Dawn of the PaperMachine
The S1 Engine
Towards the end of sixth grade, no new Sean comic had been made for a while. In a way, I knew the Golden Age was ending. But I still wanted to experiment; I was still in the Great Experimentation Period. So I invented a game console of my own, one called the PaperMachine. Also called a notebook.
Sean: The Game
One day, I took a 70-odd-page notebook and got to writing, because I had an idea. I wanted to make a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story in the vein of Fighting Fantasy. And I actually made a pretty damn decent one. The plot: You are a stickman named You. You encounters an old man who turns out to be Sean! "An evil wizard on Video Game Topia transformed me into this old man." So You sets out to save the day! The story wound up being.. stuff I forgot. And my friends enjoyed it.
Sean 2: Sean and Cake
SO I MADE A SEQUEL. This one had an even more absurd plot: You is on a rooftop. Sean is there. Sean wants cake. You runs off, kills Doctor Eggman, and then gets Sean a cake. This wound up being much more polished, much more organized, and much more loved.
I made plans for a Sean 3, but my best friend Johnny Thompson offered to do that one, so I let him and was quiet. Instead, I wanted to do Sean 4. I didn't know what to do with it until one day, after some final test of the year when I had hours of free time. I took a piece of paper and drew a combination between a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story and a comic strip. It wound up looking more like a paper platformer with heavy puzzle focus, and I actually made a pretty great level. I dubbed it.. something I forgot. I experimented with this "engine" for a while, and then I decided to make Sean 4 into this kind of game.
BUT BEFORE I GIVE THE ENTRY ON IT, seventh grade began, and Johnny bailed out on me; Sean 3 was not going to be a Johnny Thompson production. So I took the opportunity to make something out of it.
Sean 3: The Game
This time, I took a giant, 200-page notebook, and crafted a several-chapter Choose-Your-Own-Adventure starring all of my friends. And You! Sean has been kidnapped by aliens, so You has to go on another video game-referencing adventure to save his life. Notable events included a Bioshock parody, fun little cutscenes, and.. I don't even remember anymore. xD I remember the ending, though! In the end, it turned out Doctor Eggman was the one who kidnapped Sean, and he was using him for something mysterious. You and Sean discovered strange spring-like creatures in Eggman's base, and the game concluded with You and Sean, back-to-back in Eggman's base, surrounded by springs.
The Spring Engine
Sean 4: Springs of War
I took an even bigger notebook this time and continued the Sean game adventures. Story-wise, this game was a direct continuation of Sean 3, with You and Sean being separated and You traveling across a crazy series of places to find him. It turns out those spring things in Eggman's base are trying to avenge him ('CAUSE EGGMAN DIED), so they brainwashed Sean and all of You's other friends and all these boss battles and stuff. Game-wise, this was somehow a platformer. I drew out entire levels, some of them actually pretty awesome, and my friends tried their willful suspension of disbelief and played it all for a go. The game had six "acts," each filled with several levels. It actually got really exciting. AND I DID ACHIEVEMENTS AND MULTIPLAYER AND UNLOCKABLES AND CUTSCENES. All my friends loved it.
Seventh grade ended, eighth grade started, not really all that much happened for a while. I wound up getting some stressful stuff in life and not focusing much on writing.
The Two S5 Engines: Proto and DM
I experimented with the concept of a Sean 5, trying to make a paper first-person shooter engine but ultimately failing at anything beyond on-rails. I tried again with a new notebook and actually stumbled upon an interesting engine.
Sean 5: Infiltration Destination
This new engine was simple: Dungeons and Dragons-style! Each level was a map, and only the 'DM' could see the map; the person playing the game would have the environment described by said DM. I was able to craft a game similar to the first three Sean games but using far less paper, thus having room for a truly epic-sized game! In this, Sean was kidnapped again or something and so You had to sneak into some facility. This was to be a two-disc game, each disc being an entire notepad. But, I lost the first notepad just as I was coming close to finishing it. And so, Sean 5 was lost but not forgotten.
The End of Middle School
I spent the rest of my eighth grade year focusing on life's stresses as well as Dark Chao Adventures' sixth season. My writing skills were quietly improving. I wound up making one more comic series while I was in middle school, just a comic and not a game.
DON'T EAT PEPPERS!
I made a quick little comic about a friend eating a pepper and then, like.. breathing fire or something. Then I drew a second one about eating a pepper and something about a dinosaur. Then a third about something or other. And a fourth, a fifth, a sixth, and then a seventh detailing the backstory of these mysterious peppers. It wasn't much, but I was proud of it.
In retrospect, the Dawn of the PaperMachine was key in experimentation. I really tried all kinds of unconventional storytelling media, even going so far as to inventing my own. Maybe one of these days, I'll make a new game on the PaperMachine.
Still to come, the Great Facebook Migration, and another generation of Dark Chao Adventures!
Post-Jordanism: noun- The artistic (cultural?) movement which began in late 2011. Works within this deal with themes of existential crisis, identity crisis, posttraumatic stress disorder, the state of being broken, intrusive thoughts of (non)existent(?) memory, the morbid preoccupation with suicide, grief, uncontrollable emotion, and darkness as a simple abstract concept. ex. 1: "Kill me."