Pyramids: Big Brother Online

Discussion in 'Works in Progress' started by Yuli Ban, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. Yuli Ban

    Yuli Ban Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    This is a collection of stories following a young man named Emery, who is an otherwise normal kid who controls a world gone mad in his computer. All he wants to know is if he's an evil man for perpetuating this madness and mayhem.

    In this world, a shadowy and anonymous group of totalitarians have taken over his simulated nation inside of a video game, and with Emery's blessings and direction, they create a sickeningly grotesque society from the ashes of what came before.
    All this for the love of Brother Number One.

    Word count: 0

    Expected word count: 100,000 to 120,000

    Edit from the future: So you know all those base building and city simulation gamelit stories? They're the perfect medium for an Orwellian dystopia!
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  2. Yuli Ban

    Yuli Ban Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    So here's the plan: I'll write a bunch of 3-to-5k word short stories, and then once I have 100k worth of words, I'll release the book.
    I really have two hang-ups about how to proceed with Pyramids.

    1: How should I start it and how should I end it?
    2: Should I follow the "revolution gone bad" angle (i.e. 1948 becomes 1984) or the "Eternal War" storyline (i.e. 1,700-year-war)?

    Expanding on the first point: should the RL segments with Emery start or end the book? Do I want people going into this with Emery's life as a frame, or will that be an end-of-the-book closer? They're going to know from the start everything's a simulation anyway, so that's not the issue. I've just realized that both offer their own strengths and weaknesses. With Emery's story at the start, we can see what "normal" life he has and potentially even get the backstory in of how the world became so degenerated while also seeing others' shock over his story. With it at the end, the reader's opinion of Emery as this shadowy totalitarian god is built up throughout all of the stories and then we see he's just a normal man doing all this part-time, and he shows off his world for others to view. I've been leaning towards the former lately because it does introduce a certain element of hope. But I also like the latter, because it has a certain element of reaction and a twist I've had with the concept from the start.

    On the second point, well first you need to know how 1984 differs from the Eternal War.
    The story of 1984 (one which we don't know for certain) goes that something went terribly wrong during & after WWII. Maybe Operation Unthinkable occurred, giving the USSR the excuse to push all the way to the Atlantic. Or maybe D-Day & the Italian campaign never happened, leading to the Soviets being the only ones to defeat the Nazis. Or maybe the UK surrendered in 1941 and the Nazis took control over all of Europe, only to lose that control when the Soviets beat them back. Either way, the most likely explanation of history is that the USSR took control of Europe and this caused extreme tension with the USA. War started again, and this became a nuclear war. Immediately after, revolutionary groups took power in the United Kingdom, but soon after came the rise of a power-hungry dictator whose goal wasn't to create a new revolutionary society based on liberté, égalité, fraternité or a dictatorship of the proletariat. Rather, it was just a pure dictatorship with the ideology known as INGSOC centered around the pure and absolute pursuit of power, though he obviously still lied about his intentions to the proles. Similar events apparently occurred elsewhere in the world, and Earth is now divided into three superstates— Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. All of which are war-obsessed totalitarian nations with indistinguishable ideologies. They're all locked in a state of eternal warfare as a means of maintaining power and deliberately wasting resources that could have improved the lives of the lower classes, essentially reverting human society into a neo-feudal era. At least, that's what the British totalitarians claim; there's no evidence any of them actually exist and there's no way to know except to leave the UK, now known as Airstrip One.
    This is all done by 1984 (and that's one of the few things that does have a modicum of possibility of being true), so it was a single generation that separated the post-War of 1948 and the dystopian madhouse that is 1984.

    The Eternal War needs to be seen to be believed:


    The gist is that Lycerius beat a game of Civilization 2 and decided to keep on playing well after the end-game just to see what might occur. The rounds kept coming and coming for another 1,700 years, resulting in a world where three totalitarian superstates are now locked in a state of eternal warfare, where two states are theocratic dictatorships and Lycerius's is a brutal communist dystopia. As technology can't get any better, no state has an advantage on the other; there's also no pleasantries or luxuries that can be afforded to the working classes because all resources have to be spent on the war effort. Constant nuclear warfare from the Celts and the Vikings has ruined the global climate, melting the ice caps and making large-scale farming impossible.


    Very similar states of affairs, but the difference is the timescale. One happened over the course of around 40 years, give or take whatever obfuscation the Party engages in. There are plenty of people who remember the world from before the Revolution (Winston Smith, the main character, is one such person), and it's implied that the world is not completely ruined— if these totalitarian states were to fall and their damage undone, it might be possible to at least start the 20th century over again and do it right. The other took 1,700 years to reach, which means there are no living survivors of when the horrors started happening but the world is definitely in an even more dire state, where there's no chance of the world ever being restored to its old glory even if the totalitarian states fall.

    Both bring their own potential storytelling possibilities. I've been learning more towards the former myself because in the original idea, there is a small population of people living in a very remote region of Panamerica who all remember and speak of life before the rise of the Antihumanists. There's also a twist in the story I don't want to spoil here, and it definitely works— in fact, that twist is one reason why I might rather put the RL section at the end of the book.
    But I still do like the Eternal War one because it actually reduces Emery's perceived amorality and makes it a bit closer to the intended "Future SimCity/Civilization" video game idea the story was made for. Just a lot of possibilities.

    Maybe I could do two books with both scenarios, but I don't know if this concept would work for more than a one-off. They're already so similar and feature similar events.
     




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