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Old June 19th, 2001, 11:05 PM
tjoneslo tjoneslo is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MT++:
I work for an animation company and I did a pitch for Traveller (MJ Dougherty was basically in as a writer and Marc was online as well)

The rules I had discussed with MJD were straight forward
1. no cute kids
2. no cute robots
3. no *^&%*^ mechs
4. hard SF space opera
5. no today's lesson was...
6. overarcing story (ie. stories stand alone but together forma whole)

You mean like Babylon 5 or Farscape...

Seriously, you may be able to point to the success of these shows, and their enduring fan base as a starting point. Very many Traveller players refer to both of these recent (and ongoing) TV shows as very Traveller like.
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Old June 20th, 2001, 12:02 PM
RobertFisher RobertFisher is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tjoneslo:
You mean like Babylon 5 or Farscape...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You mean B5 isn't the official Traveller TV series?

(I wonder if Joe Strazinski ever played Traveller...)

...guess I'm going to have to try watching Farscape now...

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Old June 20th, 2001, 03:24 PM
Uncle Bob Uncle Bob is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MT++:
The rules I had discussed with MJD were straight forward
1. no cute kids
2. no cute robots
3. no *^&%*^ mechs
4. hard SF space opera
5. no today's lesson was...
6. overarcing story (ie. stories stand alone but together forma whole)
I have seem Traveller described a "space opera" several times recently, and this bothers me. I use "Space Opera" to describe stories set in the future with melodramatic, "operetic" themes . . . like the last season of classic Star Trek, Lost in Space, or Voage to the Bottom of the Sea.

This seems foreign to the spirit of Traveller as we played it. So, let me suggest some more stories to avoid:
1) No saving the Universe . . . except as a story arc that takes up at least 2 seasons.
2) No god-like superbeings (unless, and if, you can get John De Lancie to make a guest appearance. Once.)
3)No alternate universe stories. (OK, you get one, as a season (2 or 3) finale.)
4) Be real careful of psionics (this was acceptable in the 1960s, but in the last 30 yrs "Hard SF" has been avoiding it as it has been consistantly disproved). No main characters with psionics, two guest-stars per season, max.
4) No magic.
5) No evil twin stories. (OK, you get one cloning story, but not before the third season.)
6) do not let the story line be driven by self-indulgence, unless the character has been established as uniquely saelfish. Real people do not (consistantly) let even Sex control their lives (this will be a hard-sell in Hollywierd). A major character with a drug or alcohol probelem will Deal with it, or he will have to stop adventuring . . . and not for one episode (think Garibaldi's drinking or Franklin's stim problem, although both in one show was excessive.)
7) Love does not Conquor All.
8) Late 20th century morality on issues like sex, marriage, democracy, religion, duty, business ethics, slavery, torture, freedom of the individual, equality, work ethic, etc, are not Universal. Disagreeing with one or more does not make one Evil. Or even alien.
9) There is nothing particularly admirable about the Noble Savage. Pre-urban cultures are typically disease ridden, narrow minded and hostile to strangers before they meet the corruption of civilization. If something does not belong to a recognized member of their group (a nail, a computer, your life) it is free for the taking. Please remember that in the 19th Century more indians were killed in inter-tribal warfare than by the U.S. Army.
10) No character should go insane. If he/she does go insane, it will take at least a season to recover. (Eccentricity, even phobias are tolerable as long as they don't become the theme of an entire episode.)

[This message has been edited by Uncle Bob (edited 20 June 2001).]
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Old June 22nd, 2001, 04:57 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by DrSkull:
Maybe Courtney Soloman will do it.


Not soon, thankfully. He's been green-lighted by some fool to do a sequel! He'll be busy for awhile furthering the character assassination of D&D in the minds of the world...
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Old June 22nd, 2001, 05:07 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GypsyComet:
Not soon, thankfully. He's been green-lighted by some fool to do a sequel! He'll be busy for awhile furthering the character assassination of D&D in the minds of the world...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Iiiiiieeeeeeeeee! Please tell me it ain't so! My brain is still reeling from see that monstrosity of a movie. I felt like a Vogon was reading poety at me...I couldn't bear to attempt to stomach the 'cut scenes' (which my kids did watch and told me enough to realize I had made the correct choice...)

To even consider another abortion such as that is unspeakably cruel.


[This message has been edited by hunter (edited 22 June 2001).]
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Old June 23rd, 2001, 02:43 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally flumilliisted by hunter:
Iiiiiieeeeeeeeee! Please tell me it ain't so! My brain is still reeling....<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Please allow me one word (of value that is) and a long load of introductory leading text with no real meaning. All this and more just to say. Others said it would not matter. So with out further ado. Except this short aside. No maybe not.



mark ayers, philosopher serf, editor of n2s; the journal for an empty mind

[This message has been edited by n2s (edited 23 June 2001).]
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Old June 23rd, 2001, 12:05 PM
danejohnson danejohnson is offline
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Aside from the various "rules not to be broken" ideas, I've thought about the narrative structure for something like a good SF TV show.

Doing Traveller on TV has an obvious structure -- a band of roving adventurers in their starship plying the Spinward Main. But I think a much more interesting show could be made out of the lone character:

There is a single main character (probably a TAS member). He travels from world to world, meeting new people and falling into various situations. Each season, something major changes. For example, if he hooks up with a particular tramp freighter for a season, at the end of the season he parts company with them (for some reason), and in the next he maybe hooks up with a retired scout and travels with him for awhile.

In the third season maybe the Fifth Frontier War happens and the scout is recalled to active duty. Our Hero is maybe left on Regina during the seige, or something like that, spending a portion of the season planet-bound.

Psionics don't have to be downplayed at all if you don't want to -- doing so would hamper using the Droyne and Zhodani, IMHO. Instead, you notice that psionics in Imperial space seems to have only really surfaced and gotten organized *after* the solomani and vilani cultures met and began integrating themselves. Perhaps you could make a case that psionics is a result of some sort of (complex) genetic engineering by the Ancients. Only non-terran bloodlines are capable of it. Of course, this doesn't explain Aslan or K'Kree psionics, but they are pretty rare. Unless you decide that Grandfather is behind the whole "Six Races" thing and had something to do with each of them 300,000 years ago. Or more recently. Just because he's sitting in a pocket dimension doesn't mean he doesn't have agents running around in the rest of the universe doing *something*.

Granted, this isn't cannon, but it would perhaps make the idea more "palatable" to the current mainstream if you are really worried about it.

I think the Ancients would make an excellent over-arching "plot". Our Hero slowly learns more and more about the Ancients (encountering a ruin here, an artifact there, chirpers and droyne in a bar, etc.), culminating in he and his shipmates detecting an odd signal in the G-Band while skimming for fuel...

Once this larger plot is revealed, and assuming the story continues, there's always the Zhodani Core Expeditions to learn about, or even just the experience of spending part of a season in Zhodani, Vargr, or Aslan space. Or Hiver manipulation of Imperial politics. Or...

Well, you get the idea.

Q: How many vilani does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: One, who holds the bulb while the planet revolves around him.
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Old August 1st, 2001, 11:45 AM
Kevinyon Kevinyon is offline
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I suppose the problem in making a Traveller series or movie is how to make it fresh and not derivative of the existing stuff. A movie has to sell tickets and merchandise to be viable and unfortunately that means basically copying the existing franchises.
A series would be ideal, maybe set in the X-files model and by model I do not mean content. X-Files ran their mythology episodes where an overarcing conspiracy story was told about the supposed aliens and then there were the stand alone monster episodes mixed in.
Maybe a Traveller series with a big picture type story about the Imperium or whatever running in the background that gets advanced from time to time, coupled with stand alone "module" type adventures.
It would be very difficult to please all watchers, all our gaming styles are different and I would probably end up watching a Traveller movie or series with my own thoughts and concepts firmly in the forefront.
It could be a lot fun, though.

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Old August 1st, 2001, 02:47 PM
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Avery:
Sweetpea financed Imperium Games with the thought that by developing Traveller as a property and grooming it properly, it would become a movie after they did the D&D movie. The problem was that writing was rushed and incompletely co-ordinated with "me." Then, the economic down-turn in Asia forced the investors behind the project to stop putting money into it. Finally, they pulled the plug, and everything reverted to "me."

Maybe there will be a movie someday.



Marc; that's very interesting to hear. But are you sure you want a film based on your work that turns out like that D&D movie? I don't know what your movie experience is, but here are some thoughts based on my personal experience.

Years ago I used to fantasize about producing a Traveller film, but only if I could either find or write a good script that had some integrity behind it. Right now we're riding the peak of a sine wave that oscillates between market driven films and art driven films. One extreme being films like the infamous D&D movie, Will Smith's version of "The Wild Wild West", and more recently "A Knight's Tale," and "Planet of the Apes." The other extreme being any independent film shown in any film art house across the nation. Within the last ten years there've been very few, if any, films that have been produced that encompass portions of both.

These days (actually, ever since Star Wars) Hollywod shoots for the blockbuster, so with something like Traveller they'd pack it with gunplay and outrageous action sequences, witty language, and groin kick jokes, because that's what your average gamer expects, and according to the marketing data the average gamer is some acne potted teenage male who likes "in your face" kind of stuff. And since they're the ones who go out on dates (i.e. movies), they're the ones whose dollars you have to grab.

If you wanted a thoughtful story about, say, a band of adventurers seeking out "The Secrets of the Ancients", you might read the first draft, probably approve of it, only to have the thing reworked during filming, and reworked again in post (post-production; editing, sound, music, and so forth). Heck, they may even shoot a couple more scenes without your consent. But this is their perogative since you did sign away your rights on the Traveller property. Hence they can do anything they like with it.

Exploitation movies have always been made, but now it's all the trend, and is done so unashamably, and probably also out of ignorance by those who are the film industrie's masters. However, there was a time when films, even big action flicks, were created not just with technical craft (lighting, pyrotechnics and what have you) but were also created with a kind of artistic integrity that has not seen the light of day for some time. Just look at any of the classic Westerns, and you'll see rightaway what I'm talking about. That kind of spirit may return at some point, but even so I think today's audience has become so conditioned to bad movies that they wouldn't know what to do when they saw a good film; i.e. a film that didn't have a sexually suggestive joke or gun going off every five minutes, nor had some kind of rythmic pop soundtrack constantly playing in the background. Heck, they'd probably call it a bad movie, and would ask "Where're the sex jokes, pop sound track, and action?"

Myself, I think there's a hidden market that's more than ripe for a good movie, but they're not the ones who go to the movies anymore. They used to, but the movie experience has gotten so bad that you rarely see people casually taking in a movie anymore. Movies are now an event, and to grab the dollar at the event you have to create an event. And so the industry is now caught in this vicious circle in which it needs to spend the big cash on the big blockbusters, or they go belly up. And it doesn't matter if the film is good or not, it just needs to be hyped enough, and crafted enough, such that people will feel compelled to go see it.

Now, do you really want your game's fiction subjected to that venue?

Just some thoughts from someone who worked in the industry for nearly a decade.

[This message has been edited by Blue Ghost (edited 01 August 2001).]
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Old August 1st, 2001, 03:19 PM
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T. Foster T. Foster is offline
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Blue Ghost:
&lt;snip&gt; according to the marketing data the average gamer is some acne potted teenage male who likes "in your face" kind of stuff. And since they're the ones who go out on dates (i.e. movies) &lt;snip&gt;<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Heh, unless things have changed a LOT since my teenage years, the "average gamers" are most certainly NOT "the ones who go out on dates"!!

Sorry, I just couldn't resist that one. I actually agree with every single word of your post, and that's why the prospect of a Traveller Movie currently fills me with a mixture of dread and nausea.
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