Day 27 – Mimic Part 13

Heading back to fill in a bit of Chapter 3. This is the conversation Leon will have with the stage manager before his next performance. As always, this is just a rough first draft. So continue coming back to see how the story grows!

“LEON! You’re on deck!” Screamed the stage manager who was frantically running around the the green room trying to manage all of the talent. She was a small, petite woman, but had a level of energy that even made Leon jealous.

 

Leon stood up and made his way over to the far side of the room that faced the stage entrance. There was a velvet roped off area for the talent to wait their turn.

 

“So, sassy-man, are you going to give us any insight tonight?” The stage manager stood in front of Leon, about a head and a half shorter, and sized him up. Her name was Angela. “Can I get make-up over here!?”

 

She was yelling. Always yelling.

 

“I’ve said all I’ve wanted to say” Leon lied.

 

“You know, I have to feed them questions. It would REALLY help me if you gave me something.” Angela was barely looking at Leon, squeezing him between phone texts, timing checks, and cross room glances. “MAKEUP! Where are you!?”

 

“If you really want them to ask me something, have them ask me what I do for a living.”

 

“Really, that’s it? Seems like they should have asked that the first round.”Angela was flipping through her clipboard of papers. “Alright, I’ll write that down.”

 

Briefly, Angela turned her attention to another contestant, instructing them what they needed to do in the upcoming minutes before they went on stage before turning her attention back to Leon.

 

“You have 20 minutes and then you go on stage. You got that?” She asked Leon “Do you need anything? Water? Coffee? Vodka?”

 

“Nah, I’m good.” Leon was paying attention to the contestant who had just gone on stage.

 

“Ok. You’re all set then” Angela began to walk away. “Oh, and Leon. Please, please, PLEASE try not to say any curse words tonight.”

 

“Sure thing” Leon chuckled. Angela walked away, barking orders at the next contestant to come after Leon.

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Day 26 – Donuts

If you remember, Donuts was part of my short story line-up. I took a break from Mimic today, as I was finding it hard to write in that character’s voice. Leave a comment on what you think about donuts.

Donuts

There, on the table, sat a plate of donuts.

From time to time, I would think of those donuts even though I didn’t want to eat one.

I would imagine myself taking a donut and shoving it in my mouth.

Over and over again.

Sometimes, I wasn’t even hungry.

I would be walking down the road and randomly think about going to that plate and eating a donut.

I would shake my head to remove that disgusting image from replaying in my head.

Other times, I was starving.

I would be starving so bad, that I wanted to go out and just eat a donut.

Those days, when I was starving for a donut, scared me the most.

I would let that feeling sink in and cry.

I would soak in the shame of my thoughts.

And then, I would remind myself why I couldn’t eat a donut.

I had too many people who cared about me.

I had too many things to do with my life.

I couldn’t eat a donut.

I wondered if it was weird to think about eating a donut.

No one ever talked about eating donuts at work or at school or at home.

Not even mentioned as something that crossed their mind.

As a society, we’ve accepted that people are starving.

Starving people are given supplements to help them not be hungry or are taught to grow their own food.

But not all starving people think about eating donuts.

Society shuns those who do eat donuts, calling them fat and pathetic.

Eating a donut is such a obese thing to do.

But, if it’s not a normal thing for people to think about eating donuts, how dare they judge the people who do.

There is no way they could understand what it’s like to want to eat a donut.

Every.

Single.

Day.

I don’t blame others who go to the plate and eat the donut.

The strength to not eat a donut when you’re starving takes a lot out of you.

Fighting that war with yourself is not easy.

You would never know I was thinking of eating a donut.

You would never think I was the kind of person who would imagine that.

I’m not a fat person.

But, the thought poisons your mind like a sickness.

And, like a sickness, it comes and goes.

You see, an empty plate is a good thing for a hungry person.

When the plate is full, that’s when you know you have to fight.

A battle to be fought alone.

For those donuts won’t make you full.

Only empty the stomachs of others.

Day 25 – Mimic Part 12

Heading back to fill in a bit of Chapter 1. This is the conversation Leon will have with the Judges after his performance. As always, this is just a rough first draft. So continue coming back to see how the story grows!

“So, Leon, tell us, what was your upbringing like?” Dominic asked.

“I had a great family who loved me and took care of me.” The way Leon said it almost sound rehearsed and without emotion. He could see the mood of the judges begin to shift.

“Well, that’s not very exciting, now is it.” James interjected, leaning forward with a look that said “Give us something to work with.

“What were you expecting? Some Batman like origin story?” The crowd chuckled “I’m sorry, I’m just a boring guy from a boring town in the middle of nowhere.” Leon returned the look, but his said “I don’t fucking care.

James sat back in his chair, his look hardened. Leon was feeling good about himself.

“So, like, who is your inspiration?” Beatrice pressed on with the input of the stage manager through an earpiece.

“Myself.” Leon had said it bluntly. Staring straight at James when replied.

“Yourself? Don’t you think that’s a little egotistical?” Dominic replied, finally stirring in his seat. “Most people say their parents, a family member, or someone of importance in their field of study.” He looked more annoyed than angry.

“What do you want me to say? That one of you three inspired me?” Leon’s tone was sarcastic. Again, the crowd laughed, which only fueled the judge’s disapproval for Leon’s answers.

“I’m the one who works hard. I’m the one who comes up with the ideas. I’m the one who pushes myself in the morning when I don’t want to do anything. When I’m having a hard day, I’m the one who is there for me.” Leon was beginning to snap. There was tension in his voice as he spoke. “Why shouldn’t I be inspired by me?”

James looked down at Dominic with a “Let’s move on” head nod.

Day 24 – Mimic Part 11

Continuation of Chapter 3. Enjoy!

[Talk about the press, People love how Leon talked backed to Judges, his arrogance. Leon has gained cult like status]

 

The day of the next round of judging, Leon sat in the green room thinking about the aftermath of his previous performance. He had gone into the competition with a plan, a plan that would help him with the whole thing and winning require becoming popular. However, he hadn’t gone into the competition planning on being popular from his attitude. All the media outlets could talk about the day after was how he trashed the judges with his impersonations. Leon thought the whole thing was a little overblown, but he was glad it was getting attention. He never meant to get into it with the judges, he only wanted to do his set and move on with talent, but he lost his cool once he started getting critiqued so harshly.

 

[Talk about his next move. How he plans on making a mockery of the show and changing society’s perception talent shows. Leon talks about his set, the point of the song and meaning it has to his motive]

 

This might actually help out Leon after all though; the second phase of Leon’s plan. He needed to turn the audience on the judges, to help collapse their tilted worldview onto themselves. And after he diminished their bloated self worth, he wanted everyone watching to reflect on themselves what they truly value. Hopefully, they will understand what Leon is trying to show them.

 

For Leon’s next act, he is going to sing. He knows how much the judges love singers, how much the world loves singers. Leon is able to perfectly match any pitch or tone the way no other singer can. From his ability to do impersonations, Leon was uniquely able to apply his knowledge from speaking voices to singing voices. Any singer, no matter how wider their range or how difficult of notes they could hit, Leon could match them. Leon chose the song “In the End” by Linkin Park for a couple reasons. One, being that there were two different vocalists in the song with vastly different ranges and qualities to their voices that Leon planned on doing, and two, the subject matter of the song and how it meant a lot to Leon growing up.

Day 23 – Mimic Part 10

With Chapter 3 of Mimic, I’m struggling to find an arc and motive to Leon’s journey. I’ve written a short outline here to help me guide him. Hopefully, this is in the right direction.

Chapter 3

 

[Day of the next round]

 

[Talk about the press, People love how Leon talked backed to Judges, his arrogance. Leon has gained cult like status]

 

[Talk about his next move. How he plans on making a mockery of the show and changing society’s perception talent shows. Leon talks about his set, the point of the song and meaning it has to his motive]

 

[Leon watches others do their sets and are judged, doesn’t sit well with Leon. It only fuels his distaste.]]

 

[Do set. Sings ]

 

[Talk With Judges. Talk is uncharacteristically and uncomfortably positive. All judges love Leon now and act as the impersonation bit never happened]

 

[Leon’s anger and arrogance start to work towards him a different way, by becoming his persona that’s making him popular. Leon starts to fall for the things he hates as he gets a taste of the fame.]

Day 22 – Mimic Part 9

The ending of Chapter 1. Enjoy!

The crowd was on its feet now. Leon could feel there cheers booming through the air pressing into his chest. He hadn’t felt this good in a long time. He looked back over to James and Beatrice. Beatrice was looking at James with a confused expression, but James was staring at Leon with a cold, hard look. Leon knew he got to him and couldn’t help but smirk.

 

Beatrice raised her hand in the air as if to calm the crowd, but they paid no attention to her, so she attempted to talk over them.

 

“Well, like, that was fun and all, but, I’m still going to have to agree with James. It just doesn’t, like, click with me.” Once she finished, Beatrice glanced over towards James again, looking for a signal of consolidation.

 

“Boo!” The crowd was not pleased with Beatrice’s answer. Leon could have swore if they had something to throw, they would have. Parts of the studio began to chant “Let him through! Let him through!” while another with “Leon! Leon! Leon!”

 

Again, Leon’s blood began to boil. Was he seriously about to be denied in the first round? He didn’t actually think Beatrice was capable of saying no. She always erred on the side of being non-confrontational and Leon didn’t think he was too harsh on her, even though we would have loved tearing her apart. Now all that was left was James. Leon was starting to regret impersonating his laugh now.

 

James sat up and leaned forward in his seat with his elbows on his knees, staring intently at Leon, studying him. He looked around the studio at the crowd, listening to their cheers and chants, then back to Leon. He was enjoying the power, savoring the control and embracing his role as the gatekeeper to Leon’s destiny. He paused a moment, closing his eyes, breathing it all in. When he opened his eyes, he spoke. “Leon, the crowd seems very fond of you. Now, I’m a very democratic person. The people’s judge. With that being said, from what I have seen today, I would say no. I just don’t think your talent will carry you to the finals.” He paused. The crowd went silent instantly. A wave of shock and terror flooded the studio. People stood there, mouths agape, confused what they just heard.

 

Shit. I fucked up.” Leon was beginning to sweat, as the anger inside him started turning into fear. “Just like I always do. I miscalculated. I got cocky. I blew my chance.” Leon lowered the microphone to waist level. He was a second away from hanging his head in shame and defeat when James spoked again.

 

“That’s if it was up to me. However, considering your reception by today’s crowd I’m going to say yes. That’s 2 out of 3. I just hope you have something better for the next round.”
The crowd erupted with cheers, whistles, and applause. The roller coaster of emotion Leon had just been on had came to a stop. “I won’t be making that mistake again.” Leon was thinking about how he lost his cool. He looked over and saw the stage manager waving him on. As Leon was walking, he began to smile. He had passed the first round and his plan was now in motion.

Day 21 – Mimic Part 8

Continuation of Chapter 1 from Mimic.

 

It’s safe to say that most people have never been impersonated. Mocked or made fun of, sure, but mimicked to the point where it would be indistinguishable to your own mother on the phone, never. Everyone goes through the same process, however. First, it starts off with confusion because unlike being mocked, the act is neutral in nature. It is not done to provoke anger, so the original source has no clue how to react. Second, comes denial. People’s internal voice, the voice people hear themselves while speaking or thinking, is not the same voice that others hear. This is the main reason people don’t like listening to recordings of themselves or think “Do I really sound like that?” when they do. So, denial is a natural reaction to being impersonated. People just don’t think it sounds like them. Only the sheer amazement and enjoyment from close personal friends can help strike a cord in their world that has just been turn inside out.

 

“Could you, like, impersonate us? Like, OH MY GOD, that would be totally amazeballs.” Leon lead with Beatrice, as being a man, doing impersonations of women usually amaze people the most, and, as expected, the crowd ate it up. Leon could hear the crowd come to life with a roar and a bang as people began to laugh, slap their knees, and stomp their feet.

 

James stifled a laugh, trying to keep his composure and hide is amusement. However, Leon had a different plan for James.

 

“Ha, ha, ho.” Leon laughed, complete with the head crank and chest heave Leon had just observed. James beamed as he turned a deep shade of red. Leon found impersonating someone’s laugh was the top thing people hated. People have an odd relationship with their laugh that Leon didn’t quite understand. It was just another sound, wasn’t it? But it was one of the few audible noises people make when they are enjoying something. To take that from them is to take the life and soul right from their body, spreading a sense of dread and hate instantaneously to fill the void that was just created. Knowing this, Leon did not often impersonate people’s laughs. He used it more as a weapon to maimed and tame his subjects with, a show of force that would make you think twice before reacting against.

 

“This is what you can expect to see next from me. Plus, much more. This is the tip of an iceberg and you are the Titanic.” Leon continued, wearing his James’ mask. He turned his attention towards Dominic, who stirred with fear as the realization of what was about to happen.

 

“I think you have proved your point Leon, it’s a Yes from me.” Dominic quickly stammered out. The first domino had tumbled.

Day 20 – Mimic Part 7

Continuation of Chapter 1. Enjoy!

“Leon, we get a lot of impersonators on this show. No doubt you’re good at it. I’m just failing to see where this is going? What are we to expect next from you?” James was leaning back in his seat, his right leg draped of the arm of his chair and his right arm hooking the headrest. James was smirking, the way only someone with power over another could — begging their recipient to plead for their approval.

 

Is this guy fucking serious?” Leon thought to himself, clenching his fist. He wanted nothing more than to leap off the stage and pummel James’ smug face into the ground.  “He thinks I’m just good?

 

“Yeah, like, I dunno. I kinda got it, but I didn’t, like, really get the references?” Beatrice chimed in. She had perked up at the chance to sound relevant. “Maybe, like, your material is, like, a little old. I don’t think, like, your up to date on the latest celeb goss.” James chuckled, looking down and to the left with a distinct “Ha, ha, ho.”

 

Oh, no. This bitch just didn’t say that.” Leon was fuming. “What did she know of talent? Was it his fault she had no sense of culture and her preferred source of entertainment was filled with thousands of people ripping off one another, degenerating content into unfunny, low quality garbage. She probably new the names of people critiquing the content better than the people who were creating it.” He had to tilt his head to the side to crack his neck to relieve some stress.

 

“Leon, I found what you did, amazing. The impersonations were spot on, you were able to capture the essence of your characters and craft stories that were believable to them.” Dominic started off. Leon began to soften at this comment, he didn’t think he would actually have to convince them he would have to move on. It felt as if the others were toying with him.

 

“However, I must agree with my fellow judges. I am failing to see relevance in your act.”

 

Relevance!? This fat fuck hasbeen lecturing me on RELEVANCE!?” The straw that broke the camel’s back.

 

“Is there, perhaps, something else you can show to convince us otherwise?” Dominic questioned.

 

I thought you’d never ask.”

 

“Yeah, like, could you” Breatrice started off, but then Leon swiftly cut her off.

Day 19 – How To Become a Game Designer Part 3

Part 3 of this series focuses on resources. Where to get them, which are best for what, and how to use them. The 4th part of the series will go over the best places to find reference material for your projects and dig into how to sharpen your skills. You can find this on my niche blog Design Dissect.

Resources

It is important to have reliable resources during your game design career. I’ve compiled a list of websites, tools, books, and strategies that I use regularly and find very useful. I will post some other ones I don’t find useful too, but mainly because they aren’t related to my area of expertise or my level of experience.

Websites

Gamasutra (www.gamasutra.com)

For game design, this is probably the best resource on the web. The website has a rich and active developer blog community and the website focuses on industry related news, no fluff pieces like you would see on Kotaku or Polygon.

 

When doing research or looking for design references, this is my go to website.

Pocket Gamer (www.pocketgamer.biz)

With a focus on mobile games, Pocket Gamer is a good resource for mobile game design and the business side of the mobile game industry.

Games Industry (www.gamesindustry.biz)

If you’re interested in the European industry, this is probably the best website for that. It’s very heavy on financial and the business side workings of the game industry

Game Refinery (www.gamerefinery.com)

Mainly focusing on KPIs and Metrics, Game Refinery is a good place for looking into basic trends in the F2P market. They have a blog on their site that has some interesting perspectives, but don’t blog as often as I would like them to.

Deconstructor of Fun (www.deconstructoroffun.com)

This is the best personal blog on game design you will find. It is also the only website in the list that has a game design blog

Development Blogs

Company dev blogs are a great resource. It helps you get into the heads of the people making games you love. While a lot of times the takeaways are specific to a game/genre/experience, you can definitely take the lessons learned and apply them to your own designs.

 

League of Legends (https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/tag/dev-blog)

A very active dev blog, the LoL has a lot of great take aways on character design, art design, and balancing.

 

Supercell (https://clashofclans.com/blog, https://clashroyale.com/blog)

From the top mobile game company in the world in terms of yearly revenue and quality of game design, the Clash of Clans and Clash Royale

Books

The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition

$51.37

By Jesse Schell

Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design

$26.70

By Scott Rogers

Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games, Third Edition

$42.52

By Tracy Fullerton

Day 18 – Mimic Part 6

Another Small bit from Mimic. I’m floundering a bit on character motivation and backstory pieces, but I still have a guidline to follow. Let me know what you think!

Then there was Dominic Cousteau. Leon used to be a fan of his, that was before Dominic stopped writing new material and did the same jokes over and over again for the past 7 years. A couple years ago, Dominic was accused of stealing other comedian’s jokes — he would go to smaller clubs of with lesser known comedians, sit in the back, and jot down the jokes that landed well. Dominic would then incorporate those jokes into his own sets with his own twist and flair. While there was considerable backing to those accusations, Dominic was able to survive due to his level of stardom and then, becoming a judge of Have you Heard Of…, put the final nail in the coffin with a better newsworthy topic.

 

Leon found it peculiar that copying someone’s work could be so egregious in one industry and celebrated in another. This is why Leon would never do comic bits during a set. Imitating Chris Rock, taking his voice and body language, was one thing, but stealing his work was another. Leon once tried doing one of Chris’ bits during a show when he first started. Even while doing a perfect representation of him, the jokes did not land. Leon could feel it, the audience could feel it — an understanding by everyone knowing what was happening was wrong, much like an adult man kissing his teenage son on the lips. After the silence, Leon quickly segwayed into a Chris Rock scenario where he was trying to order a hamburger at a sushi restaurant.