In Space, No One Can See You Sweat

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    In Space, No One Can See You Sweat

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    This one just about killed us. Not literally of course, but what started out as a great idea playing on the slogan of the classic Alien franchise that went with: "In space, no one can hear you scream", soon became a time-consuming activity that stretched our manpower and tested our sanity.

    Here's how this went: Each RPG program we produce is different in setting, tone and feel. ZERO Hero, for example, was based on everyman (and woman) and was "every movie you've ever watched" - so it was fast and light-hearted. The Alien franchise however has deep moral implications about doing the right thing, making a stand, exercising moral choices and standing up to big interests and power. This tipped us into Space Opera territory and the trope features fast-moving, large-scale action against a backdrop of personal missions. Carbon and Dust is "a book with exercises" thrown in and there is a corresponding paperback to go with it. This threw up an immediate conundrum as we had to have a storyline that made sense, characters that were as fully-formed as possible and have an exercise program that worked in term sof flow, progression, fitness goals and storyline.

    Because we're more geared to producing workouts than books writing by committee threw up some real challenges: Maintaining character continuity, character motivation and storyline continuity were only some of the issues we had to overcome and we often ended up exchanging hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of messages amongst ourselves as well as the volunteers who were test-driving everything.

    As we got to the final stretch we had to go into full editing mode and, because we'd already missed one deadline for getting the program to live, we released the first half while we feverishly worked behind the scenes to make sure the second half was complete. Blue language is not something we use in the DAREBEE team but I can swear I could read a whole lot of cuss words behind each "OK!" that would pop up.

    In the end however we ended up with a book, a narrative, a hero, a storyline and a fitness program we could all feel proud of. In the first week of release we had hundreds of emails from people across the world who were trying it at home. And there were the first requests for a paperback to back it.

    Carbon and Dust is not without its moral points. Adversaries become allies in some instances. Friends become enemies. Choices become harder and harder as the story progresses. We had, at several points, the opportunity to go deeper, to explore the relationship between cruelty and power, justice and authority. We did what we could without taking attention away from the need to incorporate exercises throughout.

    Most of our programs are sets of exercises around which we build a narrative. Carbon and Dust is the other way around: it is a narrative that has had exercises built into it. We thought of it as a gateway: what if, you could jump into the bookworld to recreate the physical action there? There are a lot of combat moves there (which is where i was heavily involved) but also a lot of aerobics.

    In the process of creating it we also created one of our best characters: Sef. For those of you who have done the program and also have read the story you know how it ends, or rather, how it begins. Everything in space is a matter of perspective.

    #2
    I haven't done the Carbon and Dust program, but I did read the entire story religiously as soon as it came out..
    I felt the amount of time you might have spent on it..

    Even with all the explanation you have given above.. its a lot less I guess.. I mean the concept of dreaming/meditating about working out.. I think very recently BAKI in netflix did touch up on that..
    so to get together all the moral, mental and physical aspects into a story, creating the characters, themes and then adding the workouts was amazing work..

    Any number of words are too little for such work... Long Live Darebee..

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      #3
      Definitely doing this ... but first a few more programs to build up to it first...

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        #4
        Being a Mass Effect fan, Carbon and Dust was something that I'd been dying to do ever since I read the word "Reaper" on the first pages. I didn't keep going because I just want to take the story all in, and follow the workouts as an actual part of the narrative instead of skipping them.

        Writing a book is not an easy task, and I'm always impressed of someone doing so, regardless of skill. Thankfully, all those challenges paid off, because really, Carbon and Dust is interesting from the start. I'm looking forwards to do the whole thing. Hopefully, this year.

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          #5
          I loved the Carbon & Dust program from the first day to the last, I loved the setting, the exercises, the characters and the evolution of the whole story. I read the story with joy in the evening and then the next day I relived it by training and made it come alive.
          Of all the Darebee programs I have done, this is what I hold most in my heart.
          I don't know why but it always made me think of Cowboy Bebop




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            #6
            What a lovely comment Fremen and you're right. Inadvertently we ended up with some of the same feeling of existential entropy as Cowboy Bebop. Sef, is a character I long kept in my mind and very soon there will be a special workout named after him.

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              #7
              So, I haven't quite finished Carbon & Dust yet, but from what I have read and done so far - I absolutely LOVE it. By Chapter Two I knew that this was truly a novel that just happened to have workouts thrown in that fit the story line, but it's all done so seamlessly and brilliantly. It's obvious how much time and effort went into creating this program. Thank you, Darebee team, for giving us this amazing story and the chance to experience it for ourselves.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Damer View Post
                Sef, is a character I long kept in my mind and very soon there will be a special workout named after him.
                I can not wait

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