Intro Story for Ami Titan

A mockup for the intro story for the game, Ami Titan.

Here’s a transcript of the text in the image, for Google’s sake.

Almost all the animals are gone.

Two decades ago we tried to wipe out mosquitoes, but we ended up mutating them into a deadly species. They killed a tenth of the human population, and a third of the animals.

Our pollution took care of the rest of the animals.

These days you can buy artificial animals. There are even ones intelligent enough to talk.

Human genetic manipulation and cybernetic augmentations are commonplace. There are people who no longer look human. Some look like mutants, some like cyborgs, and some like… something else entirely.

My name is Ami Titan. I’m an AI programmer who works for the Infinite Abacus Corporation.

“What do you do?” People often ask when they meet you. As if your profession’s a summary of who you are. In my case it’s partially true, because AI is my passion.

It’s also what drew me to a strange news article.
“Daughter replaced by artificial duplicate – mother claims”
I contacted the mother, Helen and arranged a meeting.

Her “daughter”, Ruth was artificial, and the most advanced AI I have ever seen.

Distraught, Helen asked me to help find her real daughter. I told her I can try to find out where the AI came from. I made a copy of the AI’s system onto my handheld.

Hopefully IAC’s mainframe will be able to analyse the AI and determine its origin.

Part 1: Soulmates


Ami Titan

Ami Titan is a game I’m sloooowly working on in my free time.
I’m mainly busy with ideas and creating mockups.

You can find more mockups here:

Which girl is real and which is an artificial duplicate? Or are both artificial?

Mockup for a splash screen. (If I end up using the Corgi Engine.)

Mockup for a loading screen. The mosquito is part of the story.

Mockup for a log in screen.

(In case you were wondering, the password is: thepastis8bit)


Guideline process for writing your comic book script

Originally I wrote this article for the Indie Comics SA website, but unfortunately the site has closed down.

This article contains a guideline process that focuses on converting your story into a comic book script. It is aimed at anyone who is interested in writing a comic.
The article does NOT focus on how to write a good story, good story structure nor good characters.


Before you begin

Before you begin, you should have most of the following available. At the very least you should have the “story notes” and “story order of events”.

Story notes
These can include all the story’s rough notes, ideas and detailed notes. It should include all the notes from the team members, if you are working in a team.

Character notes
It is always a good idea to make character notes. Especially for the main characters and ones that have an impact on the story. These help shape the story and help determine how characters will behave. Therefore it is extremely helpful to include each character’s motivations in your notes.

Drawings and concept art
If the artist (or you, the writer) has done any drawings or concept art, it is a good idea to keep them on hand when writing. These can include character sketches, vehicles/spaceships, ideas for specific panels, action shots, etc. They may inspire you and help with the overall atmosphere of the story.

Dialogue ideas
You can jot down any specific dialogue ideas you have. But when you write the script, try not to force the dialogue into the script. The dialogue should evolve with the script and be relative to what is happening at that point in the story. It is usual for dialogue to change during the script editing process.

Story order of events
Basically info about what happens in the beginning, middle and end. Which events must happen before another event? What info must be revealed before an event takes place? The story needs to make sense and the order of events help it make sense.

List of important info the reader should know
When you write a script you have the whole story in your head, so it is easy for you to understand what is going on. Unfortunately the reader does not have access to the info in your head. Therefore you have to make sure you include everything the reader needs to know in your script, specifically in the visuals, captions or dialogue.
It is a good idea to make a list of everything you want the reader to know, so you can tick it off when you write the script. Also check the list after the script is done to make sure you did not accidentally remove any from the script during editing. The “list” can also just be text you highlight in your story notes, so it does not have to be a separate list.

Essentially this list is anything you HAVE to remember to include in the script.

For example: Sometimes, something as simple as a character’s name may be forgotten and never mentioned in any of the dialogue. The writer knows the name, but the reader has no clue!


Script format

Before we look at the writing process, let us first look at a comic book script format. Make sure you use a standard comic script format as a starting point for writing your script. The formats have been tried and tested over many years, and the artists and letterers will thank you. (And hopefully want to work with you again!) You can develop your own format, one you are comfortable with, but I recommend you do not deviate far from the standard ones.

A very good format guide is the one from Dark Horse comics. It is also the one I use. You can download their format here:

Their format guide is simple and contains guidelines on how many panels per page, words per balloon and per panel, how to format dialogue and sound effects, etc.


Number of pages

You should have an idea of how many pages your comic is going to be. Ideally you should decide before writing the script, so you have a good idea of how to break up the script into pages.

When writing a story that has multiple chapters or parts, decide on how many pages each will have. This will help you write the script with a cliffhanger, or something interesting, at the end of each chapter.

Tip: If you are writing a long story that does not have chapters or parts, then it helps to first break the story up into manageable segments. Then write a separate script for each segment.

Tip: If you are writing a short story for a publication make sure to check what their page requirements are.


Example story

For the rest of the article we will use an example story, Cryoprogeny, to help illustrate each step. The script will be 6 pages long.

Here’s the synopsis of the example story:


Step 1: Write your story’s detailed outline

The first step is to write your story’s detailed outline. The outline is a blueprint of everything that should go into the script. The outline can use your “story order of events” as a starting point. Then add in all the relevant details from your story notes, character notes, dialogue notes, etc.

Below is the example story’s detailed outline.
The green highlighted text are important things the reader should know (i.e. things that must be included in the script).

Here is the example story’s detailed outline:


Step 2: Break the outline up into pages

Break the story’s detailed outline up into pages as they will appear in the script. The page breakdowns will serve as a guideline when writing the script. You can tweak them while you write the script.

You have to go through the outline and decide what you want to happen on each page. It is a good idea to keep the number of things per page limited. If there is too much then the page will be crowded and difficult to draw, letter and read.

Keep the number of panels per page in mind to get an idea of how much you can cram into each page (e.g. action scenes usually have 3 to 4 panels per page, non-action scenes usually have 5 to 6 panels per page). In rare cases you can have up to 8 panels on a page (if they are small with little to no dialogue), but you should try not to have more than 6 per page.

Tip: If there is a drastic change in view or time then it is usually (not always) a good idea to put a page-break between the two different views or times. (Examples: The view may change from inside to outside, or to a different scene. The time might change from morning to evening.) Although, this also depends on personal taste and style of the comic. It is fine if you want to have scene changes happen in the middle of a page. At least now you are aware of them when you write your script!

Tip: Surprises or reveals work better on even pages, because the reader sees it when they turn the page. (See page 4 of the example script.)

Here is the example story’s outline broken up into pages:


Step 3: Break each page up into panels

Break each page up into the estimated number of panels. (They can also be tweaked while you write the script.) During this process you can also add notes for dialogue, captions and sound effects.

Please note: The process can be done directly in the script when you write the first pass of the script. The example below is to illustrate the thought process. For the first few scripts, you may want to do the panel break ups in a separate doc, to get used to the process. Try it out and see which process works best for you: doing the panel break ups directly in the script, or in a separate doc. I do either, depending on the story and time available.

Here is the example story broken up into panels:


Step 4: Write the script

Now for the hard work, and the fun part! Write your comic book script. Use the panel breakdowns to write your script. If your panel breakdowns were detailed enough then the first pass of your script should be easier: you basically need to take all that info and put it into a script format.

Remember: Make sure you use a standard script format as a starting point, such as Dark Horse’s one mentioned earlier.

The main reason we did the detailed outline and breakdowns is to make the script easier to write, especially for new writers. Having to write a story out of thin air AND writing it into a comic script format at the same time might feel overwhelming.
Having the earlier steps also help finalise (to a point) your story. If you were to write directly into a script then it will be more troublesome when you make major changes to the story.

Here is the example story’s script:


Step 5: Edit the script

The entire process before this was to get the first draft of your script. Now it is time to re-read and edit your script, multiple times. This usually improves the script. Sometimes it improves so much that it may surprise you when you compare it to your first draft.

If you have enough time then it is a good idea to put your script away for at least a day before going back to it for the next round of editing. You may also find that you change things which you thought were set in stone. You may even end up removing or changing entire pages.

When you are happy with the script give a copy to someone else to read through. Especially someone who has no idea what the story is about. If they know the story then they are more likely to miss holes in the script.
This person can be a friend, and it may be helpful if they are also a writer or an editor. Make sure you let them know by when you would like to get feedback, or else they might think there is no deadline.
Think carefully about their feedback. If they ask questions or say something is not clear then check if you missed an explanation or info in the script. They will also point out spelling and grammar problems.



To summarize:

  • Gather all your story’s info.
  • Use a standard comic script format.
  • Decide on number of pages.
  • Write detailed outline.
  • Break the outline into pages.
  • Break the pages into panels.
  • Write the script.
  • Edit the script.
  • Hopefully this article, or some of it, will help you on your way to writing comic book scripts. And if you have your own processes worked out, please share and let the rest of us know.

    Keep at it and eventually you will get better at writing. South Africa, and the world, always need more good comic book writers.

    More Pixel Mockups

    Pixel mockup

    Pixel art mockup for a game.

    More Random Thoughts

    Here are some more random thoughts. As with my previous post, most of these are dialogue ideas for some form of entertainment (e.g. comics, games, films, short stories, books, etc.).

    When you pee into someone’s drinking water, you create the probability that you are going to drink it.

    The less you want the more you have, and the more you want the less you have.

    Relax, the world hasn’t ended. There are still children eating ice cream and children starving.

    There’s nothing wrong with having sexual desires or creating sexy characters. The problem is that too many creators do not keep it separate from their professional work.

    The minimum price for freedom is responsibility. Even with creative freedom. You have to create responsibly, and take responsibility for what you create.

    A: A good teacher should always be a student. Eager to learn and excited to be proven wrong.
    B: Screw that. I know everything and hate it when people try to prove me wrong.

    When you do something good or bad, the pendulum swings away from you. When it returns it will either knock an obstacle out of you path, or knock your head off.

    A: What happened to your passion for your art?
    B: It died in the trenches during the never-ending war of paying bills.

    I realised most of the things I complained about were direct or indirect results of choices I made. Essentially I was complaining about my choices. So I stopped complaining.
    For example, if I complained about work, I was actually complaining about the consequences of my choice to do the work. So I was really complaining about my choice, not about the work.

    There will always be wars as long as people don’t have inner peace.

    Your defeat is only as big as your ego.

    If stupidity was solid, you’d be bulletproof.
    But it’s not.
    *BLAM! BLAM!*

    There’s an infinite number of coincidences. We only notice the ones that have relevance to us.

    (A cop tries to save someone who borrowed money from a loan shark.)
    Loan shark: If you save a moth from a spider’s web then the spider will starve.

    If this entire planet was made out of shit, you’d be the worst piece of shit.

    Every war begins with someone’s greed. Usually a politician’s.

    A: I heard a rumour our captain’s looking for a navigator.
    B: Our ship has at least a dozen people who can use the navigation computer. Why does she need a navigator?
    A: Maybe we’re going to an uncharted region of space.

    You are a prisoner and your own jailer.

    Then it hit me like the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs.

    Poverty and extreme wealth can both leave a mark on you.

    (Points to chest, then points to rest of the world.)
    When you’ve got what you need in here, then there’s not much you need out there.

    You can choose to be a blade of grass that bends with every wind, huddled among all the other grass.
    Or you can choose to be a tall, powerful tree.

    My humour is a lonely humour.
    Nobody laughs at my jokes.

    A: The most difficult thing I’ve had to do in my life was to accept that the world in my mind is different from the real world.
    A: You mean you had to accept you loco?
    A: Yes. I suppose so. Pass the tea.

    Simple Flight Controller

    Simple Flight Controller is a Unity asset that contains 2 player controllers and a follow camera script for flight based games. It can be used to control a spaceship in space and an aeroplane flying over a landscape.


    Buy here:

    Unity forum thread:


    There are 2 player controllers:

  • Ground based: For games that have a ground.
  • Free roaming: For space based games where the player can fly in any direction.
    The camera has 4 modes:

  • Ground based: For games that have a ground.
  • Ground based low: For games that have a ground and the player does not fly high.
  • Free roaming: For space based games where the player can fly in any direction.
  • Cockpit: The camera is inside the player’s cockpit.
  • The camera can dynamically switch between the 4 modes.

    The demo shows off the player controllers and camera modes. It also shows the different inputs: keyboard, gamepad, accelerometer and touch.

    The package includes the source code (C#).

    Requires Unity 5.2.1 or higher.

    Please check the manual for setup instructions:

    The demo assets (e.g. scenes, ships, weapons, projectiles, UI , scripts, etc.) are for demo purposes. They are not full systems, but they can be modified and used.

    Please contact me if you have any feedback or questions:

    Simple Soccer Football Kit

    Simple Soccer Football Kit is a Unity asset that makes it easy for you to create soccer games. It is primarily aimed at simple, action soccer games.

    You can buy the kit here:

    You can play the demos here:

    You can find more info in the discussions about the kit on the Unity forum thread:


    Easy to modify/add:

  • Teams. The kit has 8 teams, and the number can be increased (or decreased).
  • Players. Numerous player properties are available to edit.
  • Playing fields.
  • Soccer balls. There are 3 balls available: white soccer ball, bowling ball, beach ball.
  • It is also easy to replace the existing art assets with your own.
  • Also:

  • Works on desktop, web and mobile.
  • Support for 2 players (not on mobile).
  • Various input methods (e.g. keyboard, mouse, gamepad, accelerometer, touch), and easy to add new ones.
  • 2 types of tournaments: Log based (e.g. leagues) and single-elimination.

  • How to setup the kit
    Please check the manual for setup instructions and upgrade guidelines:

    SECTOR #6

    SECTOR #6 is available on Indie Comics SA!

    Keep an eye on our Facebook page for launch events and availability in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

    Sector 06

    A dream about zombies

    Last night I dreamt I was having an argument with a zombie. She thought it was OK to kill people and turn them into zombies, because they would still be alive, just a different life. I argued it’s not about being alive or undead, it’s about choosing which life you want to live. If you make them undead against their will, then you take away their freedom to choose.

    The dream started with me on a train and then some zombies got on the train. I got off and walked to a human settlement. When I got to the settlement I sat down, took off my shoes, and shook sand out of my shoes and socks. A few zombies came to the settlement looking for me. They wanted me to give them a tour of the settlement. So I took them on a tour.
    I showed them a circus tent that was being dismantled and told them that they missed the circus, but they can catch it some other day. As we continued on the walk, a zombie killed 2 people and I shouted at him to stop killing. He killed them by simply touching their bare skin with his hand. He was very nonchalant about it. That’s when I started having the argument with the other zombie.
    In the end she seemed to agreed with me, but I wasn’t sure.

    The argument in the dream sounded familiar. Maybe I saw a zombie movie which had a similar argument, or a movie about bringing people back from the dead against their will.

    LouiseBrooks theme byThemocracy