Monthly Archives: March 2014

It’s kind of interesting how with Cleverbotstuck I came up with “technotranscendent” Dirk and then with DCS I came up with machairodont Dirk and in Stablehand I added the technotranscendents as a faction because I thought that would be cool and shortly after that in homeSUCK I made John into a technotranscendent of sorts, and then I had to pick a creature to represent the Fantasy attribute so I picked the “panther”, and the hexart I designed around the panther made me think, well what if cats with wings were a fantasy creature in this world even though dragons and griffins and things exist, so then the cœlailurus is this thing and it kind of boots the panther out, and when I put it on the Zefír flag I coloured it various shades of blue which were incidentally kinda like the Breath colours honestly, and then I come up with “Heavenscratch Beastquest Tenkai” as a new title for the reboot of my old project and then I’m designing “heavenscratch” as a creature because why the hell not and I decide to make it a cœlailurus but I drew it with slightly machairodontish features so I make it a full-on machairodont with wings.

And I feel so weird for intuitively thinking that “machairodont” and “wings” are things that just go together because they both got incidentally associated with Dirk.

I guess this is also a good example of how originality is easiest to build incrementally and it’s much rarer to just suddenly “be original”.

Bluh, I hate it when I have a really awesome idea but I can’t share it because it would be a huge spoiler.

(Yep, it happened again. XD)

I guess I can tell you a liiiiiiitle bit of it that isn’t quite a spoiler that I’d already figured out a while back. You know the Verity and Desolation symbols and how they look kind of like stars? Well… they’re basically actual stars somewhere.

Welp, guess the only word left for my third mechanic is “attunements”. XD

I’m… not sure whether it makes anywhere near as much sense as “attributes” or “attitudes”. It only really even works in a metaphorical sense.

(What I’m thinking is that since each attribute has literally so many completely different sides to it, my third mechanic is literally going to just be separating out those sides into separate “attunements”. For instance, with Synthesis you can be super interested in how things go together and really passionate about taking them apart, or you can be super neutral about everything, and I’m thinking those might be separate attunements. This is still an extremely tentative mechanic since I’m not even sure how well it would work; it would kind of require having enough and distinct enough attunements to actually be able to categorise almost EVERYONE with the attribute system, because that’s the only real reason for me to introduce a finer level of things.)

Last night I had this dream that I was watching some kind of documentary about how lions died out in an ice age or something like that, and they were talking about this particular ice-preserved lion specimen.

The first thing I remember was this computer-generated sequence like they do in those kinds of things (though it had pretty good graphics, almost indistinguishable from reality), where there was a lot of snow around and this male lion curiously walked up to a flagpole. It stood up a bit and reached out a paw to touch the flagpole, also extending out its tongue,

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Well, here’s what I just spent the past three or four days perfecting.

This is going to be the TOC for the fauna section in the guidebook, basically. Before this, I created an XML file to store the tree in and made the tree in XML, then I made a javascript to turn the tree into a nested HTML list (the code shown is the HTML) and used CSS generated content to create the lines.

I know this is kind of a quirky way to do things, but it has one really big advantage—I can retheme the presentation really drastically if I want to without having to rewrite/restructure the data itself, and since I can alter it at the HTML level I have more control than even with CSS. It’s also really easy for me to just add a creature/clade to the tree by putting a tag for it into the XML file and have it look great immediately, way easier than it’d be to try to wade around in all those confusingly similar ul’s and li’s every time.

I’m also going to make the creature/character pages the same way (one rethemeable page that pulls data from my master XML file), since it seems like the most practical option.

*incomprehensible programming nerd babble*

Stablehand: What is it, really?

Occasionally people ask me what Stablehand is, and I try to explain it to them. I can do a decent job of this. But today I just realised that one of the reasons I have trouble getting my definition just right is that Stablehand actually isn’t just one thing. It’s actually about 15 different things all rolled up into one.

So, here’s the real answer to the question “what is Stablehand?”:

  1. A gamebook. Fairly self-explanatory if you know what branching books, text adventures, etc. are. So… yeah.
  2. A worldbuilding project.

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Oh gosh, bestiaries were like, the best thing ever…

The pard:


(he looks so smug too)

The reindeer, aka the colour-changing camo antelope:


I think this was supposed to be a reindeer anyway? Actually I’m not sure. All I know is Latin dictionaries today say “tarandrus” means reindeer and it’s used in their scientific name too.


Oh gods what even is this thing

And then there are the griffins


It’s like they have quadrupedal pterosaur wings but they’re also bird wings with legs on them and I don’t even…?

I kinda want to work that weird anatomy into some kind of leijonœrn subgroup to be honest.