Category Archives: HeroMachine Freestyle

Freestyle Round 3

I was supposed to post this yesterday but I didn’t manage to get to it. I apologize for the delay, but am happy to present the next round of our HeroMachine Freestyle Story! Our winning continuation came from Gero, with a new illustration by Skybandit. Our story thus far:

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Freestyle, Round 2!

After a missed couple of weeks, it’s time to continue our Freestyle Adventure Series. We had some really good story seeds turned in, but unfortunately my idea of a comment voting system didn’t work out — the plugin was definitely sub-optimal. In lieu of that and so we don’t have to wait another week, I just picked our winning seed and image. Unfortunately, a high percentage of them failed to follow instructions and either weren’t written in second person, weren’t gender-neutral, or didn’t have a good jumping-off point.

Our winning story segment comes from the puissant pen of … Skybandit!

The cobwebs were thick upon the intricately carved altar, throwing odd shadows from the guttering candle in your hand. Your uncle had never installed electricity in the basement of the ancient mansion that he had left you in his will. Opening the crumbling book to the page he had marked before his horribly bloody death, you fulfilled the only proviso to gain the full inheritance by reading out the words on the crumbling parchment, stumbling over the strange words.

Perhaps you should have been more careful with your pronunciation, for in a flash and with a rumble like a Californian quake, there appeared …

Thus your challenge this week is one of two things (or both, if you fancy a challenge):

  1. Write the next short section of our ongoing adventure using the seed in blockquotes above and what is depicted in the winning image, below. The text should be written in second-person point of view (“You are a young warrior of the Wu Tang Clan”) and should be gender-neutral. The section should end with an open-ended statement making it easy for the next person to hook on their section, something like “You turn the corner and see …” or “Leaping from the cliff, your wild hands scrabble along the rocks and encounter …” or “Heat vision blasting, out of the corner of your eye you see descending from the clouds a …”, that kind of thing. The goal is to make it easy for the next person to know where to jump off.
  2. If writing isn’t your thing, you can post a link to an image you’ve created in HeroMachine that the next person will have to incorporate into their scene. It might be a human character of some sort, or an animal, or an item, or a scene, or whatever you like.

If you choose to write the next segment, here’s the image you must somehow incorporate into the story, courtesy of Keith_Kanin:


(Click to embiggen.)

I’ve installed the GD Star comment rating system, which I hope will be more stable than the last plugin I tried. Registered users can vote for entries they like with a thumbs-up; the image and story with the most thumbs-up votes wins!

If this turns out not to work, I’ll just pick the best story and image like a regular contest.

Good luck!

Introducing "Surreality Bites", the HeroMachine Freestyle RPG

I want to try something new here that I’ve never done, and never seen done, before. It may be a huge flop, or it may be hugely entertaining; only time will tell.

Our overall goal is to create our own made-up-as-we-go book. Unlike a Choose Your Own Adventure book, we won’t have multiple branches coming off of each section, but they are still a good model for the style of writing and length I’m looking for. We want fast-paced, inclusive, PG-rated material that advances the “story” (assuming any sort of coherent narrative forms).

Thus your challenge this week is one of two things (or both, if you fancy a challenge):

  1. Write an opening section that introduces the protagonist and establishes our starting point. The text should be written in second-person point of view (“You are a young warrior of the Wu Tang Clan”) and should be gender-neutral. You can go sci-fi, modern, fantasy, horror, or whatever else you like. The introduction must end with an open-ended statement making it easy for the next person to hook on their section, something like “You turn the corner and see …” or “Leaping from the cliff, your wild hands scrabble along the rocks and encounter …” or “Heat vision blasting, out of the corner of your eye you see descending from the clouds a …”, that kind of thing. The goal is to make it easy for the next person to know where to jump off.
  2. If writing isn’t your thing, you can post a link to an image you’ve created in HeroMachine that the next person will have to incorporate into their scene. It might be a human character of some sort, or an animal, or an item of some sort, or a scene. Whatever you like.

I will choose one image and one text introduction from the top five “most-liked” comments (using our nifty new comment rating system) as the winners, forming the basis for the next chapter in the adventure. Next Saturday I’ll make a post like this one with the chosen introductory text, and the image you have to incorporate into the next chapter.

So, each week we’ll have:

  1. A new chapter that incorporates the winning image item from two weeks previous;
  2. The new image winner from the previous week you’ll have to incorporate into your writing chapter;
  3. A comment thread contest to choose the winning next chapter;
  4. and a comment thread contest to choose the winning image that the next week’s writers will have to use.

That should be clear as mud! Ask any questions you like, and start writing and/or creating! Whether you choose to participate as a creator or not, your input is still very much needed by “liking” the entries you think are best.

Update: I’ve removed the thumbs-up plugin as it wasn’t loading properly. I’ll just pick winners like a contest.