Still a little offset a bit in shock to be nominated for an interview. Would like to show my thanks and devotion of gratitude. To be honest, I would’ve loved to have seen Lumine interviewed instead. I’m pretty bad at these things, but for sake of, I can shed a little of my history. Truth be told, I’m a much older member in the roleplaying section than my join date states.
I originally joined the site december 2005 as KHProdigy1, of course with that obsession we all had at some point, I wanted to ‘recreate it’ in text. I really remember attempting to roleplay in february of 2006 with no prior experience. My first roleplay was some cliche keyblade academy which, though I posted a template, I never actually posted. I was that clueless, its not so much a shame now as it is a decent laugh. My name is Darien for those that are wondering, I’ve gotten used to being called Dar, or any strange abbreviation like HV, whatever your the most comfortable with.
How did you start out way back when?
I more or less had in influence from a member that visits the site nowadays as Agoraphobia, back when he used to roleplay. We never actually roleplayed together, but he turned me in the direction of it, told me it was like writing a story which I've never done but told myself, it was easy enough. The first sucess I actually saw was in this organization role play, I thought It went pretty well at the time, if you liked staggeringly newbish one-liners from myself, wisdom&valor unbelievably bad grammar (before Takushi Reina tutored him), and the moderation that finally deleted that roleplay that we still to this day remember. I am actually kind of glad it got deleted, but at the sametime I think now "Wow, It was so bad they had to delete it...jesus."
How long did it take you to move onto bigger and/or better things?
It took a while, I didn't really such much improvement in my writing until nearing the middle of 2007. By that time, I was really networking and collaborating with other members through AIM and MSN chats, when I was writing some of KHI's best Naruto Rps. Considering how it went from four original members to a really close-knit family of about nine people (of which included myself). 2007 was also the same year that I started my small, entourage with graphic design, it was kind of ironic just as some of the most memorable artist were going inactive.
And how have you filled your time between then and now?
Between 2007 and the current time, boy, there is a pretty huge gap because so much has really gone by. I do remember expanding into the early challenge section and built a foundation with some of the earliest forms of 'elitist' that graced the roleplaying section, whom in my honest opinion were the best by the brand of writing they used to maul me with because I was still inexperienced. It wasn't my writing that was the problem, it was just how complex they thought in comparison to myself. Its about the time I brought Ubi Ty into challenges because for a while we were rivals then, and best friends now to help push the latter and expand, progress, and achieve in a number of ways that varied from several outlets.
On the flipside, It was at the same time in a simultaneous manner that I was an artist for the Crazy Coo graphics shop, which later was named Twilight Studios. My graphics mentor iSora (Xelhes at the time) showed me the basics of photoshop, tutored and trained me. I had a good balance of both writing and digital art, that same appreciation which I still continue today.
What sort of things have you got currently filling your creative schedule?
Kind of an odd question. I've got a massive outlet nowadays, if its not writing or managing a roleplay, its being apart of someone elses. Then theres my newfound nich for poetry which I just absolutely indulge in. When I'm not doing something written, and have access to PS, I usually expand on it a bit more. While I do have Adobe Illustrator...yeah, that program and me have almost no common ground as I have little clue as to function with it on professional terms. I also read quite often.
What sort of novels, authors - or anything else outside of the roleplaying section - have you found yourself drawing inspiration from?
I wasn't really big on authors with the exception of Robert Frost. Novels, coming to those I actually liked and remembered, there aren't many. There is this one children's book I still own that was dedicated to my principal who passed on when I was half the age I am now. It's been key for my motivation and inspiration mainly because it's possessed so much sentimental value and been token because you carry on for someone else. I mean, I have to reference that because it's been something i've cradled for going on a decade now.
So you see your writing as crucial part of you, something formative or therapeutic?
In other words its the quiet release of how a man conveys his thoughts, expressions, and keeps his composure about him. I feel when I write, I can bridge what may often be overlooked on the surface because I write to expose as opposed to conceal anything. Its definitely formative, as well as informative. It didn't used to be crucial, but I wouldn't exactly say its exstensively critical either. What I write and what I say are almost completely identical, the difference being one has less room for error.
Your writing is obviously something very close to you. Where do you intend to carry it later in life?
Its an ambition and an aspiration of mine to become an established author, writer, and/or activist in any order. I'm hoping to carry it from the sheets of this world's boondocks into the open where people can at one point connect with. I know everyone's going through their tough times, optimism is nothing without its realism and the steps to take to make that concrete and mean something. I guess I sort of feel like an overzealous hippie without the drug influence or high on life, but I do want my words to reach the upcoming generation as well as the current. I can't change the world, just shift in the right direction, at least I can try. You know?
We all try our best. Have you got any special stories you're holding back from KHI or anywhere else until you make it big in some creative position?
I'm the most straightforward person you'll see, just doing what I can and trying with essentially the best tools of the trade. Confidence, dedication, and being punctual. I've definitely got plenty of history with KHI, but when it comes down to it, theres several stories that you probably never hear anymore because like most of the old veterans, they've moved on. Would really like to put it out there, that, KHI and its members, from a variety of different section have contributed as an influence to me and several of my creative outlets, I don't want to start a list because it's stretch for even more than the years i've been an active member of this great and quite eccentric site.
Anything within KHI itself that you're holding back from us? What are some of your current projects in development?
Concerning projects, half-baked ideas which pretty much fall short on activity, or some form of sloth to push the forward. As for up coming works, I might actually sit down and collab with Tavish and actually write 'The Cul-de-sac of Keys' into a fanfiction when I manage to find the time. For the time being, I've been caught in the bittersweet nostalgia of wanting a naruto roleplay, two years overdue. I mean, i've had read plenty of content from Kishimoto in that time to make my next one that much better, i used to be convinced he read my work with how similar some parts were (I don't know where that paranoia came from to be honest). However you can't top the creators, no matter how good a derivative, even if its fan made.
How do you generally go about the process of conceiving a roleplay? What takes you from the very first idea or want, that then (hopefully) results in a roleplay?
At first, it came with doing things from the draw and flow in motion with the events of a casual type of feeling. Most roleplays have always been straightforward for the longest time with me. When I decided to actually make one from scratch, the very first I made on my own was a kingdom hearts RP that was a basic 'world hopping' RP. I had no direction at first, but I did realize and hoped people would comply without my telling them, and i guess it comes down to certain people and how they interpret your style and it results pretty close to where we really want to be and at a certain point, in a certain time.
Given I have actually made three roleplays from scratched and finished three, I guess it depends on who you do it with and having those conversations to push for the best result. It comes down to the better you know the people you roleplay with, another means of why I encourage networking with your fellow rp'ers through PMs, VMs, and eventually some IM interface. It really helps.
How well-knit (or otherwise) do you think KHInsider's modern roleplaying community is compared to how it's been years back?
From what I've seen, nowadays, the closest to what I remember you'll pretty much see in members like King Sora X, Chimubar, ThePromise, and Tenyas. It feels like not that much has changed, but there was a reason why moderation stopped the post count increase for the OOC threads.
Its become more of a general chat as opposed to planning things out, like from where I came from. Which isn't to take away from the success of the actual roleplays themselves, its kept members quite active in a more open manner as opposed to those practiced discretions myself and my writing team were so accomodated to.
Who are the sorts of people you regularly see yourself working with, or enjoying doing so?
Quite the diverse crowd, recently it's kind of been a mixture of old and new faces. From my long time friend Ubi Ty, to newly joined members like TheLight, it really just ranges from how well any one just handles themselves and holds their own with their way of writing. You never really want to roleplay with a complete crowd of oldies, you always, always want to make room for new blood. Its a definite must, especially when it comes to introducing the inexperienced or just all around new people to how 'we once did things'. I hope that makes sense.
What are some of the most varied and differentiated things you've ever seen churned out by KHInsider's roleplaying community?
The number of Original Roleplays, the number of eager roleplayers that in such a short amount of time have expanded and filled their creative writing outlet with robust and substantial content. Taking a concept and twisting it until they've attained something.
To me there were a few things that stood out, The Arcana Nanny, produced by Que Sera Sera twice and his only threads. Probabably one of the most memorable originals, there was Anomaly by Shamedo, just about anything by either Takushi Reina or Guardian of Hearts. Then Azrael's the commission (the roleplay, not the OOC) A couple RPs, of which included, I think it was Saviours or something along the lines, your own roleplay. CITY by Tenyas, pokemon collabs between Every Heart and Relliks Ban (putting those to together is the result of rabbits, they gogogo!) Theres really just so much, and by diffrentiated, I mean like just an onslaught of variety from different people that specialized here and there.
Our section has basically done it all, between originals and canons. We've had and still do have our share of some really creative minds, I guess it depends on the pairing and collaborations. Somebody bring back Tobui already lol.
Any ideas on what it is that has let our community be so varied?
It's always been anime, fantasy, or just a taste of reality and all of its extensions pretty much mixing where it fit the table of what piqued our interest. We may be a kingdom hearts forum, but not everyone roleplays kingdom hearts. I guess the first that started to do something different kind of encouraged people to influx variety. I've almost never seen anyone turn down a collab, be it for a canon or original RP.
Thats another thing I've always loved about this section. The fact that its been probably the most open community with the most sincerity aside from Traditional Media and Creative Writing.
What is it that's kept you returning to the roleplaying section after five whole years?
It's definitely been Ubi Ty and ninja Sauce that've more or lessed kept me in the role-playing section. We're like, this really close-knit trio. We motivate and inspire each other in what I can only imagine a good number of ways. Ubi was definitely my longest going rival, we by ourselves have generated a tug-of-war for the longest time. If he doesn't have some kind of crazy story about how the other roleplayer's tried to 'gang up' on his character and got blown away in one post, it was that he did something completely uncanny that made people either twitch or bust out laughing histerically. NS at first (when he was Reckless Chaos) i heard nothing but good things. I was intimidated by him at first, but actually roleplaying with him, he's a real softie, but still hard-boiled. I guess something else, is to keep it running and out-live the longevity of our some of our oldest and now retired members. Write with this generation so they steadily progress and write memorable works like old vets have during the older age of the roleplaying section.
What sort of characters and roleplays have you found are your favourites?
Hmmm, as far as characters go, usually those with affiliation to a type of power thats bodily or usually revered in the sense its something biological and can be used in a kind of way thats not really destructive, but as a tool to keep ones self from harm. In addition to that, just fairly cunning and eccentric showing they've more content to offer. Character personalities definitely, I really like a see a variety of those. The types of roleplays I have grown fond of, are definitely massive war roleplays, where the setting shows a division in the society all fighting for control over either territory. In these roleplays, you really see how strong people's writing is and how they set themselves apart from the standard fantasy or fan-flock setting everyone is quite familiar with.
How much exploration of a world do you like to do, or do prefer to focus on pushing forward the events of the roleplay?
We've all got our filler time to do something on the side and introduce more to the map we're all basically role-playing on. I do like to get a break from the plot every now and again, its usually fairly brief as to not bore everyone else to death and vice versa.
What aspect of being a good roleplayer do you particularly identify with?
Comprehensive ability. Its mainly because usually when it comes to how well we understand something even completely foreign to us, it leaves room to expand on it and usually the more anyone delves deeper, the faster they learn, progress, and familiarize themself with something foreign. Thats really keen in roleplayers, that feel for versatility.
What's something you generally see lacking in KHI's roleplaying section? What might you suggest to others on how to improve on that?
Hands on moderation? Tutoring/When Takushi Reina helped wisdom&valor with his grammar? I kinda feel theres no real passing the torch in that section, well thats sort of half and half. We kind of went from, Aeriona/God of Death/Guardian of Hearts/LoC/Alaude to Fatal Advent, Rem, Ubi Ty, Ashes Remnant, OmniChaos to Ordeith, yourself, Azrael, Evangeline, Rhapsody, Solareon as some of the current prominents of today. I kind of stopped, given I could list more, but I could stand to look more into both the longevity and quality of content in the existing roleplays for a better input.
I kind of wish we were more hands on. The fact that we now have an OOC&Sign-ups sub-section with no post increase has made us look like the equivalent of fanclubs. I shuddered that day. Our mods are somewhat like ghost, I remember getting interrupted by both Prodigy_Keyblade and Version X (I didn't know they read every thread back then mind you) and to actually be corrected, warned, and given advice was...it was definitely an experience. I stopped one-lining, started writing two paragraphs bare minimum and sort of took off from there. Not really sure how to explain it, but there is a vast difference between then and now. I kind of wish they had the same experience, without the random embarassment somewhat.
Where do you think the future of KHInside Roleplaying might lead?
I know the days will come where they can write good, if not somewhere along the lines of some of the oldest, loved, and most memorable roleplayers. Putting forth that ambition, seeing as we've got a great number of writers now and we only continue to produce more. I think it will continue the cycle and continue to impress its readers with both their share of rich canon and original roleplays.
Thanks for all your time and answers. Is there anything you'd like to say before we depart?
Well, as it seems to have come to a close, I could share my final thoughts. Extending my gratitude to those that have helped to mold me, serious influences both old and new, ranging anywhere from december of 2005 to the present day. Thank you, and I appreciate everything, for the current generation thats providing without some undoubtedly excellent content, keep it up guys. I'm sure we all want to come back and revisit when we were at our peak every now again. Save some inspiration for the next gen. Later.