Category: Retrolark aesthetic

Fancy rep1icaWatches for you, just like Aeterna-made

I was just kind of thinking about Kris’s flow merge

Originally I imagined it just being a bracelet but like, what if it was a watch

A really fancy watch with tessellated crystally blue diamond shapes, like one of those fake rolex type things

(They probably make some fairly fancy watches in Aeterna given watches are the major product of Aeterna, Aeterna, so in one way it only makes sense for other places like Easboro to try to cash in on that by making vaguely similar fancy watches for cheaper)

I’m imagining her doing this stylised gesture of swinging her arm over and pressing down the face like a button like it’s Literally The 90s,

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Retro style ideas for Stablehand

  • Some emulation of one of those FMV sequences where a person just stands there and talks and the person is so SERIOUS but it looks so fake and acted-out, like in this game (I don’t know where it’d be used, it wouldn’t be an intro?? I dunno, maybe like for dark teapot if you reach him, just have it be kinda like one of those old TV programs where everything is fancy and they’re trying to give you the vibe this “host” has invited you “into” the program). It wouldn’t be literally an old FMV intro in exactly the same style, just something that gave a weirdly really similar vibe and then you suddenly realise yes, it’s making fun of that oh my god.
  • Pre-rendered 3D backgrounds, or real libre-licenced photos with filters applied to make them look that way. But the character “sprites” are drawn in this weird fluid vector style that’s highly stylised at a distance and highly detailed up close
  • There is just a certain style of narration over a backdrop in a both sincere and slightly overdone way that they did in like the Animorphs program that is just SO its time it’s ridiculous
  • Character portraits for dialogue screens that are not pixellated but move the same way as in those games where the sprites are really detailed but also pixel and they kinda like turn their head one direction and then snap back

I’m honestly cracking up at the idea of retrolark working exactly like steampunk and the world being perpetually in different shades of the 80s/90s through hundreds and hundreds of years of history

  • Instead of getting out the old scrolls and tomes people are unearthing all sorts of different kinds of old clunky gimmick tape/floppy/etc. formats that were all the rage for 10 years but then just got abandoned, each one requiring its own peculiar player
  • Every so often there’s at least one subculture movement to start a “new age” with its own distinctive newagey ideas that are really not that new,

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Whew! The guidebook portion of my Monolark theme is done. (I still need to style stuff within the entries themselves but that can wait till I actually have content)

Monolark is the wordpress theme that will be used for the Stablehand Guidebook, as well as the actual story page and a few other “outside” pages (the style for those is going to be different from the guidebook). The basic idea of Monolark is to represent the retrolark aesthetic, but more on the elegant side of it. And feature a neat little “retrolark” in the corner.

Compare with my previous two attempts when I was first starting the Stablehand project and attempting to build FolderView on Blogger, respectively:

I learned from the first one not to make things so damn dark, and from the second one that rollover menus were exceedingly cool but a bit inefficient.

I think this is what you call art improvement.

every time you tag something “retrolark aesthetic” i just get more and more confused about what the retrolark aesthetic actually is. but i think that’s just part of the fun


Well part of the problem is that my idea of what retrolark aesthetic is has actually changed over time. Initially I thought it would be more retro than I think now, just a steampunk-like exaggeration of past decades in a way that made them cooler than they actually were, and now although that’s still part of it it’s more about evoking this weird sense of an avant-garde-influenced era nobody ever experienced with its own quirky slang and style and making you believe it was a past era and think wow that was a cool era I wish I could have seen more of it before you realise oh wait this is not like anything that actually happened.

I’m gonna write up a page for it in the Stablehand guidebook eventually, at which point it will hopefully be much more clear. Actually the story itself will make things vastly more clear too. The stuff that reminds me of retrolark is honestly nowhere near as good a match for it as what I intend to produce!

Finally! My website theme for my Sandstorm wordpress is done, or at least enough to be presentable. I’ll probably do a million more little tweaks but now that all the big things are fixed I can rest easy. (Shh, I know the “by date” widget is broken. I’ll fix it later. :p)

It’s called “FolderView”, and is supposed to mirror an in-universe file browser of the same name made by a figure known as “Dark Teapot”, inventor of an essentially magic-based internet* in an exotic remote corner of a universe where computers still mostly look like this.

For comparison here’s my original attempt at this theme on Blogger (before I knew other options were on the horizon). I was at first just going to port the Blogger one but then I decided after some thought that I hadn’t really achieved what I was going for on the Blogger one and I could make a better one that was more representative of the intended idea if I just started over. It turned out to be a pretty good decision–on one hand the old one looks dated and I guess that’s good, but the thing with retrolark aesthetic is it’s not vaporwave, it’s supposed to FEEL dated but look modern. Anyway, I like the new one a lot better.

I like how

  1. The translator turned “avant-garde” into “sans serif” and
  2. Where “sans serif” first appears is in English in the middle of a Hebrew sentence

What is Stablehand? The December 2014 answer

Stablehand is a libre universe which will begin around a visual gamebook I’m currently developing. The goal is to give you the first fandom in which fan stuff will be 100% legal by default, no caveats (ok, two if you wanna be technical), and on roughly equal footing with canon stuff. It’s a little bit like a Wikipedia universe!

Now, the visual gamebook I just mentioned, of the same name.

It is, as someone once made me describe, a sort of “choose your own adventure with attributes”.

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I don’t know what I expected from that Too Many Cooks video but

I just loved the concept of having way too many characters to introduce and having to take forever to get through the intro, especially where each family had some distinctive character to it and you really got the impression this could indeed be a show where you’d get to know all these characters and somehow miraculously they’d have time to neatly balance the stories between all of them

I also liked the ending where everyone was part of the same “family” and they just fucking adopted lizardman into the family like whatever. With a somewhat smaller “family” that’s probably precisely the kind of thing RFS characters would think was a perfectly normal, standard sitcom. Like, it’s just not a sitcom without lizardman and space officer person right

The rest of it was kinda… I liked some parts of it but some of it were just eh

Well, when putting together my timeline of “background shit” I half-accidentally created the name Techanopia (techno + canopy + utopia) and you know, I kind of like it. It’s sort of genuinely cool and funky but also so nauseatingly retro and hippy you just want to smash something, and I think that’s about what I was going for.