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Just drifting in

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Just drifting in

Postby Lumin » Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:16 am

Don't mind me, just making a nostalgia-fueled round of all the old forums I kind of wandered away from.

How have you guys been?
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Re: Just drifting in

Postby Po. Prune » Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:15 am

Hey...
Darn! Had I known you'd drop by, I'd have baked a cake :P
Good to see you back even if it's only a short visit.
Personally, I'm doing fine... D-Day is on the back burner. Has been for almost a year :( Currently working on a game called Anno 1700 which will hopefully be released this year.
Forum is going a bit slow as is the updates on V.5 but there are a few new members and some looks promising.
What about yourself, what / how are you doing?
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Re: Just drifting in

Postby Lumin » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:09 am

Hey Po, you're still hanging in here I see. :) Sorry about D-Day, I know that's one you've been working on for awhile. What's Anno 1700 about? (title reminds me of Anno 1404, one of my favorite city builder games...)

The truth is I got a little depressed and really frustrated with myself for never being able to figure a project, went temporarily nutty and deleted all my old writing and WIPS. Whoops.. . :blush:

But the past six months or so I've been getting a lot more serious about my writing than I ever have before. I'm teaching myself about structure and pacing and you know...having a little more sense in laying out plots that can actually be finished. I'm focused on linear fiction and CYOAs right now, but I'm writing almost every night and actually completing short stories on a regular basis so I'm happy. I do plan to eventually try my hand at IF again and I hope some of what I've been learning and improving at will carry over.

Right now I hang out mostly at a CYOA site, and in an IRC channel dedicated to mocking idiot children and obnoxious teenagers writing and gaming discussion, and that's about it as I've cut back on my internet time quite a bit.

Anyway, it's good to see this old place is still kicking. I'll try to drop back in a little more regularly.
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Re: Just drifting in

Postby Lumin » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:23 pm

Eh, I guess I'll go ahead and post one of my stories here. Didn't do anything too interesting with the characters, it's mostly notable because I had about twenty different ideas for ways to turn the basic setup into a game as I was writing it. Only the complicated sort with lots of NPCs and factions and multiple outcomes, that I obviously would never finish. :roll:




Carl gathered with the rest of the passengers and crew in the mess hall of The Olive Branch. He’d taken longer than usual suiting up this morning, conscious that after eight years of faster than light travel and mind numbing routine on humanity’s first interstellar colony ship, today would be the big day. Even if not quite what anyone had expected.

Two days ago the colonists had been jubilant. They’d come within range of a relay station as they’d dropped out of fast travel near the edge of the system. They’d all crowded around the viewports to see their destination planet, a blue dot now visible to the naked eye as the computers downloaded letters and news from home for the first time since they’d left. Carl’s background was military, and most of the others here were either like him, or scientists and engineers. The colonization effort was one sponsored by every remaining major nation in the world, a symbol of peace, hope, and new beginnings for the war ravaged Earth. Their job was meant to be one of setting up shelter, agriculture, and infrastructure to greet the next colony ship, due to arrive in two years, followed by countless more. Humanity had learned from its suffering and costly mistakes and been granted a chance to try again, as the advertisements and propaganda all liked to repeat.

But reality had one more barb for them, this ship of awakened dreamers. The news from home had been devastating. There would be no more ships full of eager colonists. Thirteen months after their departure, war had broken out again. And the reports kept piling up. Year after year. The war was still going. Many here had lost loved ones, but the captain had been hit the hardest. Both his son and his daughter had had a place on the next colony ship with their families, but had been recalled to military duty two scant weeks before it was scheduled to launch. The launch itself never happened, and the ship had been stripped for parts and scrap metal in the years to come. Both his children were now dead, and shortly thereafter his wife and grandchildren had been killed in the bombing of a refugee shelter.

The mood in here was subdued now. Passengers clustered here and there, speaking in furtive whispers and glancing around uneasily. Everyone seemed grim and on edge. Carl gave a tall Hispanic woman he’d had dinner with last night the barest nod in passing, but otherwise avoided eye contact with anyone he knew. Everything depended on being strong and carrying on, no matter what.

Captain Kutan had changed overnight from an animated and inspiring leader to a broken husk. Carl had spoken to him in his office, and the difference was astounding. His age showed like never before, and he muttered only brief replies while shuffling papers around on his desk--printouts of letters from his family before the war, and a child’s drawing of shooting stars over the jungle of what Carl supposed was meant to be the landing site of the new planet.

The ship had approached Second Chance, their new planet, in the early hours while most were asleep. They would enter orbit soon, and the landing procedure would then proceed. The captain was supposed to give a speech first. Obviously it would not be the one he’d originally planned. Carl wondered if the old man would be able to go through it at all, now that everything had changed. He wondered if Kutan would break down weeping, or otherwise embarrass himself, right here at the end.

A hush fell over those assembled when the captain entered and shuffled in silence toward the podium. He regarded them all with dark, suffering eyes, and after a long moment began to speak, voice so low at first that even with the amplifiers, Carl had to strain to hear.

“My friends. You all know the situation as well as I do. You have all lost loved ones, as I have. You have had your dreams for a future of peace for all humanity shattered, as I have. We came here with such bright hopes, to plant our seeds, till the fields, build homes for…for our families to live in for generations.” The captain paused to take a long, shuddering breath before he continued. “To build a safe haven and then throw open our arms to welcome the weary, the desperate, those who have seen and done too much these long, mad decades. Those who needed a clean break from the past to let the balm of peace settle into their souls, and move them forward to the future we all longed for.

Well. We all know the score there. It just wasn’t to be. The powers of Earth are a nest of...of vipers, of scorpions. They look above them and see joy and freedom, and they fall to stinging everyone around them to make sure that none can reach it. Not even themselves. But we can’t give up. We can’t give in. There are twenty-five thousand of us on this ship. So few compared to the millions that should have been blessed with the sight of our new home. But it’s up to us to carry the candle now, to go forward and keep the light of everything good about the human race shining, no matter how feeble it might now seem. Earth...Earth and everyone we left behind is separated from us now, by a gulf greater than that between the stars themselves. One day the war will end, and it may be that those left will again try to bridge the distance in peace, and on that day, I pray to Almighty God they’ll find a shining city here, with children of this new world who have known no war, ready to join hands and welcome their lost brothers and sisters.”

There were tears in the captain’s eyes now. Carl watched one roll down his cheek and drip into his beard. “But above all, I pray that wherever we go, whoever we become, whatever our differences, those of us here on this ship have seen enough of violence, have seen enough of its price. It’s asking too much to forget—I would never demand that of any of you. But we can still put our hurt and hatred aside and just, move on. Let us not carry that disease onto this pristine new world. Leave it on Earth with the ashes of the burned out cities. Maybe we don’t deserve a second chance, but we’ve been given one anyway. Can we please, please not discard it? The old ways do not work. Let us be the ones to do things differently, from this day on. For the sake of everyone we’ve lost, and all of those to come.”

A long pause as the captain struggled to compose himself, smiling weakly.

“All right. I’m done here. Thank you all for listening to an old man ramble. We’ll be making planetfall soon, and so right now I’d like Chang from our security team to go over procedures for a safe lan--”

Carl felt the subtle shift in the ship’s movement, the change in the sound of the engines that signified they’d entered orbit. This was the moment he’d been waiting for. Reaching into his bag he pulled out a makeshift laser rifle and sent several rapid shots into a group of security personnel. “Everyone on the ground!”

Pandemonium broke loose, but his people were already in position to block the doors. Six more produced their weapons, jury-rigged overnight from energy cells and steel piping by a pair of scientists working for their cause, while the woman he’d spent half the night convincing leapt forward and stabbed the Security Chief in the neck. “We’re taking over the ship! No one else will be hurt if you all cooperate!”

An orange beam singed Carl’s ear, and he leapt to one side, returning fire. A few of the surviving security personnel mixed with several passengers had taken positions around Chang and were firing rather indiscriminately at anyone else with a weapon, the rest of the crew included. Wait. Where had all these colonists gotten guns? Proper ones, too. Chang pointed at him and barked orders in Chinese, and Carl threw himself behind a counter to escape the barrage that followed.

“Stop firing! You don’t understand! I got a message from the relay! Back home they’ve improved the FTL engines, they just don’t have the resources to build a new ship! I have the designs! We use this planet’s resources to refit the engines and make as many guns as we can, we can be back at Earth in three months and win the war!”

A surprising number of passengers had weapons out now, most makeshift like his own, but just as deadly. He had to scramble out from behind the counter to stay out of range, taking cover behind an upended table on the other side of the room and cursing as a bolt struck his leg, burning a tiny hole clean through his calf. Two of his allies were already down.

“Damn it! Everyone drop your weapons! We need this ship! We’ll take our planet back. For freedom and democracy!” Carl shouted, blowing smoking holes in the torsos of two of Chang’s aides. From somewhere came a popping sound, then the ship was rocked by an explosion. Then another, and another. From the confused looks the security group was exchanging, this hadn’t been part of their plan. Over the intercom came a wild yell. “This ship is now the property of the New Dawn Liberation Front! You folks in the mess hall, and those of you stabbing it out in the crew quarters, drop your weapons and surrender, or else we’ll--”

A buzzing sound and a short scream and then silence.

A moment later, another voice, speaking in Russian, followed by a cold chuckle. With a hiss, yellow smoke began to pour from the vents. From where he crouched, clutching his leg, Carl saw a line of men in gas masks running down the hall. A few others in the room with him seemed to have been conveniently carrying masks of their own. This whole situation had gone to hell.

Carl fired at the group in the hallway, then broke into a fit of coughing. Whatever was in the smoke burned his eyes and his lungs. All around him people were collapsing.

Pulling his shirt up over his mouth and nose, he called to one of his people nearby, gesturing with his gun. “We need to shut the vents off! Get to the captain, have him disable the--” His gaze traveled to the podium as he spoke, and he trailed off in mid sentence. Captain Kutan was nowhere in sight.

Well, hell. Forcing himself to his feet with a groan and shielding his eyes, Carl gunned Chang and two others down and staggered for the doors. There were gas masks in the emergency kits in the halls, he’d just have to grab one and then—

The intercom clicked on again. There were a few deep, rasping coughs, and then the captain’s voice. He sounded calm, almost serene. “To those of you, like me, who had so many hopes, who still believed we could leave it all behind, that we could be different, better, I’m deeply sorry. But we’ve brought our disease with us. As captain, I take full responsibility. But I also must keep it from spreading any further.”

Carl sucked in a startled breath, then regretted it instantly and stumbled to his knees, retching. But he had to get up and get his people out of here. Kutan had sounded like he meant to--

A searing blue light ended the thought for him, and removed the need to ever have another as the energy from the exploding warp core ripped through the ship.


*****


Lying on a simple platform of split logs high up in the trees, young Krehi scratched at his hairy side and then shifted to snuggle against his mother. He could hear the night sounds of the forest below, and the heavy breathing of his family and the rest of the tribe sleeping on similar platforms nearby. An open space in the leaves overhead revealed a patch of the clear night, and a constellation he recognized from stories the elders had told. As Krehi yawned and blinked his large golden eyes, the flaming wreckage of humanity’s Olive Branch streaked across the view of his native sky. To the child it resembled shooting stars, and he found it beautiful.
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Re: Just drifting in

Postby Po. Prune » Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:29 pm

Very well written, Lumion. A captivating story that I, for one, could see as transformed into IF. And should you decide against it I'll be looking forward to read the novel when it's done..
In fact, I intend to pester you until you do finish it. :wink:
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Re: Just drifting in

Postby David Whyld » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:32 am

Howdy, Lumin!

I still stop by this place from time to time on the off chance it's been booted back into life, but no such luck yet. Part of me wants to think ADRIFT could be big again if enough people were encouraged to write games with it, but then I see how dead the place is and realise that's probably not going to happen.

The truth is I got a little depressed and really frustrated with myself for never being able to figure a project, went temporarily nutty and deleted all my old writing and WIPS.


I've done that a time or two myself and always regretted it afterwards. In my mind, whatever I deleted was the Best Damn Game Ever and now it's gone it's impossible to recreate.
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Re: Just drifting in

Postby Lumin » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:38 pm

Po. Prune wrote:Very well written, Lumion. A captivating story that I, for one, could see as transformed into IF. And should you decide against it I'll be looking forward to read the novel when it's done..
In fact, I intend to pester you until you do finish it. :wink:


As a game it would start with the passengers receiving the news of everything that had gone on in their absence, then leave you free to wander the ship talking to people and getting swept up in plotting and intrigue over the next two days until everything went down at once. Each faction would have received a key bit of info while communicating with Earth, and it would probably require multiple replays to get an optimal end. I sort of envisioned it as being a bit like Varicella in nature so...nope, this one's not getting written. Not in a million years, sorry. :? LOL, part of gaining wisdom is in knowing your limits.

David Whyld wrote:Howdy, Lumin!

I still stop by this place from time to time on the off chance it's been booted back into life, but no such luck yet. Part of me wants to think ADRIFT could be big again if enough people were encouraged to write games with it, but then I see how dead the place is and realise that's probably not going to happen.


Yeah, I'm always going to love this place but it's sad to see it's not what it used to be. I still view a major factor in ADRIFT's decline as one of web design. We might snag some fresh interest and new people even now if the front page were given a major overhaul, but I doubt it'll ever happen now if it didn't happen years ago. And meanwhile an obstacle for returning members like me is well...I'm well aware of the amount of work that goes into an IF game, and with the state of things here for years, I'm also aware I can realistically expect maybe like, two people to play a completed one. That doesn't make the thought of diving into a full length project as inviting as it used to be. The ratio works out much better in terms of the CYOAs I'm working on as far as time spent/actual readers goes.

I've done that a time or two myself and always regretted it afterwards. In my mind, whatever I deleted was the Best Damn Game Ever and now it's gone it's impossible to recreate.


I was expecting some regrets to set in, but in this case I still feel pretty good about it. Ideas come easy to me but I had a ridiculous and scatterbrained approach to the actual writing before that just wasn't conducive to Getting Things Done. I've accomplished more since wiping the slate clean than I ever did in the literal years previous to that. I haven't written this regularly since high school. (And it goes without saying the quality has improved since then now that I finally have some inkling of what I'm doing!)
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Re: Just drifting in

Postby David Whyld » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:25 pm

People have been suggesting a website overhaul for years now but it's never happened. I seem to think Campbell did ask at one time for someone with website design experience, but nothing much happened so I guess no one contacted him about it. But at least it means he's willing to modernise things if someone with the right skills comes along.

A website overhaul would be a very good idea. Just look at Quest. The old website was boring and bland, then suddenly it gets an upgrade and people are flocking to the site. The program is still as bad as ever, but a shiny new website just pulled people in by droves. Admittedly calling the site textadventures probably had a good deal to do with its newfound success (searching for "text adventures" on Google puts that site in the number one spot).
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Re: Just drifting in

Postby Hensman Int'l » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:25 am

Lumin wrote:Don't mind me, just making a nostalgia-fueled round of all the old forums I kind of wandered away from.

How have you guys been?


12 hours from leaving home to work to getting back home. :? Lots of home and property maintenance. :x Finally taking 1/2 hour on my b-day/holiday to review past forums. :peep: I do so want to get back into Adrift, but it takes time, which is in short supply. Aaarggh
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Re: Just drifting in

Postby Lumin » Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:40 am

Nice, looks like we both popped in after almost exactly a year. Sorry about your work schedule. I've been there before, that can be brutal. Hope the birthday was a good one though. :)
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