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Terome
2012-02-13, 12:25 PM
It has caught my notice that in the two new ongoings, Roberts seems to be much more interested in places than Barber has been so far. It's something that has been largely missing from Transformers fiction. Most stories concern themselves with one city-state or default to Iacon, without much care to how these places are linked.

Furman seemed to have some enthusiasm for it in War Within and such, with concepts like torus loops, and seemed proud of himself for using Google Maps for the -ations, but sort of lost interest. The Star Wars style of instantaneous interstellar travel was also kind of a head-scratcher.

It's a shame really, because comics can be great at laying out landscapes. You don't have to resort to something as gauche as a map to do it - loose sketches and skillful plotting can do the work for you. An example is how, in More Than Meets The Eye #1, the Mitteous Plateau is just as good a shortcut to the launch site of the Ark-1 / Lost Light in the present day as they were six million years ago.

Robots In Disguise is hobbled in this a little bit as everything takes place in the relatively crowded refugee camp around the ruins of Kimia. It is a nice touch that the 'streets' are made up of rows of parked spaceships, and there is an allusion to Bumblebee organising those streets according to an off-the-cuff idea of which crews will clash the least with each other. Maybe the Ironhide subplot on the frontiers will give us a map of the very conspicuously new landscape of Cybertron, where mountains have worn down and cities have disappeared.

That is what I have been thinking about in regards to geography in these new stories.

Denyer
2012-02-13, 04:11 PM
It's generally a good sign that writers take the time to inhabit the spaces and keep things consistent (it isn't something I'd rely on editors to catch, to be sure) but it's really an ingredient that compliments an already decent story -- Tolkien's world-building doesn't redeem his prose IMO.

Similarly, it's a bad sign if they don't and "suddenly" remember that other places exist when a new backdrop is needed or a new location to find a deus ex machina... you get the kind of storytelling Marvel and DC are known for, with very little sense that the "home" cities of heroes could reasonably co-exist on the same planet.

In particular the characters have the technology to travel vast distances (and short ones quickly, with non-vehicle alt-modes a rarity) even if energy and other resources aren't unlimited.

Terome
2012-02-13, 05:46 PM
It's generally a good sign that writers take the time to inhabit the spaces and keep things consistent but it's really an ingredient that compliments an already decent story -- Tolkien's world-building doesn't redeem his prose IMO.


Oh yes, can't read more of a few pages of any of his non-kids stuff without suddenly realising that there is washing up to do. But I'm certain that it is his world-building that has led to his work dominating so much of culture for the past seventy years. He makes it easy to drop your own stuff into the world and imagine how it would work.


Similarly, it's a bad sign if they don't and "suddenly" remember that other places exist when a new backdrop is needed or a new location to find a deus ex machina... you get the kind of storytelling Marvel and DC are known for, with very little sense that the "home" cities of heroes could reasonably co-exist on the same planet.


Yeah, it's always a good idea to leave an unexplored island or a mysterious continent or something out there for a rainy day.

In particular the characters have the technology to travel vast distances (and short ones quickly, with non-vehicle alt-modes a rarity) even if energy and other resources aren't unlimited.

It is this sort of thing that makes me want to know how big Cybertron is as a globe, and how their space travel works. It's a bit incongruous right now for the Lost Light to be lost at all when a few thousand ships can pop up out of nowhere a few hours after Vector Sigma told them to.

inflatable dalek
2012-02-13, 08:25 PM
I still think Simfur is probably the most embarrassing thing Furman was ever involved with. Even if it wasn't his direct idea, he really should have gone to Ryall "Maybe having a city named after me in the comic that I'm co-writing isn't a good idea, it might make me look like a crazy egotist".

I think RID is deliberately aiming for a pressure cooker situation. There's no where else for these guys to go on the planet, and that's going to boil over very quickly.

Terome
2012-02-13, 09:35 PM
I still think Simfur is probably the most embarrassing thing Furman was ever involved with. Even if it wasn't his direct idea, he really should have gone to Ryall "Maybe having a city named after me in the comic that I'm co-writing isn't a good idea, it might make me look like a crazy egotist".

Didn't Hasbro go for it too, in a queasy sort of, 'We're not going to give you movie money for inventing The Fallen or anything, but we'll put in a word with the bloke doing the novelisation.' Frankly, the more honest, 'We lock him in a cage and feed him raw meat,' approach to the freelancers is easier to swallow.

I think RID is deliberately aiming for a pressure cooker situation. There's no where else for these guys to go on the planet, and that's going to boil over very quickly.

Good call. I suppose that is when the Ironhide: Frontiersman subplot will become the main plot. Do you think Ironhide was chosen for that role because he was a hick and best suited the idiom?

inflatable dalek
2012-02-14, 08:21 AM
Didn't Hasbro go for it too, in a queasy sort of, 'We're not going to give you movie money for inventing The Fallen or anything, but we'll put in a word with the bloke doing the novelisation.' Frankly, the more honest, 'We lock him in a cage and feed him raw meat,' approach to the freelancers is easier to swallow.

I like the idea that the true extent of the supposed close and personal working relationships between the various spin-off writers was Alan Dean Foster getting a phone call from Furman along the lines of "Yeah, the main thing you need to carry over from the comic is the city of Simfur, it's a vitally important part of the ongoing narrative" "Well OK, I don't really care so much even if it is a lame name. What was your name again?" "Errr.... Si...rene Smith".



Good call. I suppose that is when the Ironhide: Frontiersman subplot will become the main plot. Do you think Ironhide was chosen for that role because he was a hick and best suited the idiom?

Based on how Ironhide was written I suspect Wheeljack just wanted to send him far, far away.

Summerhayes
2012-02-15, 09:22 PM
I got the Transformers RISK a couple of christmases ago, and it just went to show how much work the world needs . . .
With no definitive idea of what goes where they just drew a vaguely futuristic landscape and pulled some names from the comics at random (not to mention the ones they pulled from their arse) and it meant I felt no connection to this 'world'. I'd have a better experience taking the optimus bits and playing normal, earth risk.

Its a shame tolkien wasn't alive to design videogames.