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DarkAngel 02-13-2016 04:31 PM

DarkAngel's Random Ideas Thread
This thread is intended to prevent my various random ideas from clogging the forum with unnecessary threads and the campfire thread with non-discussion posts. Feel free to post your own comments after each entry, as this first post will be updated to act as a table of contents.

I'll begin by listing everything I've posted elsewhere.

The Falconbridge Chronicles
As my first attempt at fanfiction, the beginning *ahem* sucks. Luckily, it got better as I did. I still hope to finish someday, though that's very far off.
Book I
Book II
Book III

A Brave New World (of WarCraft)
Falconbridge eventually spawned a spin-off series set in the far future. This is how I thought things might fall in the "Army of the Light" period. Like its predecessor, I still hope to finish someday.

This character, from what would've been the second book of A Brave New World, took me so strongly that I had to write her down. She is precisely the kind of thing this thread is supposed to consolidate.

Scrapped Idea: Gone with the �ther
Another item for this thread, this story was written in summary to get rid of it. It comes complete with tie-ins to both Falconbridge and the legendary Travels through Azeroth and Outland.

Dispatches from the Nexus (HotS)
As my current project, most of my energy will remain focused here -- that is, when there's downtime in my "employment." Who knew a game with no story could have so much potential?

Overwatch TV Ideas
And yet, Overwatch gave me a massive brainstorm on what to do with the characters. Got it out of my system, though. (I hope.)

Project Blackstone Continues
What if the crew from Project Blackstone had another adventure? An idea came to me of the travails they might face. It also seems screenwriting actually comes more naturally than full prose.

SC2 Alternate Ending
What if Kerrigan had simply let Raynor go to live the rest of his life instead of joining her in godhood? The ending might've been more interesting.

Reaction Images
My crappy experiment with GIMP.

"Alive" Reaction Images
More reactions, this time based on "Alive."

Destiny Unknown
A story concept about the Illidari that I shamelessly stole from someone else -- now updated for Legion-era lore.

Another portfolio scene, this time reusing some familiar cast members in the Cataclysm era.

Non-Blizzard Memes
Some fun I had with an online meme generator. I'm never doing this manually again!

Another character reference sheet for Overwatch, this time on a Latina hacker.

Balaa is Crazy
Remember Balaa from above? I decided to try using her in a scene -- featuring a certain two children with a penchant for landing in trouble.

D.Va Do-Over
Since my last attempt a everyone's favorite gamer was...less than successful, I tried again. Inspiration from Charlet Chung was a big help.

BfA Comic Comparison
A bit of analysis on what makes a successful character introduction comic.

“Shooting Star” Review
Having posted so many ideas about what to do with D.Va, I couldn't not respond to her short.

Orphea Commentary
Commentary on Orphea's story conclusion.

Thoughts on “Bastet”
The release of an Overwatch short story prompted some musings about the direction of the franchise.

Review on “Mechagon”
Some thoughts jotted down about the junker gnome comic.

Review on “What You Left Behind”
What happens when DarkAngel treats an official story like he used to do for fanfiction? The results will either be very good or very bad.

Review on “A Moment in Verse”
DarkAngel again tackles an official short story, this time about elves.

Review on “Nature of the Beast”
Learning from another Blizzard comic.

Thoughts on “Terror by Torchlight”
Is it wise to critique a bestselling author?

Thoughts on “Stone by Stone”
Commentary on the Symmetra story -- with a digression into autism.

Anansi 02-13-2016 04:35 PM

Weren't you supposed to get a custom rank at some point?

DarkAngel 02-13-2016 06:32 PM


Originally Posted by Anansi (Post 1428703)
Weren't you supposed to get a custom rank at some point?

I was, but that stalled somewhere along the line. I don't mind -- much.

Anyway, there's a special treat coming tomorrow.

Shaman 02-13-2016 07:50 PM


Originally Posted by Anansi (Post 1428703)
Weren't you supposed to get a custom rank at some point?

More on this soon. :)

DarkAngel 02-14-2016 12:36 PM

Project Blackstone Continues
As promised, I have a treat. This came to me while lying awake in bed one night. I'm probably butchering characters I don't know enough about again.

Ayers and Treicher stand before a screen. The image of VALERIAN MENGSK appears.

Is this supposed to be some kind of joke? It's not funny.

Good evening, Dr. Ayers. From your tone, I gather you received the package I sent you.

I have half a mind to send your "package" back into space -- without a stasis pod.

You asked for the Dominion's best expert on psionics. I sent her to you.

You could've at least told me who it was.

Would you have accepted her help if I had?

Ayers remains silent.

This mission is very important, Talen -- not just to the Dominion, but to all of humanity. I'd hate to see it fail because personal feelings got in the way.

She did take our only means of escape and leave us all to die on a barren rock. These feelings are more than just mine.

Valerian takes a deep breath.

I'm well aware of what happened at Blackstone Station. I also think you'll find Dr. Martine quite eager to redeem herself -- if, that is, you can forgive her enough to try.

Ayers purses his lips.

All right, she can stay -- but only until we've accomplished our objective. After that, she goes.

Good. I had hoped you'd be reasonable about this. Keep me posted on any new developments, doctor. We're all counting on you.

Image of Valerian disappears.

You surprise me, sir. I thought for sure you'd end up losing your job. <beat> I'd go with you, for the record.

I surprised myself -- but this isn't over. I want you to keep a close watch on her -- and have someone wearing a psi-screen at all times.

Treicher nods.

Will do.

Treicher exits. Ayers looks down.

I'd better not regret this.
The first write-up had a much angrier Ayers, but I quickly decided that wasn't his style. After some thought, I suddenly realized: Talen Ayers is Richard Castle. Both are middle-aged men with dark hair. Both are bestselling authors. Both have daughters. Both have rocky relationships with their love interests. All I had to do was imagine the right voice and the problems fixed themselves.

That leaves me to worry about Valerian. Playboy-turned-suave manipulator? I may have to actually play SC2 someday.

And, just what is this mission that's so important, anyway?

DarkAngel 04-02-2016 04:48 PM

SC2 Alternate Ending
Not intended to be in any way serious. It just felt like the official ending

(Raynor sits in a chair reading a newspaper. He looks up at the sound of running feet. A CHILD, a girl of about four, speaks in the next room.)

Mommy! Mommy! I saw the gold lady again!

(A WOMAN replies.)

How many times have we talked about this? There is no gold lady. Stop telling stories.

But it's not a story! It's true!

I don't want to hear about this again, understand?

But Mommy!

No buts. Just no.

(The back of the child's head enters the foreground. Raynor looks down at it.)

Your mamma's right, Sarah. You can't go around tellin' stories like that--

(Raynor leans forward, a twinkle in his eye.)

RAYNOR (cont'd.)
even if they are true.

(Cut to black. Roll credits.)
There probably aren't newspapers in StarCraft, but it felt right to me. The woman's identity is deliberately ambiguous. Is she Hanson? We don't know.

Also, I seem to be doing more SC than WC in this thread--and screenplays.

DarkAngel 04-08-2016 04:32 PM

Reaction Images
3 Attachment(s)
So, playing around with WoW Model Viewer and GIMP one day, it occurred to me that I could make reaction images like some other people do. Yrel came first, but then I said, "Why not use my characters too?" The results weren't exactly professional grade, as you can see. What this sort of thing needs is a black outline around the white text. Oh well. It was a fun exercise.

If these are to your liking, I also pulled some great stills out out of "Alive" for when I have time.

DarkAngel 04-23-2016 08:13 AM

"Alive" Reactions
5 Attachment(s)
As promised, I added words to a few stills from "Alive" to make some amusing reactions. They pretty much all suffer from contrast issues, but I prefer to think of them as "proof of concept." They are all free to use by any member of this forum.

EDIT: Since the forum imposes a maximum of five attachments per post, we may have to do this in installments.

DarkAngel 04-23-2016 08:19 AM

"Alive" Reactions (Part 2)
5 Attachment(s)
The next five from our cold-blooded killer.

DarkAngel 04-23-2016 08:25 AM

"Alive" Reactions (Part 3)
5 Attachment(s)
And the last. Let's face it: Widowmaker is the perfect straight (wo)man.

Ethenil 05-25-2016 10:00 AM

Heh, just discovered this is a thing. I'm having fun reading the Falconbridge stories.

DarkAngel 05-25-2016 05:17 PM


Originally Posted by Ethenil (Post 1477547)
Heh, just discovered this is a thing. I'm having fun reading the Falconbridge stories.

Well thank you! I'm almost embarrassed to show that any more, but I stand behind the humor.

Ethenil 05-25-2016 07:10 PM

Did you start getting more comments later? ;_;

DarkAngel 05-26-2016 03:55 PM


Originally Posted by Ethenil (Post 1477819)
Did you start getting more comments later? ;_;

Not really. It was kind of frustrating just sending things into a black hole. I say I'm embarrassed because I've gotten so much better since then. (At least I like to think I have.)

Arashi 05-26-2016 10:25 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I like your random ideas brah. It's what inspired me to do cute crayon drawings.

DarkAngel 08-11-2016 04:20 PM

Destiny Unknown
Once, long ago, a choose-your-adventure scenario featuring the Illidari was posted on this board. It's stuck with me for whatever reason, and I've always wanted to do something with it. The amazing part is how I wrote this whole thing in a single day -- a new personal best. If nothing else, it's a portfolio piece demonstrating how to introduce a protagonist with the aid of a jerk.
* * * * * * *

They must be crazy to do this. They can’t just dump me in with everyone else. Do they really expect me to just…go back?

Patience. When the naaru choose pets, they choose useful pawns. I do not think we’ll be here for long.

Illara entered as quietly and unobtrusively as she could, almost surprised when no angry mob blocked her path. In fact, there was hardly anyone in Barracks 10 at all.

See? They delayed your entrance until your bunkmates were out in the yard. They want you alive, but why send you here in the first place? Always inscrutable, those Light-crystals.

Illara noted the energy signatures she saw as she passed: mostly priests, a few mages, one paladin. They were all Sin’dorei females like herself, though she couldn’t make out much more. External features were not the advantage of her new sight. While she could surmise from their posture that they were engaged in idle chat and braiding each other’s hair, that was really just a guess.

Her unease grew at the silence that fell around her. They’re noticing. This was a mistake.
Steady. Now is not the time to show weakness.

“Illara? Illara Felstar?” a voice asked behind her.
You know that voice. An old friend, is it?

She halted, turning slowly. “Tirana? Is that you?” The priest energy signature before her was a familiar one—something she’d felt, but never before seen.

The figure crossed its arms. “Of course it’s me. You’re looking right at me—and I still have eyes.”

Your “friend” doesn’t seem happy to see you.
She was always like this when she got angry. Illara forced an apologetic smile. “I’m sorry. I’m still getting used to spectral sight. Things look so different now.”

“Things are different now,” Tirana said icily. “The naaru won. We’re sitting in a prison camp. Leaving us didn’t get you anything, now did it?”
Ah, that explains the hostility.

Illara mirrored her former friend. “It got me closer to the Master than you’ll ever get.”

“And closer to his ruin when it came,” the priestess pointed out. She sounded like she was enjoying this. “The Master’s mad schemes only got him killed and his chosen taken in chains.” She paused. “Except, that is, for you.” She let her arms fall as she moved closer. “The scuttlebutt said a demon hunter had been pried from the Wardens’ clutches, but I never imagined it would be you. What makes you so special?”

The demon hunter shook her head. “I don’t know what I did to deserve this, Tirana. All I know is that it happened. Now please let me alone. I need to think.” She turned and continued down the row of beds, wondering which ones were taken.

Well done. There’s no need to pick fights just yet.
Tirana, however, wasn’t done. “I guess you always did have to brood after something didn’t go your way,” she called after her.

Just ignore her.
“Or maybe that’s the answer. The Wardens didn’t take you because aren’t a demon hunter. You failed.”

Illara rounded on her, lips curling into a snarl. “You have no right to say that!” she spat. “You don’t know what I’ve been through—let alone what I’ve seen.”

“I’ll take that as a ‘yes.’” The demon hunter heard, rather than saw, the wicked smile behind the words. She tensed, ready to spring forward.
Illara, no.

“I should’ve guessed. Most of Lord Illidan’s chosen can’t stop showing off those tattoos; you’re wearing the same uniform as the rest of us.”

Illara pulled herself up to her full height and made use of her demonically-augmented strength to tear open her shirt. “You want to see my tattoos? Have a look at them! Because I really did get them. I really did consume a demon, and I really did claw out my own eyes.” Her tone was dangerous. “I am Illidari by every measure.”
Well done. No violence needed.

An uncomfortable silence fell over the room as everyone looked to Tirana’s response. “Perhaps you are,” she said at last. “But I know you too well, Illara. There’s more to this story—and I will find out eventually.”

She does know you too well.
The demon hunter scooped up the remains of her shirt and stalked away. That’s what happens when you grow up together.

“The bed at the very far end is still open, in case you were wondering,” the priestess added behind her.
Illara scowled, but said nothing.

You did it. You faced down an adversary without killing anyone. The naaru would be pleased by that.
Are you saying…I’m here as some kind of test?

It’s possible. This is exactly the sort of thing the naaru would seek to test.
Then this is one test I have doubts about passing.

Of course you will pass—just as you’ve passed every other test. All you have to do is nothing.

* * * * * * *
Why do I get the feeling there will be popular demand to continue?

Ethenil 08-11-2016 06:10 PM


That's the name I chose for my demon hunter o.o

DarkAngel 08-27-2016 08:28 AM

With the success of adapting Destiny Unknown as a portfolio piece, I began to wonder if I might as well put up another. This one was actually written a year ago when I was asked to prove I could still do WarCraft in my current style. I made use of a story idea I'd been holding in reserve for when The Falconbridge Chronicles is completed someday (which I still hope to do). It's a prologue of sorts, which serves as an epilogue to Falconbridge while still leading into the story of Kalea Trueshot, Kalin's mother. I always felt like her side of the story needed to be told.

The interesting part of all this is the way it turned into an exercise in introductions that have to assume some readers haven't read the previous story while not dragging for those that have. I think you can tell from this what all the characters are about -- and what time period they're in -- without having to say anything directly. It's all there in the descriptions and dialogue.

* * * * * * *

The sun rose slowly over Stormwind City, which was just as well. Its residents were equally slow to rise. Everywhere, the streets were strewn with broken glass and shattered roof tiles—reminders of the great dragon’s wrath. Some tried to sweep them away, others tried to ignore them, but all sought the return of life as usual. Little by little, the streets were being cleared. More shops were open now than yesterday—and more still than the day before. So what if molten claw-marks still marred the city gates? Life had to go on.

Among the few venture out in the shaken city was man with long, golden hair. With his slight build, some might mistake him for an elf at a distance. His ears, however, came to blunt points, not the graceful fins of true Thalassian stock. He was followed closely by what appeared to be a human girl. While her chestnut ponytail and simple clothes seemed ordinary enough, her iridescent green eyes suggested the truth they concealed. She crunched on what remained of a Tigule and Foror's cone—yet something about the position of the tasty treat didn’t quite match with her hands.

The half-elf looked around the Cathedral Square in dismay. It was strewn with large boulders that had once been part of surrounding buildings. “How are we ever going to get this out of here?”

His companion didn’t even break stride. “Maybe we shouldn’t, Arias. ‘Regular people’ could use some reminders about the dangers out there.”

“‘Reminders?’” Arias asked incredulously. “This city was razed by the Horde, rebuilt only to be terrorized by the Defias Riots, forced into hiding by an undead invasion, and now set upon by a giant dragon. I think we’ve all been reminded quite enough of the world’s dangers.”

The girl finished the last of her ice cream. “Fine, have it your way. Not everyone is upset about the new landscaping, though,” she added toward the children swarming over the largest stone.

The half-elf eyed them warily. “True. Perhaps we should keep moving.” The pair passed through the square’s western gate out to the canal beyond.

“Do you think Kalin will be upset about the park?” the false human asked. She nodded to the far side of the canal. “Lord Falconbridge did keep a house for him there. Certainly nothing to brag about, but…” She let her voice trail off.

Arias waved dismissively. “Unlikely. He only ever used it as a storage locker. If I know Kalin, he’ll be happier sleeping in the woods anyway.” The half-elf moved to a bench looking out over the water. “This should be a good enough place to wait for him. He’ll have to come this way.”

“Are you sure? The shortest way is to cut past the Stockades. He won’t know he can’t get through.”

Her golden-haired companion smiled as she sat. “Kalin doesn’t like mages any more than you do, ‘Susan.’ I’ve never quite understood why, though. I guess night elves have an aversion to magic.”

“Barbarians.” The girl pulled a small paper from her pocket and began studying it intently. It was obvious, if one looked closely, that her real hands were far smaller than the appearance projected over them.

Arias leaned closer. “Naiva, may I ask what that is? You’ve been spending every spare moment staring at it.”

Her expression soured. “It’s a letter from Narmiel, if you must know. She wanted to make sure I’m okay after our visit from the Destroyer. She actually paid to have it teleported.”

The half-elf raised in eyebrows in astonishment. “Really? That’s not cheap.”
“Not only that, she paid to have my response teleported back—if I write one.”

“She must be really worried. You’d better send something.”
Naiva gave a non-committal grunt. “Maybe. Narmiel’s joined the relief efforts in Darkshore. It sounds like they had it much worse than we did.”

Arias straitened. “They got hit too? How bad was it?”
The false human tapped a place on the page, sending her illusory finger briefly protruding through the paper. “She mentions a tidal wave and an earthquake strong enough to reshape the coastline. Somewhere called ‘Auberdine’ was completely destroyed.”

He looked down. “Auberdine? Oh no.”
Naiva turned. “What? You know the place?”

Arias shook his head. “I’ve never been there myself, but Auberdine is—was—the primary port into the night elf lands. They’ll be cut off without it.”

A shadow fell over them, prompting both to jump to their feet. Kalin Trueshot stood behind the bench, a heavy traveling pack slung over one shoulder. “All right, I’m guessing you two lovebirds are waiting for me.”

Naiva’s hands were inside her illusory hips, looking for daggers that weren’t there. “You’ve got that right.”

“Kalin, Lord Falconbridge wants to see you immediately,” Arias said as he regained his composure.

Kalin rolled his eyes. “Tim wait until after I drop off my stuff.”
“Well, that’s just it,” the half-elf pressed. “As you may have heard, Deathwing attacked the city four days ago and—”

“Yeah, I was going to ask about that,” Kalin cut in, leading the way over the canal. “You weren’t in town when that happened, were you? Because that’s exactly what you needed: one more thing to have nightmares about.”

The illusory human glared. “Hey! I’m doing better now. I’m down to one a month since we started sleeping together.”

Arias help up a finger to stop her. “That’s enough! It’s strictly a matter of comfort,” he added quickly. “There haven’t been any immoral relations.”

“You don’t have to justify it to me, kid. Just keep the door closed.”
“Kalin, don’t assume things that aren’t—”

All three of them stopped when they reached the gatehouse to what would have been the park. Beyond, there was nothing but a yawning chasm where the city’s one nod to nature had been torn from the cliff by the dragon’s fury. Kalin let his pack fall to the ground and shook his fist at the sky. “That damned dragon blew up my house!”

The illusory mouth smirked. “We did try to tell you. To think, Arias here said you didn’t want it.”

“I don’t,” Kalin said curtly.
His companions exchanged confused looks. “Wait. What?”

“That’s not the point! It was mine. Now, it’s gone. Whether I wanted it or not is irrelevant.” The tracker sighed. “Fine, let’s go find out what Tim wants.”

“If you’re in a bad mood, we could stop and get you some ice cream on the way back,” Naiva suggested coyly. A silver coin protruded in and out of the illusion as she expertly rolled it across her fingers.

The half-elf looked as though he’d been slapped. “Where did you get that? I thought we agreed I was going to handle the money.”

Her teasing look quickly turned to one of embarrassment. “Well, McKeever had a jar of cash just conveniently sitting there, and…”

Arias massaged his temples. “That was the tip jar! By the Light, can’t I take you anywhere?”

Kalin just rolled his eyes. “Come on, you two. Let’s go.”

* * * * * * *

There would then be a second scene of the prologue in which Kalin visits his benefactor. Tim wants to see him because Shandaria Moonleaf is basically camping out on his doorstep, demanding to see Kalin. She tells him that his mother (who should under no circumstances be confused with Cailea) is dying, and this is his last chance to go see her. The remainder of the story is a gigantic flashback about who she was and why she did what she did.

The final scene would've had Kalin visiting a grave, ending, ironically, with the very first sentence I wrote back when Falconbridge was still in progress:
"Kalin wept, crying for a woman he'd never met -- not because he'd known her, but because he hadn't."

Ethenil 09-02-2016 07:44 PM

You know, for some reason I love to read what you (and people like Destron) write. It makes the world feel so alive!

Okay, so I'm going to try to write something down. Any tips?

Anansi 09-02-2016 10:05 PM

I notice DarkAngel still hasn't got that custom rank he was promised. Dammit, mods.

Arashi 09-02-2016 10:58 PM

I have the power to summon mods. I can use it here if it is necessary.

DarkAngel 09-03-2016 09:18 AM


Originally Posted by Arashi (Post 1509358)
I have the power to summon mods. I can use it here if it is necessary.

Not if your power works the same way the ghetto summons police...


Originally Posted by Ethenil (Post 1509323)
You know, for some reason I love to read what you (and people like Destron) write. It makes the world feel so alive!

Okay, so I'm going to try to write something down. Any tips?

Think big, start small.
Know your world. Be ready with any detail you might need, because you have no way of knowing. What is each person wearing? What kind of wood is that axe handle made of? What did the bartender's cousin's high school sweethart's new beau do in the pool hall last night? (Okay, that's an exaggeration, but you get the idea.) At the same time, though, don't bite off more than you can chew. The Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire are not what anyone should attempt on a first time out. A short story will suffice -- perhaps even a single scene.

Let your characters do the talking.
When the audience needs to know something, try to embed it into the conversation. It's much smoother and more interesting that way because the dialogue also carries information about who the characters are. Remember, stories are about experiences, not events. Never shove your story in people's faces. Invite them in.

I could go on, but you need to get experience before working on fine points.

AndyJP 09-05-2016 01:27 AM

With the Legion and Army of Light stuff going on, it had me thinking about your Brave New World of Warcraft story today and how they've forgotten about Dornaa and Salandria. I guess the Bronzeflight solved whatever future problem they are supposed to have with them by putting them in an infinite loop?

Arashi 09-05-2016 10:58 AM

I always think of the world as a character. You would be pretty surprised how easy that makes things. It does at least 76% of your work.

Anyway, this thread could use some claw dude. Hes the only one who actually does things around here.

DarkAngel 09-27-2017 04:38 PM

Non-Blizzard Memes
2 Attachment(s)
Has it really been a year since anyone touched this thread? Hmm... Well, the good news is I haven't been idle in this time. A few gems have been building up behind the scenes -- which I intend to post over the next few weeks. For now, though, I'll leave you with a pair of non-Blizzard creations I cooked up while trying out an online meme generator. Turns out these things are WAY easier than doing it yourself.

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