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Very short story: Everybody loves Raymond
Everybody loves Raymond

So here's a bit of lockdown madness. As you might know, I'm currently writing a PCM 14 story and it's basically a wall of text with nearly no screenshots or formatting. So I was thinking if I could do the complete opposite next - a story without any text whatsoever!

And here it is, though it's just a proof-of-concept, it won't go beyond this first stage. I reduced the screenshot size to a width of 400 pixels first and then added the speech bubbles for best readability.

I created a 2 metre tall sprinter called Raymond Rawlinson, but then signed with such a weak team, Hangar 15, that Raymond is already their main sprinter and doesn't start with domestique duties, which isn't ideal.

Plus the speech bubbles are really tedious, even with dpy's plugin for paint.net. They don't automatically expand to fit the text, so there's a lot of fiddling about. But it did give me another silly idea, which you can read about after the "story". Enjoy Raymond's first ever professional race.
Edited by Ripley on 23-04-2020 09:52

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While making a comic book story might not be realistic, it gave me the idea for a community project everybody can contribute to. I'd call it "Tales from the Peloton" and it would consist of corny jokes using just one or up to three panels, like the classic newspaper cartoons (google it if you've never seen a newspaper). If you'd like to contribute but don't want to learn how to make these speech bubbles, send me a PM with a screenshot and the joke and I'll do it. Here are my first two attempts...





I absolutely love it! And somehow the style of the speechbubbles goes really well with the PCM17 graphics Pfft

Did a huge ( Pfft ) pro cyclist project with a 2m tall Islandic sprinter and absolutely loved it, so I'd be very interested in seeing how your project develops!
Edited by Croatia14 on 23-04-2020 14:54
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Ohhhhh I've had concepts for a comic book-like story in my head for years, really cool to see what one version could look like. Very well executed, in my opinion! Nice idea with the tales from the peloton, maybe we can come up with a few thing Wink
Really enjoyed this. It's always refreshing to see new ideas in practice. I'm not much of a humor writer, but if I think of something in the heat of the moment while doing my story, I'll be sure to contribute.
Those captions (specifically "Who farted?" Pfft) remind me of the old kid's football magazines like the Match of the Day one I used to read Grin If I get any ideas I'll send them in - maybe we could see some MG editions!

Neat idea, I'd really dig a full comic book/graphic novel story (I think Ian Butler may have had one back when he had 20 stories per year Pfft) and enjoyed the brief glimpse into the life of Ray-Raw.
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Cheers guys! I might even do another stage, I have a few more ideas like the ds shouting into Ray-Raw's ear. But that needs a "radio bubble", which means more work.

So while it looks really cool and offers just enough room to convey information and a bit of variety, it does have a couple of drawbacks. You don't want to have people click on the individual images to read the test, so space is a bit limited in these small panels. And the speech bubbles all need individual adjustments, of the text on both axes, size and position of the bubble, etc, etc. So it is a fair bit of work. I wanted to add more bubbles from other riders and spectators... Just text without the bubbles would be so much easier, but they look so cool.

I'll try and come up with more Tales from the Peloton. But yeah, humor is hard. If I get five ideas together, I'll start a thread.

Love it Ripley, great idea and execution all around. Looking forward to more.
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Ulrich Ulriksen
The cartoons were fun but hard to keep up when it is tedious to do

I sympathize with your search for alternatives to the wall of text. One reason I stopped my very brief story was I didn't want walls of text but inserting graphics makes it all take a long time.

One aside - reading this and then reading your penny pinching ending made me go back and read the set up on penny pinching. You mention maybe using a fantasy DB - I created a bunch of those (linked below) and still have all the files and processes. So I could probably update to a current version if you wanted new inspiration.

Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
Yeah, those text boxes are just too hard. I have actually gone back and practised a bit, but so far it just hasn't gotten any easier. A shame, because I think I could be more creative, I have some other ideas - different sized panels, etc - I'd like to try.

Obviously, I'm actually quite fond of my walls of text... though, sure, the writing has to be good for it to work and that's hard, and even harder to do it consistently. A bit of humour would do wonders, but that's not my forte.

Awesome, a fictional database! Would it work with PCM 14? Maybe even PCM 17?

Ulrich Ulriksen
I too don't mind walls of text but feel like people don't want to deal with that. I could pump out man game reports much faster if I didn't do pictures but that hasn't been the style.

Maybe I should restart the story and just do text and folks who don't like it will ignore it.

On the fantasy DB - short answer yes to either version.

How hard depends on what you want to do. If you just want a bunch of riders with a real mix of skill sets it is easy to port. My fantasy db also assigned teams using all the available sponsor jerseys and tried to make the teams with somewhat realistic make up (ie french teams having more french riders). The teams are a little harder to port because the same jerseys don't exist. So we would either have to port all the jerseys or reassign the teams.

I think 13 and 14 used the same jersey specs so maybe not a problem on that front. Then we just need to map the 5 or so tables which is pretty easy. So long answer yes.
Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
About that fictional database: Mapping tables? Please don't do any work for me. I am currently in the middle of a career, when I'm done with that I'll try and figure it out myself.

The story you are talking about is the World Series of Cycling? (Which I totally missed...) Looks awesome and I love the premise.

Ulrich Ulriksen
Just to move between versions the fields change a little so you have to remap them a little. Also they changed the way equipment works at some point which requires a little time. Generally easy, mainly removing columns no longer used.

PM if you ever decide you want to pursue it, happy to help out.

Thanks for the thoughts on the World Series, maybe will try restarting it with an approach I can maintain. I am still running it just not putting out the story.
Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
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