22nd Apr 2023, 3:56 PM

Small Announcement / Placeholder

Small Announcement / Placeholder
I was planning on cooking up some kind of filler material so it wasn't just Grandad On Another Rant but my first idea would've taken too long and my second idea, when I thought about it, got a little implicitly spoilery so I'm just hitting you with the text. Good news: with any luck this'll be the last time I have to put in a break like this, as I am moving out of my current situation and into one that's both less oppressive and less costly.

(Also seeing a psychiatrist and waiting on a consultation with a surgeon about whatever the hell's going on in my abdomen, the point is things are moving)

I'm going to have to briefly disappear while the computer's in transit and the internet thing is getting worked out, which could be soon or early next month--I don't know exactly, as there's a lot of other things going on in the background--I just know I'm getting out. I'd like to get out ASAP, but gas is expensive, it's the end of the month and there's a mold situation to deal with, sooo

This is hopefully the last call--the last rattling of the cup, my last outstretched hand, my last round of shouting about Paypal and Venmo. If you can spare the help, I appreciate it, if not, no big. I'll live, I'll make it, shit'll be alright. Things are working out. Slowly, but they're getting there. Very, very fucking slowly, but they're getting there.

Help me out via Paypal
Or Venmo
Or Kofi

I'm also not showing up totally empty handed, I guess? I don't know if this qualifies as appropriate filler or not but: for years now I've been tinkering with several YouTube accounts, fiddling with stuff like AI voices and trying to figure out a way to make some side money. I always come up with my own ideas and write my own scripts, but robots have better vocal delivery than me IRL so I've just been using AI voice tech as a sort of social prosthetic. A year ago, AI voices weren't great, and I was pretty bad at making videos, and while I learned a lot nothing really came of it.

So then like three days ago I started pumping out some mostly jokey Mario shorts (both for science and as a way to vent), one of them hit 7k views and I got like 70+ subscribers off of it (the number is still going up), and while I normally wouldn't be like "hey look at my Mario shitposts" I did, to reiterate, actually write it all myself so if you miss the days of Morgenstern doing bizarre Mario-based projects, I uhhh I got somethin for ya I guess

I don't think the tastes are gonna line up because it's a very different thing from MDA, but the more I thought about it the more I figured it was weird to just NOT mention it here when I'm damn sure planning to use it to advertise MDA later (assuming I can make number even bigger). I also left my terrible travel videos from last year on the channel, in case you want to compare and contrast the worksmanship like some kind of weirdo (the 2022 travel videos are not good, I made them to try and play the algorithm and it did not work don't actually watch those just stick to the Mario stuff) (or ignore all of it as it's pretty cringe)

(jesus christ why am I posting this)

Oh yeah also Imgur is going to start shutting off old images soon, as of May 15 any "unused" or "inactive" images not tied to an account may suddenly stop working. You should be aware of this for your own shit but also there's a good chance some random images on the BiM or MDA layout are hosted on Imgur for some reason, so keep an eye out after the 15th and let me know if you spot anything broken. One more time for the people in the back

Help me out via Paypal
Or Venmo
Or Kofi

Thanks for everything, and thank you for your patience, I know I'm a lot to go through but I'm trying to be worth it

small edit: oh and if you haven't read Blood is Mine, the series that leads into MDA, that's also a thing

Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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22nd Apr 2023, 4:17 PM
I've also been trying to poke around TikTok and other places, but I'm old and kids are scary
22nd Apr 2023, 4:26 PM
yeah I feel that
24th Apr 2023, 1:28 AM
I watched 2 of the Mario videos and subscribed to your channel hope that helps with the algorithm and money from YT situations oh also just thougth I would say it here I find it absolutely hilarious Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo were drunk thru out the entire filming of Super Mario Bros. Movie from the 90s I only found that out recently but it adds up to why I find that thing so fucking hilarious to rewatch even to this day
22nd Apr 2023, 4:29 PM
Cyrene DuVent
I’m glad that things are looking up!!
23rd Apr 2023, 12:56 PM
Maximally so.
22nd Apr 2023, 5:27 PM
Very happy you are able to move and get things you need done to help yourself, i hope everything goes well for you!
22nd Apr 2023, 7:02 PM
Golden Dragon Girl
Yay for progress! I will probably check out the Mario shitposts. I love Mario shitposts XD

Best luck that things go as smoothly as they can from here.
22nd Apr 2023, 7:31 PM
I'm glad that things are improving for you :)
I'll check out the yt channel, and also I'm happy that Newgrounds is getting some love too lol.
23rd Apr 2023, 10:32 AM
Glad to hear things are finally looking up for you! Takes ironclad guts to fight your past, present and own psyche. Hope yours hold up until they can be put back where they should be.
23rd Apr 2023, 5:22 PM
Be safe, be happy, be well! I'm glad the situation is looking up for you!
24th Apr 2023, 11:53 AM
+1 to things getting better. : )
25th Apr 2023, 11:12 AM
21st May 2023, 11:22 AM
26th Apr 2023, 3:21 AM
i don't have much but BiM got me trought some hard spot and yet is one of my favorite read, also MDA is great, and is great to read some good updates from you... ...i got something going for ya on your PP

21st May 2023, 11:22 AM
I finally got into the right headspace to watch the Unhinged Mario videos, and this one was my favorite. (https://youtu.be/kjtuIpKkqZs) I hope that this is successful, I’d love to see more content like this and I’d love for it to be profitable enough to help support the rest of Morgenstern’s works like MDA and Crown Cosmic!
And I hope that your situation continues to improve, Morgenstern. It sounds like things are on an upwards trend, and I hope that they stay on that upwards path.
27th May 2023, 1:22 PM
Long time reader, first time poster. Really glad to hear things are looking up for you! Just keep working on it until you're comfortable! I'm sure everyone here understands and wants you to be the best you before you get back to posting all the incredible stuff you do!
1st Jun 2023, 8:08 AM
I have finally mustered the courage to express my concern with the whole "Choir" plot tool.
A bit late, I know. Still, I would feel much worse if I would not warn you, Matthew, of the perils of the suspence of rules not set.

In BiM the rules of reader interaction with the world were simple and comprehensive: Action input -> Vote+corrections -> Action output. If another action is on the way to the main one, it will be also taken. That's it.
In MDA the fourth wall crumbles, rules expand out of proportion, characters are aware, exploits are to be discovered. Every rule discovered opens new possibilities or action, as well as speculation. Every exploit needs rule adjustment, every hole needs patching. Just like a video game.

Getting to the point: With this system the amount of things to account for would grow expanentially and pass the breaking point, at which BiM ended, in no time.
Setting the ground rules with an excessive amount of ifs could lead to them creating plot holes retroactively. Setting them too soon could damage the suspence or diminish the true power scale you want the elusive "Choir" entity to have.
Progression gates, which I assume the Talisman to be the first of, could be a solution to the power curve.

I am no writer myself, but I've seen writers fail to establish ground rules in time, breaking their world for good. I don't want to see you fail.

I have no wisdom for you, just highlighting that uncertainty is not only a tool, but a factor that must not be neglected.

You probably know all that already, just making sure.

I hope this could be of any help, sincerely yours - Sulferon "Loco" Kyle.
1st Jun 2023, 12:41 PM
I think that, by *not* explaining the rules, or explaining them as little as possible for things to keep moving rather, MM retains the freedom to adjust anything neccessary on the fly, without us as the readers being any the wiser. Do you think that creating a talisman, whatever that will end up actually doing, was planned from the start? It's possible, but I doubt it.

If any plot holes or disrespectancies arise, hey, it's all magic dealing with extradimesional hostile memetic entities anyway, so literally anything can happen and be fairly easily explained away by the movements of some being we aren't yet aware of. Of course, throwing random nonsequiteur bullsh*t at the readers should obviously be limited, but everything is in service to the thread of narrative anyway.

Rather than clamping the rules down as tightly as possible, it seems to me like keeping as much freedom as possible is a better route in the long run. On the other hand, like we saw with BiM, things can run out of control and get needlessly complex, but with careful management behind the scenes to make sure subplots keep moving toward resolution and not too many things are introduced at once, it can work quite well.
1st Jun 2023, 12:47 PM
We've already seen this principle at work somewhat, for example when we tried to materialize a minigun or somesuch for Plaire in the Alcazar. Plaire was blocked, and iirc complained of a horrible headache from trying. So we didn't do that again. I don't think we've ever gotten a firm explanation for why, but there are so many things even that we know about already that could have affected that experiment that we just accepted that it wouldn't work.
1st Jun 2023, 2:43 PM
I'm just miserably failing to convey that certainty is less volatile. And "it's all magic" or "something incomprehensible" are, by themselves, not good enough excuses for things to simply be.
1st Jun 2023, 3:10 PM
Fair enough. Having concrete rules in place can work very well in some situations, I'm just not sure that it's the best approach here. But hey, I could be totally wrong. Constructive critisicm from different viewpoints is good. :)

And yes, random magic stuff is a somewhat tired excuse, but it's an extremely convenient one that very much fits the tone of the rest of the work, and can be spun in numerous directions. A well-written excuse can be more entertaining than a boring plot in which every shot fired has its Chekov's Gun, if you'll pardon the tortured metaphor. Stuff happens, some of which is pre-planned, some of which isn't, but from the readers' viewpoint it's often impossible to tell which is which.
2nd Jun 2023, 8:17 PM
I would argue that a firm set of rules serves the narrative and keeps it moving in a coherent and adequately controlled direction. A balance has to be struck between flexibility and worldbuilding to keep things from devolving into a game of calvinball where it's difficult, if not impossible, to predict the outcome of any action suggested by the choir. A fictional world like this, which contains so many disparate elements like ghosts, aliens, clones, cyborgs and dream dimensions to name just a few, really needs well-established rules to keep it on track.

I'm pretty sure that this story has enough of those kinds of rules operating under the hood already, even if we the readers aren't aware of them all yet. The author was very careful to explain how certain video games grant dreamworld powers through proprioceptive imagery on page 96, how phantons work on page 197 and had Plaire read a book about how haunted houses work. Plaire, the character through whose eyes we see the story, is an ordinary person discovering bit by bit how magic works. She's like a D&D character with zero points in spellcraft or arcana wandering through a wizard's castle: she's seeing a lot of things happen the rules for which she doesn't yet understand but that doesn't mean firm rules for the phenomena don't exist. I think I remember the author saying on the discord page that we're missing out on a lot of game mechanics by not having access to the alcazar's status screen yet, so it's possible that even the crafting of the talisman was something preexisting that the choir activated by saying just the right words by chance. Therefore, I have confidence that this story is not going to devolve into total randomness or unpredictability to the point where it creates plot holes and such.
3rd Jun 2023, 2:29 AM
I agree with the other replies above, part of the mystery found here is in the exploration of the rules. One of the big themes in this work is that Player (and the Choir along with her) have been dropped in the deep end of magic and are struggling to swim further despite everyone telling them that they’re in way over their heads. We definitely need those strict rules confining our choices, behind the scenes if nothing else, but finding those boundaries and feeling out what is and isn’t possible is seemingly the entire point of the Choir’s newfound abilities. If we (and thus Plaire by extension) knew the rules of Choirs, then Plaire would practically already be a witch and thus detract from that whole theme of exploring the boundaries of what’s possible. As long as there are those rules for us to find, set rules that we cannot break, then no plot holes will occur whether we know those rules or not. The system itself is not affected by being hidden, only our interactions with that system are. That said, it’s always a good idea to keep such systems internally consistent and a reminder to make sure that’s the case can be helpful.

As a side note, I think this sort of discovery of hidden rules is part of the reason why the big reveal of Vainglory’s power on the last page is so brilliant. Not only does it reset the status quo of the dungeon (and knock everyone’s self-confidence down a peg when we were all ready and raring to fight Vainglory asap) but it also shows us a glimpse of what is possible later on. We have not yet fully delved what is possible with the Choirs power, if Vainglory is still only left with the dregs remaining afterwards. What she is doing is what is possible once we know the rules of the Alacazar and the Choir; finding out how to do that ourselves is presumably much more of a challenge than actually doing it.
3rd Jun 2023, 3:42 PM
Soooo, Plaire and the Choir are kind of like a...confused...mage?
3rd Jun 2023, 9:36 PM
Precisely so. :)
4th Jun 2023, 1:29 AM
Lmao, I suppose they are.