The Orion's Arm Universe Project Forums

Character profiles
The trouble with putting characters in particular in the EG, even if it's the Ghost net, is the entire frame changes around character-centric portions of OA. The entire point of having a good character-centric space is to accommodate characters who will be completely un-noteable, who would not belong in any encyclopedia, because we want to know their opinion of their local transapient, not (only) the name, age, and listed interactions between the two characters. The big difference in framing between "objective encyclopedia" and "perspectives from one or several somewhat relatable characters". One possibility is putting characters profiles of some kind under the voices/oa section, or under writing and art (which exists now) with some characters linking to their stories. In addition, more noteworthy characters still have the EG articles they have now.
OA is definitely about the setting, not individual characters, so I certainly wouldn't want to make characters central. I suspect though that the voices/oa part of the site could provide an alternative entrance point for newcomers. It might be good to have some recommended stories to read first, rather than read through all of them?

Basically, the stories that have the most "we're introducing you to this completely new world"-type stories. (Dirty hands for example)
I don't mean to intrude, I was linked to this thread.

If I may just throw in my two cents, I would like to say I love creating characters. While I love compelling and rich settings, the actual process of creating them is not something that enthralls me. Rather it's actually populating the settings that I love to do. I love to take the events, politics, histories, and other "rules" of a setting, throw them in a slot machine, pull the lever and see what comes up!

If I may, take most of the Vault Hunters from Borderlands. All of them are a bizarre combination of build, skill, quirks, and motivation. Gaige is a robotics child prodigy who was expelled from school for her science project killing a classmate. Salvador is a steroid abusing native of Pandora out for revenge. Maya is a formerly worshipped telekinetic looking for answers as to her true nature. I could describe them, other residents of Pandora, and characters from other franchises in paragraphs without mentioning their names.

In many ways, I'm thankful for OA's breadth, because it allows possibly thousands of character archetypes to fit into the unmentioned places in history.
(11-13-2013, 06:12 PM)SteelEnsouled Wrote: I'd certainly be willing once I get enough development in on the Breytenbachs.

I am, wholeheartedly, a character-first person--by the standards of a group so technical, very "right-brained"--and I admit I've noticed a lack of this in OA to a degree. For me, the characters absolutely must come first. I enjoy the science and the concepts, but for me the key question is how I, or how people, would react to it. That's what's compelling me to write and why I am drawn to the turbulent early period. The societal transition scared me, that I read about in OA--and that told me there could be a resonance for readers. I already have a very strong sense of what Marie is like as a person, and I can even see in my head (sort of) the iconography that might be done of her after her death and canonization by certain groups. While I am constantly learning more about her, even before I had her name, St. Marie of the Good Hope was almost right away like a person I could imagine knowing IRL.

I am also really starting to think that while I will not measure up scientifically, I might well be able to help you guys with the story cycle I am coming up with. It could provide a place for some to dip their toes slowly into OA without being hit by all of the neologisms and all of the concepts full on...and then get acclimated for the modern-era stuff. Smile

Funny, I would also describe myself as right brained and also can't hold a candle to the admin's scientific knowledge . . . and also have "steel" in my user name . . . . huh.

What can this mean?! Huh
Hm. Just took a second look at this thread and feel I need to point this out.

Wearing my Admin/Senior Member/Board member hats for this one:

Members of the OAUP should not feel intimidated by the science focus of OA nor should they feel discouraged from possibly contributing because they are not scientific professionals or are not 'into' science. One of the goals of OA is to combine the creative 'right brain' aspect of things with the more scientific 'left brain' aspect of things.

Members of all backgrounds and levels of scientific know how are welcome in the project and should see the science aspect of the project as a resource to be taken advantage of rather than a hurdle to be gotten over. If you have an idea for the setting, but are concerned about whether it will work from a scientific perspective, the best thing to do is to:

a) Just ask us - we don't generally bite and no one is going to ridicule you for not being a science expert. If they do, they will come to the negative attention of the moderators in short order.

b) If the answer is that the idea won't work based on our current understanding of science, don't give up - instead think about/ask about how the end result of your idea might be achieved in a fashion that will work with our current understanding of science. Often in OA the most straightforward answer isn't the only answer.

c) Phrase questions in a more open ended fashion that lends itself to thinking outside the box - If you ask a straight yes/no question then the answer just may be 'no' because we don't realize why you are asking the question and aren't thinking in terms of 'other ways to skin that cat' (background or context can mean everything).

d) Speaking of background or context - it often helps to provide this to help the more science minded get their hands around what you are actually looking to do.

Hope this helps. We now return you to your regularly scheduled existenceWink


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