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Topics - Dusky Hues

So I went and saw Zootopia last night with my partners and my daughter. All four of us really enjoyed it!

I want to give you guys a review of the movie in case you're interested!

If you're not interested, don't read any more, because that's pretty much what the rest of this post is, haha.

Nothing I reveal in this review will surpass the details found in this trailer.

According to that trailer, the plot I surmised was that it was going to be about a small town cop moving to the big city, and trying to figure out why these animals seemed to be going savage, with the help of a smarmy fox that was not so willing.

Spoiler: I was pretty close... • show

The plot was actually about a small town bunny who dreamed of being a cop, and thanks to their 'mammal inclusion act', she was allowed to try out to become a member of ZPD (Zootopia Police Department). After a lot of hard work and determination, she gets there, only to be assigned to parking duty (also something I surmised from the trailer). Eventually, without proper authorization to the case, she starts down the 'rabbit hole' of this mystery of why animals seem to be going savage- with the help of a smarmy fox that was not so willing.

Put in a spoiler in case you want to go in blind.

Okay, so what was my review? It was gorgeous. I cried within ten minutes of the movie because their world creation was that beautiful.

The way the world is created is really unique, but my favorite aspects are the fact that there are individual, artificial biomes in each sector of the town. This was something that has been talked about and touched on in every trailer, sure, but they really only scratch the surface of how much thought and care went into creating the sets. Someone with a lot of love designed those city sectors, and I think everyone should take a moment to appreciate that.

The movie was very PG. The animals actually looked just like real animals standing on their hind legs. There was only one character that had what you would call 'revealingly low cut' clothing, and her chest was very flat. In fact, they were all rather androgynous, aside from posture, clothing and those animals that are dimorphic (such as male lions with manes, and rams with horns). Because they took special care in making the movie look and sound clean (there was one toilet joke in the whole movie), they were allowed to make the movie more serious and more intense when the plot started to thicken and still keep the PG rating. Violence was animal. As in, when a character did something violent was pretty wicked like the way it would look if an animal actually did those things. However, there was no blood and gore. You're safe if you don't want to see all of that.

I counted probably 6 different fur textures, not including wool, and there were four distinct different wool textures, including wooly animals besides sheep. On top of that, there were at least three different skin textures I saw. The number of animal species was unfortunately no where near as diverse as our actual planet, but it was still very diverse. At any given point where there were crowds, beside the species specific locations, there had to have been about 7 different animal species on the screen. Because they kept up with the diversity of the animals, the backgrounds never got boring. I had just as much fun watching what the background characters were doing as I did the main characters, and those of you that are FiM fans (I'm hoping all of you, haha), will likely get the same enjoyment!

The creators had to have been furry. They just had to have been. There were a few insinuations and jokes that I don't think all non-furry people would get (though they might, because they could double as animal jokes). The whole movie was very furry friendly while remaining family friendly. From the personalities of the species, to the way their world was built to accommodate the shapes and sizes of animals, furries will appreciate it.

The only complaints I really have about the movie are that in some scenes, there were graphical short cuts that kind of ruined it for me, and there weren't enough characters I could personally connect to that made me want more. My partners very much connected to Judy and Nick. It was like watching a movie about the two of them, haha. I'm really glad that they got as much enjoyment out of the movie as they did, but I personally, did not connect to any of the characters on that level. They all just felt like they didn't have much personality beyond the jokes that made them their characters on the screen. Now, we get to see Judy's background and what made her the person, er, bunny she is today, but the rest of the characters felt very flat to me. Even Nick felt flat at times.

If there was a sequel, yeah, I'd go see it, but I wouldn't be waiting at the door to see it like I was for this one. I rate it a 4/5, because it was just that gorgeous and the world creation was that stunning. I just can not ever see it as a 5/5 because I felt the design team spent more time on the world than the characters in it- even though they obviously spent lost of time on the world! (4/5 is still really high!)

Did you see it? Will you go see it? I want to know what you think!
I would like to begin by saying I'm very much enjoying the forum so far! I've only made a few posts, but I've been doing a lot of lurking! Yes, I'm confessing to lurking. You can learn a lot from just sitting and reading a forum and not making any responses!

What I've learned in my lurking adventures is that most of the roleplaying posts made in this forum consist of brief responses. I use the word 'brief' simply as an antonym of 'verbose', and would like to formally state that I am not using it as an insult or slander. There is absolutely nothing wrong with brief roleplaying responses if everyone involved is responding the same way, and the storyteller/gm/op of the thread is perfectly okay with those responses. I just want to connect with the roleplaying community here on LoE forums to see if I can find those who prefer more 'verbose' roleplaying.

The most common word you will find to describe this kind of roleplaying is Para-RP or just Para. Some roleplaying communities use mostly Verbose Response Roleplaying and don't even use a word to describe their style of roleplaying. Other roleplaying communities consist of younger people and people of whom the primary forum language is not their first language where posts are mostly Brief Response Roleplaying and a term like Para is needed as a shout-out to those that wish for this style of roleplay. Brief Response Roleplaying (henceforth referred to as BRR) is a term I made up (though it may already exist) just to help me write this post. It simply means the opposite of Para or Verbose Response Roleplaying (henceforth referred to as VRR).

Spoiler: Here is an example of BRR compared to VRR/Para • show

BRR: Dusky Hues looked out the window for her friend, but they weren't there. She went back to what she was doing.

VRR/Para: Dusky Hues sheepishly pushed herself against the cool window pane and peered into the dusty streets below. Her gaze swept from house to storefront in hopes of spying her dear friend. Of all the ponies below her, none resembled her friend in the slightest, and so she withdrew with a feeling of deep disappointment. 'When will my friend arrive?' She wondered as she returned to busying herself. Anything she could find to distract herself from the wait would do.

Neither form of roleplaying should be considered superior over the other. Brief Response Roleplaying can be used for direct and to-the-point responses that aren't 'muddied' by a large amount of descriptions and can be useful in allowing faster posting, while Verbose Response Roleplaying, or Para, can be used to add much deeper detail to the scene and move an elaborate plot further along. Both have their uses in the roleplaying community and in fact, many roleplaying sessions can benefit from both types of responses!

The most common thing I see when someone brings up the subject of Para or VRR, is that the person bringing it up is often looking down their nose at those that don't roleplay this way. By opening a discussion on the subject of Para, I only wish to help inform people who don't know what it is, and hopefully lure other people who prefer to roleplay this way into a game! Wouldn't that be fun! In no way do I wish to discourage BRR or any form of roleplaying that is currently going on. You folks are having fun, and I love that! I'd never want to stop anyone from something they enjoy just because I may enjoy doing the same thing a little differently! I also want to include that I too can enjoy BRR, when it suits my fancy; I just have a hard time not speaking (or writing) my mind in full detail. Honestly, it's why I lurk a lot! Haha.

If you are not familiar with the term Para or VRR, please keep reading!
(I'm going to try to lay out this information loosely because everyone who Para-RPs does so a little differently.)

Para is simply short for 'paragraph' or in the case of roleplaying 'paragraph roleplaying'.
It's a very old term used in roleplaying communities and its origin is honestly from a very negative point of view of BRR (Brief Response Roleplaying). In the beginning, roleplaying communities used this term to distinguish their own roleplaying from what they viewed as short, 'childish' posts, and that's very unfortunate. Their opinions of BRR were that it revealed the roleplayer to be uneducated or immature. That's far from the truth!

Outside of the roleplaying community, the term is not at all used in a negative light. In fact, sometimes,  actors in film or theatre are asked to write a 'Para' for the director to see if they have a firm grasp of the character's personality. It is usually 3-4 paragraphs of the character involved in a situation relevant to the film or play. I have no idea if this practice is still widely used, nor do I know how common it is any more.

The term Verbose Response Roleplaying (VRR) also has negative origins in the roleplaying communities around the net, much like the term Para. Sometimes, the communities that use the term VRR even look down on the use of the word Para. This too is very unfortunate. 'Verbose' simply means to use many words to describe something (though the word verbose can also have negative connotations, but I'm not going to get into the etymology of the word!).

What does Para look like?

Para roleplaying can be one paragraph or many, and the length of the paragraphs can vary widely. Most paragraphs consist of 3-5 sentences. In Para style roleplaying, sentences are usually more than just a standard 'noun and subject' sentence like "He ran". However, these types of sentences can be used to emphasize action in a paragraph and can be used strategically for great effect!

While in literature and writing, paragraphs are usually indented (often with the use of the 'tab' key), it's difficult to indent when typing on forums. This is usually because the 'tab' key is used to move the insertion cursor (that flashing line that appears when you type) to another typing field in the page, and hitting 'tab' won't indent at all. If someone complains that you're not indenting, they're being silly.

Para-RP is used to convey way more than just actions and dialogue. Responses are used to further move the deeper plot of the story and physically describe settings and scene objects the characters are interacting with. The main reason why Para posts are so much more elaborate and longer than BRR posts, is because the players are often describing the thoughts and feelings of a character, even if the other characters don't know how that character is feeling. We, as readers and players do want to know to better understand why a character is performing an action in a certain way, even if our characters don't actively know. Teal Turken says more about using out-of-character knowledge as your character, also called Metagaming, in his awesome posts here. All of that thread is very informative!

Para-RPs do not move quickly.

I have to emphasize this. It is perfectly okay for a person in a Para-RP to take a day to respond to the thread. That person has to read what the other players have written, think in detail how they are going to respond, and then sit down to write that response. This is why corresponding OOC threads are especially important to Para-RPs. A player can announce in the OOC thread that they are working on their post to keep other people informed.

Para-RPs should also have their players post in 'rounds'. If there are five people in the RP, each person must make a post to end the round. They don't have to post in any order in each round, but all players should let each other post something before posting again- even if that 'something' is only one, short paragraph. Rounds don't have to be set in stone, and sometimes people can be skipped if the scene gets deeply involved with only a small number of the group. Firm rules can be posted in the OOC thread, if needed, and the GM/OP can dictate if skipping someone is appropriate in certain cases.

Take heart, dear friends! Para should never be taxing or overwhelming! All roleplaying is just a game, and should never be anything more than fun! If you're not having fun roleplaying this way, feel free to opt out! I myself have many mental and emotional health problems and sometimes find large blocks of text overwhelming to both read and write on my bad days. Even the most eloquent writers have these problems! If you feel like you're going to struggle through the whole RP, don't enter it. There is no reason for you to stress yourself out. No one is going to blame you or insult you for it, and if they do, the moderators of the forum will enforce the rules against these actions and do what is necessary with them.

What are the main rules of Para-RP?

The truth is, there shouldn't be any 'rules' that separate Para/VRR from BRR, but if there was one, it would be this:

Every response is in the form of at least one paragraph. This means, no one sentence responses.

Some Para-RPs may have guidelines in each individual game that define their posting structure even more. Some of those guidelines can be things like: Paragraphs can't be less than 3 sentences; Post should be more than one paragraph long; etc.

Some of these rules can get out of hand, in my opinion, but honestly, if you don't agree with a rule, just avoid the thread completely! This is why I want to emphasize, again, that Para should be fun, not taxing! You should take pride in your writing!

I think I covered all the main bases, so here are some tips and suggestions for Para:

  • Begin your post by adding to what the previous person wrote. This doesn't mean you should rewrite what they wrote, but start writing how your character feels about what happened in the previous post or how they are reacting to what that last character did. If the last person described their character entering the room, you could begin your own post by describing whether or not your character noticed them, and their first impressions of the character entering the room.

  • Instead of just writing that your character performed an action, describe how it looks. This is a great way to flesh out an action and set atmosphere to actions your character is preforming. Here's an example: Instead of writing "Glamor Hoof levitated the tea cup to take a sip." you could write, "Glamor Hoof slowly closed his eyes, and a gentle aura of silvery-blue emanated from his horn as the tea cup slowly rose to his mouth."

  • Adjectives and Adverbs! Adjectives and adverbs are wonderful! Adjectives are words used to describe a subject (a noun), while adverbs are used to define verbs, clauses, and even other adjectives and adverbs (in case you didn't know)! Adding adjectives and adverbs can really help to describe and emphasize a situation, but try not to go overboard! In Para, two adjectives for one noun are very common, and it is also common for nearly every noun in a sentence to have at least one adjective. Here's an example: Instead of writing "Silver Blossom tossed her head to move her hair away from her face and began speaking to her assistant." you could write, "Silver Blossom tossed her head to move her long, flowing hair away from her soft, round face and began gently speaking to her assistant." In this example, the words 'long,' 'flowing,' 'soft,' and 'round,' are adjectives that are describing things in more detail (in this case, Silver Blossom's hair and face), and the word 'gently' is an adverb that is describing how she began speaking to her assistant.

  • Think deeply about how your character feels and describe it in their actions. If your character is angry when they attack, write that your character is gritting their teeth, lowering their head, and narrowing their eyes when they charge forward. If your character is super happy, describe them grinning from ear to ear and beaming with glee when they speak! If your character is very upset when they crawl in bed, write that your character crawls into bed haphazardly, forgetting to remove their shoes or robe, or instead of writing that they are just crawling into bed, describe them flinging themselves on top of their blankets and pillows with their whole body falling limp and ragged like a stuffed doll. Other members of the Para want to be able to see how the character is feeling by their actions through your writing. We can't read your mind (though it might be nice, huh?), so give us all the detail we need! Trust me, we really do want to know!

  • If you aren't sure you wrote enough, your probably didn't. This tip isn't mean to patronize anyone. I, personally, am a very anxious and worrisome person, so I often feel this way, but to be perfectly honest, if you do question if you've described how your character feels in enough detail, you may not have. If you can read what you wrote and imagine yourself as another person that doesn't know how your character is feeling or what they are doing doing, and you simply don't fully understand what you've written, add more! Don't be afraid of reiterating what you already said.

  • [I]If you're not sure what a word means, look it up![/i] I just used the word 'reiterating'. Do you know what it means? Never be afraid to look up a word you're not familiar with. You're not 'dumb' or 'uneducated'. Not everyone knows everything. In fact, I looked up two words while I was typing this, because, even though I knew the meaning, I had to make sure I was using it properly! Also, using a word that you don't know the meaning of can confuse those who read it, so try to refrain from it.

  • Never be afraid to type your responses into a writing program. Writing programs like Microsoft Word or Open Office Writer (a free program) that check for spelling and grammar mistakes are very useful for spying things you miss. Also if you type in the program, as you write, you can see your mistakes as they happen to better learn as they happen. Just make sure to keep your eye out for misused words like 'there, their, and they're', as writing programs often miss these (there's also a great guide to english grammar here)! Making sure you have good spelling and grammar in Para is very important, even more so than BRR, because you are conveying a large amount of information at once. If you're afraid your inability to write with strong spelling and grammar will inhibit you from maintaining a good Para, please opt out. You should never stress yourself or feel like you're struggling to write. On the other hand, if you feel like Para will greatly improve your spelling and grammar, please join! You don't have to have perfect spelling and grammar to join a Para, and a large part of Para-RP is strengthening your writing skills while having fun!

Let me take a moment to point out what I just said in that last tip:

"A large part of Para-RP is strengthening your writing skills while having fun."

It's very, very true. The more you roleplay in the Para and VRR style, the stronger your writing will become. In time, you'll be able to maintain hardy posts and greatly expand your vocabulary!

To conclude, I deeply hope this was informative! If anything else can be added, feel free to do so!

Post Merge

Since no one else has responded to this thread yet, I'm going to go ahead and add:

A very simplified way of explaining Para is that everyone involved is basically writing a big story together. Every response furthers the plot and continues to describe and set the scene as well as add individual character thoughts, actions, and dialogue.

Aaaaah! I was so scatterbrained when I wrote this, I hope it's even legible!  DD:
I was wondering what the hype for Pokemon Go was here on the forums and was curious as to how many users have played or are still playing Niantic Lab's other AR game, Ingress.

I, personally, have been watching the score on the game ever since the April Fools joke Google Maps created, and I used to play Ingress as an Enlightened member. I met and miss a lot of my Ingress friends, but I simply can't return to the game for personal reasons. A lot happened in my home town with some Resistance members that essentially made the game unfun and even unsafe to play, and I desperately hope the same doesn't happen with Pokemon Go. I've even got my daughter super hyped about the game! So ready for a release date!!!
I just learned about the wonderful endeavor that is Legends of Equestria, and I'm very excited! I hope to become part of the ever growing community of pony fans and gamers alike!

A little about myself, if I may: I'm a digital illustrator and life long MLP fan. I've been around since the original series and though my pony collection has dwindled over the years, I've supplemented it with the new generation which I humbly admire. For that matter, I've been a fan of Lauren Faust for a very long time too. I've always appreciated her endeavor to make more enjoyable children's shows and movies, as well as her unique animation and illustration styles, so combining her and ponies really made a mark on my interest. I excitedly awaited the first episodes with pure nostalgic glee, and even though the show was not what I expected, I am more than thrilled at it's outcome and followed it ever since!

Honestly, I've been very reluctant to join large MLP fan sites and forums because I've had very difficult experiences with people who term themselves 'bronies', but in the spirit that has made MLP:FiM the wonderful show that it is, I've decided to give it the good, college try to meet more fans of the series, in hopes that not all of them are bad apples.

I hope that I can dust off my old portfolio and eventually apply as a concept artist, and 3D modeler and animator, but for now, I'm just going to cozy up to the lot of you and try to make friends here. I also hope that I can eventually offer free artwork in the art thread, but I haven't done any work for free in a very long time, so I'll have to figure out how to go about it.

If you're interested in the yellow pony in my avatar and signature (provided they are displaying properly!), those are some of my first attempts at vectoring in the MLP:FiM style from a few years ago, as well as my OC pony, Dusky Hues. Dusky is a very gentle soul who speaks softly but assuredly in everything she says. Her super special talent is the ability to see beauty in all things, which is reflected in her cutie mark and her own, personal artistic ability. I could be persuaded to pursue some role-playing as well! It might be good for my health! Hehe.