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DarkPonzu
01-01-2012, 13:31
Hi all, just want to let you know I finished a Xenonauts fanfic screenplay. Hope no one minds if I link to it here.

I started the project for two reasons: 1 was to show my fandom for the game, the 2nd was to practice my writing.

This is the first episode of a series if there's enough positive feedback. Writing it in screenplay format may seem like an odd choice, but I had several reasons for this. In my experience, writing, reading and revising scripts takes less time than traditional prose. If people like the story, but want me to write future episodes as short stories, I will, but I can't promise it will be perfect ;)

I also thought that writing it as a screenplay would make it easier for people to read online. I don't know about others, but I prefer reading long prose on an e-reader or print book, rather than on a website. The screenplay is 44 pages, which roughly equals 44 minutes of screen time. I wrote it as if it was for an hour long drama series (counting commercials.)

Series Title: Xenonauts: First Strike
Pilot Episode title: Episode 1: Redemption

Plot synopsis: Tyrone Mercer is a bounty hunter down on his luck. Just when he's about to go broke, he receives a mysterious visit from two strangers. Little does he know, he will become the newest recruit in the war against an alien menace, waged by a secretive group known as the Xenonauts.

Few more points to make about the script:


I uploaded it in .pdf format. Copying and pasting a formatted screenplay into a forum would probably not look good, so this was the better alternative.

I don't know all the lore and back story regarding the Xenonauts universe yet. This includes the differences between the Cold War of our time, and that of the Xenonauts.

In my version, the Cold War played out pretty much the same. There were still the proxy wars between the U.S. and Soviet sphere of influence (Korea, Vietnam, etc.) whether or not these would have happened in light of alien invasions, I don't know. Needless to say, the script is by no means representative of the setting's official canon material.

If the project is liked well enough, I will try to introduce more things from the game into the story. At first, the Xenonauts don't have much. As the series would continue, they will get the cooler stuff like the flamethrowers, ground vehicles and alien tech based weapons and equipment.

I have plans to introduce more female characters into the story, but they will not likely be soldiers due to the culture of the time period.

I have no military background (unless playing an excessive amount of military strategy games count? :D) , but I tried to represent soldiers and military stuff the best I could. If I made any mistakes or made a fool of myself I apologize in advance ;)

Lastly, if you really like the script and want to see more, have ideas, or even want to help me write more episodes, you're welcome to.


Hope you guys like it, feedback appreciated.

http://www.filedropper.com/xenonauts-firststrikeep1

One more thing, I wrote it under my pen name.

anotherdevil
01-01-2012, 20:30
look forward to getting some time to kick back and read this! Good on ya, this looks like a fair bit of effort, will post feedback as soon as I am able

anotherdevil
01-02-2012, 07:10
ok I have read some of it, and I have quite a few comments so far. These may seem a bit harsh in places, but these are just my opinions and you can take them or leave them as you like.

1. You have terribly cliche characters:
- the perfectly chiselled soldier (with soviet/eastern european accent = Arnie perhaps?)
- hot science babe, with super curves, all contained in a baggy lab coat. Oh and she also wears her hair in a bun. Maybe her lab mates will wear suspenders, and have tight ponytails?
- old veteran colonel who of course has an old war wound, and walks with a cane. But it's ok though, because he can still move very swiftly, and can still support himself while firing a 45 calibre pistol...
- The grand general who of course smokes cigars in the war room...

ok now relatively chronologically following what I've read:
- If the colonel (Col from now on) has to get the Doc out of the lab quickly, why does he start the conversation so casually?
- why oh why do they duck behind an oil barrel for cover? Was it not blatantly painted red with an explosive sticker on it?

- after a while they get to the storeroom. here a soldier dies to a plasma shot, and Andrei fires a burst back, killing multiple aliens. How is this possible? First of all you just had the doc explaining how much tougher the aliens are than humans, and secondly both sets of shooting are through a smoke screen!
- also the sudden shift from aliens firing laser rifles to plasma

-on pg 4 they talk about not giving up the base to those 'things'. Surely they'd have a nickname or something by now...
- also on this page, if your gun jams in the middle of an open corridor, with aliens down the other end, are you really going to have a conversation about how much better AK-47s (not even AKs, no the whole name) are?

- pg 5. if you're trying to evac the base in a hurry, why isn't the helicopter already spun up its rotor blades?

- as they fly away from the underground base it gets destroyed in a big explosion. Perhaps having it collapse downwards into itself might be a bit more realistic? Sort of like near the end of Halo:Reach...

- aliens called "E.T.s." on pg 7. Not only is there too many full stops there, would you really call them that over something like 'aliens'?

- the whole scene at Xenonauts command is all conversation. Might get awfully boring watching that on TV. Perhaps a little more going on might be good

- colonel should salute when he meets the general

- you say the base in the Ural mountains is the last Xenonaut base, but then on pg 9 you say there is another on in the U.S.

how can a guerilla force attack waves of incoming UFOs, especially if they are not attached to a base, and have a limited budget? They have no means of tracking UFOs, no means of intercepting them, and then how will they get to the aliens to beat them up? It sounds like the men attached to bases have a much better chance of actually fighting the aliens, yet that is the very method suggest against...

so that's where I've gotten up to so far. Don't get me wrong, I look forward to reading the rest of it. It's just a bit over the top at the moment, perhaps ground it more, and avoid a whole lot of the extravagance. Make it more real.

But once again that is my opinion, so take it how you will =] Keep happy writing

anotherdevil
01-02-2012, 07:11
Ok so I read a little more, here are some more thoughts:

- Tyrone and Hector talk to each other colloquially, but why are they so friendly? One of them is paying the other, it is a business transaction at best

- it is a VERY stereotypical biker gang, horribly so. Everyone is incredibly bad arse, psychotic brutes who like little more than to smoke, drink, and fondle skantily clad women. Yet somehow they have a piece of the drug trade and the ability to break people out of prison. Perhaps give them some sophistication...

- I like the gang name, but perhaps the nicknames of the gang members could have more to do with that? You know like lucifer and michael (names of angels, or demons), rather than scorpion, psycho, hector and tanner...

- so how exactly does tanner make it across the room and down the stairs to his gun, when tyrone has a shotgun at his disposal? Is he the worst bounty hunter in the world?

- So here is a bounty hunter who loses his chance to bag his target, and then realises he has no way of making it home. How exactly was he going to get Tanner back alive in the first place?
- and is Tyrone a criminal, because I'm sure that bike in the shed belonged to someone...

- Can we stop with the cliche characters please? Do you really need to set up the main character as the decorated ex-soldier with a traumatic history who has to be brought back in to fight the good fight? Are there no more active duty marines that can be volunteer?

- why would the Xenonauts want a crap bounty hunter anyway?

- And if he has a terrible war story, how is it he has the ability to tell any stranger who asks!? Especially when we then find out that everyone else from his unit who ever talked then "disappeared"...

Will read more tomorrow! Keep on happy writing!

Sathra
01-02-2012, 08:48
Aye, generic characters, but since its written as a TV drama that's alright. Good to make use of viewer expectations to set characters in their minds, then you add depth.
Probably no need to actually name the alien weapons fire as laser or plasma really, just its colour and call it 'energy'.

Overall, its not bad as a script. Not my favourite writing style, since it tends to lack detail, but not bad. I'm guessing any later episode will add 'lancer' characters to support the two rival 'hero' characters (Andrei and Tyrone). Or just one, and add depth to the heroes as rivals in outlook with the Lancer being the 'viewer' or 'normal', to help with empathizing. Then you build out from those 3 or 4 with additional part characters (soldiers and support staff)

sectoid
01-02-2012, 11:58
just read a few pages, haven't finish all, but for a glance, i like the font in the script, feel so vintage!

Brosama
01-02-2012, 18:59
There's a character named Tyrone? Must read. Will report on thoughts later.

anotherdevil
01-02-2012, 21:05
ok finished it this morning, and here is the last of my suggestions/critiques:


- the helicopter flies through a hatch in the side of a mountain to the new base. Disregarding the fact that a entire base was constructed with next to no money, don’t hatches open otwards? To fit a helicopter through that it would have to be massive, and I’m not sure camouflaging it would do much good…
- Everyone looks so pained when Tyrone asks who they’re fighting? Why? They’re not about to die immediately, which might excuse the fact. These are hardened professional soldiers who have been doing this for a while. They should be quite matter of fact about the alien presence…
- How far along is the war? Phrases like “we had bases everywhere” make it seem quite far along, yet they only have M16s
- UFO scouts aren’t round
- First contact with aliens was humans chasing them with war planes
- Why ask Tyrone if he is still with you once you’ve revealed the aliens? When you first recruited him you told him you needed his full commitment prior to telling him who you were fighting…
- Why oh why would you promote Tyrone? He may have the most experience, but not only was that only against humans, that was years ago. And it was never clear what rank he was, but by his war story it seems he was little more than a private or corporal, so what makes him have sudden leadership material? Andrei has at least led men (being a sergeant) and fought aliens before, and we know he wont freeze when under relentless alien assault…

Hope this helps, and I'm looking forward to the next one =]

Sathra
01-03-2012, 01:29
It makes more sense if you look at the whole thing as being a movie.
I'm guessing all the references to multiple bases and stuff is about how the Xenonauts had multiple bases after the Iceland Incident, but had to close most of them down over the 20 years since.

anotherdevil
01-03-2012, 04:04
yeah ok. Well in that case Dark Ponzu you need to play the alpha and read up all the lore you can, oh and all the tidbits Chris has put on the forum. You're missing a few bits and pieces of lore... =]

Sathra
01-03-2012, 04:44
oh and all the tidbits Chris has put on the forum.

*laughing*

Not being cruel, but that is quite a quest.

anotherdevil
01-03-2012, 06:32
No one said writing was easy!

Also I have to disagree with you here:

Aye, generic characters, but since its written as a TV drama that's alright. Good to make use of viewer expectations to set characters in their minds, then you add depth.

I don't think this should be supported. It just seems so easy to do the cliche things, but how many super cliche tv shows have you enjoyed recently? Or even watched? Why not strive to create characters like those from Game of Thrones? This is once again my opinion, but I truly believe that it is better to try and better yourself, rather than just take the easy road

Sathra
01-03-2012, 06:46
I don't mind it. Bones and Castle both use pretty cliche characters, then add little diversions and depth to the portfolio for depth. I still quite like them. It makes them easier to comprehend without having to watch the entire series or look it up on Wikipedia or something.

And what the heck is Game of Thrones?

anotherdevil
01-03-2012, 07:32
Game of thrones is based on the first book by George R.R. Martin. Fantasy series with a fantastic cast and story. Sitting on 9.4 out of 10 on IMDB...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0944947/

And don't watch bones, but Castle isn't cliche! Well maybe Becket, but only really her...

Sathra
01-03-2012, 09:58
Ah, Song of Fire and Ice. Been meaning to read that series.

Pretty much all of the characters in Castle are cliches. Some minor deviations (Castle being a writer for example), but the core of the characters are standard concepts. Mostly watch it for Nathan Fillion anyways :D.

Chris
01-03-2012, 15:44
I'm a bit too busy to read it myself, but I think it's cool that you're doing something like this, DarkPonzu. Good luck with it :)

anotherdevil
01-03-2012, 18:28
@ Sathra, really? Well they never struck me as such, so I guess my point still stands...?

Straker
01-04-2012, 00:27
I've got to check this out. I've read all of the X-Com fanfic so far. I think the best for EU was written by a fan from Brazil I believe. It had a Tom Clancy flavor to it. If there's any interest I may try digging for the link. :)

anotherdevil
01-04-2012, 02:35
please do dig it up!

Straker
01-04-2012, 06:25
I'll have to try later at home. My firewall at work is blocking most of my searching.

Edit: Still looking... I think I read this about 15 years ago.

oracle1990
02-23-2012, 08:29
http://www.filedropper.com/xenonauts-firststrikeep1



Hi.

I try this link, but I only get to Filedropper's homepage - nothing to download...

--O--

The New Romance
02-23-2012, 16:27
Hi.

I try this link, but I only get to Filedropper's homepage - nothing to download...

--O--

Got the same problem.