Hey, just a heads up, if you’re following along with my little comic series, make sure you go back and check out all the dialog on the previous page to bring yourself up-to-date. I had forgotten to include the full dialog document when I had originally uploaded that, due to the whole working overtime every night things, so if you skip that one you might find yourself a little lost here.
Just like last time, you might notice that with this one the dialog extends well beyond what actually fits on the page. In fact, working in dialog is one of the biggest challenges to my approach in building this graphic novel. People talk. It’s good for people to talk. In most any story, it’s important, as that’s how you’re going to deliver any sort of background, characterization, and conflict. Most of the stories I’ve created in my life have all been through text. There, having people talk at length is no problem. They just do it, the reader reads it, there’s no issue. Working through graphic novels, a far more visual medium, lots of talking takes up lots of space. So you’d either get a page of almost entirely text, or I’d have to seriously curtail the conversations and thus harm my plot delivery were I to put it all on page. I took a third option with a lot of these scenes, and just wrote out the text in a separate document, which can then be added to the page. It’s not a tactic I’d use if I was ever intending this to actually be printed and distributed, but back when I had no thoughts of having anyone else read this other than myself and a few close friends, it actually worked out really well. Hopefully it works for you too.
LadyHate: There he is.
LadyHate: Exodus 🙂
Lorelei: Wow. You just verbalized a smiley.
Lorelei: I didn’t think that was possible.
LadyHate: Never doubt the weird things you can say if you practice!
LadyHate: Anyways, there’s Exodus.
LadyHate: May not be real, but he’s still very pretty!
LadyHate: Maybe when they get the next update in, he’ll actually do something, like play his music, or kiss lucky passerby!
LadyHate: Oh swoon!
Lorelei: He doesn’t do anything?
LadyHate: Well, he kills players if they attack him.
LadyHate: He’s probably some big boss fight, but there’s not enough content here for anyone to get high enough level to beat him.
Lorelei: There’s not?
Lorelei: Why would they even put out a game like that?
LadyHate: Geez, Annie! Don’t you pay attention to anything about games anymore?
LadyHate: This is still a really early beta. That’s why the game sets are so cheap!
LadyHate: They’re still testing things out, and adding content as they make it.
LadyHate: I wish they’d hurry up. There’s like, nothing to fight around here.
Lorelei: What about those mooks in the newbie area?
LadyHate: What mooks?
LadyHate: And what newbie area?
Lorelei: You know, the place I was and the guys I was fighting when you found me.
Lorelei: I don’t… was my English wrong again?
LadyHate: No, it’s just…
LadyHate: Those weren’t mooks. And there is no newbie area.
LadyHate: Those were players. High level ones, too.
LadyHate: You can tell because of all the metal they had.
Lorelei: Hm? But…
Lorelei: I just started the game. How could I have beat a group of high level players?
LadyHate: For that matter, where’d you get those spears! And that magic! I want them too!
Lorelei: They were just there when I started. Didn’t you get something too?
LadyHate: No! It was just the character creation bit, then I was dropped in the Ashlands almost naked with nothing to my name!
Lorelei: The Ashlands? Where’s that?
LadyHate: Everywhere. This world is the Ashlands.
LadyHate: The players call is that because there’s nothing but ash and darkness everywhere.
LadyHate: The rest is going to be added later. At least, that’s what the announcement says.
Lorelei: What announcement?
LadyHate: The one you get when booting up the game!
LadyHate: Geez, Annie! Don’t you pay attention to anything?! I thought you were supposed to be smart!
Lorelei: I didn’t get an announcement. I didn’t even get a character creation screen. I was just dropped in the game like this.
LadyHate: That’s not fair!
LadyHate: I want awesome weapons like that! And magic, too!
Lorelei: Well, maybe this is part of whatever AGLA’s planning. Starting us all out with character’s he’s pre-played or something like that.
LadyHate: That would explain it. But that would mean that AGLA made your character, right?
LadyHate: So why would he make you so…
Lorelei: This is suddenly becoming a little creepy.
LadyHate: I mean, I know your characters are usually pretty hot, but it’s just a little weird when he does it for you.
LadyHate: Weapons! And magic! Gotta be worth it, right?
Lorelei: I don’t know. I don’t really know how the game’s meant to be played.
LadyHate: Normally, AGLA giving you a pre-made character would be skipping all the fun of the game.
LadyHate: But seriously! Leveling up is so slow here! And any sort of weapon is very rare! And I haven’t even seen magic before!
Lorelei: Well, what do you have, then?
LadyHate: Same as most other players. I’ve managed to kill enough asheaters to make a dagger from the best pointy bits of their bones! And I used their hide to make the clothes I’m wearing.
Lorelei: You can use magic too, though? You were doing that teleport thing, right?
LadyHate: Nah, that’s not magic. Every once in a while you find some ‘Unliving’ monster. They’re a lot tougher than the asheaters, and they’re pretty much the only place to get metal our other rare equipment.
LadyHate: Once, I joined a group that was fighting against a pack of them. I survived getting hit with an arrow, and got to keep it! That’s the only metal I’ve been able to find. Maybe I’ll make a bow sometime, and I’ll get to kill one thing with it.
LadyHate: Anyways, one of the Unliving had a teleport stone. The group already had one, so they gave it to me as my loot!
Lorelei: So what exactly are you supposed to do in this game? Other than stare at Exodus all day?
Lorelei: How do you do that?!
LadyHate: Well, most people play it for the VR experience, and to hunt the random Unliving. And to get ready for when there’s finally more to go on in this world than just the ash.
LadyHate: But there is a bit more to do.
LadyHate: C’mon, we’ll port again. I’ll show you.