Basically, it went, I created the story of Disease. I gave people powers I thought were cool. I knew from the get-go I wasn't going to have an infinite number of powers; there would be repeats, as well as powers that were similar but manifested differently. But that was about it.
Keep in mind: Disease was one of my first stories, ever. I forget how old it is, but I think it was among my first eight, definitely in my first ten, and was one of my immediate big hit stories. Disease, my original first novel, a novel involving werewolves, and a story involving a maze all spring to mind as being big ones. Oh, there was also an Inu-Yasha knockoff, too. Then there's my Bleach knockoff, which is an occasional side-project I dabble on even to this day because it's taken on a life of its own. There were others (I could go on all day about all the various novels I created in my youth and have revisited from time to time), but these six, along with my current novel to make for a nice seven, are the largest of my large.
Disease was the one that really sparked them off, though. My first novel started me in novel-writing. Disease was created because I was looking to get approved to be an author on the Battleon Forums. I wrote it, purely and entirely, specifically, for that purpose alone, and it was a hit. Particularly thanks to one of my long-time friends I've sadly since fallen out of contact with. She's one of the most talented novelists I've ever met, and it was her enthusiasm with my work that kept me writing. I owe everything to her, though that's a story for a different time.
(I wish I knew what happened to her. I can list various facts about her from memory, but while she was a friend, enough to share with me her personal email account, we never used it that much, mostly using forums and a chat program to talk. I know that she has a birthday in either March or May, and was 16 when I was 15, which means that she's somewhere between 22 and 24 right now. I know she was living in Canada, I believe somewhere in the Ontario area though I'm not entirely positive about that, and she was fluent in French and English. But that's it; I never learned her real-life name and even if I did, not like I could really learn what's going on with her right now without it being all creepy stalkerish. Still, one of my greatest hopes is that she never gave up on noveling and has somehow managed to get published, with me simply not knowing which of her great works got published especially since she may have changed the name from what I knew the novel as.)
Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is: Disease is an old, old novel. I'm not sure if I was 14 or 15 when I started it, but it was around then. Going through my flashdrive, the earliest word doc I can find date-modified-wise has a November 2007 date on it, which suggests I was 14 if I'm doing my math correctly, though the word doc I'm going off of was not for a novel, but rather, my suggestions thread for things to be added to the game.
Uh. Long story. But basically, know how Blood Masters are now a part of Red Hood Rider's Rubyverse? Well, prior to that, Blood Masters were split into two stories: one in an urban fantasy setting, the other in a fantasy land of Mythe, which was my knockoff-cheap-substitute for Artix Entertainment's setting of Lore. And that's because, prior to being in Mythe, Blood Masters existed as a suggestion to be a class to put in Adventure Quest. The file I'm staring at is another of the class suggestions: I called them Casters...effectively a light-element version of necromancers, who raise a SINGLE undead person as a full-bodied version rather than skeletal version as a companion. I thought it was a neat idea, which is why they got put in Mythe. The Descended used a variant on the idea by having Necromancers require the Light element, and even in the Rubyverse, elements of Casters get featured in Necromancy.
...But that's a tangent. (Hmm, seems to be a common trend for today! And here I thought this was going to be a short blog post. Maybe in comparison......) I'm more saying this because, if the file says it was last modified around that time, that's a good estimate for when I was beginning to save my works. It means that if I wasn't already a writer, I was on my way to becoming one; I definitely was a writer in 2008 because I remember writing way back then which means I was on the forums which means I started writing Disease when I was just a 14-year-old kid.
(Not that the people on the forums knew my age. I considered my age to be my most closely-guarded internet secret until...well, the start of this blog, really. I told a grand total of two people my age before then: one, another of my AE-days friends, the other, the prominent transwoman back in 2014 when she asked me my age. Nobody else ever had it explicitly given to them until the creation of my blog made the information easy to know.)
It was badly written. It was very, very poorly planned. I didn't have anything nailed down. I eventually got vague ideas in place: the backstory, the distant future, important plot points like the original midway point in the novel. (Now marking the end of the first book, since I know Disease will be long enough to need two books.) But that was about it. The characters were named after people I knew, mostly, but had zero percent of the personality of their original selves in them because I just needed names; I was making up everything about their characters, and it showed, with awkward bonds that didn't make much sense, a forced narrative...you know, a ton of amateur mistakes.
But me having bipolar disorder, I never could keep my focus on Disease and the momentum going. I got stuck in a cycle: rewrite. After partially rewriting, get exhausted. Instead of pushing through the exhaustion, I caved in. Worked on some flashy new novel project I suddenly became enthusiastic about, which I would later abandon the moment the enthusiasm stopped. Come back, be unable to stand the godawful piece of junk I had created, and start a new rewrite. Rinse. Repeat.
Until, eventually, I stopped working on the novel altogether. Enter, some point later (not exactly sure when--it could be as early as 2010 or as late as 2013), the idea for a flash game. I was really, really big into tower defense games at the time. Obsessed with them, in fact. I absolutely adored all kinds of them. A particular favorite was the Protector series. (This predates the release of Protector IV, to give you some idea of chronology. Maybe even Protector III, perhaps possibly even Protector II. So somewhere after the original Protector, but prior to Protector IV. That's the timeline you have for when this game idea was formed.)
I forget what other tower defense games were big at the time. Energy Apocalypse was fun to play through, though I don't think it was new at the time. (It was release some time in 2008. I think I first played it through to its completion in 2009, maybe 2010.) It was, however, vaguely familiar to me, what with the whole 'evolving enemy' concept and post-apocalyptic world and such. One of the earlier Desktop Tower Defense games was pretty important, and I believe Bloons and Bloons 2 were both popular at the time. (Absolutely positive there was no Bloons 4, though I'm not certain about Bloons 3. I think this predates then, but I'm not absolutely sure about that.)
So that should give you a fair idea of what kind of era this was. Arguably the peak of tower defense games, where creativity and ingenuity were at their highest and enthusiasm for the genre was wide-spread. (It has since died down, with many complaints about games being, "So...this game is just X, with a reskin" or "So this is X, with a bit of Y thrown in".) This, by the way, predates Plants vs. Zombies. Maybe not the creation of Plants vs. Zombies, but the fame of Plants vs. Zombies. If Plants vs. Zombies existed at this point in time, it was an obscure game, with zero merchandise and zero fame and zero imitators.
Around that time, I got the idea of creating a tower defense game. However, I think by this point, I had given up on becoming a programmer, because it was after I had just barely scraped by a pass to Digipen and the flash class I had taken was a dead-end. This places it post-2008, maybe post-2009. So, because after I was held back in second grade, my grade was the year+1 (as in, 2003 being 4th grade), I was in some time between 9th grade and 11th grade, somewhere around 16 or 17.
Probably 17. At that point, I created the tower defense game, blatantly ripping off my own story, Disease, for it. I avoided calling it Disease, and avoided calling any of the things in Disease by their names, even though I used direct imports. Darmichrons were given a different name, but existed as the main enemy to fight. The Sarciller was turned into a particle--vital detail there--with a different name, this time a result of a meteor impacting the earth and spreading an alien bug across the population.
The human enemy, remaining the architect of the disaster, was instead a head of a mystic occult group. Names were changed in the game, like Brian becoming Ryan, and the plot was altered somewhat, but it was still Disease with the serial numbers filed off, in the form of a tower defense game.
And here, in the tower defense game, important concepts were created. First, the idea of standardized classes. It's a tower defense game, so there could only be a finite number of towers--a finite number of powers. So, I created a list, and decided that because I had introduced this concept of particles for the game, as a currency for leveling up characters and creating towers and whatnot, that there would be two types of paths each character could take: this is where the idea of 'dense' versus 'scarce' originates from.
And when all was said and done...I looked at the plot I had made, I looked at all the concepts I had done, I looked at all the characters (hero units) I had done, and I was like, "...You know...I think I actually like a lot of this better than what I have in my novel. Hmm......"
So those ideas got ported back into the source material. Canon Foreigners. (I remembered the name of the TVTropes term! Yeah, it's Canon Foreigners, I do believer.) Now, obviously, a lot of the ideas from the novel stayed in the novel, and a lot of ideas from the game stayed in the game. They weren't quite that identical. But I took what I could, to improve the world of Disease.
...And this is just the backstory behind what I wanted to talk about. Basically, one of those standard classes is "Body": people who have absolute mastery of their body. In scarce form, this manifests as basically being combinations of shapeshifters and rubber humans, able to morph their form to be whatever they desire. However, in dense form, this manifests as having complete mastery over their bodies, granting them invulnerability: they can't starve, they can't die of thirst, they can't burn to death, they can't drown, they can't be cut in half, they can't be beheaded, and it's ridiculously hard to cut/pierce their bodies...and whenever they are, whatever damage was inflicted will heal quickly.
I came in here to blog about how I went into detail about them in my head this morning, as I was eating breakfast. (Which was...over three hours ago. Dang, I write a lot. Because, yeah, after I finished breakfast, I came straight here to blog, and...look at me, I'm still going at it.)
Their ability is not true immortality, since in spite of their invulnerability, they still age. They do get hungry/thirsty and desire food/water, like normal people, and while complete mastery of the molecules in their body should stop aging, in truth, it just slows it down: they fortunately don't burn through their bodies with rapid aging thanks to their invulnerability, but they still do slowly fatigue. It's a gradual process, taking dozens upon dozens of years to build up, but they do eventually burn out...it's just that this won't happen in any reasonable time frame.
They tend to be stronger than normal humans (well, all surviving humans are stronger than average humans nowadays, and live longer too, basically being anywhere from 12-50% above peak human levels--these guys are stronger than that), and as mentioned, live longer (about 215 years rather than the 150-175 of normal surviving humans), but otherwise, they are normal, so their main role in combat situations is to act as a literal human shield, soaking up damage that would kill their comrades, and then hopefully manipulating their enemies in a way as to easily dispatch of them. Tanking damage.
...And my arms are sore. Funny how something I thought would be a five minute blog turned into a 180+-minute project.