A Paradox Between Worlds is a game about fandoms, popular media, and the stories we create for ourselves. I posted in the interest check thread: Interest Check Thread - #3232 by autumnchen
Stories can bridge the gap between who we are and who we aren’t yet. Narratives allow us to exist not just here and now and in this flesh but in that possibility space as well; it’s the spell that can change us. You can’t change if you don’t know the magic; how can’t exist if you don’t know how. You can feel the need in your gut so strongly it hurts every minute of your life, but all you know is the absence until the story shows you the way. When the possibility is named, when the story is told, it becomes possible for it to one day be real.
- Aevee Bee, “The Story is a Spell. The Story is a Curse.”
potterheads, grab your wands
whovians, hop in your TARDISes
supernatural fans, get the shotguns
sherlockians, hire your consulting criminals
tributes, knock an arrow
avengers fans, assemble
lotr fans, unsheath Sting
we’ve got a few people to track down
- geekerypokery, tumblr
To repeat some of the information from that post: the story will have three layers: Universe, Online, and IRL
“Universe” refers to the fictional story, the Chronicles of the Shadow Nebula franchise created by Scottish woman named G. T. Macmillan. In general it’s kind of inspired by HP, Star Wars, and Homestuck. It is a space opera/coming-of-age story/cosmic horror about an ordinary orphan from Terra, named Galileo “Gali” Nova, who is recruited to join the Pulsar Academy, a university that trains the new elites (”magi”) of the Nebula Empire.
As for how the player relates to that, you’ll be writing a fanfiction within the universe, a side story told through CYOA, where you can make choices that conflict with canon, like changing Gali’s gender or pursuing different romance options.
Then there is the Online portion, the other great part of the game. It takes place in a vaguely tumblr-esque blogging and discussion platform, and will deal with the drama therein.
And finally, the IRL. You are an ordinary 16-year-old living in the sburban jungle of America in the year 201X. You might be gay or trans or something like that, but no one IRL knows, least of all your parents. The Nebulaverse fandom is your safe space. And you might lose it.
Galileo “Gali” Nova: the protagonist, an orphan boy who is invited to the Pulsar Academy on his 16th birthday. Keeper of Light.
Bruno Helios: a scion of the elite Helios family, a student at the Pulsar Academy, and a rival-turned-grudging-friend to Gali. Many people believe there is romantic subtext in their relationship, but of course Macmillan disagrees. Reaper of Ice.
Tycho Planetes: an ordinary but talented boy who is a student at the Pulsar Academy. Gali’s roommate and loyal best friend, and often shipped with him (Macmillan does not approve). Speaker of Stone.
Astra Van Allen: a highly studious girl who has the highest grades at the Pulsar Academy, and close friends with Gali and Tycho. Canonically supposed to be Tycho’s love interest, but also has moments with Gali (and fandom-subtexted moments with Capella). Weaver of Metal.
Capella Taikong: a somewhat flighty girl. A student at the Pulsar Academy who has her own agenda, and is morally questionable at times. Canonical love interest of Gali (and fan favorite partner of Astra, Macmillan be damned). Augur of Wind.
The Administrator: real name unknown, he is the principal of Pulsar Academy. He is somewhat of a mysterious figure who has taken an interest in Gali and his friends, and might have been the person who invited him. Persona: ???
@lunan0va: luna | she/her | minor | asian | augur of ice, keeper of the forbidden transgirl!gali lore
@shadow-protectrix: I’m Claire, your favorite nonbinary ace fandom mom. Keeper of Wind, they/them. I’m very much an adult, but I’ll try to keep it kid-friendly here. All ships are welcome.
@brunova-official: follow the light and find the truth (Lux, lvl 17, he/him, weaver of light)
@nebulascribbler: never apologize for being who you are. (-Sofia. -latinx lesbian. -20-something. -she/they. -Nebulaverse fandom writer. -augur of light.)
@apocalypsehoarder: stella | they/she | reaper of metal | 17 | astrapella forever
@trappedinspace: yes this is a chronicles sideblog. yes i’m a loser. karla, she, >18 only. f*ck macmillan.
Elements and roles
The Nebula is governed by five (or maybe six) elements, which describe the physical world, the human world of society, and the inner world of the mind. Every human in the Nebula has a persona, an element that is most resonant to them. Students in the Pulsar Academy are assigned to houses based on their personae, where they will be taught to use their element to its maximum potential.
Light: stars, heat, nuclear forces; emotion, passion, offense
Stone: planets, asteroids, gravity; stability, order, defense
Metal: human ingenuity, the artificial; knowledge, logic, balance
Wind: gas giants, stellar winds, electromagnetism; discovery, novelty, change
Ice: comets, water, inertia; flexibility, adaptability, survival
And finally, there is Shadow, a secret element. It represents dark energy and matter, as well as the inner self, psychology, and the struggle against the established order.
Each mage is assigned a role, starting within the Academy and proceeding to the hierarchy of the Empire. Roles are assigned based on the skills and proclivities of the mage, and describe the job that the mage is to perform. Unlike personae, roles are not assigned for life, and might change.
Augur: the scientist; the discoverer of new knowledge related to the element. They are research assistants in the Academy.
Keeper: the guard; the defender of values intrinsic to the element. They act as prefects in the Academy.
Reaper: the fighter and rebel; often opposed to the values of the element. They form the Academy’s militia.
Speaker: the communicator; proselytizes the element. They are teaching assistants in the Academy.
Weaver: the creator; uses the element to aid civilization. In the Academy they are nurses’ assistants, custodians, and engineers.
Influences and related works
Fandoms: Harry Potter (especially the early HP fandom), Homestuck, Star Wars, Superwholock (really just Supernatural and Sherlock)
IRL fandom drama incidents: Msscribe, The Johnlock Conspiracy, hivliving, Dashcon
I’ve been posting updates sporadically on my blog at https://cyberpunklesbian.tumblr.com/tagged/a-paradox-between-worlds (I don’t have the discipline to maintain a separate IF/development blog).
I would like to have a private demo for now, since I might want to submit it for a competition. If you’re interested in trying it out, DM me and I’ll send a link (eventually; I might be a bit slow in responding). The story is very early-stage, with more worldbuilding and notes than actual content written down. The raw word count right now is ~27k words.
(note: I’m still working on the sequel to Pageant and am more than halfway done with that; this is kind of a procrastination project)