Epoch Dev Blog – #9: 25/03/2021 – Still Alive

Hello! It looks like monthly seems much more suitable than weekly for this blog, eh?

I am indeed still alive, still going strong, though Epoch itself has taken a bit of a back seat in general recently. That’s okay, though, because it’s been pushed back by work for Whatboy Games, both as part of a placement from my Uni and just as a freelancer; check out the launch trailer for ‘Trials of Fire’ if you want to hear VO that I wrote. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P2gOn17-FQ&t=17s)

I’ve not got much to speak on right now, but I wanted to talk about the way the stories are developing within Epoch as an IP. I don’t yet have a single player-character narrative that every player would work through, primarily because Epoch is designed to be open to multiple different games set in different areas, time periods and genres. Instead, all the work I’ve done so far – published and unpublished – is world building to various degrees, whether that’s bullet-pointed notes on gameplay mechanics or class design, scraps of story ideas pasted onto otherwise empty character profiles or more fully developed origin stories, location/character bios and lore summaries. It’s really fun, easily my favourite thing to do, and it’s more about setting myself up right now to deliver a world, an IP, that could be collaborated on and developed further rather than railroaded into someone else’s gameplay ideas or projects.

This website will hopefully start to see a bit of a makeover soon, in part through my diversifying the content I showcase with some homebrew DnD content I’ve had in the background for around a year now, and through filling out my portfolio with a few more fully published pieces. That’s something to look forward too, although I’m also working on my final coursework deadlines before my time at Uni comes to an end. (wow, it’s passed by quickly)

Here’s a little introductory paragraph from a story I’ve not yet fully committed to; it’s interesting as the first ever story to be written from the perspective of a Hallow character, a way into their psyche and culture. Also, yes, for those who are familiar with the reference – it’s quite heavily inspired by that one scene from Astartes.

“Again.”

He sighs. Failure. Repeat, and do better.

He’s on one knee, head down and palms braced against the floor. He focuses his mind on the machines wired through his body. The mask fixed to his jaw, covering his mouth and nose. He takes a deep breath and feels the Vigour flow into his lungs, setting his senses on fire. The gleaming white of the test room flares up and invades his eyes, blinding him temporarily. He does not flinch. Instead, he flexes the muscles attached to cables attached to mechanisms. Feels the cybernetics direct the flow, focus the Vigour’s effects through tendons and sinew. His muscles begin to spasm, a sudden surge of adrenaline-Vigour cocktail untapped and flowing. The room’s glow lessens, returning his sight with far greater clarity than before.

He snaps his head forward, eyeing the target. His fingers begin to feel the edge of the blade by his front foot, one along from the last in the row of blades assembled. The target sharpens to a fine point, crystallised edges contrasted starkly against the blurred white wall behind it. He breathes out. The blade is in his fingers for only a moment as his arm whips up, hand following through on the throw.

Nothing hits the target. The blade is moved a few inches on the floor. He sighs.

“If you cannot even pick up the blade, the rest of the trial is meaningless. Again.”

That’s all for now, although keep an eye out for those changes coming soonish. Thanks for taking the time to read this – stay safe, stay well.

Thom.

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