jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So, I went out to GM the first session of the in-person Fate game we planned with the other players. Who are a guy we already knew, and his two friends.

(Content Note: Fictional pepper spray, and sibling abuse.)

The Premise

One of the characters was a mad scientist college student, one was his (doormat) assistant who took the same classes, and one was a Fighter-class fantasy adventurer who stumbled upon their "Time Fridge," when it teleported them to an alternate timeline.

Yes. Time Fridge.

(Name shamelessly stolen from the Faulty Logic webcomic.)

Cue Doctor Who theme )

All in all, it was a really fun experience and educational as well. ^^; I feel like I'm learning a lot about game design, which is now my Dream Career, by playing out these new games on the table. And seeing just how much they empower players, GMs, and creatives.

This is what I wanted, long ago, with the "Fursona Project" and "Fursona Code" and "Become Your Fursona" website. At their core, at the most basic level, I wanted people to be able to live as their personal characters, and have a common design vocabulary and resources to help express what they're like. I'm still learning the historical reasons why, but d20 and Pathfinder did not deliver on that.

From what I am seeing, Fate Core has delivered on that promise.

Now to see if we can kick off this online campaign properly.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
tl;dr Imagine a web browser that only lets you log in to MySpace and Yahoo!, and breaks when you access Google+, Pinterest, or any microblogging site. This is GOA in 5 years.

The situation

GNOME Online Accounts is GNOME's attempt at letting your desktop OS work seamlessly with websites. Instead of having to browse to Google Drive's website, for instance, you just open up GNOME Documents and there's all the stuff that you've written on Google Docs over the last several years.

It works this way because that's how it's supposed to work. GNOME Documents is useless in this day and age, to a growing number of technical and nontechnical users, if all it can get to is stuff on your hard disk. And Skype has become the universal chat client in the world at large, partly because of its effortless handling of video calls but also because of its seamless way of handling logins and chat logs from any device.

Once stuff that works this way becomes the norm, anything that doesn't support it feels broken.

The problem

The problem is that GOA only supports Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Windows Live, your Google account, and your Facebook account. That's it. There is no easy way to add support for your application to GOA. There is no way to share information from your app to others via GOA. The only way to get GNOME's core applications to work with your web app is to patch GNOME core, which involves persuading GNOME's core developers that your app is an essential part of GNOME.

This renders GOA irrelevant, and it renders GNOME's core apps irrelevant. Because by the time any of us realizes an app needs to work with GNOME, a bunch of people will have already stopped using GNOME core apps.

The next Facebook will be out for five years before someone from GNOME decides "hey we ought to import your pictures and contacts from this," because it won't be targetted at the demographic which comprises most of GNOME's core contributors. The next Skype will work on Ubuntu first, because it allows apps to add plugins to its version of GOA.

This has the potential to cause a bit of a mess, but the alternative isn't a pure and uncompromised user experience. The alternative is GNOME core having to make the decision, for every new web app, of whether or not GNOME should support it. The alternative is new Free Software web apps not working with the premiere Free Software desktop, because they'd rather write a plugin than beg and get turned down anyway.

The alternative is nobody using GNOME, because it doesn't work with their stuff.

"Asking permission from GNOME's core devs" is a solution which does not scale, and which imposes an unnecessary burden on third-party developers. We need a new solution. Because whatever we can do that makes it easier for people to work with GNOME, to write apps for GNOME, to write apps which tie in to GNOME, is a step towards making GNOME more relevant to more people's lives.
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
In part 1, I summarized how I feel about human society and what they've done to the rest of the world. Now I'm going to go over different human-created technologies, and ways we can use them to tell our own stories and create our own worlds. I feel that this is a way we can both help otherkin and other marginalized people, as well as attack the most powerful humans directly.

So here's a breakdown of what's involved in creating the experience of becoming one's fursona or true self, and how hard each step might be to implement.

Read more... )

Sorry for the drowsy rambling. We sort of had to work this out for ourselves. We're open to suggestions, offers of assistance, and anything else anyone would like to add.

Edit: Oh wow you guys look at this http://danielribeiro.github.com/WebGLCraft/ It's an open-source tech demo for playing a Minecraft-style game in your browser. There are other things like it out there. Just imagine what could be done with this, like for creating scenes you could RP in or games and stuff. Virtual legos don't need to be able to run Tekkit, they just need to let you build things!
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
Way back in the day, people on Usenet (it's like web forums) had these weird strings of letters and stuff in their signatures that looked sorta like this:

FCF/FDC A C+ D H M P+ R T++++ W$ Z- Sf+ RLLW a cl++++ d e** f++++ h+++ iwf+++ j+ p-- sf

That's my furry code, and if you want you can go here to decipher it.

The thing is, it has a bunch of problems.
  1. It uses plain text and is incomprehensible to outsiders.

  2. It hasn't been updated since the Usenet days. There's an entire section on Doom, and the option to say you use Windows NT.

  3. It's not open source (although it may be de facto open to extension).
The biggest problem? By trying to codify everything, it becomes an Uncanny Valley caricature of an actual furry. There's no room between "I've been to one con" and "I've been to several and plan on going to many more," for instance. There's also no option to specify that your fursona is a hybrid of more than one species, or that you consider it to be who you actually are (for therians / otherkin). Finally, it narrowly defines the stuff that constitutes "being a furry," and "scores" people higher for certain things than for others.

I'm not going to try to make a new furry code. I only consider myself tangentially part of the fandom. But I think there needs to be something like this for people's fursonas. Something that lets people see at a glance who you really are inside. We've talked about this before; here's where I'm going to try to get more specific.

Here's what I think it should be like, at a minimum:
  1. It should provide a visual overview of who you are. Imagine something like an auto-generated sig banner, with a userpic, a quote, a few of your most defining traits, and a clickable link to a page that tells more about you.

  2. It shouldn't try to codify everything. Instead of /+++#! and stuff, you should just pick the traits that you feel describe you, and then provide a picture and flavor text to clarify.

  3. It should be completely open-source and distributed. Your fursona does not belong to a company. Whether it's your otherkin side or a role-playing character, you should be able to express it however you want. You shouldn't need to watch ads, pay a fee, or rely on any one person or organization's good graces. Your identity is a basic right.
I feel we can extend the Mozilla Persona and Badges specs to do this. Each person's fursona would be tied to an email address and/or personal website, and each trait would be a separate badge. People could define their own badges and use them however they like, and even create their own website to show off their fursonas. But "out of the box," so to speak, you could just go someplace and make your fursona and choose the traits that fit you.

Now that I've got that all explained, here's what I'm thinking of for a list of traits you can pick from. None of them are mandatory; if you don't pick one it won't show up as "blank" or "no comment," you just won't have that trait on your profile. Also, this is for a full profile, not just a compact sig banner.

Anything that says "badges," you can choose however many you like (or none). Anything that says "text," you can fill it in with whatever you want.

Warning for massive braindump and extremely rough sketch! Tell me what badges and categories work and don't work. I may decide to leave some stuff out, and create some new categories.

Read more... )

After seeing how complicated this is, I actually think we may need to make it modular. The basic fursona code could describe things like, what significance your fursona has to you and various words you'd use to describe them ("small," "mythic," "nocturnal," etc.; things like the results to the fursona species quiz).

Then after that, we could use something like Pathfinder or d20 Modern to create "stats" for people's fursonas, and basically recreate their descriptions as badge packs that people could choose from. If your character's from a modern setting, for instance, you could choose modern badges like "occupation" and stuff, whereas if they're from a fantasy world you might choose a class and spells. We'd use all Open Gaming License stuff for this, of course, and you'd be able to define your own.

The upside to that is that it would allow you to, say, print out a character sheet and take it to an RPG, or even play in an online game of some kind. And for the things like gender where there are a ton of possible badges, but you already know what you want, I'm imagining an interface where if you don't want to browse through the list you can just start typing to narrow it down.

Sorry for the kinda rambly post. >.> What do y'all think?
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
f!T: That's what phoenix!Taryn had a bit of a brush with yesterday when she mental-shifted all of a sudden. At least that's what we think happened. >.>

I used to act like an animal a lot. Sometimes I still do.

I snarl, or growl, when I'm annoyed with people. There are ways of walking and carrying myself that feel more natural to me. Growing up, I learned to suppress a lot of these behaviors. But I still make trilling, questioning noises, instead of just asking "What?". I have other vocalizations, that don't make any sense except in their intonation. That probably don't sound like any real animal noises, but are as close as I can come to speaking in a way that is comfortable for me. Especially when English gets too hard to manage.

I'd almost forgotten what some of this was like. Then I remembered, and I couldn't physically feel what my body's supposed to be like but I knew how it was supposed to move. And I wasn't dismayed that it wasn't a phoenix or dragon; I already knew these were just symbols for me, things I latched onto to try to describe who I am. I knew what about them appealed to me. But they weren't specific creatures so much as vague grasping at straws for something that felt familiar.

Was I a bird? No, not quite, but close. A dragon? What does that even mean? It means scales and claws and teeth, and that's close too, but it also means so many things that have little meaning for me. I want to be something like them, but I couldn't think what it was. And I liked the Morrigi from Sword of the Stars, for their voices and dragon-bird-kitsune natures, and the feeling of power they convey in combat. Playing it has been kind of cathartic. But I don't feel like a taur, or exactly that creature. It's a fun concept, but it's not me (or us).

Last night, I remembered what I'm supposed to be shaped like. My head is supposed to bob when I walk, and cock sideways at things when I consider them. I'm supposed to be hunched forward when I move. My arms are supposed to be curled up near my front. I'm supposed to be a coiled spring of claws and teeth and energy, with a tail behind me like a balancing rod.

Please tell me I'm not one of THOSE things. )
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
1. What made you choose a sparrow as your fursona before? It's very different from your actual species.

He was a tree swallow, actually. And it's a long story.

The first self-insert character I wrote was a peregrine falcon named Tachyon. He was a Tyke Bomb raised by the Big Bad, and was intended to be a villain. But somehow the story ended up exploring their abusive relationship more, and basically mirroring what I was going through with my family and church even though I didn't realize it at the time. I put a lot of myself into him, and he became the favorite of several of my readers.

When I became a furry I realized he was kind of my fursona already, but I was a vegetarian by then so I decided to look into changing him to a songbird instead of a raptor. I wasn't really sure what I was going for, until I saw an Audubon tree swallow plushie and was like <3

It wasn't long before I realized my tree swallow fursona was still masking who I was beneath. But then, that's because my whole identity was at the time.

2. If you could have one change to your body but only one (so, you can't have a whole body change, but, you can change one part), what is it?

If anyone's read the comments on our latest entry, you won't be surprised that we both want our reproductive system swapped out. phoenix!Taryn just wants hers to lay eggs.

p!T: I don't know what else I'd change. I want to be stronger, quicker, to have wings and claws and a tail. I want to be lithe and agile and fast, and unmistakeably lethal and powerful. I just don't think I can do all of that in one change.

f!T: I want to be a foxwoman more than a straightforward fox, and I'm okay with wearing ears and a tail. >.>b

3. Have you ever wanted a fursuit?

We want a quadsuit, badly. I'm not sure we even care what it is. >.>;

f!T: Maybe I liked being a four-legged fox more than I thought I did, or maybe I associate it with familiarity.

p!T: I just like the thought of using my forelimbs for movement. Somehow it feels more alive and responsive. I'm not sure I need to, though. An upright shape has its advantages.

4. In 24 hours, the situation from one of your Become Your Fursona stories is going to happen in reality. What story do you choose and what will you do?

Too late.

5. What is the best physical experience you ever had in life? (Going on a rollercoaster, skydiving, eating a really good dessert... etc.)

Um.

Let's just say that our kitty has been very helpful to us. <3

How to participate in the meme )
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
When I thought I was male, I also thought I hated pink.

Pink was the color of Pepto-Bismol. Of boring frilly girly stuff, that's covered in fake rhinestones. Of the Cancer Industrial Complex, and its infantalizing cheerfulness. Of the LDS Young Women's Personal Progress manual, with its Value Experiences like "Prepare to be worthy to enter the temple" and its logo that shows the light of Christ setting a girl's hair on fire.

Purple seemed safer. Plus it was more active and energetic, halfway between blue and red. So that's what color I told [personal profile] aliaspseudonym I wanted my new female fursona to be, while he was drawing it.

That's how I started out, anyway. "Can you try for a bright purple?" I asked him. "Like that spot there, in the upper-right of your color wheel."

"'Bright purple,'" he thought. "Riiight."

A picture of a black and neon pink fox-phoenix gryphon, in a sleeveless top and denim shorts, looking into the camera as she flaps her wings and takes off into the air.

And that's how I ended up with neon pink feathers and hair.

I had no idea I liked pink so much. This shade just seems so ... alive. And when it complements black, to me it conveys not just energy but passion and hidden depths, without taking itself too seriously. It's unashamed, and it wants you to know that.

When I was growing up as a Mormon male, my mom bought all my clothes for me. All I wanted from my appearance was to blend in and look respectable. And some choices, like being a girl and anything that traditionally went with that, were off limits.

Screw that noise. This is me now. *poses* I don't know how long I'll stay this way, but I like it better than anything else that I've been. Here's hoping that you all do too.

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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