From Fears to Simulations to Stories: How Garry’s Mod continues to aid in my writing…

Hiya-!! Whether you’re a returning visitor or a new one, I love seeing you here regardless!

Before today’s post, I just wanted to share again my latest release: Dreamer’s Wonderland, the second track of my in-progress album A Time for Memories-!

You can check out my brief announcement right here! Or you can play the song here too, maybe as a background thing for the rest of my post? but I digress~

If you like what you hear, I tremendously appreciate any support you can give-! Even just knowing you enjoyed listening to this as much as I did composing it would be splendid!

But that aside, onto what I wanted to tell you about today…

A cube in a desert…

If you were around in Japan in the early 90s ((*_*) which I wasn’t), you might remember a psychology show of sorts called それいけ!!ココロジー, or simply translated as Kokology in English!

I think outside these areas, the book series is a lot more popular—and for good reason!

The books feature a lot of interesting theories and tests based on the ideas of predecessors like the usual Freud and Jung—I think the most popular among them is the Cube test, which you can try a version of here if you’re interested~

Through the power of imagination, the authors claim that you can interpret and reveal a lot about your mind and soul, hence the name coming from 心 (kokoro).

But is any of this actually scientific?

Well… Not that I know of—Like a lot of Freud’s and Jung’s ideas, in all honesty, a lot of the assumptions aren’t particularly supported by science, but that kind of takes away from the fun of the experience, doesn’t it?

I wouldn’t say my own results taking these tests have ever been 100% accurate, but I’ve always found them fun and rather amusing—

I love the idea that our imaginations can really project a lot about who we are.

The tests in these books kinda run with that idea as a theme—and I think it’s a good way of at least putting into picture how different the things we imagine can be.

Personally, I love imagining vast, scenic vistas: perhaps still, perhaps on the move, but generally just something picturesque, like a city at night, or a frozen tundra, or quiet, rocky islands…

A lot of the scenes I imagined, like for the Cube test for example, went along with these themes—but in terms of reoccurring thoughts?

heh… I’ve definitely had a lot worse regular ones.


Preparing for the worst outcomes is generally helpful… but I think there’s a fine line between being prepared and being obsessed.

Early 2020 was a really surreal time—By January, I already knew of what would eventually become COVID-19 from Chinese news sources and other international reporting.

Did I think much of it? Not really—at least not at first, because the number of cases at the time seemed so low that it did feel like it could still be contained, no?

But some days after the first confirmed deaths, my paranoia began spiralling a bit- nowadays I can safely say that my fears back then were way more tame than what’s happened, but that aside (T . T)

My uncertainties at the time probably heightened my fears over other things—Living on an island country, you kinda expect better border security and what not, and yet it wasn’t long before we got our first case here too.

Some of this tension nationally and internationally mounted in… what I can only describe as an irrational fear of terrorist attacks…

It’s not even that these are common here, but hey-! Not like paranoia’s ever too sensible…

Some grim simulations…

I’ve talked about Garry’s Mod and the inspiration it is for me before, but for those who haven’t heard of it, it’s this sandbox physics game with… well, near-limitless possibilities!

As a part of everything I was feeling during this time, I booted up a lot of maps in this game as a way of simulating some of the stuff I feared…

But what I did a lot was… basically a massacre simulator.

Four guys with guns attack a crowded cruise ship—how would the civilians in this case survive?

I can just preface this by saying… they didn’t have too many options.

I’d always put myself as one of the civilians, and rarely did it ever end too well—sure, hiding on a cruise ship is pretty easy, but the attackers were always persistent, so surviving long enough until rescue came was… usually hopeless.

The map I ran these scenarios on is ttt_theship_v1, based on a different game that I honestly didn’t hear of until then… ♪( ´▽`)

I’ve put some screenshots from the ship above, and there’ll be more to come since I’ve done a lot in the map in my spare time~!

But it wasn’t that long before these simulations went from dealing with a fear to… something I could kinda work with.

At least when I came to accept how unrealistic my general anxieties were over this kind of an attack, I first wondered if I could turn this scenario into a fictional story…

Hey, pandemic lockdowns were almost certainly coming, so, might as well make the most of my time, yeah?

“For once, then…”

Everything was close to being presentable.

Through so many bad book reviews, advice articles, author blogs—I thought, this time, I was ready for something big but doable: a standalone thriller novel!

And my premise this time felt interesting too!

So for now, let’s call this work “Book 3”.

~a bit of an out-of-context moment~

The plot of Book 3 was basically what I was running in Garry’s Mod all those days: a cast of characters on a luxurious cruise ship find themselves embroiled in a terrorist conspiracy, with threats of an attack looming at any moment!

My idea was so good in my head—even now, I think it’s a bit insensitive, but still something we can make a plot out of, right?

I reused same map I used in the game for the setting, but with a lot of modifications, and funnily enough even the characters were based on some of the civilians that I often used for these simulations!

Unlike before, I had more going for me this time~

  • A specific premise with potential.
  • A narrative with potential for character-driven plotlines.
  • A visually-memorable setting with its own identity.
  • Lessons learned from prior mistakes!
  • A ton of new advice from experienced authors and hobbyists alike!
  • Insights on what not to do from bad examples!

But there’s one thing I didn’t think of at the time that’s missing here…


Last week, I went on this unorganised tangent on how helpful story themes have been in motivating me to write and push on with projects…

And looking back?

I really should’ve considered that when writing this book 3… (OvO)

I’d really love to but I genuinely cannot tell you what I thought the theme even was-!

Friendship? Nope I didn’t grow a fondness for that until this year~

Something profound? Eh, I was (and still probably am) too young to consider anything I write profound~

Did I write a good story in the end? Eh, not really either—

So what did I write?

Well… unlike before though, this time, I think I can say I did write a book!

It’s just that its edges are so small yet blatant that the entire book deserves at least a choking hazard label…

I hope I can see you back here on Thursday, where I can tell you all about the actual contents of this book, and more on the story of its writing-!

Honestly, reflecting on my past writing in a timeline like this has been pretty fun so far—through all the disorganisation, if you’ve made it here, then I can’t thank you enough for sticking through these ramblings~! ☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆

Take care, and more love to ‘ya!

(Heh—Felt like tossing in another one of my shots from Bataan! Anyone know what plant this is~?)

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