Back in November…
DJ: Hey, you wanna read a story?
Ray: Hell yeah.
DJ: LOVE THE ENTHUSIASM!
Ray: Haha, I do what I can.
*I send a draft of “No Call, No Show”*
Ray: OH SHIT. I dunno if I’m ready.
DJ: Just for context, Cleo = Cairo and Dixie = Sable. They have shitty codenames before they rename themselves.
Ray: Oh, perfect.
DJ: You don’t get to name yourself in the Syndicate.
Ray: Ahahaha, Frenchy. Oh, I love this.
DJ: Is there anything that needs clarification?
Ray: Not really, it’s a great snapshot of the characters’ personalities right off the bat. Dixie is a perfect early nickname. I’m imagining her with an accent now
DJ: Oh, she has one. Truth told, I’m considering voicing her myself ’cause I’ve always wanted to try VA.
Ray: omg?? I would love to hear that!
DJ: BE THE ULF ANDERSSON OF MY GAME
Ray: & leave halfway through? (ouch)
Ray: I’m joking of course. This is great. Are Frenchy and Mitty the other two playable characters or are they just flavor ?
DJ: They are flavor. Immediately after this is a little mini-game in the webpage where you get to rob the bank, and then another story after where they decide this is bullshit. After they leave, they have to find crewmates who aren’t already involved in the Syndicate.
Ray: Oooh. I’m so glad to see your writing applied to lore for something actually… good. Not that your Payday stuff wasn’t great! The fact that it was so great actually exposed a lot of flaws in the source material, haha.
DJ: Most of that stuff was written to reconcile lolwut shit that Overkill did. It was a lot of fun trying to bend their plot into something reasonable.
But it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything original, so I am worried about, like, if there’s stuff that needs to be clarified. Like, the benefit of writing fanfic is that you don’t have to think so much about what the reader doesn’t already know about your world, because the foundation of knowledge is already there. Here I’m starting fresh so I don’t wanna miss anything or over-complicate.
Ray: I think it works well. (I wouldn’t discount the fact that you’re coming from fanfiction tbh, sometimes letting the reader make their own assumptions can be a strong point in the writing.) Honestly it’s short enough that I wouldn’t be too concerned. Any confusion the player might have could easily be cleared up by either more narrative later or in-game via play.
DJ: Like, I spent a lot of time going back and forth over specifying the name of the app they use. ‘Cause what I decided was, the Syndicate isn’t actually the name of the group, it’s just how crewmates refer to themselves while on a job. The whole thing is operated on an app called Hole in the Wall and, outwardly, it’s built to show you where dive bars are in your local area. But there’s a back-end side to it that operates all the crime.net stuff. Kind of a perfect cover. Sable uses both functions, obviously. Whole thing is named Hole in the Wall as an homage to the wild west coalition of bandits. So the group is officially, Hole in the Wall Gang 2.0, but out in public, there has to be a divide so as not to give away the app’s functions so these are Syndicate robbers. Ultimately, I decided to avoid that distinction until later ’cause it’s kinda clutter-y. Planning to do a story about Sable getting inducted that’ll explain a lot of those nuances.
Also just making sure the concept is clear, that it’s basically Uber for thieves.
Ray: Makes perfect sense to me. I’d run it by someone who didn’t already have background knowledge from the game if you can, since I knew at least the nebulous concept behind crime.net beforehand so that might be coloring the way I interpreted the writing.
DJ: That’s a good point.
Ray: I still think it works, but one more beta reader can’t hurt.
DJ: Would you like to see my update hub? It’s not finalized, but you can see the concept and some of the features I’m gonna release.
Ray: Yess!! absolutely! I amused myself by picturing Sable trying to drive the getaway car from this heist while shouting at google maps, tearing her rubber glove off with her teeth so she can use the touchscreen and simultaneously making wild turns
DJ: OKAY GOOGLE
Ray: dlkhdlkf. Cairo is on cover fire duty but her shotgun isn’t going to cut it at range so she just grabs Mitty’s rifle out of his hands because he’s absolutely cowering in the backseat
“Y-you’re not supposed to use the phone while d-driving–”
“GIVE ME THAT.”
Anyway that’s my The Take! fanfiction. I’m publishing it on AO3 as we speak.
DJ: 😀 😀 😀
*I post a link to my unfinished “Exit Strategy” update hub*
DJ: Concept is, they do their planning on a whiteboard in their hotel room, so now they are planning the rest of their lives on that same whiteboard. Post-game story will segue into that.
Ray: Oh, this is amazing. A deftly executed concept.
DJ: There’s gonna be more neon green doodles. Dicks on the pre-planning is a heisting tradition.
Ray: Oh, naturally.
DJ: Copy’s not finalized and I wanna clean up them post-its, but yeah. Also, you can draw in the margins.
Ray: Dude, this is incredible.
DJ: Not to toodle my own doodle, but I don’t lie when I say I’m talented as hell.
Ray: You absolutely do not. No lies detected.
DJ: DJ DELIVERS! Thank you. This is very !!! for me.
Ray: I’m psyched as hell. I’m still recovering from a pretty nasty virus, but I’m coming up on a few days off in a row that’ll be perfect for retooling Cairo and Sable into something more polished. I’m honestly still stuck on Cairo’s hair but I think I know what direction I want to go
DJ: I am super excited to see what you come up with. I like to come back and look at the Sable concepts from time to time ’cause she’s already really cute while also being very rough.
Ray: @_@ omg that makes me so happy. She’s honestly so interesting to me as a character, I would love to animate her, haha. She seems like she’d be able to do a lot with body language.
DJ: I wouldn’t mind that at all. Not gonna lie, I’m seriously looking forward to seeing other people doin’ stuff with my characters. And, like, I don’t know how long it takes to do something like that, but I’d love animated shorts. If the Patreon went well enough, I’d love to commission something like that. Or a comic possibly. Like, people like my writing, but I think it’d probably have a broader appeal in a comic form, just ’cause walls of text are a hard sell for a lot of people.
Ray: !! I’d have to refresh myself on animation since I haven’t done it in a while but I’d be super interested honestly.
DJ: : D Oh, one last thing. Have some Spotify playlists. https://open.spotify.com/user/thetake! Planning to stick those in a hidden link.
Ray: omggg my ultimate weakness
DJ: YOU KNOW I HAD TO DO IT TO EM
Ray: I SEE THE CPD ON THERE BOY
DJ: Some of the songs in the general list are for characters down the line.
Ray: RAZZLE DAZZLE. Man, these are perfect. Oh, I’m excited, catch me looping these while I draw tomorrow hjdlkflksd
DJ: It’s so fun to see you so excited about this!
Ray: Hahaha, I hope the enthusiasm isn’t too off-putting x_x
DJ: No! It’s very on-putting! Gets me hype to do more stuff.
Ray: I’m seriously psyched, every time you show me stuff it’s even better than the last thing. I was messing around with the in-browser game and i was like I’m gonna speedrun this
DJ: Oh, that’s not done at all. Doesn’t even have the cops yet. But that won’t take me long to do. Honestly, the sprites are the most time consuming thing there.
Ray: I’d imagine
DJ: ‘Cause, like, it’s kinda difficult to draw figures in a way that looks like a whiteboard marker with the mouse. Takes me a few tries for each frame.
Ray: Also my first thought when you said you needed to add the cops was “oh god, those were civs” lmao.
Ray: “Where are my zip-ties?”
DJ: Did you like that bitchin’ glass wall breaking animation?
Ray: Yes!!! Kept waiting until last to shoot it so I could savor it.
DJ: There won’t be zip ties in this game ’cause the idea is about civilian management. If you right click at them, they get down and your bullets will not hit them. I’ll add in sounds to indicate that obviously. Also, I just mean this mini-game. You’ll be able to zip tie in the big game.
Ray: This is poppin’. “Bitch. Where?” Love this girl.
DJ: Sable’s a little dubious. She’s only gonna get dubiouser when she sees the incoming options.
Ray: Oh boy, I can’t wait >:^)
DJ: 😀 😀 😀