus in the dead of night, Wade infiltrates IOI's real world headquarters parking garage. Finding an access panel, he jacks into their intranet with his tablet and tries a set of exploits he bought from someone claiming to be a disaffected sysadmin. He finds that the codes work, but is forced to flee from security. He can only see one more option for getting in.

36. Wade signs up for IOI credit cards with the worst possible terms and maxes them out as fast as he can, creating a ton of debt on his false identity. After a few weeks, he's arrested and placed into indentured servitude at IOI as a "bot" for their team combat games. As he works off his debt, he starts to find himself enjoying the comfort, safety, and three square meals a day he gets from IOI. Only after reminding himself of Daito's death does he shake off his desire to stay.

37. Wade uses his purchased passwords to break into the intranet from his bunk's entertainment console. As he scours the files, he finds that Sorrento has already gotten the Crystal Key but is clueless about how to proceed without the hint from behind the waterfall. He also finds that Sorrento has gathered files on him and his friends with plans for forcibly recruiting them, allowing him to finally see Art3mis in real life. She's just as gorgeous as her avatar, and he realizes that their fight was over nothing Finally, he finds internal documentation detailing the execution order for Daito. Sneaking everything onto a flash drive, he makes a narrow escape.

38. Wade contacts Aech, Art3mis, and Shoto to arrange a meeting at the Basement. They show up, worried about how he had gone off the grid for so long. He sends them all the files he stole from IOI, including the documents proving that Daito was murdered. He tells them of his plan: to publicize the information and invite all of OASIS to join him at Castle Anorak to stop IOI once and for all. Everyone logs out except for Art3mis, who asks to talk to Wade in private. She nervously asks him if he read her file, and he admits to it. She apologizes for panicking back at the party, and Wade apologizes for pushing her to do something uncomfortable. They table their emotional discussion for later.

39. Wade transfers all of his money to an offshore account, then burns his fake identity and restores himself officially as Wade Watts before collecting his money. He uses it to fly Shoto to Columbus, while Aech picks up Art3mis from over the border. Aech's RV arrives the next day. Wade opens the door to find Art3mis and Aech in the flesh, and is surprised to learn that Aech is very different in real life than his avatar. He and Art3mis embrace for the first time in real life. Shoto's plane arrives shortly thereafter and they pick him up as well.

40. Finally together for the first time in real life, the High Five travel to a non-IOI login point and Wade uses his money to rent them all top notch rigs for the final battle. After logging in, they suit up with all of their best gear and travel to Castle Anorak in their giant robots. They arrive in the middle of a gigantic space battle as thousands of players attack the Sixer fleet guarding the planet. After aiding in the battle with their robots, they begin to attack the planet.

41. Swooping down on the planet, the hunter armada encounters a Sixer army that includes several super robots also earned by Sixers who found the Crystal Key. As the hunters begin to win, they suddenly start being disconnected from OASIS. The news feeds report on sudden ISP outages around the country, as IOI attempts to pull the plug on most of its attackers. Still based in Columbus, the High Five is unaffected and left with only a small handful of fellow hunters. Sorrento makes his presence known and unleashes Ideon, stolen from Daito after killing him.

42. Ideon is so powerful that Sorrento easily kills most of the other hunter avatars. The High Five fight hard, but Shoto is killed and his robot destroyed. Through teamwork, Wade, Art3mis, and Aech are able to take down Ideon. Suddenly, Ideon self-destructs in a massive explosion that kills everyone.

43. Wade finds himself still alive, and learns that the quarter he earned from Pac-Man gave him the only extra life ever known to be earned in OASIS. Amazingly, Sorrento is alive as well. He explains that they had identified Wade during his indentured servitude at IOI and allowed him to remain in their intranet so their hackers could gain access to his OASIS account's movements through his retinal patterns. Sorrento located the Pac-Man machine and completed it himself, earning his own extra life. The pair race to the Third Gate and reach it at the same time, falling through together.

44. Sorrento and Wade land in a recreation of the dungeon from Adventure. While they no longer have their original items due to their respawning, artifacts survived the destruction and Sorrento uses one to transform himself into a massive dragon. Wade recognizes the maze and realizes that he needs to find the original Easter egg, and runs as Sorrento pursues. During this chase, Sorrento rants about the death of his sister and how he'll kill Wade and all his friends for real if that's what it takes to shut down OASIS for good. Collecting items and weapons around the maze, Wade narrowly fights off Sorrento and grabs the egg with a split second to spare before Sorrento can kill him.

45. Wade is instantly teleported into Anorak's study. He's confronted by an AI recreation of Halliday's mind, who transfers superadmin powers to Wade's avatar and grants him control over GSS. Before he can fade away, however, Wade angrily denounces Halliday for how he pushed away his only two friends out of jealousy and turned the world upside-down in an effort to put someone like himself in charge. Wade defiantly says that he'll turn GSS into the company it could have been, having seen what he could have become, and Halliday's ghost in the machine disappears forever.

46. Returning to the outside of the castle, Wade vaporizes Sorrento's avatar with a wave of his hand. He learns from his friends that all of the events of the final challenge were broadcast live around the world, allowing them to witness Sorrento's confessions. Wade sends the stolen IOI files on Daito's murder and their plans for kidnapping the High Five to the police. Outside, Wade and Samantha talk about their relationship. They admit that while they haven't gotten to know each other for real, they know each other well enough to try.

47. An epilogue 5 years later. Wade has redirected much of his newfound fortune to funding public schools, services, and charities to try and help America out of its recession. He and Samantha have married, while Aech and Shoto have their own cartoon series for their avatars and have given interviews in real life about their time on the PvP circuit. Wade visits Sorrento in a federal prison, where he's been sentenced to 70 years for the murder of Daito and his various other corporate crimes. Wade expresses sympathy for his sister's death, and Sorrento simply says that he no longer feels anger now that he's finally disconnected for good. As he walks away, Wade leaves something for Sorrento to remember him by.

chitoryu12 fucked around with this message at Apr 19, 2018 around 14:55

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014


Characters

Parzival

Real name, Wade Owen Watts. Wade is a socially awkward 18-year-old who goes to one of the many virtual schools in OASIS. He was born and raised in the shantytown on the edge of Oklahoma City, OK. His father died in a robbery gone wrong, leaving him to be raised by a single mother who worked in an OASIS call center by day and a virtual brothel by night. Wade was neglected and left to mostly raise himself on a steady diet of VR games and movies until his mother died of a drug overdose when Wade was 13, leaving him to live with her sister, Alice. Alice suffers from the same problems with drug addiction, and Wade lives in fear of her and her abusive boyfriend.

Wade rarely got out as a child and has mostly experienced the world and human interaction through OASIS. He supports himself through scavenging the junkyard and people's trash for electronics to repair, as he's become a self-taught electrical engineer and programmer. When not doing quests in OASIS, he likes to play guitar on an old acoustic Yamaha he pulled out of a garbage can. He's written some songs, but is too nervous to let anybody hear them.

Even within OASIS, Wade is a shrinking violet. Consequently, he takes to celebrity like a cockroach to bug spray and struggles to keep his cool under so much pressure. Aech is his only real friend, and Wade doesn't really get Aech's 80s obsession. He's got a bit of a crush on Art3mis from reading her blog and is completely starstruck until he realizes that she's a normal, awkward person just like him. As he works on the stress of being world famous and gets into more and more trouble, he starts learning how to be himself around others and overcome his social anxiety. He sees Halliday for the flawed man that he was, but also identifies with him in some ways. These similarities make him quite uncomfortable and drive his efforts to change.

Aech

Real name, Helen Harris. Aech is a black 19-year-old lesbian from Atlanta who crafted a white male avatar for OASIS to avoid the possibility of bigotry. She's not in school, but has made enough money to get by through endorsement deals in OASIS tournaments. She keeps her real identity a strict secret, even from her closest friends. She's loud, brash, and sociable both in and out of OASIS.

Aech is one of the old school egg hunters and has gleefully turned an 80s obsession into her lifestyle. She's read, watched, listened to, and played almost everything in Anorak's Almanac. She lives and breathes nostalgia for a decade she was never part of. She has tons of fun with it and considers the 80s in general to be the most fun decade in history, but she doesn't really have a sense of taste for what's good or bad and it's hard to tell if she likes the bad stuff ironically or if the nostalgia filter overrides everything else.

Aech is Wade's only friend, and even he doesn't know the truth about her identity. When Wade becomes a sudden celebrity for finding the Copper Key, she gives him assistance and a place to hide out from the world. While they initially take to solving the clues and completing challenges together, their relationship is strained by Wade's desire to reject the attention placed on him and his growing distaste for Halliday.

Art3mis

Real name, Samantha Evelyn Cook. Art3mis is a popular 19-year-old blogger and hunter who posts Arty's Missives online. She lives with her mother in Vancouver, Canada and grew up in a middle class household. In her blog persona, Art3mis is a cool and witty nerd with deep knowledge of Anorak's Almanac who always knows how to say the right thing. Without the power of editing before clicking submit, however, she's awkward and tends to stumble over social interaction from talking too much and putting her foot in her mouth. She's a perfectionist who values traditional text-based communication like blog/forum posts, text messages, and emails to allow her to carefully craft everything she says and overthink it several times before sending.

The Art3mis avatar looks exactly like herself: drop-dead gorgeous. However, she's seen constant objectification of both herself and beautiful avatars and is self-conscious about letting her real appearance be seen. When she gets defensive over Wade receiving virtual attention for his celebrity status, he challenges her to show her real face and causes a fight that almost permanently ends their relationship.

Along with plenty of 80s pop culture appreciation brought on by the Hunt, Art3mis is a huge fan of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and occasionally performs in OASIS shadowcasts. Her breadth of knowledge goes beyond the 80s into subjects like Shakespeare and history.

Daito

Real name, Toshiro Yoshiaki. is a 24-year-old Japanese hikikomori, a young individual who closed himself off from society due to the pressures of Japan's culture of conformity and success. OASIS and the general Internet interconnectivity of the world exacerbated the problem by providing even less incentive for the young hermits to leave their rooms.

Daito met the younger Shoto in a hikikomori support group, and the two bonded over a mutual love of old Kurosawa films until they felt like brothers. In order to create a facade that could stand up to public pressure, Daito and Shoto delved deep into Japanese history and nationalism and created samurai personas. Even as they become celebrity hunters, they rarely leave their homes and have never even met in person.

Daito is the more domineering of the two Japanese hunters. He's started to fall deep into the samurai mask he created for himself, almost viewing himself as a true warrior; ironically, he never overcomes his social anxiety in real life and shuts down when facing a real human being. He's distrustful of every other hunter until Wade starts to bond with him and Shoto over the course of the Ultraman quest, but still keeps to himself and views Wade with wary respect rather than as a true friend.

Shoto

Real name, Akihide Karatsu. Shoto is younger than Daito at 16 but suffers from the exact same problems.

Shoto has spent his hunter career mostly going along with what Daito says. He doesn't always agree with it, but he doesn't have any real friends except whatever hangers-on their celebrity status could grant. It's much easier for him to convince himself later on that Daito was right. He has a bigger heart than Daito and opens up to Wade much faster, but Daito's dominant and distrusting personality discourages him from doing much more than IMing Wade from time to time when he's not looking.

When Daito dies, Shoto is completely lost. He drops the samurai persona completely and admits that without his tough warrior image, he doesn't know what to do. Wade works to help him find himself and join his group of friends fully.

Nolan Sorrento

Originally known by the username Lacero. Sorrento is the head of IOI Hunting, the division dedicated to solving the Easter egg hunt to gain control of OASIS for themselves. This will give IOI the ultimate monopoly over communications and entertainment on Earth.

However, Sorrento has no intentions of handing over the keys. When he was younger, his sister was an OASIS addict. Eventually she began using methamphetamine to play for days on end, and finally died of an overdose. When the Hunt began, the furious Sorrento realized that it provided him with the ultimate revenge. Sorrento joined IOI and worked his way to the head of IOI Hunting with the intention of turning its resources into his own. He plans to become the one to find the egg and gain ultimate control over GSS, and then immediately shut down OASIS for good instead of handing it over to his employers.

Sorrento is charismatic and slick, but ruthlessly devoted to his goal beyond anything else. He finds a kindred spirit in Wade, as they both lost a loved one to drugs and OASIS (directly or otherwise), and nearly convinces Wade to join IOI. However, Wade reacts with horror to Sorrento's plan of shutting down OASIS and rejects him. Sorrento is furious, but still feels that he can turn Wade somehow.

James Halliday

Also known by his username Anorak. James Halliday is a posthumous character, having died years before the story at the age of 115. He was a brilliant programmer and the founder of Gregarious Games (now Gregarious Simulation Systems back in the 1980s. His genius is what created OASIS and propelled it to become the world-spanning economic powerhouse that it is today. Upon his death, Anorak's Invitation was sent out to every OASIS user. This video will explained how whoever solved his obscure clues and completed the challenges he created would gain control of GSS and his personal fortune, making them the most powerful individual alive. There was a temporary sensation as people tried to solve the first clue, but after several years without success most hunters stopped trying. Eventually the Hunt became a sort of urban legend, widely believed to be a prank.

In life, Halliday was odd at best and actively antagonistic at worst. Suffering from high-functioning autism, he was obsessed with the media he grew up with in childhood. Every waking moment not spent programming was spent watching movies or TV, playing video games, or listening to music. He would often expect other people to understand his obscure references and would grow irritated with people who didn't, potentially to the point of throwing a temper tantrum and firing them. As he grew older, he secluded himself more and more in his mansion. Only at the end of his life did he start feeling bad about driving his only two friends away, but rather than face his guilt he coded the final challenge to force anyone who had used teamwork to fight against each other to be the sole winner.

As Wade traverses the challenges of the Hunt, he recognizes Halliday's Hunt for what it is: posthumous revenge. By building his hunt around obscure references to 80s media, he would finally be able to force the whole world to obsess over his "perfect decade" the way he did. Only someone who was truly like him could ever succeed. While Wade grows to despise the dead Halliday for this immaturity, he also starts to recognize uncomfortable similarities between how the two of them had difficulty with social anxiety and making friends. Recognizing the ways in which he's like Halliday drive Wade to change to avoid becoming just like him.

Ogden Morrow

Ogden Morrow, the co-founder of GSS with Halliday, died a few years ago at 119. In his youth, he was the autistic Halliday's first friend. This relationship was instrumental in the creation of Gregarious Games, as Og was an effective and charismatic businessman in addition to his programming skills.

Unfortunately, his value as a friend and business partner couldn't overcome Halliday's brain. When Morrow married Kira (whom Halliday had a huge crush on), Halliday fell into a deep depression and stopped talking to his partner. Morrow reluctantly took his cue to retire with Kira and form their own company, Halcyon Entertainment, which produced educational VR games for children. They never had children, and Kira was killed in a car accident several years after the formation of the company.

Morrow and Halliday never spoke again. Despite this, Morrow lived a few years past his former friend and spent his last days as a consultant for GSS. He was beloved by everyone as "OASIS Grandpa" and is memorialized with a statue at the GSS headquarters in Columbus. Ironically, the statues of Morrow and Halliday were placed in a friendly posture together despite their friendship breaking down.

chitoryu12 fucked around with this message at Apr 10, 2018 around 21:02

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014


Canon Bible

Our version of the book takes place in 2095.

The Outside World

After a long period of turmoil through the 21st century, Earth has settled into a sort of stagnant recession. Borders have shifted (though America and most of the European countries remain the same), but there's no major wars apart from the typical "police actions" and other low-intensity conflict in the usual zones.

The poor state of the economy increased the migration of rural residents of America to the cities. Trailer parks, shantytowns, and housing projects made from cheap prefab concrete buildings have sprung up around the cities, expanding their urban sprawl for dozens of miles in all directions. These ghettos are notorious for their high crime rates and are epicenters of the drug trade.

The only good news about this migration is that much of the rural land was left empty, allowing for vast farms to be erected by the government and major agricultural corporations. These farms are run with a skeleton crew and most of the heavy equipment (from the tractors and combine harvesters to the freezer trucks full of crops) is fully automated. Nobody in America is starving, even if the only food they have access to is heavily processed and salted. Renewable energy is king, with most vehicles being either electric or powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Sprawling solar farms and individual home panels provide power for cities, supplemented by the remaining oil and natural gas plants. Coal mining is almost completely dead, and West Virginia is virtually deserted.

Technology is highly advanced, from cybernetics to stem cell research for growing new organs. The Internet of Things rules the day and online connectivity freely mixes with automated services and self-driving vehicles to maximize convenience. It's fully possible to have food delivered, trash taken out, and even your dry cleaning done with little to no interaction with humans face-to-face if you so choose.

The largest corporation in America is Innovation Online Industries, or IOI. This global telecommunications conglomerate is primarily the planet's largest Internet service provider, but they provide so much more: a media juggernaut that produces a wide variety of popular TV shows and films, major news networks, the sale of items and property in OASIS, and research into new virtual reality technology. Taking over GSS through winning Halliday's Hunt would grant them essentially a legal monopoly over Earth itself.

OASIS

Upon its release in 2045, OASIS was praised for its extremely detailed worlds. These grew over the following 50 years until it was capable of simulating almost photorealistic graphics down to a tiny detail for millions of players. Haptic input was originally primitive and simply consisted of gloves and a visor, but technological innovation (spurred by military funding to improve the OASIS platform for virtual training) led to rapid development of neural link technology that can detect brain waves from the user and allow for control through pure thought. This pushed forward the ability of OASIS to be used for far more than just RPG gameplay and exploration, as avatar movement was no longer limited to physical controllers.

In 2095, OASIS maintains compatibility with both modern brainwave technology and the cheaper glove-and-visor set (which has been augmented with the introduction of haptic bodysuits and treadmills to try and compete with neural links at a lower cost). Add-ons like portable HVAC systems and smell generators have been developed to try and increase the realism for the user, with IOI pioneering experiments in direct brain stimulation to create these sensations directly for the user. IOI has also engaged in secretive experimentation in Project Matrix, a direct brain jack that would allow its user to be placed into a dreamlike state where their mind experiences virtual reality as if it is reality. These experiments are not yet public knowledge and are restricted to only test subjects and top IOI hunters.

OASIS has its roots in an action role playing game, and so much of the content of OASIS still revolves around this. Players are able to level from 1 to 99, with each level granting them greater HP and unlocking level-locked items (encouraging players to continue playing to unlock more powerful equipment). Skills like hacking, lockpicking, and stealth against NPCs are still present and can be trained by performing them. The nature of the VR controls has led personal skill to matter far more, especially in combat between two individuals with neural link equipment totally removing hand-eye coordination with a controller from the equation. Completing quests grants the players credits and items, and real money can be converted to credits if you want to skip grinding for items.

OASIS avatars are created initially upon logging in for the first time. Changing your avatar's hair color, tattoos, piercings, and other non-invasive changes can be done easily with items or by visiting NPCs like barbers and tattoo parlors (some players have also made a business by creating custom hairstyles and tattoos for avatars). Changing your avatar's actual face, body, or skin color requires paying credits. Detailed clothing in virtually every style in existence and from the many licensed properties is available, and virtual clothing designers run a brisk trade.

Because of the flexibility provided by neural link controls, OASIS is far more than just a video game. GSS established a public school system in OASIS that provides education and cheap loaner VR gear on Ludus, the school planet. The schools provide some of the top public school education in the world, augmented by the ability for classes to easily take virtual field trips anywhere from the Roman Colosseum in 100 AD to Jupiter's atmosphere to the inside of a human brain. The expense of international travel in the recession has allowed OASIS to flourish as a way to take virtual vacations. Corporations often replace traditional conference calls with OASIS meetups in any environment they can think of to impress shareholders. Many companies (IOI especially) have profited from selling custom content in OASIS.

At the same time, there's heavy criticism of OASIS almost daily in mass media. OASIS addiction has been recognized as a real problem, but its popularity makes everyone feel powerless to stop it. There have been reports of OASIS fueling the drug trade, with stimulants being used to play for longer or psychedelics allowing for the sometimes bizarre visuals of OASIS to be experienced in a new way. Japan's cultural problem of hikikomori (young men and women who crack under the pressure of a society with heavy expectations for conformity and success, becoming hermits locked in their rooms) has been exacerbated by OASIS and Internet connectivity for things like food delivery and laundry services providing even less incentive for people to go outside.

Every new innovation to make OASIS more realistic has been met with reports on the danger of these developments, wondering which one will finally push humanity over the edge to living entirely in a virtual world at the expense of reality.

chitoryu12 fucked around with this message at Apr 6, 2018 around 01:49

blackcat12951
Oct 23, 2012

HELLCAT BESTCAT


Soiled Meat

Here's a link of what I rewrote in the original thread, I only spent an hour on it, but I think it's an improvement. However It only makes sense if the th story is very close to the original book.
https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...5#post482835724

Do you want me to move it here?

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014


blackcat12951 posted:

Here's a link of what I rewrote in the original thread, I only spent an hour on it, but I think it's an improvement. However It only makes sense if the th story is very close to the original book.
https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...5#post482835724

Do you want me to move it here?

We can leave it in there for now. We'll start out now by figuring out our general outline, then work on each chapter one at a time from the outline. The final battle could change a hell of a lot depending on how things go over the coming months.

iospace
Apr 20, 2020




Fun Shoe

Don't worry, I'm just here for the fun.

Weener Beater
May 4, 2010


I am in. Honestly can we do any worse than the original?

CestMoi
Sep 16, 2011



Let's get this party started!!

loquacius
Oct 21, 2008




There is an answer
I haven't found it

But I will keep dancing 'til I do
Dance for you, dance for you, dance for you


Are we free to start adding poo poo to the Canon Bible yet? I wanna do a writeup of the other thread's proposed Griefer faction.

loquacius
Oct 21, 2008




There is an answer
I haven't found it

But I will keep dancing 'til I do
Dance for you, dance for you, dance for you


Oh, also if we're accepting Lacero as canon probably one of the OPs should mention it

Choco1980
Feb 22, 2013

I fell in love with a Video Nasty


Something in my head that would be really cool is to keep the Joust and Tempest challenges but radically change them. Like I can see the whole idea of him and the Lich King transporting into the world of Joust and riding their steeds after each other in full 3D, real feeling simulacrum. I'm busy this moment but I could try to write something up tonight.

loquacius
Oct 21, 2008




There is an answer
I haven't found it

But I will keep dancing 'til I do
Dance for you, dance for you, dance for you


Choco1980 posted:

Something in my head that would be really cool is to keep the Joust and Tempest challenges but radically change them. Like I can see the whole idea of him and the Lich King transporting into the world of Joust and riding their steeds after each other in full 3D, real feeling simulacrum. I'm busy this moment but I could try to write something up tonight.

Would VR Joust be cooler if you were flying around on a photorealistic giant ostrich, or a pixelly blocky 3D representation of an 8-bit giant ostrich?

Same question for Tempest being an actual realistic bottomless chasm vs TRON-style 3D vector graphics

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014


Choco1980 posted:

Something in my head that would be really cool is to keep the Joust and Tempest challenges but radically change them. Like I can see the whole idea of him and the Lich King transporting into the world of Joust and riding their steeds after each other in full 3D, real feeling simulacrum. I'm busy this moment but I could try to write something up tonight.

Yeah, that's what I'm writing it as right now. The only challenges I want to totally toss are the WarGames and Monty Python ones because I can't really find any way to make "I OPEN PALM SLAM THE VHS" into an entertaining challenge.

loquacius posted:

Are we free to start adding poo poo to the Canon Bible yet? I wanna do a writeup of the other thread's proposed Griefer faction.

Yeah, you can start giving ideas as soon as you have them. We're just going to wait until we reach each chapter before we start writing a bunch of text for the book, to avoid having to throw out dozens of pages when the book goes in a different direction.

Spark That Bled
Jan 29, 2010



I'd like to have a go. I already have an idea in mind for how Sorrento's meeting with Wade will go.

loquacius
Oct 21, 2008




There is an answer
I haven't found it

But I will keep dancing 'til I do
Dance for you, dance for you, dance for you


chitoryu12 posted:

Yeah, you can start giving ideas as soon as you have them. We're just going to wait until we reach each chapter before we start writing a bunch of text for the book, to avoid having to throw out dozens of pages when the book goes in a different direction.

Awesome, thanks

Spark That Bled posted:

I'd like to have a go. I already have an idea in mind for how Sorrento's meeting with Wade will go.

I was thinking about this earlier too! I was thinking his first question after going "off the record" should be something along the lines of "Are you happy, Wade?" Something to try to make him consider whether the OASIS is actually good for his lifestyle.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014


I've updated the outline so far up until WarGames. One idea someone in the last thread had was for it to be a big battle scene, similar to Edge of Tomorrow. I'm thinking at the end, you discover that you're actually in a battle in the nuclear conflict between the United States and Soviet Union started by the Joshua computer. When you reach the end, it resets. The only way to win is not to play, meaning to get a good ending you need to reach Joshua without killing any NPCs.

Also, there was a really good idea in the old thread:

Clipperton posted:

You could include multiple authors by doing it as an epistolary novel. chitoryu12 would still write all the first-person Wade's-perspective stuff, but others could contribute chapters that were in-world 'documents'. Just off the top of my head, you could have:
  • chat logs of rival gunter clans showing how they perceive Parzival and his friends
  • IOI internal memos
  • marketing materials for the Oasis that spell out how all the online utopia poo poo is supposed to work
  • news articles that spell out how all the offline dystopia poo poo is supposed to work
  • etc.

Moving all the exposition to the 'document' chapters would also make the main story flow better since you wouldn't need Wade's constant infodumps.

Paingod556
Nov 8, 2011

Not a problem, sir

gently caress yes.

So, first question- are we dystopia / post apocalypse or not?

And going from there-
Is OASIS responsible or a side effect, people using it to escape the lovely reality? Is it symbiotic, where economy crashes -> people stay in OASIS -> decline in spending -> it gets worse -> more people in OASIS and so on.
How does it's money factor into the economy, as the original had it being more valuable than any nations currency due to it's stability
If society isn't functioning, how do the servers and internet remain intact to support a system like this?

My thoughts on the broad history of OASIS for the rewrite-
  • OASIS is released and is massively successful as a highly indepth, immersive and fleshed out VR-MMO. The first rigs were basic and cheap, with a VR visor, haptic gloves and a built-in processing unit. 20-year-in-the-future PC tech jargon goes here. As it captures the market and remains the #1 game, other vendors join GSS to develop new tech which actually has time to mature, bringing new tech that gives greater user feedback and control- full body suits, eye-motion inputs, and suspended rigs to have full mobility.
  • Then *story* happens, the government jumps in, pushes forward with full synaptic link tech so it can be used for military training or e-war stuff. This gets refined and released, with new visors able to detect some neural activity for control inputs. At the same time, OASIS itself expands to cover more non-adventuring activities and becomes the best place to be for anything- socialising, education, almost all forms of art and entertainment. This is also the start of the 'let OASIS be the babysitter'.
  • More *story*, maybe IOI gets it's start with the neural tech as they develop a more rugged and reliable design that can 'divert' motor controls to VR, and also channel sensations directly to the users brain. They do this with some questionable experimentation, but it's all ok'd by the government so it's fine. It's not a secret though, which adds to everyones distrust of the company (though not enough to not use the gear, 'ethical capitalism doesn't exist' and all that) This helps them get a monopoly on hardware for OASIS and gain a massive market share, though still not enough to muscle out GSS.
  • When the story starts, Wade has his basic-bitch OASIS through school, which has the older neural inputs so he had to jury rig haptic gloves to get as much out of it as he can (one thing to keep that Cline forgot about after the first chapter- have him be handy with electronics, scrounging for old parts and getting them running as his means of living) Meanwhile Aech and Artemis have the full neural sets, and IOI is revealed to be actively using models that were denied sale- full on Matrix kit, plugs and everything, at first just for a select few but then during the Easter Egg hunt they become mandatory.
I've got a bunch more scattered thoughts, but that should just about cover how OASIS evolved (not just 'it came out and everyone played it and nothing else) how people control the VR without it being dumb (loving voice commands to move, or 'to run in game you must run in real life'? gently caress off) and how the IOI can be as expansive as it is, why they have an advantage, but also the direct relationship with GSS that prevents direct fuckery because contracts. The main problem is how interwoven the real world situation is. It may require something like Idiocracy, where it's clear the automation running social services (built by much smarter people) are good enough to keep people alive without them having to do anything, so the vast majority are practically Dolists, to borrow the Honorverse term.


EDIT-

chitoryu12 posted:

Also, there was a really good idea in the old thread:

I was thinking about the first person prose issues people brought up in the thread, and my mind went straight to the 40k series Ciaphas Cain, which I think does it perfectly- it's first person diaries about the 'truth' of Commissar Cains heroic deeds, which were really just him trying to survive with his body and reputation intact, and he tends to not record anything he doesn't consider relevant to himself. So the books use an Inquisitor 'editing' his entries as the meta narrative, as she has to insert annotations for stuff he doesn't explain / contradicts previous statements, plus between chapters she throws in other references for either plot relevant information he glosses over, or other happenings he can't know about like space battles or other officers goings-on which are also often plot relevant.

So yeah, it does work well for infodumps that are necessary.

Paingod556 fucked around with this message at Apr 5, 2018 around 16:22

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013



College Slice

Paingod556 posted:

gently caress yes.

So, first question- are we dystopia / post apocalypse or not?

And going from there-
Is OASIS responsible or a side effect, people using it to escape the lovely reality? Is it symbiotic, where economy crashes -> people stay in OASIS -> decline in spending -> it gets worse -> more people in OASIS and so on.
How does it's money factor into the economy, as the original had it being more valuable than any nations currency due to it's stability
If society isn't functioning, how do the servers and internet remain intact to support a system like this?

My thoughts on the broad history of OASIS for the rewrite-
  • OASIS is released and is massively successful as a highly indepth, immersive and fleshed out VR-MMO. The first rigs were basic and cheap, with a VR visor, haptic gloves and a built-in processing unit. 20-year-in-the-future PC tech jargon goes here. As it captures the market and remains the #1 game, other vendors join GSS to develop new tech which actually has time to mature, bringing new tech that gives greater user feedback and control- full body suits, eye-motion inputs, and suspended rigs to have full mobility.
  • Then *story* happens, the government jumps in, pushes forward with full synaptic link tech so it can be used for military training or e-war stuff. This gets refined and released, with new visors able to detect some neural activity for control inputs. At the same time, OASIS itself expands to cover more non-adventuring activities and becomes the best place to be for anything- socialising, education, almost all forms of art and entertainment. This is also the start of the 'let OASIS be the babysitter'.
  • More *story*, maybe IOI gets it's start with the neural tech as they develop a more rugged and reliable design that can 'divert' motor controls to VR, and also channel sensations directly to the users brain. They do this with some questionable experimentation, but it's all ok'd by the government so it's fine. It's not a secret though, which adds to everyones distrust of the company (though not enough to not use the gear, 'ethical capitalism doesn't exist' and all that) This helps them get a monopoly on hardware for OASIS and gain a massive market share, though still not enough to muscle out GSS.
  • When the story starts, Wade has his basic-bitch OASIS through school, which has the older neural inputs so he had to jury rig haptic gloves to get as much out of it as he can (one thing to keep that Cline forgot about after the first chapter- have him be handy with electronics, scrounging for old parts and getting them running as his means of living) Meanwhile Aech and Artemis have the full neural sets, and IOI is revealed to be actively using models that were denied sale- full on Matrix kit, plugs and everything, at first just for a select few but then during the Easter Egg hunt they become mandatory.
I've got a bunch more scattered thoughts, but that should just about cover how OASIS evolved (not just 'it came out and everyone played it and nothing else) how people control the VR without it being dumb (loving voice commands to move, or 'to run in game you must run in real life'? gently caress off) and how the IOI can be as expansive as it is, why they have an advantage, but also the direct relationship with GSS that prevents direct fuckery because contracts. The main problem is how interwoven the real world situation is. It may require something like Idiocracy, where it's clear the automation running social services (built by much smarter people) are good enough to keep people alive without them having to do anything, so the vast majority are practically Dolists, to borrow the Honorverse term.

I'm going to vote a massive CAPITAL R Recession.

The economy is slumping because of the Oasis. Enough people are addicted to it that it seriously affects the global economy. Also, people are more willing to convert their money to in game currency than the other way around removing wealth from the global economy. Maybe an underground economy that accepts whatever the gently caress the in game currency is as a de facto currency.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014


Both above posts are really good, and I think that's the way we should go forward. Also bump up the timeline to near 2100 to make the technological leap more believable.

With Halliday, what do we think about keeping him the same age? Future medical tech should make someone living to 110 more normal than it is, so he dies of old age instead of cancer. This will keep the 80s nostalgia as actual nostalgia instead of obsession over something he never lived.

Weener Beater
May 4, 2010


chitoryu12 posted:

Both above posts are really good, and I think that's the way we should go forward. Also bump up the timeline to near 2100 to make the technological leap more believable.

With Halliday, what do we think about keeping him the same age? Future medical tech should make someone living to 110 more normal than it is, so he dies of old age instead of cancer. This will keep the 80s nostalgia as actual nostalgia instead of obsession over something he never lived.

This makes more sense. With unlimited wealth he should be able to extend his life

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.


The Department of OASIS Affairs and Commerce, the faltering US gov's attempt to hitch their wagon to the virtual realm amd bolster the screaming economy. Black-suited basic avatars that look like G-Men with shades that run a grey market in Oasis stealth powerups, taking the good stuff for themselves for government surveillance and resell the lesser stuff at a discount to people.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014


Hostile V posted:

The Department of OASIS Affairs and Commerce, the faltering US gov's attempt to hitch their wagon to the virtual realm amd bolster the screaming economy. Black-suited basic avatars that look like G-Men with shades that run a grey market in Oasis stealth powerups, taking the good stuff for themselves for government surveillance and resell the lesser stuff at a discount to people.

Better than L33t War3zhause or whatever it was called.

Renaissance Spam
Jun 5, 2010

Can it wait a for a bit? I'm in the middle of some *gyrations*


So in the last thread there was a lot of talk about Halliday's role and the point of the Hunt; is it a straightforward Willy Wonka style inheritance or is it more sinister? Reason I ask is that could help inform the Wargames/Monty Python replacements.

I'm personally still partial to the idea of Halliday trying to create a Universal Canon where the 80's are king and is trying to turn whomever wins the Hunt into a new version of himself, someone who can't see the importance of things beyond the blinders of Gen X pop culture. Of course that would mean the awesome "Explore the themes of Wargames" idea wouldn't be as effective as that requires critical analysis and this version of Halliday wouldn't want critical thought of his passions, he would simply want universal acknowledgement.

Also, Canon suggestion:

(And I think this is probably going to be one of the most contested pieces of our world so I'm gonna stress suggestion over "first in! This is how it is!")

Throughout the hunt and the clear drawing of battle lines between the Sixers and Gunters, a third faction has been floating around the periphery. Described as disruptors, trolls, an illuminati plot and everything in between (almost always derogatory), the group is generally known as "FooFoos"; nobody really knows why, supposedly this faction has been in existence within the OASIS and its precursers for generations, holed up in some heavily secured Chatroom that requires a byzantine process for entry, at least according to those FooFoos who are willing to speak about their organization.

More often than not the FooFoos just gently caress around with people; sharing false clues or just grouping up and creating impromptu dance parties with Nuke-based pyrotechnics in Non-PVP zones, but as the Hunt heats up after Wade finds the Copper Key the FooFoos start becoming more active within the proceedings. With large numbers and surprising teamwork the FooFoos take part in the Gunter siege on the Tomb of Horrors once IOI puts up their shields but as soon as an opening becomes available the FooFoos stab the Gunters in the back, putting up their own barriers and following the same tactics as IOI, only without the hacked rigs. This burns them in the eyes of both the Gunters and IOI and it becomes common knowledge that you can never trust a FooFoo and anyone who works with one is clearly a fool and therefore can't be trusted either.

Renaissance Spam fucked around with this message at Apr 5, 2018 around 18:15

Post poste
Mar 29, 2010


So, here's my question: Why didn't the Sixers just destroy planets when they were done with them? Or destroy the other copies.
I can name at least four planet destroying forces from video games and anime and STAR WARS, so they should at least have the option of telling everyone to gently caress off by literally annihilating worlds.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014


Post poste posted:

So, here's my question: Why didn't the Sixers just destroy planets when they were done with them? Or destroy the other copies.
I can name at least four planet destroying forces from video games and anime and STAR WARS, so they should at least have the option of telling everyone to gently caress off by literally annihilating worlds.

They may have been indestructible. When the Cataclyst detonated, it destroyed literally everything except artifacts and the Third Gate. Presumably Halliday predicted that griefers would try to wreck poo poo if they could, so he coded all the Hunt stuff as indestructible.

Renaissance Spam
Jun 5, 2010

Can it wait a for a bit? I'm in the middle of some *gyrations*


Post poste posted:

So, here's my question: Why didn't the Sixers just destroy planets when they were done with them? Or destroy the other copies.
I can name at least four planet destroying forces from video games and anime and STAR WARS, so they should at least have the option of telling everyone to gently caress off by literally annihilating worlds.

So serious answer, in all likelihood blowing up a planet would lead to it being reset with the servers so it would only hamper people for a short period of time. Additionally something like, say, the Death Star would likely be a playable planet within the Star Wars section of the OASIS and either couldn't be moved OR would reset along with the servers.

That being said; a Death Star run as one of the climaxes would be a very cool set piece; maybe instead of the assault on the birthday rave, the Sixers bring in a world killer of some kind and the partygoers have to destroy it?

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Is our OASIS a full-on Matrix simulation, where it's a near exact copy of the real world and physics, or is it a bit gamey, like it's a game engine extrapolated into the future, where you're dealing with physics working on a frames per second, random vibrations when physics objects contact each other or are at great distances, objects have programmable values and flags, etc.?

I really think that the game area should be smaller. Too large, like in the book, and you will never run into another player. Planets can be kept, like an advanced version of Second Life's sims, but they need to be like "The Little Prince" or that planet from Rick & Morty, worlds in miniature, probably 10-50km, maybe 100km in diameter, and not some sort of Earth in total replica.

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013



College Slice

Renaissance Spam posted:

That being said; a Death Star run as one of the climaxes would be a very cool set piece; maybe instead of the assault on the birthday rave, the Sixers bring in a world killer of some kind and the partygoers have to destroy it?

That is an amazing idea! To keep it in the 80's make it Death Star II so they have to fly through the superstructure.

Although that raises the question of why IOI would not use a completed Death Star. But then again Death Star II is fully functional.

Post poste
Mar 29, 2010


chitoryu12 posted:

They may have been indestructible. When the Cataclyst detonated, it destroyed literally everything except artifacts and the Third Gate. Presumably Halliday predicted that griefers would try to wreck poo poo if they could, so he coded all the Hunt stuff as indestructible.

Well, not destroy the artifacts.
But imagine clearing out the entire loving world, then just parking a Sixer warship ontop of the gate, and just denying access.

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013



College Slice

If we're going to include Goonsquad/Goonfleet/Goonswarm, I definitely want a scene where there's like sixty or so just jumping around in circles around some poor schlub in a non-PvP zone chanting "I'm not touching you! I'm not touching you!"

Oh, and a Goon Bolo that's also been hacked to jump and every time it does it sends a shockwave through the ground that shoots everyone in a 500 yard radius shooting 20 feet up.

Oh and a lot of playing "Pretty Princess Dressup" a la Guild Wars 2 Goodsquad.

Proteus Jones fucked around with this message at Apr 5, 2018 around 18:42

Renaissance Spam
Jun 5, 2010

Can it wait a for a bit? I'm in the middle of some *gyrations*


Proteus Jones posted:

That is an amazing idea! To keep it in the 80's make it Death Star II so they have to fly through the superstructure.

Although that raises the question of why IOI would not use a completed Death Star. But then again Death Star II is fully functional.

Oh that's easy, Death Star II had a much faster recharge rate for its main weapon and therefore is the better weapon when dealing with a bunch of nerds flying everything from the Galactica to the Enterprise.

loquacius
Oct 21, 2008




There is an answer
I haven't found it

But I will keep dancing 'til I do
Dance for you, dance for you, dance for you


GRIEFERS, and GOONSQUAD

Not everyone in the world has Grail fever. Frankly, it's ludicrously naive to assume that every single OASIS user on the planet has earnestly accepted James Halliday's 1980s fetishism into their own worldview just because he made a cry-for-attention video when he died. A fairly common perception of gunters is that they are simply nerds with delusions of grandeur, who have devoted most of their waking hours to the cultish study and contemplation of an extremely narrow sampling of popular culture from an extremely narrow window of time in pursuit of an extremely hypothetical reward promised by an extremely maladjusted dead man. As such, loving with gunters has become a beloved pastime, for a certain type of OASIS player.

These trolls, or griefers, are widely despised by the gunter community for refusing to take the hallowed Egg Hunt seriously. In reality, they spend just as much time loving with IOI oolologists as gunters, but paid Sixers don't really have the time to spare a thought about them. Griefers spread false information about 1980s franchises and James Halliday; they convince gunters to prioritize study of the lowest-quality, least-enjoyable 80s TV shows and movies under the pretense that Halliday was secretly a huge fan; they lie in waiting at OASIS locations related to Halliday's actual favorite IPs to gank earnest gunters from ambush; they hang around Castle Anorak in giant blimps shaped like realistic penises that constantly emit fart sounds as loud as nuclear explosions. On one particularly memorable occasion, a team of griefers invented an 80s sitcom from whole cloth called Fool Me Once, starring Scott Baio and Nancy McKeon, and falsified records claiming that Halliday owned its entire run on pirated VHS tapes but that the show's original film reels were lost in a fire before it could enter syndication. In the ensuing shitstorm, Scott Baio's surviving family was harassed into hiding.

Griefers are fundamentally disorganized, but the largest coordinated entity in the faction is known primarily as "Goonsquad". The Goonsquad -- so named for their tendency to descend upon high-Hunt-value PVP zones en masse and kill as many avatars as possible while spamming chat with inane, obscene messages -- spend most of their time playing an OASIS subgame that consists mostly of flying spaceships and balancing spreadsheets, but gunter hate has become such a popular inside joke to them that they'll drop what they're doing on a moment's notice to generally make the Hunt harder for people.

The average gunter's least favorite movies of all time are the Star Wars prequels, as they are a product of a different era which "retroactively RUINED" a popular 1980s franchise, so a popular griefer activity is to infiltrate gunter discussions and derail them into prequel chat, or otherwise shoehorn prequel references into serious gunter activities.

In the end, the presence of a few griefers has never been sufficient to seriously damage the egg-hunt war effort, but whenever a new juicy rumor promises a valuable clue toward the Egg's whereabouts, you can count on at least a few Griefer dickblimps to dot the horizon, farting ever louder.

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



chitoryu12 posted:

But there's also the potential for something better here. A lot of people in the thread pointed out ways that scenes or plot points could have been done better, or said that they liked the setting and just hated how Cline wrote it. As the number of ideas for fixing the book piled up, the idea came up for trying to make the ultimate fix fic: rewriting the book itself.

How about not writing fan fiction

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014


This just in: BravestOfTheLamps contributes nothing.

Paladin
Nov 26, 2004
You lost today, kid. But that doesn't mean you have to like it.

Honestly I think if you all want to go through the effort of making a "like RP1 but decent," you may as well discard RP1 entirely and just write your own story. Just do a 50 shades of grey if you're going to go that far.

Edit: in which case, not-Artemis should get Natasha Kerensky's Dire Wolf.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014


Also I vote that we change "gunters" to "hunters" immediately.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Rad Bird


chitoryu12 posted:

Also I vote that we change "gunters" to "hunters" immediately.



BravestOfTheLamps posted:

THE GUN IS GOOD, THE PENIS IS EVIL

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014


Thinking about characters, I know one popular suggestion is for Daito and Shoto to really be fat Midwestern otaku pretending to be Japanese samurai.

One other possibility is that they really are Japanese and have essentially the same backstory (a hikikomori support group), but their honorable samurai personas were created as a way of coping with their nervousness around other people by putting up a front of strength based on traditional Japanese history and just a twinge of nationalism. Something like the Schofield Kid in Unforgiven pretending to be a badass gunslinger when he's really just a scared boy.

When Daito dies, Shoto drops this pretense of being a badass samurai and admits to just being a scared kid. Wade is easily able to find common ground with someone like this, and Shoto starts to learn to just be himself instead of creating a powerful facade.

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BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



Contribution: the fat Midwestern weeb character commits seppuku.

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