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Everything posted by skbl17

  1. 12:41 PM local time The rain's really coming down. As the raindrops continued to strike the window, all Compass Meridian could think about was the way weather worked in Port Impala. He recalls reading about a theory - "climatological sovereignty" - in which every individual country can decide how weather should work: naturally, or artificially? Port Impala was a mix of both: there were weather schedules, but tropical thundershowers were also a fact of life, especially during the summer months. This storm was just a bit too violent to be an artificial work, so it was probably just one of those natural thunderstorms. Okay, enough about the weather, there's nothing I can do about it. I wonder what's on TV? Finding a small remote control on one of the nightstands, Compass picked it up with his magic before using it to turn the TV set on. After a brief burst of static on the screen, the TV complied. Flicking through the channels, he didn't seem to find anything of interest. "Let's see...hoofball, debate, soap opera, another soap opera, commercial about some big event, drama, dra-WAIT!" Not wasting another second, Compass flipped the TV back to the channel that had the commercial. Would it be something big? Something new? Something exciting? '...and so, for the low ticket price of =L= 9.95, you can come and see all kinds of never-before-seen feats of acrobatics! Not just your regular leaps or spins, but all kinds of crazy tricks! If you get hungry, there will also be food! Come to the Seabreeze Arena this Sunday for Cirque du Monde! It will be an event you'll never forget!' Tomorrow! First weekend in Port Impala and something exciting is already happening! Of course, it wasn't free, so Compass probably wouldn't make it. He was practically broke enough as is, and he wouldn't be able to get much money during the semester. The little money he had was "for emergencies only", and wasn't to be overtly spent on "frivolous stuff". Darn.
  2. After what seemed like an eternity, the bus finally arrived at the exchange students' destination: the University of Port Impala's Exchange Hall. While it's usually important to be careful with luggage, the students - and indeed, some of the supervising staff - were anything but careful; they just wanted to get out of the heat and humidity. Every student checked in at the hall's lobby, a large, open area with connections to the surrounding halls leading to the study areas, lounges, and the dorm rooms themselves. Compass unlocked the door to his room, set down his luggage, and took in the surroundings. There were two beds, but one of them would be unoccupied - his to-be-roommate pulled out of the exchange program at the last minute. In the back was a door leading to the restroom, shared with the dorm room next door. There was a desk with a chair and a lamp, two wardrobes, a mirror, a sink, a large window, and two nightstands, also with lamps on them. It seemed more like a hotel room than a dorm room. There was also a television. It didn't seem as large as the seaport monitors, maybe 24 inches? Bulky too. Looking out the window, Compass noticed that there was a building thunderstorm to the northeast. He couldn't use his magic to determine how fast an object was moving, but it didn't take magic to know that it wouldn't be long before it hit the city. It would probably be cooler after it passes, so maybe he could get some exploring done later...if time allows.
  3. Going to bed; it's 5:03 AM where I am.
  4. Going through immigration wasn't too difficult. The immigration officials checking passports and identification were quick, if a bit tired. It was late morning, so maybe they were just waiting for their lunch break. Right? After picking up his luggage, Compass Meridian walked past some retail shops, waiting areas, and a bank of new "television monitors" before leaving the port terminal. As soon as he walked outside, it felt like walking into a sauna! For starters, it was definitely the wet season; the humidity was off the charts, and the temperature wasn't getting any cooler. Sure, back in southern Equestria humidity was a problem in the summer, but it was never like this! At the very least, the shuttle was already loading at curbside. The bus looked nice and modern on the outside. Unfortunately, as Compass got on, some of the other students were already complaining to the driver about the lack of, lack of an active AC, that is. The radio was on, but none of the students really cared about that. "It's hot and humid, and it ain't gettin' any colder!" "Agreed. Mr. Driver, would it be too much to ask you to turn on the AC?" "I don't know how much more of this humidity I can take.." As the bus pulled away from the terminal, the driver could only turn around and look at his passengers with a look of disgust. "Look, I know you all are new here, so let me tell you one thing. This is a tropical city and it's the middle of summer - of course it will be hot and humid in the afternoon! Also, I'm not using no buckin' AC. Y'all will use paper fans like Celestia intended!" There was a collective groan. Some of the students took mental notes to - if they ever meet her in person - ask Princess Celestia whether she really intended for paper fans to be a thing. Looking out one of the windows, Compass decided to use some of his magic to see where they were. Closing his eyes and concentrating, his magic silently scanned the city-state before creating a mental map of the place, buildings and addresses included. Size wise, Port Impala's fairly large for a city, about 304.1 square miles, he thought as he scanned his mental map. Let's see...we're heading 2.12 degrees south of east...still 4.4 miles from the university. Beaches, obviously. Nearest international border...Grand Hoofea...20.61 miles away from our current location. This city apparently has a subway system, that's cool. Mayor's office is 5.432 miles away. Soon, his magic faded away as Compass reopened his eyes. There was too much information to take in; he wouldn't be able to finish before they got to the university! He settled on looking at the city's surroundings. Well, Port Impala was a city, all right. There were skyscrapers not too far away, probably the downtown area. The highrises seemed to go on a fair distance; it's no Manehattan, but this city is definitely no slouch in the size department. There was a market nearby; ponies were selling wares, food, and souvenirs. The sign said, "Seaside Bazaar". Hmmm...sounds a bit exotic. The houses seemed stereotypically tropical, but they looked as if they were solidly built. What really piqued Compass's interest was the tall radio tower placed behind the skyscrapers. Wonder what broadcasts from there, Compass thought. Maybe some of that new "television" stuff he'd heard about came from there.
  5. In my first post, I said that I'd be detailing the setting in a series of blog posts. Similar to the detail posts in the Equestria Forward OOC thread, the series (Port Impala Factbank) will describe Port Impala's society, culture, media, communications, politics, security, and climate in vivid detail. The first post is just an overview, showing some numbers.
  6. In the OOC thread for my new roleplay, Life in the Big City...State, I said that I'd essentially dump all the facts on the setting in my blog, so as to keep clutter in the OOC thread down. Here's the first of a series of posts on what Port Impala is, and what it's like. _______________________________ Basic Information* Official name: Commonwealth of Port Impala Demonym: Port Impalan Languages: Equestrian is the sole official language, and is spoken by 88% of residents in the city-state. Due to the unusually large zebra population, Zebrican is considered a "recognized language" and has its own public media. Government documents are written in both languages, but almost all business is done in Equestrian. Population: 4,903,779 - Density: 16,130/mi2 (10,024/km2) - Racial breakdown: 41% earth pony, 20% pegasus, 25% unicorn, 13% zebra, 0.9% other Land size: 304.1 mi2 (489.4 km2) Type of government: Constitutional parliamentary republic - Mayor: Bright Idea (UCP) - Opposition Leader: Pic R. Perfect (NA) - Chief Magistrate: Golden Gavel Legislature: Commonwealth Assembly (60 seats) - Governing party: Unity and Cooperation Party (UCP - 36 seats) - Opposition party: National Alliance (NA - 15 seats) - Other parties: Impalan Freedom Party (IFP - 6 seats), Green Association (GA - 3 seats) Currency: Port Impalan leva (=L=). For comparison with Equestria's national currency, the bit, 1 leva = 3.74 bits. Nominal GDP: B200.98 billion - Per capita: B41,257 (very high) Cost-of-living adjusted GDP: B198.89 billion - Per capita: B40,551 (very high) - Differential: B2.09 billion Right-hand or left-hand driving? Right-hand driving This is an overview, of course. A more detailed look at the city-state will be coming in future posts. * All financial information will be given in Equestrian bits (B)
  7. "Mayor? But the only alicorns I know of are royalty." He had just stepped off the ship, and Compass Meridian's already face-to-face with an interesting find: an alicorn. Apparently though, she wasn't a princess, queen, or anything, but a...mayor? Admittedly, there were a few other students and tourists who also found this interesting. Not everypony did; a few other visitors and returning residents simply walked by and paid no heed to the commotion. Bright Idea laughed, which did calm the gathered crowd down a little bit. "Well, things work a little differently here in Port Impala. For one, this isn't a hereditary monarchy, but a republic. There are elections for almost every position, from dog catchers all the way up to my position of Mayor. However, I only serve at the pleasure of the city legislature - the Commonwealth Assembly - and have many constitutional limits on my power. If I lose the confidence of the legislature, or the citizens decide to recall me from office, I'd have to step down automatically or call new elections." To say Compass was surprised would be an understatement. Constitution? Recall? Legislature? They didn't have any of that in Equestria, because it wasn't necessary for the three princesses. "Where's your bodyguards? Security detail? I don't know how safe it is to be out randomly greeting visitors without having tight security." Bright Idea didn't answer. Instead, she turned around and made some kind of gesture with her right hoof. Seconds later, a dozen or so uniformed police officers emerged from behind counters, benches, and one even descended from the terminal ceiling. They looked like regular police officers. but the color of their uniforms looked darker than those of the regular police officers. "I don't have a 'guard' per se, but the city's police department has a special forces division that's tasked with protecting government officials. On my first day in office, I asked the police chief to abolish the division, but gosh...he's almost like a nagging mother sometimes. He insisted I have personal guards, 300 of them in fact! "We compromised. I'd have a 'guard', but for top officials, not just me, and their numbers would be limited to 40. That way, I'd have a large amount of freedom to meet visitors and mingle with residents, like I'm doing right now." Compass still had other questions, but he spotted a pony holding a sign that read, "UPI study abroad students." Sure enough, he could hear his study abroad director beckoning the students to move along. Aw man, Compass thought. And just when I had more questions. "Study abroad?" Bright Idea asked. "Yes." The unicorn responded. "I'm with a group of students who are here to study in Port Impala this semester. We're not just here to visit the city." "I see...well, if you have any other questions, you can look them up in an encyclopedia, or if you see me again, we could talk about it. You should also come watch a Commonwealth Assembly debate at some point during the semester." "I'll do that, and thanks!" Yeah, the debate would probably be boring, but Compass had never seen a national legislature before, and the Princesses never have to defend their decisions and policies before a legislature filled with common folk. It would be something, at least. The study abroad director began to look impatient, so Compass hurried along. As he waved back to the mayor, he still had many questions, but one thing was for sure: at least he wouldn't be completely bored.
  8. The RP thread's already set up (see the link at the bottom of the first post). I'm not going to close signups anytime soon, but I will set this thread to "OOC" instead of "Searching" when signups reach five. For all intents and purposes though, this is an OOC thread.
  9. 332,287... I wonder, how long will it take to reach one million?
  10. I don't plan on rebooting EQF. Also, most of the universe's info will likely remain, just in a different OOC thread. Approved, and welcome!
  11. Hey everyone, it's been a while! Most of you didn't see my blog post from a week or so ago, but I will be leaving this roleplay. I feel that in my three month absence, the RP has advanced way too far for me to keep up. Sorry! I am taking my nation and OCs and using them in a different roleplay, so I won't be getting rid of them.
  12. Approved. Welcome, and yeah, I created this roleplay to be an actual slice of life piece, more free-paced and calmer than my other work.
  13. Depends on the author. If you feel your story would be better by sticking to "the canon line" than being completely original, then follow canon.
  14. If the thread title is a question, I prefer to skip the posts and get right to the reply. For roleplays and show discussion, I try to read the entire thread before replying.
  15. Oh, not much. I just surf Reddit, Facebook, other discussion forums, Wikipedia - yes, I'm one of those people - and YouTube. Sometimes, I'll crack open Adobe After Effects to work on motion graphics. I play Minecraft occasionally, and would play it more often if my laptop wasn't so uncooperative. Other times, I'll work on pony vectors. There are also occasions when you'll even see me watching television.
  16. Most of the time, I try to stay realistic when I create OCs. My OC creation process generally starts by asking myself what my OCs will do. Will they be in a leadership position? Utilities? Running a shop? Teach? After that, it becomes easier to think of a name. Sometimes, I overthink the name and come up with something in Latin, but that's nothing a good nickname can't fix. Backstories and personalities are trivial matters beyond that. Race is difficult to come up with in some situations. There will be some occupations that are better suited to pegasi, some better suited to earth ponies, and some better suited to unicorns. Others are more of a "grey area"; in that case, I just go with personal preferences. Finally, as to why I chose "unicorn" as best pony race (reply from a thread from December of last year):
  17. Click here to visit the OOC thread! ____________________________________________ 11:19 AM local time, near Port Impala International Seaport As Celestia's sun rose over the horizon, a large boat approached land. The boat could have easily been mistaken for a navy vessel, but it was but a cruise ship. The ship was carrying a few hundred tourists; most of whom were only making this port of call a brief stopover before sailing on to other pastures. For some of them, however, this wasn't a stopover. This was their destination. "We are now approaching Port Impala, where the local time is 11:19 in the morning. Please have your passports and identification ready to present to the Border and Customs Agency officer upon disembarking. Information on connections, local accommodations, and ground transportation are available in the main terminal. Thank you for sailing with Solar Cruises, and stay safe on the remainder of your journey." Port Impala: a tropical city-state nestled a few hundred miles southeast of Equestria. Located on the well-developed Hoofnea Peninsula, the bustling city has all the characteristics as a tropical paradise: hot, humid, lined with beaches, and of course, filled with tourists. Of course, that's not all to the city-state; behind the touristy "tropical" exterior lies a more cosmopolitan, business- and commerce-oriented city with its own attractions, including museums, opera houses, theaters, and stadiums. Finally, there's the more gritty and festive side, found in the city-state's many residential districts. During major sporting events, such as hoofball championships, and national festivals it is the residential areas that really come alive. Of course, there were no major festivals or sporting events going on today. As the cruise ship entered its dock at the seaport, the passengers stepped off the boat to enter the large terminal. One of those passengers was a certain brown unicorn. He wasn't just there as a tourist, but was also there to study. "So this is Port Impala," Compass Meridian said. "This place isn't half bad." Even though he was talking to himself, he soon found himself face-to-face with a peach-colored unicorn mare. "I know right? This city has plenty to offer, whether you're just going to spend time on the beach, go downtown, visit the parks...." The mare turned slightly to her left, where Compass - and a few of the other disembarking visitors, who had stopped to see what the commotion was all about - gasped. Are those....wings? "...or study. Welcome to the Commonwealth of Port Impala! I'm Bright Idea, the mayor. Nice to meet you."
  18. Welcome to the Commonwealth of Port Impala, a tropical city-state located on the northeastern tip of the Hoofnea Peninsula! The city-state has a fairly high standard of living, surviving on trade, some tourism, fishing, manufacturing, and finance. Save for some petty crimes, summer humidity, the occasional uncontrollable hurricane, personal disputes, and the jerks who find it fitting to kick puppies, life is fairly peaceful in this city-state of 4.9 million people. It's truly a land of opportunity, safety, and overall tranquility. This is a look into the life of some of its residents and visitors, and a peek into a slice of the society that helps make this city work. ____________________________________________ What is this roleplay about? This is strictly a slice of life roleplay, so there are no long-term plots or storylines. Rules 1) All forum rules apply, no exceptions. 2) Swearing is allowed. What's city life without a bit of swearing? 3) No godmodding. If you wish to control another user's character, get their permission! 4) All posts must be in English. Characters who speak another language should include an English translation in the same post. In addition, posts must be readable; I'm not expecting perfect grammar, but users' eyes shouldn't bleed from reading your posts. 5) DO NOT enter the roleplay unless you are approved to do so by the DM! 6) Any inquiries, comments, or concerns about the roleplay should be kept in this thread. If you wish, you could send a private message to the DM if you feel that your inquiry should be kept private. Other tips, notes, and restrictions To politically-minded players: While this isn't a political roleplay, I feel that I should mention a few things. First, a coup d'etat counts as a city-wide natural disaster, which can only be initiated by the DM. All judges and magistrates above the circuit level, the semi-ceremonial Mayor, and members of the electoral commission can only be controlled by the DM. Elections, if they are held, will be announced in this thread, not the roleplay thread. Natural disasters: City-wide natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes, and so on) can only be initiated by the DM or with the approval of the DM. Localized disasters (water main breaks, local communications outages, robberies, and so on) can be initiated by any player. Technology level: There are no hard limitations on civilian technology, but the level of technology is generally equivalent to late 1980s and early 1990s standards. Technology that can create city-wide disasters (such as nuclear weapons or their magical equivalents) must be approved by the DM. Races: Port Impala follows a non-discrimination policy. All races are allowed (yes, even alicorns and changelings). However, I should stress that godmodding is not allowed. Control of NPCs and canon characters: NPCs - including police officers, shop owners and employees, teachers, professors, and so on - can be controlled by any player. Should they ever make an appearance, canon characters - those that appear in the show - can only be controlled by the DM in normal circumstances. Users who wish to control a canon character must get approval from the DM first! Business ownership: Port Impala laws state that to own and operate a business in the city-state, the owner must either [a] legally live in Port Impala, or have a local subsidiary registered in the city-state, if the business is a multinational one. Also, don't forget to follow this thread and the roleplay thread for updates! Port Impala Factbank Similar to the detailed OOC posts I've made on Equestria in the Equestria Forward roleplay, the Port Impala Factbank is a series of blog posts (trying to keep clutter down) that lays out Port Impala in detail. Almost every nook and cranny of the city-state is described in detail there! Highly recommended read for all players, both active and prospective. 1) Basic Info: Just an introduction; some numbers and stats on the city-state. 2) Media: A look at the vibrant print and broadcast media. Registered players To register for this roleplay, leave a reply in this thread with your character's name and a link to his or her character profile. Your character will not be approved if (s)he does not have an active character profile. All applicants will be thoroughly vetted; any concerns will be shared by the DM via private message. Keep an eye on this list! List last updated: August 20, 2015 (UTC -5) - skbl17 (DM): Bright Idea (Mayor of Port Impala), Compass Meridian - IllusivePony: Quarbari Steelhooves, Aha'ban Steelwings - Akari of Duskshire: Fantasy Moon - Dapper Charmer: Dapper Charmer - - ____________________________________________ Click here to enter the roleplay!
  19. Thanks for the reply, and might I say that your art is very good! So I should essentially just start with the basics of brushes and the pen tool before digging deeper? Also, if I use the brush tool to draw lines, how do you go about coloring them in? Yes, Inkscape is a vector program similar to Illustrator (which I also have but rarely use - except for stuff I have to load into After Effects).
  20. I'll share a story from when I was in my last year of high school. I was sitting in a history class, but we weren't doing much of anything. While almost everyone else was either chatting with friends or wasting time listening to music on their iDevices, I decided to take out my binder and pull out the 30 sheets of blank printer paper I had saved up for doodling. Time to draw some ponies, I thought. Confident that nobody was watching me draw, I started drawing ponies while keeping my sketches partially covered with my left hand. I think I got halfway through drawing the body on my first pony when one of my classmates looked over to see what I was drawing. "OC?" I was frozen. If this guy is not a brony....I'm doomed, I thought. When I looked over to see who it was, I noticed that it was one of my friends who was just as quiet as I was. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that maybe it would be worth it to answer affirmatively; at worst, he doesn't talk to me again but doesn't blow my secret. At best, maybe he was a brony too...? I responded "yeah". Here it comes, I thought. I thought I was prepared for what came next, but I sure wasn't. "What race? Unicorn, pegasus, or earth pony?" Oh horseapples....could it be? A sea of relief washed over me; this guy was a closet brony too! Over the following weeks, we would discuss more MLP-related stuff; episodes, new characters, good fanfics, and so on. There were occasions where I think other people overheard our conversations, but thankfully, it didn't seem like anybody cared. The rest of the school year went by without any MLP-related hitch.
  21. Working on character sheets for my OCs. Hard to decide how much information is too much information.
  22. I need to catch up on Tamers...another thing to do to wait out the MLP hiatus!
  23. Both, but I lean "night owl". I have a tendency to wake up late and stay up very late over holiday breaks (I consider 3 AM to be "early",) but I don't have much of a problem waking up early and go to bed early. I prefer the former, though.
  24. 8:58 AM Canterlot time, Canterlot Castle's Legislative Wing. "The preparations for your speech are almost complete, Your Excellency." "Very good." The day was finally here. Prince Blueblood was mere minutes away from giving what would undoubtedly remember as the speech that saved Equestria. Today is the first step on his road to becoming a true national hero. For the Prince himself, he had to expend effort to keep his almost childlike, gleeful demeanor from showing. A few steps behind him, Blueblood's scribe also waited for the marble doors to open, but her mood was far different from those of her boss. She was not looking forward to his speech; the fact that she had failed in her plan only frightened her further. A few days earlier; 8:34 PM Canterlot time, PBE's Capital Bureau. A shame she didn't think her plan through. The scribe couldn't pass Blueblood's letter on to Princess Twilight. In the aftermath of the Applelanta attacks and the upcoming speech, security was so tight in Canterlot that all visitors needed at least ten layers of identification and had to pass rigorous background checks, making it downright hard if not impossible to even see any of the Princesses. Even her position as an aide to a member of the royal family didn't help in this environment of heightened security. However, she was desperate, so she decided that she had to get the warning out another way: broadcast media. The scribe knew that the country's public broadcaster, PBE, maintained a large bureau in the heart of Canterlot, not far from the castle. If there was any way to quickly get a warning out, it would be through the country's "most trusted and renowned" media source. "Sorry miss, but we don't broadcast unsubstantiated rumors, even those regarding the Princesses." Unfortunately, the very Editorial Standards and Guidelines that allow PBE to be such a trusted broadcaster in the first place was now getting in the way. "But they aren't unsubstantiated! I work in the Prince's estate! Plus, they aren't rumors; he told me what he was going to do." The editor-in-charge wasn't buying it. If anything, he was irritated. "I understand, but this is still unsubstantiated. Even if we assume for a second that what you're saying is 100% true, who's to say that the Prince won't just deny these allegations? If he denies the claim, then we would've just broadcast an unsubstantiated rumor. Also, you're saying that you're the only one he trusts with this information, yet you're trying to claim anonymity. It won't be hard for him to piece two and two together. If his plan is as 'grand' as you claim it is, who's to say that he won't attempt retribution against you or your family?" "What? That's ludicrous!" The editor-in-charge could only look at her with a deadpan face. "You're talking about the stallion who attempted to have Fillydelphia razed because they didn't serve the right caviar at a restaurant he was visiting. The sky's the limit when it comes to Blueblood and retribution." "I'm prepared to face any consequences. But as a public broadcaster, shouldn't you broadcast in the public interest? This is very much in the public interest!" "Yes, we do. That's why we have a set of guidelines, to ensure that our news product is in the public interest. The public loves a high-quality news product. Unsubstantiated rumors do not count as 'high-quality' under our guidelines." Frustrated, the scribe turned to leave. Before she opened the office door to leave, she uttered 'good night' before leaving. She didn't even stick around to hear the editor-in-charge's response, though she did recall an important phrase the editor-in-charge threw out during their argument, one that only frightened her further. 'The sky's the limit when it comes to Blueblood and retribution.'
  25. 331,147. , thanks, but I've actually been around CTAM for a while now.