Weekly Update 7: Stories and Maps


Gestlings have Narrative Now

This week I found myself thinking about story and maps for the Gestlings Project. I wanted to about characters and dialogue too, but it ended up making more sense to think about these narrative elements first. I'm not really much of a writer of fiction, so this was new territory for me.

As of this week, the Gestlings have a beginning, middle, and end. There's also now an established set of core "maps" of the Gestling world, which will become fleshed out and populated with Gestlings. The Gestlings will then have things to say in that space, and this is where the sound design actually occurs. One could almost say I'm doing "level design" and "NPCs".

When I first thought up the term "Gestlings", the idea was to make a modest collection of compositional etudes centered around the technique of Gesture Synthesis, similar to how the Sporthlings were a collection of studies for Sporth. Now, these "etudes" have a Creation Myth. Clearly, I've lost control of the situation.

The Premise

As of today, here is the premise for Gestlings:

You have died. Under usual circumstances, you'd have been sent off to the Usual Places. However, due to the cosmic equivalent of a clerical error, your consciousness wakes up on what it perceives as a moving train, very far from home, and even further from that thing you called "reality". The next stop? Cauldronia, a small celestial body that is the homeworld of the Gestlings. It's probably going to be a while before they correct this mistake, so you might as well take a look around and explore.


my scribbling setup

I don't consider myself all the coordinated using pen and paper. I've had infamously bad handwriting all my life. Despite this, I find it helpful to scribble my thoughts down using ink rather than use a computer. It seems to flow better.

This week there was a lot of scribbling, and I've posted some of them below. I'll do my best to get out of the way and let them speak for themselves.

I've redacted some parts that I consider to be "spoilers".

An outline for the core storyline ("linear story"): storyline

Here's a top-level map of the Gestlings world. gestling map

Gestleton, city of the Gestlings. gestleton

Level: The (Upper) Rings upper rings

Level: The Lower Rings lower rings

Level: The Shores shores

Level: The ?????? depths

Level: The ???? of ??? hall

Bonus: Ripples on the Monome Grid Zero

I treated myself to a monome grid zero. I built a little program to test out the LEDs, and it turned into an interface for a musical instrument: