2012 Challenger: Michael Beckett

| October 28, 2012 | 0 Comments

Hey there, everybody! Michael Beckett, returning challenger here. My project last year was History Classes, a series of historical figures designed to fit RPG character classes; George Washington as an Onion Knight, Carrie Nation as a Berserker, that sort of thing. It spawned a whole other blog, Thematic Conversion, which combines different ideas every month to create something new. This year, however, I’m doing something a little different. I’m calling this year’s project Blobby Little Monsters, and it’s my first real experiment in world building. So first let’s talk about the setting, and then I’ll get on to the nuts and bolts of character creation. ^^

So about five years prior to Blobby Little Monsters’ present day, construction firms began to use a nanoparticle substance in building construction. This slime, and the computer cores that controlled it, led to some amazing advances in architecture, but had some unintended consequences. Glitches in programming caused some nanoparticle colonies to repeat the same orders over and over. Some colonies ended up building a road straight through an apartment complex, for example, or constructing an apartment building eight times on the same site. When hackers found a way to exploit this glitch, they found a way to tell the ooze to build copies of itself, resulting in a runaway infestation of never-ending, self-replicating nanoparticles. These self-sustaining colonies become a threat to public safety, and after a long public debate between the government and the companies that controlled the nanotech ooze, a unique arrangement was proposed.

Since the ooze was not actually physically dangerous to humans, clearing up rogue colonies could be treated as public service. By using specially programmed computer cores, volunteers would track down nanoparticle slime afflicted by the self-replication glitch and break it down. This service has mainly fallen to students, who are rewarded with scholarships and other special perks for containing and clearing up the ooze. After the initial public health scare died down, it became just another after-school activity.

Of course, neither the company in control of the ooze nor the goverment could forsee the subculture that would build itself up around the nanoparticle slime. Students began to modify their computer cores to control ooze rather than break it down, in order to more efficiently compete against other schools. Hackers turned the use of slime into an art form, part custom car culture, part pet store. And with this subculture came a government agency, ostensibly created to oversee the slime hunt and ensure the safety of students, but which quickly became a way for an alliance of construction firms to minimize the PR damage that rampaging slime could cause them.

So for 30 Characters, I’ll be designing fifteen ooze monsters and fifteen trainers. I’ll be aiming for an overall design that takes cues from video games like Phantom Brave and Pokemon, with bright, bold colors and very active designs for the students and other trainers. However, I want the ooze monsters themselves to have a certain otherworldly quality to them; the nanotech nature of these creatures makes them, in a very real sense, unnatural. I plan to bring this across by making them mostly monotone, with shiny, almost porcelain skin tones. To keep things interesting, the composition of the monsters will be randomly selected, and then the trainer will be designed to fit the monster. Hope you enjoy it! Here’s some concept art to tide you over. 😀


Category: 2012, About, Participants, Scifi

About the Author ()

I'm a video game critic and artist for RandomNPC.com, a site dedicated to console and PC role-playing games.

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