Revising a setting

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Revising a setting

Post by scooter »

So. I'm doing this kind of stupid thing. Right now, I'm literally writing up a setting to be used for a baseball video game, which will eventually become a story.

I'll start from the beginning.

I have always liked, and wanted, to have a country of my own devising. Part of this is from an interest in politics: I realize that a lot of things I stand for as policies have no chance in actually being implemented - not necessarily because they are bad ideas, but because people in general have a problem accepting new things. As a result, a lot of politics consists of me carefully determining what would be best for a society and then watching that society repeatedly walk into the same lamppost over and over again, which is frustrating. So that energy has to go somewhere. I did develop my own micronation, Port Colice, with a couple of friends back in the day, which was fun...and I played in a game called ImagiNations for a while in which I developed the Republic of Davenport on a fictional world. But then I started coming up with ideas for someplace set in the "real" world, and that became Lyonesse. You might recognize that name; Lyonesse is the fictional island that Sir Tristram came from in Arthurian legends.

I do like living in Howard County and see it as a sort of "island" amidst the rest of the country, if not state, and I really like islands and beaches (who doesn't?) and very small nations...so I began to imagine what would happen if Howard County was literally just duplicated and plopped down in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (with all the serial numbers filed off). That gave me my geography. From there, I took a number of elements that I knew I wanted to have in my ideal society, used them as milestones to work towards, and developed an entire "conculture" -- history, demographics, the whole lot. Now I have a setting, but no story. (With some exceptions. "On This Island" is obviously set in Lyonesse, but didn't really go anywhere...and my other story takes place in an alternate world which could contain Lyonesse or not.)

What I do have is Out of the Park Baseball, a game where you can literally plug in all these fiddly little elements, create a new country, and stage a baseball league on it - and of course this is my country and they do play baseball. I also like writing about baseball, so that gives me prompts for a new story. One that admittedly most others won't have any interest in, but there you go.

But first, because again, this is me, I'm obsessively fiddling with the backstory and setting, partly because OCD and partly because I do perversely get enjoyment out of such things. I started realizing yesterday that if you use Howard County's area and population, you get a very high population density...which led me to researching population densities of countries around the world to see which ones were high and why...which led to adding some more and smaller towns, playing with the population and location of the existing ones...and now that I have the smaller towns, they need to have some kind of distinguishing thing about them - do they have a particular store in town, a center square, a special town festival every year, argh argh arrrrrrgh, make my brain stop.

So to start, (because these are my forums, nyah) I'm going to post some things here I've written about Lyonesse - basically the story bible. (And believe me, I have come up with a whole bunch of obsessively detailed random cruft about this setting!) And who knows, maybe I can also spur some creativity in others...I think it would be great if people got inspired and wrote their own stories in this setting, too. Then I'm (eventually) going to start the league and start writing stories about it. Who knows, maybe it will turn into Bull Durham. (Probably not.)
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Re: Revising a setting

Post by WolfofWords »

I love this stuff. It's what I've been doing with my Eloria setting and now my unnamed Western Fantasy setting. It's so fun to just create all these little things as part of the world.
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Re: Revising a setting

Post by scooter »

I wrote this the first time I was going to start the baseball league, so it has to do with sports, but it starts with some of the history...

Lyonesse [LEE-uh-NESS] is a small island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean, about 390 km (240 miles) southeast of Cape Hatteras, its closest land neighbor. Its total land area is about 650 km2 (250 square miles); it is relatively low-lying, with some hills and cliffs in the westernmost portions, and enjoys a mild, subtropical climate (though most structures are reinforced against hurricane damage to some degree, by necessity). Roughly 285,000 people live in Lyonesse; about forty percent are in the capital and main city of Quichotte [key-SHOT], on the island's eastern shore. There are three provinces: Atlantia, Columbia, and Dalinetopia, plus the outlying and sparsely populated island of Sabledor, which is a distinct "District".

English is the most commonly spoken language. French, Dutch, and Caribbean Spanish are also spoken in some communities, and a pidgin has developed combining many of these languages in a unique style. Lyonesse's eclectic history provides natives with a distinct accent, regardless of their primary language -- as an example, English-speaking natives describe themselves as "Lyonessians", pronounced [lih-NEH-sh'nz]. The population's racial makeup is similar to some eastern U.S. states, with a slightly higher degree of multiracial residents. The country's currency, the Lyonessian ducat, is divided into ten piasters; it trades at roughly four ducats to the U.S. dollar.

The island has been a place of second chances since its very late discovery just before the 18th Century, after a prior century of being erroneously listed on maps anywhere from Africa to the icy north of "Hyperborea". It is thought that the first permanent settlers were French mutineers who settled at what is now Quichotte in 1707, naming the site after their ship. Over the next several decades, Dutch settlers bound for St. Maarten but lost in a squall instead found themselves here, as did royalist Englishmen seeking to escape the aftermath of the Cromwell Protectorate, and African slaves who commandeered a vessel to freedom. Contemporary tales place a "pirates' cove" on the south of the island in the 1700s as well. Fortunately, the island provided ample opportunities for growing seasons and enough room for communities to grow without serious conflict. England, France, the Netherlands, and the United States all claimed the island at various times during the 18th and 19th Centuries, but by 1935, Lyonesse had become an independent and diverse nation.

Baseball was well-established in the 20th Century on Lyonesse, with a number of small amateur and semi-pro leagues active; the Washington Senators once considered locating a minor league franchise in Quichotte in the early 20th Century. However, the chance to be drawn into the American baseball sphere ended in the 1940s. Nominally on the side of the Allies in World War I, Lyonesse chose neutrality in 1941 and was invaded and occupied by the Americans, causing serious national resentment towards all things American for decades. Post-war, Lyonesse drew from its mixed heritage and shrewd governance and navigated between the Cold War superpowers with delicacy. The result was an independent political course, but slowed growth, and some cultural isolation - including in sports.

Things began to look up with a shocking defeat of the United States in soccer in 1981, leading to a final game with Honduras for the last place in the 1982 World Cup - which Lyonesse lost in penalties. But the late 90s and the end of the Cold War brought an economic boom to the island, led mainly by technology development. Prudent investment and managed growth, both in economy and population, put Lyonesse on a successful course heading into the 21st Century.

In 2018, Lyonesse President Stephen Crowley and Sports Minister Richard Deventer announced long-delayed plans for a U.S.-style independent baseball league for the country. The National Baseball Stadium in Quichotte would be renovated and serve as the home of the two Quichotte-based teams, while four new minor-league style parks would house the other planned franchises. A junior league, competing in the same spaces, will provide development and competition for the reserve squads. While interested investor/owners from all over the world declared interest, subsidies from the Republic's government would allow the new league to compete for foreign talent. At the same time, citizenship rules would be in place to insure that Lyonessians would be prioritized.

Welcome to Lyonesse in 2020, and the start of the Lyonesse Baseball Federation!
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Re: Revising a setting

Post by scooter »

And yes, as of last night I now have a wiki set up where I am putting information on this setting, because I have no life whatsoever.

(If you register there, you can edit it, too.)
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Re: Revising a setting

Post by scooter »

Because we were stuck inside yesterday, I'd planned that day to be completely antisocial and just stick my ass in front of the screen and play OOTP, which I did, finally getting this league going.

The reason this took a while is again because of my OCD. I did a draft for the six-team league and picked every player myself, then realized that the game had given them all the same salary, so I went over and differentiated that. Right now, it's still January 2020 in the game world and I'm hiring coaches and free agents. This is suggesting storylines as well - my first choice for a general manager unexpectedly signed with a rival team; one pitcher broke off negotiations in a fit of pique - literally, "I'm not in the right mood to continue these discussions," - and signed with the Cardinals. I actually looked into hiring Billy Beane for my front office; that's the guy Brad Pitt plays in Moneyball, if you remember, and yes, he was available (but too expensive). So this is definitely having the right effect...
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Re: Revising a setting

Post by scooter »

More storylines: I discovered a phenom that was playing in the Spanish League. (In other news, Spain has a baseball league.) In fact, this kid exists in real life, and does play in the Spanish League in real life (Division de Honor de Béisbol); I found some videos of him on YouTube...he seems to have played college ball at Ohio State, so he ain't bad, though this simulation seems to have gifted him with extremely nice stats to find on top of that. He's 18 years old, plays right field, and can basically hit anything you throw at him. I'd just signed a major league veteran Canadian catcher as my starter and in sort of a "let's see if this works" move, I offered a one-up trade. The general manager at Barcelona gave a "yeah, sure" reaction, and my assistant GM (the former president of the Tampa Bay Rays; again, Billy Beane asked for too much money) jumped up and down and happydanced - a combination of responses which almost never happens in this game. I took a closer look later: I'd offered basically the one player on my team they would have accepted.

So Russell Martin was on the Yankees in 2019; in January of 2020 he ended up in Lyonesse and by February he was in Barcelona. Meanwhile, my scout is saying this kid could be ready to step into the starting job now, though I will be playing him on my reserve squad for a year regardless. And I just traded off my malcontent right fielder as a result for some desperately needed pitching.

Also, at the urging of one of my players, I've set up a team charity to help the underprivileged in the capital city. And it was the Japanese pitcher, too. Literally, there was a story he gave like, "When I was growing up rough in Tokyo..." So now the fans are happy with me and one of my better pitchers likes me and wants to sign a long-term deal. :yes: I am out a bit of money, though...
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Re: Revising a setting

Post by scooter »

I think this is the rudest refusal I've ever received from a player in this game.

Image
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Re: Revising a setting

Post by WolfofWords »

Pretty brutal.
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Re: Revising a setting

Post by scooter »

He signed with Pittsburgh the next day, so I don't see what he's being so smug about.
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