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Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013



College Slice

chitoryu12 posted:

This just in: BravestOfTheLamps contributes nothing.

God drat it. I knew he was going to show up.

Fucker doesn't want anyone to ever have fun if the killjoy himself doesn't think it's fun.

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BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



To fix Ready Player One we should embrace its potential for perversity. OASIS should be the kingdom of sexual fantasy and experimentation, the domain of kaleidoscopic anatomic possibilities. Most users of OASIS should be filthy freaks constantly engaged in cybersex or frantic consumption of pornography. Public masturbation is an absolutely unremarkable part of the scenery, and the real world has consequently grown sticky with semen and bodily fluids flung around by legions of uncaring onanists.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


Moving on from that...

I do think Daito and Shoto being Japanese helps diversify the main cast. Without them, it's the story of a bunch of straight white people and their token gay black friend (who pretends to be straight and white).

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



Halliday was not merely a nostalgist, but a visionary of absolute sexual liberty. He died before an audience of thousands, at the climax of a one-man sex show in which he mangled every part of his body through the most ingenious devices of pain and pleasure man may imagine, breaching new dimensions of ecstasy, unleashing such orgasmic energy that his body burst apart and scattered through the sheer force of climax.

This image could be a recurring motif in the story, punctuating Wade's obsession with conquering ONANSIS.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



chitoryu12 posted:

Moving on from that...

I do think Daito and Shoto being Japanese helps diversify the main cast. Without them, it's the story of a bunch of straight white people and their token gay black friend (who pretends to be straight and white).

I was think about this and I'd make them "brother and sister" and open up the possibility. Make Daito the samurai, but Shoko is a fujoshi with an avatar of an blonde, indeterminate-gendered Elegant Gothic Lolita fanatic.

Actually, Daito is pure seinen tropes: he's a samurai, but carries an automatic rifle and bg rear end revolvers. His battle flag on his back is a swastika, but he claims its a legit Japanese kanji and not a hate symbol (he lies, he's a super big Japanese edgelord).

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



They are brother and sister in a religious sense, and their religion is sadomasochism and impure seinen tropes.

Dave Syndrome
Jan 11, 2007
Look, Bernard. Bernard, look. Look. Bernard. Bernard. Look. Bernard. Bernard. Bernard! Bernard. Bernard. Look, Bernard! Bernard. Bernard! Bernard! Look! Bernard! Bernard. Bernard! Bernard, look! Look! Look, Bernard! Bernard! Bernard, look! Look! Bern

Everyone: "Hey, you know what would be fun? To have goony goon griefers show up in the novel who troll people and poo poo over everything the others enjoy!"

(Goony goon shows up in the thread and shits over everything. Not much fun is had.)


Serious suggestion though: Be careful not to include goon griefers just as a masturbatory self-insert - the original novel had plenty of that. Either mention them in passing as one of the many references, or have them contribute to the plot in a meaningful way - perhaps a sort of wild card faction in the final battle that no one takes seriously until their true allegiance is revealed. Or simply utilize them as a random force of chaos during the battle that creates both obstacles and opportunities for the heroes as the griefers randomly attack/hinder/clown both Sixers and gunters, sorry, hunters, indiscriminately.

Powered Descent
Jul 13, 2008

We haven't had that spirit here since 1969.

Yam Slacker

One of the gaping holes in the worldbuilding is GSS itself. In the book, it's treated almost like Halliday is a deist god who created his universe and after that it just keeps running all by itself. Well, mostly. GSS does take a few actions like copying Ludus. But for the most part they stand grandly aloof from the entire contest.

GSS would have to be a flippin' enormous company. They run and control the most important thing in the world, after all. Do they have any opinions about who's going to win a controlling share in their company? What's the extent of their ability and willingness to affect the results of the contest? What about sneaky actions by a low-level sysadmin, of which there must be a zillion? Is anyone in the company examining the OASIS at code level to look for egg-related locations or items?

If we'd rather not bring in a whole new faction (or set of factions), then perhaps the best way to close this hole is with a few sentences of explanation that it'd be surprisingly hard for GSS to use their godlike powers. Halliday was a paranoid son-of-a-bitch and set things up so that the modules run in an encrypted mode, and it requires several department heads to unlock blah blah blah. The plausibility of this can be debated, but I think it'd be more believable than asking us to believe that not a single GSS programmer thought to grep through the code for things that change when an avatar possesses ObjectID("Jade Key"), to sell the info on the h4x0rz w4r3h4u5.

Choco1980
Feb 22, 2013

I fell in love with a Video Nasty


Okay, since actual writing is discouraged out of order due to the potential for contradiction and petty slapfights, I'll instead try to spitball ideas I was having about the Joust scene.

-First off, I think it would be kinda neat if Acerak was subtly changed, like in robes and voice, to now be Anorak as a lich-skeleton king thing. Maybe that's just me, but it seems like a detail that would fit right into Halliday's style. They even have similar names!

-I think there needs to be more weight to failing the challenges of the quest. Someone else in the thread had the good idea of maybe having a loss equal a ban from the OASIS?

-I picture the start of the challenge being relatively the same, where the Lich has them approach a Joust cabinet, but once he pushes the 2 player start button, they suddenly transport into literally the game itself. In my head it would be ultra realistic looking, describing the blue ostrich Wade finds himself on, and the beige and salmon-pink stork that Acerak is astride. Of course, if the group think decides they like pixel graphics better, then so be it. The arena is full of floating rock platforms, with lava at the bottom, and Wade notices man sized eggs scattered about of course, waiting to hatch. I think musing on the apropriateness of an egg-centric game as part of the egg hunt might fit.

-Acerak is a far better pilot than Wade is. Living in the ghetto trailer park his whole life, he's never even seen a live horse, let alone learned how to ride any transportation animals, so he's very awkward trying to get the hang of it, especially while holding a shield and lance.

-he manages to grab/knock off several of the eggs while trying to dodge Acerak and maintain control, but a few hatch with further undead riders inside, who quickly get picked up by their own green buzzards. Wade manages to get the drop on one, and Acerak gets the other--Wade realizes he's player 2 after all, and he wants Wade for himself.

-I considered using the pterodactyl that serves as a type challenge boss in the game.

-Acerak is too good and Wade just can't get above him to take him out. Then by accident, he realizes that Halliday programmed the world exactly like the original arcade game, bugs and all, when he accidentally clips through the corner where the one platform is slightly higher than the other, making a corner. He comes up with a plan, and he lands at the ground and starts running around at full tilt, gaining momentum, until Acerak starts flying towards him just above him by a couple feet tops to take him out, and then taking a risk, Wade starts running on the lava (something you can do as a bug in the arcade version very easily. Eggs often land on the platforms over the lava that no longer exist too), tricking the lich into being too low to successfully fight off the "Lava Troll" hand that pulls him into the lava, winning the match for Wade.

I kinda like the idea of leaning into the whole rule bending/cheating idea for Wade, showing his advantage being his intelligence by solving the challenges with outside the box thinking. Kinda a "Alexander cutting apart the Gordian Knot" type of smarts that puts him ahead of the pack.

Also I like the idea someone else said as well that after the Tomb of Horrors is common knowledge, have it filled with idiot hunters accidentally walking into traps, and a-hole griefers deliberately setting them off at people.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


Dave Syndrome posted:

Serious suggestion though: Be careful not to include goon griefers just as a masturbatory self-insert - the original novel had plenty of that. Either mention them in passing as one of the many references, or have them contribute to the plot in a meaningful way - perhaps a sort of wild card faction in the final battle that no one takes seriously until their true allegiance is revealed. Or simply utilize them as a random force of chaos during the battle that creates both obstacles and opportunities for the heroes as the griefers randomly attack/hinder/clown both Sixers and gunters, sorry, hunters, indiscriminately.

The outline I have right now has i-Rok show up for a gunfight in Halliday's house in Middletown (I thought it was hilarious that the benign small town in 1980s Ohio was specifically a PvP zone but the book never utilized this). I'm thinking after he dies, he returns again as a member of whatever the Goonfleet analogue is because they think he's ridiculous and want to turn him into cannon fodder for a laugh.

Maybe they send him out to fight Wade on Frobozz and he's wearing this awesome power armor and has a huge rifle....and then he tries to fire and it doesn't work. And then a radio message is openly broadcast saying that they stuck an explosive to the back of his head when he was AFK and it'll detonate in 1 minute if he can't kill Wade first.

The goon ship then plays "Yakety Sax" or something over an open comms channel as they fight.

JUST MAKING CHILI
Feb 14, 2008


chitoryu12 posted:

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

Alternatively, just never shorten Egg Hunters.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


Young Freud posted:

I was think about this and I'd make them "brother and sister" and open up the possibility. Make Daito the samurai, but Shoko is a fujoshi with an avatar of an blonde, indeterminate-gendered Elegant Gothic Lolita fanatic.

Actually, Daito is pure seinen tropes: he's a samurai, but carries an automatic rifle and bg rear end revolvers. His battle flag on his back is a swastika, but he claims its a legit Japanese kanji and not a hate symbol (he lies, he's a super big Japanese edgelord).

What other non-creepy female Japanese archetypes could Shoto be?

I definitely want our expansion of the world to include more variety and descriptions for all the cool gear people use. Like Aech helps Wade out with gear before Middletown and tosses him something like a Star Wars blaster that he uses against i-Rok.

We can also definitely include Aech more at the beginning. Have her join Wade on some early adventures so their status as best friends isnít just ďI said Aech is my best friend.Ē

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Oh, I am gonna spank that monkey!


If you were gonna flip Shoto into Shoko, middle-aged/over-25 ex-salarywoman who sunk severance and funds into investments to retreat from Japanese society because she just can't take the stress and the hosed-up societal expectations anymore. Someone who was held to the metaphorical grindstone and was worn down and nearly broken and being the sidekick to Daito is how she's getting her life back in order and healing from it. Less "Wade becoming a super cool internet man" and more "I'm building a cocoon for myself until I can emerge healed".

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012
:gas;


Hostile V posted:

If you were gonna flip Shoto into Shoko, middle-aged/over-25 ex-salarywoman who sunk severance and funds into investments to retreat from Japanese society because she just can't take the stress and the hosed-up societal expectations anymore. Someone who was held to the metaphorical grindstone and was worn down and nearly broken and being the sidekick to Daito is how she's getting her life back in order and healing from it. Less "Wade becoming a super cool internet man" and more "I'm building a cocoon for myself until I can emerge healed".

I saw this anime. It was pretty good. Letís just hope chitoryu doesnít turn out to be an insane neo-Nazi too.

MalleusDei
Mar 21, 2007



I had a couple ideas kicking around after your Let's Read.

1) What if Wade actually finds himself enjoying his time at IOI? He ends up being good at his job, likes helping people with their OASIS problems. Maybe he makes a friend or even meets another love interest? I was thinking of ways to add some inner conflict about being inside IOI. Maybe his friend is struggling, so we can see some of the bad corporate side of IOI, but Wade's boss insulates him from that, since he's doing a good job?

2) Along those lines, what if Wade is working for IOI initially, instead of being at school. He gets a guy who calls tech support about a bug in the Tomb of Horrors. Wade resets the guys account or something, but the Tomb piques his interest. He uses his admin powers to get to the end, happens to be good at Joust, and wins the key, all without knowing much about the Hunt. Sorrento calls him in, threatens him, Wade doesn't cave, gets fired. Now he's unemployed, and figures he'll level up and win the Hunt. Has to get the first key again, since Sorrento controls his IOI admin account. He can do this with the assistance of his buddy Aech, who is obsessed with it.

I dunno, I needed to write this down so I stop thinking about it.

MalleusDei fucked around with this message at Apr 5, 2018 around 22:21

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Oh, I am gonna spank that monkey!


Darth Walrus posted:

I saw this anime. It was pretty good. Letís just hope chitoryu doesnít turn out to be an insane neo-Nazi too.
Oh. This is in fact the plot of that MMO Junkie anime, huh. Welp.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


I added preliminary character outlines and the plot outline up through the club.

Iíve changed the cyberpunk club to a GSS function rather than Morrowís 130th birthday party or something, and instead of a gunfight itís a flying car chase with the DeLorean so we can actually get use out of it.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012
:gas;


For the record, I posted a bunch of stuff on giant robots and their storytelling possibilities in the other thread which might be useful.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012




I feel like the tomb of horrors challenge should go with a demilich instead of a lich since that's the actual "final boss" of the module.

And since it's a floating skull, instead of playing joust, he plays a more appropriate 80s arcade game - Sinistar

Renaissance Spam
Jun 5, 2010

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


Darth Walrus posted:

I saw this anime. It was pretty good. Let’s just hope chitoryu doesn’t turn out to be an insane neo-Nazi too.

Beat me to it

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


I've got the first draft of the canon bible up, so we're basically free to work! Give us your ideas on the progression of our book, the characterization, and the details of the world. Once we've got the plot outline hashed out, we can start on the first chapter.

Darth Walrus had a really good idea in that effortpost: Aech shows up to the final battle with her avatar resembling her real self, rather than the fiction she was trying to live in OASIS.

I think the characterization works if all of the characters have different problems with reality that they must overcome to live outside of OASIS, rather than simply adding flavor and flaws that never have to get worked on:

* Wade is terribly socially awkward both in and out of the game, causing him to initially panic when he suddenly becomes famous and everyone either wants him or wants him dead. His online relationship with Art3mis helps him learn how to have fun and interact with people without panicking, but he still accidentally pushes her too far at the cyberpunk dance party and causes their relationship to falter. As the book goes on, he slowly gains confidence and even makes efforts to go outside for a change. At the end of the book, he finally takes charge of his life in reality and starts a relationship with Samantha in the real world.

* Aech is afraid to be who she really is because she could face bigotry on several levels, so she crafts the least offensive and most attractive fictional persona possible and sticks to it even with her closest friends. In the final battle, she sheds her disguise and reveals herself to the world at large, accepting her own identity and ready to face whatever challenges it may cause.

* Art3mis is a perfectionist who's socially awkward when allowed to speak live and without a filter, which she compensates for by sticking to blog posts where she can stop and edit her words until everything that comes out is perfect. She also struggles with her self-image due to her weight, causing her anxiety when Wade floats the idea of expanding their relationship into real life. While her awkwardness isn't a huge problem to be overcome, she still needs to come to grips with her own body image and the idea that she's lovable in spite of how she views herself.

* Daito and Shoto are both hikikomori, people who have completely closed off from the world after cracking under the pressure of expectations placed on them. Both of them (especially with prodding from Daito) have adopted the persona of samurai to create a badass facade that blocks them from having to let other people see the real scared boys behind the masks. Daito has started to let it get to his head, becoming rough and domineering to match the image he's built up. Shoto is too nice of a person to do that, but is also too shy to really break off from how Daito demands they do things. When Daito dies, he's finally forced to let the mask drop and Wade helps him learn to interact with people as himself.

Nolan Sorrento is a strong opposite to this. He doesn't have any problems with social interaction, and is in fact a highly charismatic and intelligent person that can easily slip into any crowd he needs to. Whereas the protagonists need their experiences in OASIS to help them learn how to operate in real life, Sorrento already knows how to operate and hates OASIS for what he thinks it's doing to people. He never cared about the game until he needed to get revenge for his sister.

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013



College Slice

chitoryu12 posted:

I think the characterization works if all of the characters have different problems with reality that they must overcome to live outside of OASIS, rather than simply adding flavor and flaws that never have to get worked on:

Nolan Sorrento is a strong opposite to this. He doesn't have any problems with social interaction, and is in fact a highly charismatic and intelligent person that can easily slip into any crowd he needs to. Whereas the protagonists need their experiences in OASIS to help them learn how to operate in real life, Sorrento already knows how to operate and hates OASIS for what he thinks it's doing to people. He never cared about the game until he needed to get revenge for his sister.

Sorrento is a character Iím finding more and more interesting with this shift in motivation.

I think it would be good if he genuinely *likes* Wade and desperately wants him on his side. But he has the discipline and resolve to set that aside if Wade works against him. And maybe Wade, if not liking Sorrento, does actually respect him as the person he was when he was Hallidayís number two after Morrow left the band. (So much of that book just ran out of my brain, so if that wasnít the case, it should be the case).

Sorrento doesnít pull the death squad as a first or even last resort. He first tries blackmail or extortion, escalating to interfering with their revenue streams and taking out an in OASIS contract on their avatars. As the battle is heating up, he sends a team to capture and physically disconnect our heroes from OASIS. Only when it becomes obvious that he canít beat Parzival to the Egg does he give the order to use lethal force too take out Wade. Morrow is a multi-billionaire in his own right, and his house is literally a fortress with a small but effective security team and top of the line automated defenses. So as the battle rages in OASIS itís mirrored in real life.

Oh, and letís make Daito someone who is absolutely a hard-core VR addict. So rather than Sorrento setting assassins on him, Daito actually commits suicide leaping from his balcony. Make it because his avatar was killed in OASIS by something banal and the thought of being reset back to level 1 with no resources was too much for him to bear. Give Team Wade something to reflect on and inserting doubt that maybe, just maybe Sorrento is right.

Proteus Jones fucked around with this message at Apr 6, 2018 around 02:59

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Dave Syndrome posted:

Serious suggestion though: Be careful not to include goon griefers just as a masturbatory self-insert - the original novel had plenty of that. Either mention them in passing as one of the many references, or have them contribute to the plot in a meaningful way - perhaps a sort of wild card faction in the final battle that no one takes seriously until their true allegiance is revealed. Or simply utilize them as a random force of chaos during the battle that creates both obstacles and opportunities for the heroes as the griefers randomly attack/hinder/clown both Sixers and gunters, sorry, hunters, indiscriminately.

My thought would be a run-in with them. The High Five hears about a clue, goes to investigate and find themselves in the middle of an ambush in which they have to fight their way out of. They find out the clue was a trap laid to lead unaware hunters and Sixers into their crosshairs. It gives them a reason to be more cautious about running off to look for clues in the future, since they know about people who have no interest in the game other than killing the participants and looting the remains.

Since we've been thinking about i-Rok being a returning character and recruited by not-Goonfleet, we can have a bit where the plan is set in motion when he visits a Doom House and is whisked into a private server with the leadership, where they recruit him because of being a hunter allows them to leak information for future ambushes. I've been prone to call them the Skeleton Army, named after the opposition to the Salvation Army back in the temperance days. As well, everyone has the potential to join the Skeleton Army, because, hey, you already have skeleton inside you. Their leadership consists of references to past Goonswarm groups: a skeleton dressed in a WW2 German officers uniform (Goonwaffe), an Islamic insurgent skeleton with his beard glued on (Jihad Swarm), a skeleton in a Mao Suit (GSF?), a skeleton in Captain Picard's uniform from TNG (Starfleet Dental), but the head is a Colonel Kurtz figure in a skull mask wearing a Mickey Mouse hat, VileMau5, my homage to Vilerat.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


Proteus Jones posted:

Sorrento is a character Iím finding more and more interesting with this shift in motivation.

I think it would be good if he genuinely *likes* Wade and desperately wants him on his side. But he has the discipline and resolve to set that aside if Wade works against him. And maybe Wade, if not liking Sorrento, does actually respect him as the person he was when he was Hallidayís number two after Morrow left the band. (So much of that book just ran out of my brain, so if that wasnít the case, it should be the case).

Sorrento doesnít pull the death squad as a first or even last resort. He first tries blackmail or extortion, escalating to interfering with their revenue streams and taking out an in OASIS contract on their avatars. As the battle is heating up, he sends a team to capture and physically disconnect our heroes from OASIS. Only when it becomes obvious that he canít beat Parzival to the Egg does he give the order to use lethal force too take out Wade. Morrow is a multi-billionaire in his own right, and his house is literally a fortress with a small but effective security team and top of the line automated defenses. So as the battle rages in OASIS itís mirrored in real life.

Oh, and letís make Daito someone who is absolutely a hard-core VR addict. So rather than Sorrento setting assassins on him, Daito actually commits suicide leaping from his balcony. Make it because his avatar was killed in OASIS by something banal and the thought of being reset back to level 1 with no resources was too much for him to bear. Give Team Wade something to reflect on and inserting doubt that maybe, just maybe Sorrento is right.

I'm working on more of the outline now, but I've got a few points that differ from that. Everyone can discuss and decide what the best option is.

* Sorrento is in his 40s or 50s, so any work he did with Halliday and Morrow would have been as a young man while they were very old men. In the original book, he was never part of GSS and was just an independent user who joined IOI for his plot to shut down OASIS.

* I've removed the stacks bombing (and also changed it from precarious stacks to a more mundane shantytown) and gone with the idea someone had of Wade being accosted by IOI thugs who snuck into his hideout while he was in the interview with Sorrento, giving him 24 hours to agree to help him or else. This gives him just barely enough time to change his identity and flee town. This would also make Daito's murder sufficiently shocking, as now it's more than halfway through the book before Sorrento resorts to murder. I also think it would be interesting for Sorrento's murdering to actually be kept hidden from IOI just like his real intentions to shut down OASIS are. IOI is a typical evil corporation that uses legal or quasi-legal means of getting their way, like blackmail and legal loopholes. Sorrento lets his emotions get the better of him as he gets frustrated.

* I think it might be better for Morrow to be dead like Halliday at this point in history. There's no Big Good to help the heroes, just themselves. Morrow only exists as a statue at GSS. This also means the birthday party is replaced with a standard GSS function with exclusive invites.

* Daito's murder is shifted to a battle on Syrinx rather than being recounted through a video feed on Frobozz. Wade is physically present in the battle and helps Shoto escape, leaving Daito's items (including his giant robot) for IOI to capture. Wade and Shoto learn about the "suicide" together, where Daito breaks down and loses his samurai facade completely. This also sets up Sorrento pulling out Daito's robot for the final battle.

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013



College Slice

chitoryu12 posted:

I'm working on more of the outline now, but I've got a few points that differ from that. Everyone can discuss and decide what the best option is.

<snip>

* I've removed the stacks bombing (and also changed it from precarious stacks to a more mundane shantytown) and gone with the idea someone had of Wade being accosted by IOI thugs who snuck into his hideout while he was in the interview with Sorrento, giving him 24 hours to agree to help him or else. This gives him just barely enough time to change his identity and flee town. This would also make Daito's murder sufficiently shocking, as now it's more than halfway through the book before Sorrento resorts to murder. I also think it would be interesting for Sorrento's murdering to actually be kept hidden from IOI just like his real intentions to shut down OASIS are. IOI is a typical evil corporation that uses legal or quasi-legal means of getting their way, like blackmail and legal loopholes. Sorrento lets his emotions get the better of him as he gets frustrated.


I can see us butting heads a *lot* in this thread. And I donít mean that in a bad way or anything. Iíd rather have the thread bicker a bit before settling on something than everyone voicing apathetic approval. But I also donít want to see anyone getting pissy if ideas are discarded. I will always follow the thread majority in decision (even if itís wrong)

That being said, I think this scene I quoted above is *pivotal* for setting the tone of our ďre-writeĒ.

I just think that Sorrento being a stone-cold killer is a hair ham-fisted. I mean I understand the pathos and if thatís the road we travel then thatís the road we travel. Iíd like think our version of Sorrento is ruthless, but far more humane. After all heís trying to save humanity from itself. Sure that can give rise to a zealot, but it can also give rise to a highly competent, focused, and rational antagonist. Heís not a villain because of some feeling of revenge drive him to be. Heís a villain because he *has* to be to save the world.

Iím already working on a second pass of that scene, and Iíll just drop it on the thread when we get to that point in the process. If we end up using all of it, some of it, or none at all thatís fine. I just want the opportunity to persuade, and if it doesnít go my way... so be it. Iím still excited about what weíll end up with.

Proteus Jones fucked around with this message at Apr 6, 2018 around 03:53

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

No need to sign, we'll take care of that.


Lipstick Apathy

IMO, better to throw the whole book out and write your own cyberspace YA fiction.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


I think we both agree on Sorrento's complexity and just disagree on exactly how inclined he is to turn to killing.

I view Sorrento as a very competent villain, someone who never needed OASIS the way his sister did because he had everything he needed in real life. He didn't grow up poor, for one, but he also grew up handsome, charismatic, and intelligent. He had everything he needed to live whatever kind of life he desired as long as he put his mind to it. The death of his sister is what broke him. The only reason he joined IOI was because he knew that their resources could get him to the Egg and give him the power he needed to shut off his sister's killer forever.

I think Sorrento can also talk a lot about humanity and saving it from itself! But I like multi-layered motivations and people who are good at fooling themselves. I think that over the years, Sorrento has talked so much to himself about how he needs to shut down OASIS that he's crafted an excellent monologue about how shutting down OASIS will save the human race and allow it to finally return to fixing reality. He gives this monologue to Wade during their interview because he sympathizes with Wade's background and feels that they could be kindred spirits. But the monologue? It was for himself. What he tells Wade is his personal theorycrafting about why his revenge is making him the hero humanity needs. He's done it for so long that he now fully believes that he's going to make the world a better place. But never forget that what started it was a young man's personal anger and drive for revenge, and ultimately that's what it's about.

When Wade foils his plans, Sorrento doesn't merely see his plan to save humanity threatened. He sees his sister's memory tarnished by someone who doesn't understand the good he's trying to do for everyone. The anger this causes not only leads Sorrento to go farther than ever in stopping the High Five, but eventually causes him to lose his cool during the final battle and inadvertently admit to everything in front of everyone.

Tetramin
Apr 1, 2006

I'ma buck you up.


Ready player one is the best movie i've ever seen.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Rad Bird


chitoryu12 posted:

I think we both agree on Sorrento's complexity and just disagree on exactly how inclined he is to turn to killing.

I view Sorrento as a very competent villain, someone who never needed OASIS the way his sister did because he had everything he needed in real life. He didn't grow up poor, for one, but he also grew up handsome, charismatic, and intelligent. He had everything he needed to live whatever kind of life he desired as long as he put his mind to it. The death of his sister is what broke him. The only reason he joined IOI was because he knew that their resources could get him to the Egg and give him the power he needed to shut off his sister's killer forever.

I think Sorrento can also talk a lot about humanity and saving it from itself! But I like multi-layered motivations and people who are good at fooling themselves. I think that over the years, Sorrento has talked so much to himself about how he needs to shut down OASIS that he's crafted an excellent monologue about how shutting down OASIS will save the human race and allow it to finally return to fixing reality. He gives this monologue to Wade during their interview because he sympathizes with Wade's background and feels that they could be kindred spirits. But the monologue? It was for himself. What he tells Wade is his personal theorycrafting about why his revenge is making him the hero humanity needs. He's done it for so long that he now fully believes that he's going to make the world a better place. But never forget that what started it was a young man's personal anger and drive for revenge, and ultimately that's what it's about.

When Wade foils his plans, Sorrento doesn't merely see his plan to save humanity threatened. He sees his sister's memory tarnished by someone who doesn't understand the good he's trying to do for everyone. The anger this causes not only leads Sorrento to go farther than ever in stopping the High Five, but eventually causes him to lose his cool during the final battle and inadvertently admit to everything in front of everyone.

Personally, I think that has to happen right at the climax of the story. Like I said earlier, have Sorrento come within fingertip's reach of the Egg, only for Wade to beat him. Instead of Wade entering Castle Anorak and then being free to roam it unaccosted, you need to have Sorrento in there too, stalking the rooms like a frothing, obsessed madman literally tearing the place apart because he's just loving done with all of it and his last ounce of respect for Halliday and the digital hell he created (in Sorrento's view) has finally bled away from him.

Instead of Wade meeting God at the end of the story (Halliday's AI ghost), he should be confronted by God and the Devil (Sorrento) and just let the three of them have their debate on whose philosophy is, if not "right" then at least "more right". Wade needs to see his two idols (Halliday and Sorrento) for who they really are once all their internal and external mythologies have been stripped away from both of them. And Sorrento needs to have a moment where he just lays into Halliday's ghost for all his myriad sins before (in his mind) he shuts down OASIS and kills Halliday's legacy.


I kinda mulled this over last night while in the midst of other things, where I pictured a little demi-epilogue of Wade visiting Sorrento in federal prison to get some form of closure and I cooked up this little bit of dialog:

quote:

"I admired you once, you know that, right?" I said.

He chuckled softly. "I know. It's too bad you admired him more though. We could avoided most of this madness otherwise."

Plus with Sorrento locked away in prison for life for his crimes he gets a measure of what he wants too. There's no OASIS in prison. He never has to log into it or put on a VR headset and haptic suit ever again. He gets to spend the rest of whatever's left of his life in the real world utterly regardless of what Wade and co. decide to do with OASIS, and you know what? ...He's okay with that.

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



chitoryu12 posted:

I think we both agree on Sorrento's complexity and just disagree on exactly how inclined he is to turn to killing.

I view Sorrento as a very competent villain, someone who never needed OASIS the way his sister did because he had everything he needed in real life. He didn't grow up poor, for one, but he also grew up handsome, charismatic, and intelligent. He had everything he needed to live whatever kind of life he desired as long as he put his mind to it. The death of his sister is what broke him. The only reason he joined IOI was because he knew that their resources could get him to the Egg and give him the power he needed to shut off his sister's killer forever.

I think Sorrento can also talk a lot about humanity and saving it from itself! But I like multi-layered motivations and people who are good at fooling themselves. I think that over the years, Sorrento has talked so much to himself about how he needs to shut down OASIS that he's crafted an excellent monologue about how shutting down OASIS will save the human race and allow it to finally return to fixing reality. He gives this monologue to Wade during their interview because he sympathizes with Wade's background and feels that they could be kindred spirits. But the monologue? It was for himself. What he tells Wade is his personal theorycrafting about why his revenge is making him the hero humanity needs. He's done it for so long that he now fully believes that he's going to make the world a better place. But never forget that what started it was a young man's personal anger and drive for revenge, and ultimately that's what it's about.

When Wade foils his plans, Sorrento doesn't merely see his plan to save humanity threatened. He sees his sister's memory tarnished by someone who doesn't understand the good he's trying to do for everyone. The anger this causes not only leads Sorrento to go farther than ever in stopping the High Five, but eventually causes him to lose his cool during the final battle and inadvertently admit to everything in front of everyone.

The basic problem I'm seeing is that you're only preoccupied with plot content rather than form. Have you thought about the style of prose at all?

Or whether or not his character will be a raging pervert?

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

Rad Bird


BravestOfTheLamps posted:

I unironically love George RR Martin and every word he's ever written. Make this book like my favorite author, George RR Martin makes his books pretty please.

Oh by the way, congrats on moving up to being the 11th-most Ignored user on SA. Yer on the way to the top, baby! Ain't no stoppin' you now... especially because literally everyone in front of you has already been perma'd

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



I live on the edge every day of my unlife.

Samizdata
May 14, 2007


chitoryu12 posted:

The outline I have right now has i-Rok show up for a gunfight in Halliday's house in Middletown (I thought it was hilarious that the benign small town in 1980s Ohio was specifically a PvP zone but the book never utilized this). I'm thinking after he dies, he returns again as a member of whatever the Goonfleet analogue is because they think he's ridiculous and want to turn him into cannon fodder for a laugh.

Maybe they send him out to fight Wade on Frobozz and he's wearing this awesome power armor and has a huge rifle....and then he tries to fire and it doesn't work. And then a radio message is openly broadcast saying that they stuck an explosive to the back of his head when he was AFK and it'll detonate in 1 minute if he can't kill Wade first.

The goon ship then plays "Yakety Sax" or something over an open comms channel as they fight.

Meanwhile, the armor turns bright pink and starts scrolling naked anime babes and the words "I AM A LOSER NECKBEARD!" in about every available language. In addition, the helmet manifests a holo-fedora.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012
:gas;


Sorrento is a dangerously obsessed dude running a megacorp during a time of severe social breakdown, which is about as morally abrasive as positions come. Heís basically a postapocalyptic dictator.

It would be more of a surprise if his security forces hadnít merced a few people - dude likely has a lot of Ďwho will rid me of this troublesome priestí moments, and heís not in charge of the kind of organisation thatís naturally suited to transparency and accountability, which means that their enforcement branch are going to attract an interesting collection of psychopaths.

Spark That Bled
Jan 29, 2010



Maybe instead of the stack getting blown up, there's a raid instead? Wade's aunt and her boyfriend get collared by IOI when Wade refuses to work with Sorrento, and they take them when they can't find Wade.

Maybe Wade finds her again while captured in IOI, aboslutely miserable, so he helps bust her out as well.

BravestOfTheLamps
Oct 12, 2012



Starting to sound interesting... how's the prose?

DC Murderverse
Nov 10, 2016

"Tell that to Zod's snapped neck!"


I don't think i have the time to participate in something like this right now although I love the idea, but there was one thing reading your thread that I think needs to be fixed:

the scene where Wade wakes up to Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and instead of mentioning anything about the song he just says the name and "i hate it so i made it my alarm so i'd stop it" which is not a bad motivation but seriously, everyone knows the beginning of that song and it would be really funny to start a chapter with George Michael's cheerful voice saying

quote:

"Jitterbug!"

Wade's eyes immediately shot open. a quick series of notes that had become all too familiar elicited a pavlovian response of jumping out of bed before he heard-

"Jitterbug!"

again. Wade had realized that he had been isolated from humanity more than he ever was in the Stacks since moving to his hideout in Columbus, and often getting out of bed was the hardest part of the day. So he took his least favorite song and set it to play through every speaker in his apartment every morning at exactly 9:42 AM as encouragement.

"You put the boom-boom into m-"

Not today, Andrew Ridgely, Wade thought. There was no room in his heart for boom-boom, not while he was feeling so alone.

much better than

quote:

My computer woke me up just before sundown, and I began my daily ritual.

ďIím up!Ē I shouted at the darkness. In the weeks since Art3mis had dumped me, Iíd had a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. So Iíd disabled my alarmís snooze feature and instructed the computer to blast ďWake Me Up Before You Go-GoĒ by Wham! I loathed that song with every fiber of my being, and getting up was the only way to silence it. It wasnít the most pleasant way to start my day, but it got me moving.

Choco1980
Feb 22, 2013

I fell in love with a Video Nasty


Speaking of butting heads, I'm kinda uncomfortable with how many are on board with Aech getting rid of his male identity as some sort of character resolution. You uh do realize that he's a transman and OASIS gives him an outlet for relieving his dismorphia besides painful and expensive surgery, right? Saying "The healthy turnabout from their online life is to stop being who they are and accept they're a pretty princess" is not a good look...

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012
:gas;


Choco1980 posted:

Speaking of butting heads, I'm kinda uncomfortable with how many are on board with Aech getting rid of his male identity as some sort of character resolution. You uh do realize that he's a transman and OASIS gives him an outlet for relieving his dismorphia besides painful and expensive surgery, right? Saying "The healthy turnabout from their online life is to stop being who they are and accept they're a pretty princess" is not a good look...

I donít think thatís the angle the text supports - her OASIS persona reads as as a socially-acceptable disguise for her sexuality and aesthetic preferences, not something she actually wants to be. Like, the fact that heís not just a man, but a super-generic white man is a big clue there. Sorry, Rachel Dolezai, but racial dysmorphia ainít a thing. So her development would be becoming comfortable with being a woman who isnít interested in being a pretty princess or chasing after boys.

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Paingod556
Nov 8, 2011

Not a problem, sir

Darth Walrus posted:

I don’t think that’s the angle the text supports - her OASIS persona reads as as a socially-acceptable disguise for her sexuality and aesthetic preferences, not something she actually wants to be. Like, the fact that he’s not just a man, but a white man is a big clue there. Sorry, Rachel Dolezai, but racial dysmorphia ain’t a thing. So her development would be becoming comfortable with being a woman who isn’t interested in being a pretty princess or chasing after boys.

Pretty much. It reads more of a 'to stop being bullied, pretend to be white', not 'I'm uncomfortable with my body being my body'. Though I could see this being an application of OASIS, at least therapeutically (and probably some who remain in it at all times)

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