Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Elders of the RuneStone...the Early Years Pt. 1

Ah yes, time for a walk down memory lane. RuneStone has been a work in progress for quite a while; since 9th grade, in fact. Those of you who have read the "Story Behind the Story" section of the site already know some of the details, but I thought it would be cool to share a little more of how far the idea has come. (Attached are early sketches from high school)

My first burst of inspiration came when I was in Mr. Browning's physical science class at Butler Middle School (junior high by a different name). The image that popped clearly into my mind was of a large noseless giant (who became Gar), crouching and looking out through a hole he'd just smashed through the wall of a locker-lined hall in a high school. Clinging to his neck and riding on his back was the girl who would become Kat. For whatever reason, this image really got me excited and I started to form a whole team and story around these two.

Originally Dain started out by the name Spencer Mabius, based off a guy I knew in high school who was friends with all the girls and had a rebel attitude. His name later changed to Spencer Hunt, then became Dain Mabius because I liked the sound of it. A cocky hockey athlete (instead of football, since every teen movie ever has the blonde quarterback as the bad guy) known for his physical ability and tendency to start fights, I gave Dain powers that would be the antithesis: he was amazing with computers. This intelligence-based ability would force him into a role he wasn't accustomed to, and therefore make him a more interesting character. These powers also evolved over time: at first he could simply remember everything he ever learned, especially computer skills (under the hero name "Sage"); then he could actually mentally link up to computers (changed to "Haq"); until I made it so he actually transformed into living cyber-hacking energy, able to enter the cyber-world and hack through it, perceiving it as an actual physical realm (now with his present alias "Gremlin"). I also wanted to make his skills in hockey part of his "real world" arsenal (see the early concept image), but changed out his dorky "super-hockey-stick" for an electric staff weapon. I also got rid of an initial idea for roller blades that popped out of his boots (due to nightmarish flashbacks of the 1997 movie "Batman & Robin").

Kat also went through several changes. At first I was going to call her "Fireworks" since she could fly and shoot fire (her real name was even going to be "July Forth"), but decided that was the same power that roughly 65% of superheroes have. So I had to rehaul her to make her more interesting. I thought about her shooting explosive "fire-bombs" out of her hands, but figured that was too close to Jenny's powers. So eventually I made her able to manipulate her own gravity to fly, and to effect the elements in her atmosphere, i.e. pulling carbon out of the air to make shards of lead to shoot at bad guys, combining oxygen with hydrogen to shoot water, use various gases to shoot fire, etc. This was also a cool change because her powers had such potential to evolve as she gained greater control and understanding of how her powers work. So look forward to some really awesome developments as the series goes on!

Thus concludes Part 1. Keep your eyes peeled for the further story of how RuneStone came to be...

(Author's note: He would like to apologize for his inability to draw girls very well, an affliction that continues to this day.)



Matt said...

Super Cool. You're my hero. I never thought of anything that interesting during Junior High earth science.

Devour Vitality said...

Awesome! I can hardly wait to hear more.