Friday 3 January 2020

Highlights of DarkRula Media's 2019

DarkRula Media might be slow in growing, but every year there is new content that I bring to it, ready to grow it that bit more. 2017 saw the start of self-published novels on the Kindle Store, with 2018 having a record number of blog posts including a few new series. With 2019, I aimed to keep the momentum going from both of those years. The greatest addition to that being Racing Month.

Back in 2015, I uploaded a few videos to Youtube from the start of Star Wars Celebration in April up to 4/May, dubbing that lot of content as Star Wars Month. In 2018, I revived the name in May, making it an event across both blog and Youtube. It returned last year in its rightful place of April (the month of Celebration), and since I had one month-long event established, I felt it would be good to get a second one up and running. And there was a precedent in place from the month before, where I had a few posts giving ideas about racing games.

The start of Racing Month was planned just after E3 2019, with me wanting to start it with games that were special to me. Games I had memories of that defined parts of my life. I also wanted to link the two platforms of blog and Youtube together, so gameplay was shown and stories were told across four games. Those being Excite Truck, Crash Team Racing, GripShift, and Midnight Club: Los Angeles. Those four games held stories that I wanted to tell, and even though I had a few other games I wanted to feature, I didn’t feel the stories connected with them were strong enough. When it returns this year, there won’t be as strong a link between platforms as that time, allowing just gameplay to feature on its own and more than just stories to feature on the blog.

There were a number of new releases when it came to novels and free story content, the most recent of which being Mountainous Change within Shorts of the Rula. Keeping with Wattpad content, the rewrite of Pokémon: Shadow Boom continued after being left for a year, seeing four new chapters being added, bringing it halfway to completion. But venturing into new territory, I wrote a fan-created story on a non-fictious brand. Yogsimulated was nothing but an idea for most of the year, with just small amounts of info being wrote down as new ideas formed to put members of the Yogscast in. The idea I eventually settled on formed within the last two months before seeing a release. More behind the scenes info will be released on this one soon, so if you enjoyed it keep an eye out for that.

Two novels released to the Kindle Store in 2019, with The Future Adventures of Halesowen being the latest one. It looked deeper into the students of the media course, setting them onto their paths of the future by the end of this third in the Alternate Halesowen and Beyond series. Of greater importance was the start of a new series with the release of Space Race Championship. This is the one I had planned to start the journey of paid-for releases with, having developed it during secondary school and continuing to add to it throughout. However, I’m glad I held off from that early release, as the few years extra spent on it really helped to define it as one of the best I have written.

Looking back at how it started and seeing what it has become is honestly a great feeling, even more so than seeing the transformation of TV and Film Residential Camp to Secrets Behind the Truth. But now that I have the world developed, I can expand upon it as I have both of my other series. While nothing will come from it for more than a year, there is more I want to tell within the world going in both directions, so you’ll just have to wait to see which way I decide to go in 2021.

There were a few concepts of ideas I posted across last year, with the first quarter seeing me give a few ideas on adding to the tower offence genre of games, and the third quarter seeing another post about Mii Resort Paradise as I define the idea some more. However, it was the last quarter which held some defining concepts from me about one series. There’s been leaks and rumours about the next GTA game for a number of years now, with what has been labelled Project Americas being the most real of them. So I decided to put another concept on hold to craft how the map could look for such a game, and then once that was released, it was back to the project which was recently released.

Creating a State Within the GTA-verse was something I held as a project I wanted to do right. I had released a concept of it to GRcade halfway through the year, but that wasn’t a fully realised plan, and I knew that. I wanted this recreation of Michigan to be something that could really fit within the GTA universe, and was looking at the geography of the land, popular destinations, combing the map of the real Michigan for some interesting town layouts, and it eventually saw a release as fully realised as possible. It’s a project that has been one of the largest concepts I have ever created, as there’s still more to talk about that I never covered in the basic overview for it. That will come soon.

There’s been a lot of highlights across this year, but I can’t end this without talking about my three cores. There’s not much that I’ve done with Sonic the Hedgehog last year, with just a first impressions of the new Mario and Sonic Olympics (and a video), and a Generations Custom Song video. I am hoping this year sees more that I can do with the series, but that mostly depends on whether there’s a main series game coming. Such was the case with Pokémon, which saw generation eight revealed in February. I had a number of things to talk about before it released and I could give a first impressions on it, and since it was on Switch, I could feature the series in video for the first time.

As ever, there was a lot of Star Wars content, and as ever my highlight of it all comes from Star Wars Month. While I had fewer non-Celebration related posts than 2018, it was Celebration that gave us a first look at Jedi: Fallen Order, The Rise of Skywalker, and even a hint that we might be getting a new LEGO game – which eventually would be revealed at E3. But the non-Celebration posts were a two-part series that again held some new concepts as I dove into the Battlefront series as it is under EA and what could be done to expand it further.

That’s not to say DICE weren’t doing that, as not only did they give us Capital Supremacy and improve upon it, they’ve continuously been adding new things and making changes across the whole game. Sure, the flagship modes have been abandoned as they put the effort into adding to the new modes, but considering the size the team still working on it as the priority for EA becomes the next generation of consoles, you can’t expect them to easily create content for all of the modes – especially when the priority is supporting those new modes. I’ve shown off quite a bit of that content in videos throughout the year, and this year will see more of it.

There’s been plenty of other content in 2019, but these were the things that stood out to me most in looking back at the last year of running DarkRula Media. 2020 is set to be another packed year, and that can already be seen through the first of this year’s monthly updates. As I said in that update, I hope new and old fans alike follow me and my content throughout this coming year, where more concepts will show themselves, more stories will be told, and a lot of fun will be had through it all.

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