Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What do the colored spheres mean?

I got a letter from a Flashback Fan who I'll call Grizz asking this question...

I just happened to run across your website and read through a couple of the comics. I liked them and have now ended up downloading all of them. Anyways, my question is simple, on the characters page of your website what do all those stats mean? I couldn't find anything that told what they are, I assume they are classic Pen & Paper rpg equivalents like strength, dexterity/agility, etc but have no idea which color dot = what. Keep up the good work man.

What Grizz is referring to are these spheres on the character pages of the website..

Well, Grizz is correct that I'm am using a form of rpg shorthand to describe the attributes of each character. However, I'm not going to go so far as tell you what each color means, because I think if you look at the various different characters, you can figure it out. :)

"Why did you do that instead of just write up their origins and powers, you know Marvel Handbook style?"

Good Question. Here's why, and I think this is something a lot of people who pitch stories to me don't understand...

A character's powers and origins don't make that character interesting. What's more important is:

1) The sense of mystery and discovery that comes with reading about a new character.
2) The personality of the character.
3) The conflicts the character must deal with.

Yeah, I know, those sound like no-brainers, but I'll be damned if they aren't overlooked by people all the time. (And not just in the world of comics either. Look no further than that Hugh Jackman train wreck Van Helsing for an example in the movie world)

I will humbly submit to you that the Beast is one of the lamer (powerwise) characters to ever wear an Avengers badge, but his personality made him a fan favorite for a long time. Conversely, Iron Man, with all of his cool gadgets and stuff, never interested me until he became a raging drunk in the 80's.

So when the time came for me to put together the Flashback website, I decide I wasn't going to yak about the characters origins or powers but instead let one character describe another.

This is typically how you really find out about things anyway - your friends tell you about it. And with that, I'd like to thank Phil Looney for cluing me into the wonders of blogger. :D


Jovial1 said...

I agree 100%. It's what the character does that makes them interesting, not what the character CAN do.

Phil Looney said...

What if we don't know your RPG shorthand? Not all of us have played D&D ya know!

Jim Shelley said...

to Jovial1

Yeah, that's a good way to put it. It's the suspense of what they *might* do versus what they *can* do.

I think that's why I find the Sentry so annoying...

to Phillip
I bet, if you look at the spheres, and think about each charcter, you'll start to see a pattern... ;)

Failing that, ask a kid with a stack of Pokemon cards to decode it. I bet they figure it out in 15 seconds. :D

Anonymous said...

I can't seem to find much info on any of the characters listed there, so I can't find out what those mean


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