Is RazorclawX creatively active somewhere else?

Created by RazorclawX, Wanderers of Sorceria tells an epic length story through multiple chapters and books for WarCraft III.

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Is RazorclawX creatively active somewhere else?

Postby Shed1 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:22 am

Hello fellow advanced monkeys,

I would like to know if RazorclawX is currently active over the Internet, aside from gaming. I'm a longtime fan of the Visions of the Future and Wanderers of Sorceria and of the RCXverse/Shizukaverse/whichevernamesuitsbestverse in general. So much so that I actually did Internet archaeology to dig out the origins of it in the fanfics that RazorclawX wrote at the end of the last century and beginning of this one. Yes, that's how hard I was hooked.

I personally think that the gallery of characters and overall mythology of RazorclawX's works are some of the best I've encountered during my digital wanderings, and that's why I would like to know if the author is still creatively active somewhere on the Web, or if he's currently on hiatus. Please let me know, so I can go drool on his shoes wherever he's currently dancing, if he is. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Is RazorclawX creatively active somewhere else?

Postby IskatuMesk » Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:11 am

He still comes to CC quite regularly afaik.
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Re: Is RazorclawX creatively active somewhere else?

Postby Shed1 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:23 pm

Indeed. I was talking about him being active from a creative standpoint. Seems it's been a while since he's released story-driven material anywhere.


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Re: Is RazorclawX creatively active somewhere else?

Postby Anaxie » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:24 pm

What?

WoS Dark Ocean is pretty recent. And before that he pumped out an overhaul 3rd edition for his 6 Campaigns.

Wasn't even known about when he randomly posted it.

Between his SC1 work and his WC3 work I'm pretty sure hes made more then anyone else. In addition to actually finishing projects he was shown to actively be working on.

Yeah just checked. Late October 2014 Dark Ocean launch. Not sure what you expect.


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Re: Is RazorclawX creatively active somewhere else?

Postby Shed1 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:27 am

Huh, yeah, I know, sorry if I sounded like I was impatient or something. I'm actually not expecting something precise. Just some creative output, not an entire WCIII campaign or anything. I know he's done a lot already, and I'm extremely glad for that. I was just naively wondering if he was still writing fics or producing anything else. Not implying he's been lazy or anything else.

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Re: Is RazorclawX creatively active somewhere else?

Postby RazorclawX » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:01 pm

I write and throw out ideas a lot. The fact that I put out The Dark Ocean was something of a fluke in a sense; I've been trying to come up with a way to follow up on that for months and 99% of the time what I come up with involves no gameplay whatsoever, which is why it doesn't happen.

I've often said in the past that what I think about is probably best suited in a visual novel format because a lot of my ideas don't really work with a RTS game (or most any other game, for that matter). I think that really means I'm stuck as a prose fiction person, or perhaps I'm not that inspired when it comes to actually playing a game.

Originally I wanted to make a follow-up story about Nekurow and that fit into the whole RTS thing like a glove... but the problem is I never really found that to be interesting. I ended up doing the Hokuto one (The Dark Ocean) because I felt like she was the most shafted character in WoS and I wanted to use a recurring motif of someone drowning in water. Somehow that tied in to the other weird thing I had going on in my head was a RTS Sengoku thing (which you could blame on things like Shogun Total War or Nobunaga's Ambition).

The current idea I've toyed with involves Shion's shadow network and just about every idea about it sounds like a visual novel scenario-- which effectively is you the player talking to other people making sense of some bizarre situation. I've sometimes thought that maybe I should try to do it anyway, but it always comes back to not wanting to play it (there's a map in Book 5 where you could literally talk to other characters for over an hour and when I think about that I never want to play that again, that was just so boring to play even when it was so easy to write/code).
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Re: Is RazorclawX creatively active somewhere else?

Postby Shed1 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:14 am

First of all, thank you for the answer.

I have no idea how your creative processes work, but maybe you could just write down the elements that do not fit the RTS genre as separate works of prose fiction (or any other format you think would be appropriate), like you did in the past for Prophecy. This way you wouldn't have to worry about it being boring in the RTS context and proceed with other ideas you think would work better. I can't talk for everyone else, but I'm a big reader so it wouldn't be a bother for me. But I think I can talk for everyone else when I say you can actually do an amazing job when making games, as the Visions of the Future pentalogy and WoS are certainly some of the best campaigns available on the Web :)

I also have to say that, as a reader, I did enjoy that sequence of dialogues with the different characters in Book 5 the first time I came upon it - it did flesh out a bit the backstories of the cast, as otherwise the only other references available were the bios from the WoS page and the Wheels of Fire fics, which if I understood clearly are only indicative of the personalities (although Shizuka has changed a lot) and overall relationships between characters more than actual background in the same continuity. That's always nice to have some worldbuilding, even though I agree that it breaks the pace of the game for uninterested people or on subsequent playthroughs, but you can skip it entirely if I'm not mistaken.

Anyway, Shion's shadow network is an interesting basis; I remember the short "Inner Circle" fic written as an IRC dialogue and I've thought since reading it that these guys had potential. If you decide to ultimately make it as a visual novel format, I am curious to see the final result. I'm not a big visual novel player but I've done a few and I would certainly give it a shot. From what you've described maybe there are other genres that you could consider as well, like RPG or point'n'click, but you probably did already. No matter what, I'll most certainly enjoy any new release from you :)

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Re: Is RazorclawX creatively active somewhere else?

Postby RazorclawX » Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:18 pm

Shed1 wrote:I also have to say that, as a reader, I did enjoy that sequence of dialogues with the different characters in Book 5 the first time I came upon it - it did flesh out a bit the backstories of the cast, as otherwise the only other references available were the bios from the WoS page and the Wheels of Fire fics, which if I understood clearly are only indicative of the personalities (although Shizuka has changed a lot) and overall relationships between characters more than actual background in the same continuity.


It's funny you say that because I always felt like Miranda was the one who changed the most... in WoS she's practically nothing like her original conception as a straight-up bully and general asshole (although I have written here and there that she's not really a nice person that comes off more of an informed thing since she doesn't really act like one at any point). Although when you put it that way originally Shizuka was a klutz and stupid/naive, but that probably goes into her original conception being too closely based on her inspiration. It's funny how one character changed to be more heroic and one changed to be more villainous that way. I understand how Shizuka ended up like that (conceptually she's supposed to be a villainous "hero"), but I can't for the life of me figure out why I used Miranda like that (as opposed to just making a new character, I mean).
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Re: Is RazorclawX creatively active somewhere else?

Postby Shed1 » Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:37 am

RazorclawX wrote:
Shed1 wrote:I also have to say that, as a reader, I did enjoy that sequence of dialogues with the different characters in Book 5 the first time I came upon it - it did flesh out a bit the backstories of the cast, as otherwise the only other references available were the bios from the WoS page and the Wheels of Fire fics, which if I understood clearly are only indicative of the personalities (although Shizuka has changed a lot) and overall relationships between characters more than actual background in the same continuity.


It's funny you say that because I always felt like Miranda was the one who changed the most... in WoS she's practically nothing like her original conception as a straight-up bully and general asshole (although I have written here and there that she's not really a nice person that comes off more of an informed thing since she doesn't really act like one at any point). Although when you put it that way originally Shizuka was a klutz and stupid/naive, but that probably goes into her original conception being too closely based on her inspiration. It's funny how one character changed to be more heroic and one changed to be more villainous that way. I understand how Shizuka ended up like that (conceptually she's supposed to be a villainous "hero"), but I can't for the life of me figure out why I used Miranda like that (as opposed to just making a new character, I mean).


After thinking over it a bit, I agree that Miranda is quite different from her original incarnation as well, although it's possible to find some coherence to the character in the end: if I remember correctly, she's originally an antagonist of Kodachi Kuno, and there might have been some sort of negative emulation between them both; pushing Miranda to find revenge against Kodachi by training with Cinder, all characters that are not exactly associated with the side of "good" in the first place. Afterwards, it could be possible that she's actually fantasizing about being a hero in the eyes of people, a fantasy which becomes tangible in the dream context of Sorceria, but that she's not capable of achieving in the real world. Although I admit it might be overthinking on my part. EDIT: I re-read the author rant at the end of the Wheels of Fire fics and it seems I forgot (or only remembered subconsciously) she was actually fantasizing about being an idol back then, so I guess my theory is not too far-fetched. Although being a good person is a different story.

I guess I was more struck by Shizuka's evolution because she was a strong character from the start, even when she was a klutzy brat, and because Shizuka has had more time in the limelight than Miranda overall.


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Re: Is RazorclawX creatively active somewhere else?

Postby Anaxie » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:01 pm

Razorclaw

I have no idea what you do professionally but Kickstarting your own game even a WoS Saga as a Visual Novel game in multiple parts would be something I would play the absolute hell out of.

Your story is simply outstanding, The world and characters are intriguing, and I became heavily attached to nearly every character you presented us with and had to deal with the agonizing cliffhangers and waits for the next leg of the story since I discovered these back when you were working on Book 4.

Forget new stories. Take the solid one you made and make it better. Get what you deserve for your creativity.

As a stand alone RTS game with all 6 (7) of your campaigns AS IS currently I would gladly give you $60 as a stand alone price.
You have no idea how many genuine feels the trio showing up in Dark Ocean gave me seeing them outside purgatory, reunited, and wearing the mantle of heroes just as vividly as the had before.

Shizuka goes down as one of my favorite ATF characters in Video game history. If not THE favorite just the way she is written.

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Re: Is RazorclawX creatively active somewhere else?

Postby RazorclawX » Mon May 02, 2016 1:58 am

Anaxie wrote:I have no idea what you do professionally but Kickstarting your own game even a WoS Saga as a Visual Novel game in multiple parts would be something I would play the absolute hell out of.

Forget new stories. Take the solid one you made and make it better. Get what you deserve for your creativity.


I don't know about that.

One of the things I was tempted to do when I redid the entire thing to add Achievements (because I wanted to see if I could do it) was to alter the things I knew didn't work in the story, but when it came down to it that would just mean the entire thing up to around the middle of Book 4 would be redone which I'm not sure how to do, nor would I think it would make the experience any better. I say up to that point because those were all the ones done before I redid the campaign the first time for TFT (minus the tail end of Book 3, which only appeared during the TFT version. The first three missions in Book 4 were actually completely done by that time, so it's roughly equivalent to the first three). The thing is that section also encompasses the weird way the whole thing started, and when looked at the whole thing, even though it was a clunky start, it had to start like that in order to mean something later.

Book 1 was created as a sort of parody to Magic Knight Rayearth with Book 2 as the fallout of that. Book 3 was this kind of weird transitional thing that kind of went nowhere. When I originally conceived Book 4 I was thinking of a more open-ended thing where part of it was about Nekurow, part of it was about Shizuka, and another part about Yue Fang... the Yue Fang part got pushed to Book 3's tail end because the original version things just kind of ended and the new portion served as a better stepping stone to where I wanted things to go (Azorbia was always going to be attacked at some point after Book 2). Book 5 was similarly structured around the Azorbia invasion campaign, beginning with Hikaru, then Johan, and then Hikaru again with Yue Fang in-between; like how Book 4 was about Nekurow and Shizuka, Book 5 was about Hikaru and Yue Fang, and also served as the climax of the story. Book 6 in the grand scheme of things was the 'epilogue' of sorts.

One of the things I wanted to do with Book 1 was show the conflict from both sides, which is why it does perspective flips between Hikaru and Shizuka. The way that happened went through a number of iterations and ultimately didn't work in a way I liked as opposed to how it was done in Book 5; part of it was there was supposed to be a longer period of time before Hikaru and Shizuka actually met each other, but they ended up meeting by the third mission because what I was doing up to that point just wasn't working. In the grand scheme of things, the part before that point is probably the least interesting part of the story.

The five missions in Book 3 past the Scaldar mission were just a complete mess.

Having said all that I'm not sure if 'fixing' it is really such a good idea. Storywise they're a mess, but it's not like there were some terrible game ideas in there in the meantime (which is probably what carried those weaker parts).
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Re: Is RazorclawX creatively active somewhere else?

Postby Fraxinus » Thu May 19, 2016 9:25 am

Please, do not be so hard on yourself. I myself enjoyed and accepted the story, no matter how much some parts may seem flawed to you. I think most people (including myself) would never be able to create something big you did. Actually I enjoyed the story even more while translating it into my language as I had to pay attention to every possible detail.

I agree with you that fixing something is not a good idea. The story is good as it is.

I must note that Shizuka's and Ziel/Kasumi's parts of Book 3 after Scaldar were not a mess from my point of view. I liked them for they are very movie-like.

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Re: Is RazorclawX creatively active somewhere else?

Postby Rui » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:22 am

Alas, it's been years since I last was here. Somehow my browser still knows the password for this site even though I've cleaned it a bunch of times since I last was here oO
(Why does my profile say I'm a suspect in medic's missing and I'm part of some scandal? lol!)

Anyhow, I logged back in when I saw this thread :)

RazorclawX wrote:I write and throw out ideas a lot. The fact that I put out The Dark Ocean was something of a fluke in a sense; I've been trying to come up with a way to follow up on that for months and 99% of the time what I come up with involves no gameplay whatsoever, which is why it doesn't happen.

You probably already know, but a cinematic is a map with no gameplay, it just tells a story. What you described seems to fit in this genre perfectly. Have you thought of attempting a cinematic series instead? Given how you seem to be familiar with JASS, I can imagine you cooking some pretty neat stuff. Similar to CMarket's Sect of the Holy Mother and The Lone Panther. If you've never tried them, I recommend starting with The Lone Panther first, as the first few episodes of SotM are quite poor (it's amazing how you see his skill in cinematic design rising over the course of the series, though). He never packed them into a campaign because he wanted a proper loading screen, but since you're not that picky^^.

RazorclawX wrote:(there's a map in Book 5 where you could literally talk to other characters for over an hour and when I think about that I never want to play that again, that was just so boring to play even when it was so easy to write/code)

I think that's the one where Hikaru, Kurumi, Kasumi and Shizuka set up a camp and there's ghost Miranda, Sypha, Cinder and others lying around available to talk :P
I actually liked that part, though I confess I thought I'd be better off watching the dialogues in paper or opening up the mission in World Editor to read them.

Anaxie wrote:(...)
As a stand alone RTS game with all 6 (7) of your campaigns AS IS currently I would gladly give you $60 as a stand alone price.
You have no idea how many genuine feels the trio showing up in Dark Ocean gave me seeing them outside purgatory, reunited, and wearing the mantle of heroes just as vividly as the had before.

Shizuka goes down as one of my favorite ATF characters in Video game history. If not THE favorite just the way she is written.

Agreed with all your praise! Shizuka marked me quite a lot as well. I've already come to terms with myself that if I ever write a story, there's going to be a doll or plush of Shizu somewhere for a reference xD. I played WoS for the first time when I was 12 or 13 — we are so impressionable at that age! I was so in love with WoS's story! Shizu's story definitely molded some part of my personality at some point.

About making it an RTS, I'm not so sure. WoS always felt at odds with its gameplay. There's quite some polishing and originality that could've been embedded in WoS's strategical elements. For example, Corona's techtree could've been a bit more similar to how zerg work in StarCraft. That would've been so fun! Another example is, due to the excess of heroes, there are missions in Book 5 (I'm thinking of the one with Chaos Legion + Tribes + Azorbia VS Corona + Army of the Dead + Jin) in which I don't train any units, I attack only with my heroes. It takes some back and forth, it takes skill to keep everyone alive and makes things complicated, but ends up adding to the fun.

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Re: Is RazorclawX creatively active somewhere else?

Postby Rui » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:38 am

RazorclawX wrote:
Anaxie wrote:I have no idea what you do professionally but Kickstarting your own game even a WoS Saga as a Visual Novel game in multiple parts would be something I would play the absolute hell out of.

Forget new stories. Take the solid one you made and make it better. Get what you deserve for your creativity.

(...)
One of the things I was tempted to do when I redid the entire thing to add Achievements (because I wanted to see if I could do it) was to alter the things I knew didn't work in the story, but when it came down to it that would just mean the entire thing up to around the middle of Book 4 would be redone which I'm not sure how to do, nor would I think it would make the experience any better. I say up to that point because those were all the ones done before I redid the campaign the first time for TFT (minus the tail end of Book 3, which only appeared during the TFT version. The first three missions in Book 4 were actually completely done by that time, so it's roughly equivalent to the first three). The thing is that section also encompasses the weird way the whole thing started, and when looked at the whole thing, even though it was a clunky start, it had to start like that in order to mean something later.

Book 1 was created as a sort of parody to Magic Knight Rayearth with Book 2 as the fallout of that. Book 3 was this kind of weird transitional thing that kind of went nowhere. When I originally conceived Book 4 I was thinking of a more open-ended thing where part of it was about Nekurow, part of it was about Shizuka, and another part about Yue Fang... the Yue Fang part got pushed to Book 3's tail end because the original version things just kind of ended and the new portion served as a better stepping stone to where I wanted things to go (Azorbia was always going to be attacked at some point after Book 2). Book 5 was similarly structured around the Azorbia invasion campaign, beginning with Hikaru, then Johan, and then Hikaru again with Yue Fang in-between; like how Book 4 was about Nekurow and Shizuka, Book 5 was about Hikaru and Yue Fang, and also served as the climax of the story. Book 6 in the grand scheme of things was the 'epilogue' of sorts.

One of the things I wanted to do with Book 1 was show the conflict from both sides, which is why it does perspective flips between Hikaru and Shizuka. The way that happened went through a number of iterations and ultimately didn't work in a way I liked as opposed to how it was done in Book 5; part of it was there was supposed to be a longer period of time before Hikaru and Shizuka actually met each other, but they ended up meeting by the third mission because what I was doing up to that point just wasn't working. In the grand scheme of things, the part before that point is probably the least interesting part of the story.

The five missions in Book 3 past the Scaldar mission were just a complete mess.
(...)
That would correspond well with what I thought of the campaigns. Book 1 seemed quite linear, you go and save the queen! I absolutely loved that plot twist. I also loved Hokuto's dialogue with Hikaru after the fight with Kosseimaru. Storywise and gameplay-wise, I think Book 1 and 2 were good. Like I said in my previous post, techtrees and the actual strategical gameplay could've easily been better, but it was acceptable. Book 3 seemed messy indeed :P it seemed like a prologue of book 4, which in turn looked like the precursor of book 5. Still, during Nekurow's arc in Book 4 and Hikaru's initial arc in Book 5, we get back some of that linearity of the regular wc3 campaigns, even if we get to control only a few heroes at times.


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