Monday, April 30, 2012

Military fantasy

Lately I have been watching the GI Joe: Renegades cartoon on NetFlix, and I really like it.  Most of the cheese-factor that plagued the old GI Joe cartoon from the 80's is gone.  The animation is very crisp and nice, the characters are well-done, with good backgrounds and lots of focused face-time (though I admit to being a bit put off at first by how young Duke is), and the story and background is very cool.

I'm also really looking forward to the next live-action movie, Retaliation.  I liked the first one a lot (for what it was) and I am a huge fan of Dwayne Johnson, so this one looks pretty damn cool to me.  Plus, Bruce Willis as the original "Joe"?  How cool is that ???

Of course, as always happens, when I become interested in (ie: obsessed with) a genre, I immediately start to think of Role Playing Games.  Because that's how I roll (my dice).  There has never been an official GI Joe RPG.  As one person online pointed out, that seems like a huge missed opportunity, considering the IP is owned by Hasbro, the current owners of the largest RPG company in the world, Wizards of the Coast.  There have been plenty of fan-created efforts, but nothing really complete; more just notes on how to convert [insert modern RPG here] to run GI Joe.

However, Other World Creations developed an add-on for SpyCraft a few years back, under the OGL, that creates a setting and game very similar to that of GI Joe, but using original names, places, and events.  It's called Strike Force 7, and it's available in d20/SpyCraft and Savage Worlds flavors.  I bought the d20 version ($3.99 for a 72-page watermarked PDF) because, even though I was more interested in the setting info, I wanted a version that I could easily play if I ever managed to get a willing group together.

And of course, the natural progression for my brain is to go from RPGs to writing.  Now, I guess I could just write some GI Joe fanfic and scratch the itch.  But, fanfic never appealed to me.  Mainly because writing is a labor.  Granted, it's a labor of love.  But fanfic is truly thankless.  From what I have seen, you get an extraordinarily high ratio of negative comments to positive.  And my precious writer's sensibilities couldn't handle that.  At least, not without some monetary compensation.  If people buy my writing, and then hate on it...well, at least they BOUGHT it.

So the alternates are to either make up my own universe (which would be a LOT of work, but still maybe doable), or to find an IP that would allow me to write in it.  Which comes down to the question of "How?"  How do I get the rights to write fiction based on an established IP, and make money off of it?  I may look into this, just because I am very curious about the process.

In the meantime, I might just start developing some ideas and characters.  You know, along side all of the other writing prjects I have.  Not the least of which is anything to do for my classes, as well as the historical fiction book on Agesilaus.  But, now I have an old, stripped down laptop that will serve as a fine Mobile Writing Machine.  That should help, right?


Joe Bonadonna said...

Though RPGs came along when I was in my 30s and still heavily involved in rock and roll, I have ALWAYS loved military fantasy and science fiction. (I even wrote a space opera that has a lot of USMC in it.) Go for it, Tom. It's always exciting to read, and the opportunities to create real characters, true human drama and tragedy are endless.

Charles Gramlich said...

I haven't seen the new GI Joe toon. I guess I didn't even realize it was new. I'll have to check it out. I've never really written military SF though I'd like to try it some time. I love to read it though.

Hyrum Savage said...

We're always looking for people interested in doing freelance work for Strike Force 7. If you're interested, email me at hyrum (at) otherworlds (dot) cx and let's talk!