Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thinking

I wasn't lying when I said my mind was a raging storm of incessant ideas.

Today I took a walk around the block, whipped out my G1 phone and opened up the Notepad app to do some writing. I scripted the first chapter of what I hope to make into the Jet Dancer graphic novel. I have a story in mind that I think will do a great job of establishing the character and showing that she's not just another run-of-the-mill super heroine or just another scantily-clad "bad girl" whose sex appeal is more important than her character. It also resurrects some of my more obscure characters (I have some old friends who have been wondering what has become of my one true "super hero" character, All-Star...they'll find out) and introduces new ones. The story even connects effectively to my Nia Black novel, which will give me a good excuse to re-introduce it as a piece of historical background to Jet Dancer's universe.

Every now and then I really have to stop and thank God for this gift he gave me, this ability to create stories and write them well. I don't want this to be taken as arrogance; if I were really great at it, I'd be making a living at it. But I take it for granted so much. I often find that it's something that people envy about me. At the same time, I often regret having this skill because I keep coming up with stories. I spend more time coming up with stories than I do expressing said stories. I need to pray for focus and patience.

The major thing on my mind is this pursuit I'm embarking upon, the fact that I'll be attending DeVry University online starting next month, studying Graphics and Multimedia (e.g., video game development). I keep wondering if it was a good idea because, for the first time in my life, I'm starting to believe what family, friends, co-workers, instructors, friends and fellow students have been telling me all my life--that I might be good enough to make money off of my art and writing. Real money...not nickel-and-dime Lulu sales, but something that can grow into a franchise. It may be Nia Black, it may be Jet Dancer, it may even be WCL...or it may be something that I haven't fully developed yet. I've always dreamed of making video games out of my characters and stories. Whenever I come up with a concept, I tend to decide what kind of video game it would be. WCL started out as an online-enabled third-person arena fighting game idea; Nia Black was a 2D platformer like a combination between Prince of Persia and Metroid, and Jet Dancer would be a 3D open world mission-based game with the fluidity of movement of Prototype or 3D Spider-Man games.

It's hard to say which I cared about more, between drawing comics and making up video games. Maybe I drew comics because they were the closest I could come to pursuing that dream because I was just a punk kid with lots of paper and pencils, and no technology available. Or maybe I just loved video games so much I wanted to see my own characters in them instead of the likes of Mario and Samus. Whichever the reason, I've set upon the path now; no sense doubting or regretting it. Sure, I could cancel, but then I'd have to ask myself, what should I do instead?

But it does make me wonder if I should even try to draw a Jet Dancer graphic novel. Maybe what I should really be doing is concept art, because I told myself a long time ago that if/when I went to school for video game design, I'd use one of my own ideas as the basis for my exercises if I could. I'd love to be able to present a playable level of a Jet Dancer/Nia Black/WEAPON Combat League video game as my final demo upon graduation.

1 comment:

Gary Pope said...

You know what? I feel you. When I was in Jersey I was a bus driver and one thing I always did to keep focused was to allow events to play out in my fictional universe in my mind while I sat in traffic. Funny thing was it was so calming that traffic didn't bother me and often the passengers were more upset when someone cut me off or did something stupid. But what I'm feeling is when you say,"Why do I have this talent/ability?" Especially when you're in a limbo place with it. It's like when I used to grow my hair out for one style or another, there's that transitional stage where you see the potential and it looks so bad you just want to cut it off and be done with it, but I never did until I wanted to cut it off and I was rewarded with the hairstyle of my choice. I guess that's a silly analogy but you know what I'm saying. We both need to forge ahead grab on to our goals and don't look back or listen to naysayers even if it's ourselves. Cant wait to play your game, buddy!