Author Topic: ST- Universal  (Read 10647 times)

Offline Bernd

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2014, 03:38:45 AM »
Actually, I would like to read even more from the Universal series. But if there is some kind of transition, it will be fine with me.

Offline J.Grey

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2014, 08:33:54 PM »
Well Universal is just changing direction. We're going to leave the station behind and move the story to a ship, well a pair of ships actually. We're going to have a core of main characters too, the new lead character is someone we've already met and a lot of the characters we've introduced will be coming along for the ride.
I want to tell a different story, one with real-world parallels. So far the stories in Universal have been pure sci-fi, just fun really but Coal and I would like to do something with a bit more substance.
Sad to report that the heavy shuttle is gone. We tried to collect it last week but it's been lost.
I've started scratch-building something new instead but I'm having trouble nailing down the design.
The Christmas special is nearly finished. It's Scrooge but with a different twist and told in a different way... wait till you see the illustrations for that one.

Offline J.Grey

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2014, 03:47:52 AM »
We're developing two new ships for the next round of stories, the Phaedrus and the Wesley. The Wesley is a large capacity civil ship which will travel around and become the host of most of the main stories.
I wanted something a bit different.
With that in mind I've taken inspiration from the boxy lines of the holoship (Insurrection) and the Typhon (from ST Invasion, a squared off fortress of a ship). I've also decided to do away with nacelles. I've taken inspiration from the fighter used by the Maquis and the Raider too. So this ship will have a large twin shuttle-deck and a lower cargo handling area. The shuttle-decks are large enough to handle any shuttle class and the lower deck can handle Runabouts, Delta-flyers and other pretty large vehicles.
On top and behind it has a tractor, a removable drive section with the warp engines, impulse and has the bridge mounted on top. It's generally considered a single ship but can readily separate so the drive section can handle other loads or additional modules.
Where I live at the moment has no models of any kind so this is all being built from scratch from sheet styrene and a few detail parts I have scavenged.
If you want to follow the progress, it's all here on this link, including pics.

http://www.starshipmodeler.net/talk/viewtopic.php?t=113493

Offline J.Grey

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2014, 10:06:29 AM »
Well, the Christmas special is finished. It was a big job, I'm not going to say anything about the story but it was a lot of work. Coal, my editor has basically stepped up as a co-writer now which is making this a lot more fun to write and adding a lot of diversity as he comes up with ideas I wouldn't have ever had on my own. So from now on, Universal is by J.Grey and R.Cane.
The new story will be up just before Christmas and is quite different from anything I've done before. It's also quite long but should be fun to read (I hope).
The illustrations are a little different too. We're pretty proud of this one, I can honestly say there's never been a Star Trek story quite like this one and it's going to be free and only available on your favourite Trek site.

Offline J.Grey

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2014, 08:13:38 AM »
The Christmas special is up. It's pretty different, based on Charles Dickens, a Christmas Carol. We're already working on the end of this series of stories, the Barman. The Christmas special has a unique tone, the Barman is going to be a lighthearted story, different again from the rest of the tales.
I hope you enjoy reading it and.... Happy christmas.

Offline J.Grey

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2015, 05:21:00 AM »
Sadly we won't have an episode up in January.  :( Life has got in the way and I've not had anything like the time I need. Life in Cambodia is riddled with corruption and incompetence, incompetent corruption and corrupt incompetence and between dealing with them, I've had a busy month.  >:(
The good news is that I've made significant headway in the final chapter of this arc. It's going to be a 2-part story called, 'The Barman' (part 1 provisionally called 'the assassin and part 2 solidly called 'the pilot'.) 
I've finished the first layer of the story, just need a few details added and off to R.Cane for him to work his magic (make sense of it). I expect both parts will be up next month. (Fingers crossed.)  ::)



Offline J.Grey

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2015, 08:50:23 AM »
The second of the two parts is now underway, spoken, of course from the perspective of a writer. As usual, it's told in a different way and will have a few surprises to the astute reader and will also reveal everything that has gone on so far.
It was a pig to write the first half and editing is going slowly. I'm not sure what the problem was exactly. The first half is light-hearted, a few jokes to make you smile and that part of it was certainly fun to write. Like everything else, it's told differently, this one is a 'stream of consciousness' meaning the perspectives hand off from one to the next of the characters in an odd way. At the end, there is a few twists in the way the tale has been told which hopefully you won't see coming.
Artwork is nearly done, we have the standard fare for the first and then edited photographs for the second part so the illustrations are going to look quite different. R.Cane is trying is hand for those. Work is still progressing on the models for the next series of stories (progressing in theory more than in practice.)  Good news is that the Barman has an alien ship in part 1 and a new vessel in part 2. Designing ships is one of my favourite parts of the process.
Two new ships are coming up for the next series, the Wesley and the Phaedrus. I can't wait to see how they end up looking.

Offline Bernd

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2015, 05:01:54 PM »
Looking forward to reading it. And seeing the ships.

Offline J.Grey

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #33 on: March 13, 2015, 08:55:59 PM »
Sorry for the long delay, everybody. The new story is nearly ready. 'The Barman' is a huge story in 2 parts. Part one is a little longer than we normally go and begins the process of bringing the whole thing together. It's a story within a story, within a story, within a story with a shifting perspective of character in a 'stream of consciousness' with one perspective handing over and shifting to another as they move around the bar. This all sounds very complicated but it actually reads fairly conventionally.
Coal has done some very nice work bringing some funny lines to Mr. Wellington (as usual) and has actually written a brilliant insert story about the 4th wall.
It's in for a final edit this weekend, we should have it complete and hopefully up next week.
The final part is called, 'The pilot' and makes sense of everything so far. That's in the late stages of being completed as we speak.

Offline J.Grey

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2015, 11:28:40 PM »
Finished! The first part of the 2 part finale is finally complete. It's been an ugly case of life getting in the way and slowing us down. It's also 33 pages long, as opposed to the usual sub-20 we normally go for. It's also a 2 part story but the second part is quite different.
We're just working out the illustrations, R.Cane might have some feedback for this so we might get to see a different style since he's very good with photoshop. We're considering a kind of push towards an artistic take for the next series of stories. Certainly I have been left behind by the amazing work put out by the latest batch of amateur 3d artists and I'm living in a place where models are incredibly scarce. Literally I have to hunt around in the back of recycling shops that sell old junk sent in from Japan and have so far managed to scavenge very little. Enough to make a respectable version of the hero ship from the next set.
So, hopefully the story will up soon. Sorry for the long wait.

Offline Bernd

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2015, 07:26:58 AM »
Cool. Looking forward to seeing the result.

Offline J.Grey

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2015, 09:36:32 AM »
Me too. The story is finished, just waiting on the illustrations. I just started a new job right at exam season so things are going slower than I'd like. The second part is finished to rough draft stage so we'll definitely have that ready for the month after.
We're transitioning from stories set round a starbase to stories set around a civilian ship for the next clump of tales. I think the end of this story is going to be a bit of a surprise. It was fun to write, this is the outcome of a very unusual idea we had a very long time ago and writing the final reveal scene where everything that's been going on is made clear was an interesting experience.
We've got a similarly odd (but quite different) idea for the next series of stories and a lot of character development to work on. By the end of the Barman Part 2 (The Pilot) everything will make sense.

Offline J.Grey

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2015, 03:25:36 AM »
It's been a while but the Barman part 1 and part 2, the Pilot are finally done. The first part is with Bernd now and should go up pretty soon, another three or four weeks we should be able to put up the second part.
I've started on the second series too which will move the focus from Station DS401 to a ship, the SS Wesley. Happy with the first story so far but got a lot of work to do yet, especially on the ships.

Offline J.Grey

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2015, 07:20:11 PM »
Well the new story is nearly finished, first draft, at least! The plot is based on a dream I had and works well as an introduction to the new set of stories. A few years ago I had the idea to write a more mundane Trek story about ordinary people living and working on a small ship which eventually evolved into Universal. I guess it's eventually evolved back to the original idea. Life on a Starship is when Trek is really at its best, after all.
Coal had a lot more than usual feedback on the final part, 'The Pilot' and wrote a short piece of the story. Now he's decided to write an entire story for the new series, which should be very interesting. He'll write the draft and I'll turn it into a story. He's a professional writer himself but does factual articles, as he said he's used to saying as much as possible with as few words as he can. This kind of writing is frequently the opposite.
We also have a new naming convention. In the first series each episode was named after the title of the main character, ie, if they were a cleaner the episode was called, 'The Cleaner.' In the new set of stories we're going to follow a Japanese trend of over-dramatising the title with a story that focuses on the more action oriented element of the plot. I wasn't sure about it but the titles come out sounding like bad Star Wars titles which made me laugh so it looks like we're going that way. The first chapter, for instance (subject to change) is "The Deadly Gift."

Offline J.Grey

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2015, 07:47:17 PM »
The final episode has received a final polish and is almost ready to go. We're working on the artwork now. To break with tradition we're going to have pictures of the actual characters, heavily stylised to they're more interesting and put into Trek relevant backgrounds. As a writer I don't want to colour people's perceptions as we all create the characters in our mind so we'll keep it nicely vague and open to your own imagination to as large a degree as possible.
We've started work on the next series of stories and finally decided on a naming convention. Chapter one will be called 'Number 1.' It will introduce and follow the Captain, the 1st in command and it will also coincide with the lowest ranking crewman. The next story will follow the second in command and the second lowest person as well until we finally converge in the middle. Many of the more interesting characters from the first set of stories will, of course carry over with the biggest, most obvious villain now serving as our primary protagonist.
Sadly it's looking like Coal will have to reduce his workload since he has a baby on the way and changes at work to contend with.
He's a professional editor in Japan and has been writing and editing game instruction manuals for Sega but the economy has shifted fairly violently. It's now cheaper for the Japanese to hire Americans to do the job. Yes, Asia is now outsourcing to the West since wages are so much cheaper. Hopefully we'll still manage to carry on. I've had a long chat about not starting more work we can't finish but he's as keen as I am to put out new material.
Also, the Wesley model is taking shape. I'm pretty happy with it, she's a fine looking ship.

Offline J.Grey

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #40 on: August 14, 2015, 12:49:23 AM »

Offline Bernd

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2015, 02:22:52 AM »
Isn't the thread openly accessible? The link leads to the Starshipmodeler login.

Offline J.Grey

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2015, 07:49:29 PM »
I've been using the site for years, it never used to be like that. Sorry, here are direct links to some of the pics so you can see how it's progressing. Bear in mind, I have no access to models here or much equipment so I'm building the whole thing from sheet styrene plastic and a few bits of toys and models I've been able to scavenge from recycling shops. The ship is basically a big flying cargo container, no nacelles, everything is going to be built in. It's got a long way to go yet.

Lower hull

http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL1648/10621621/24599069/411570101.jpg

Lower hull underneath

http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL1648/10621621/24599069/411570102.jpg

Upper hull cargo bay

http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL1648/10621621/24599069/411570103.jpg

Side view

http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL1648/10621621/24599069/411570105.jpg

'Beauty' shot.

http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL1648/10621621/24599069/411570106.jpg

Offline Bernd

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #43 on: August 16, 2015, 04:56:32 PM »
I like it!

Offline J.Grey

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Re: ST- Universal
« Reply #44 on: August 25, 2015, 08:20:45 AM »
Progress has been a bit slow. Coal is having a few real-life problems so the editing is moving at a snail's pace.
Also, I had a slight issue which has kind of thrown me a little bit. My girlfriend is pregnant. Ooops. We have Chinese condoms to thank for that.