Community Focus: The Black Garden
The community of gamers waiting for Destiny is discovering common threads of interest and weaving them into a rich tapestry. Already, groups are forming to explore almost every topic imaginable. Some invite Guardians to swear loyalty to factions they have yet to fully understand. Others inspire artists to create art that depicts worlds they have yet to reach.
One of these new clubhouses is the Black Garden, founded right here on Bungie.net. When the leaders of this group first laid eyes on the piece of concept art that shares their namesake, they said “That’s a place I want to visit!” Then, their imaginations ran wild. To vent that creative energy, they broke new ground where they could grow some fan-cultivated fiction of their very own.
Colonel Aloki is one of their leaders. Last week, he approached us with a challenge to recognize their work. On the Bungie Blog, we’ve showcased everything from painters to sculptors. “Why haven’t the writers gotten any love?” The answer to that question came in the form of a contest on their forum. Where there’s a will, there’s a way on Bungie.net for the community to serve itself. Before we invite you to pick a winner who proves that the pen is mightier than the sword, let’s get to know a proprietor of this writer’s guild.
What service would you like for the Black Garden to provide to the community?
Aloki: We provide a steady flow of excellent content to help keep the community entertained while the game is still being developed. More importantly, we provide an outlet for people who wish to write about a universe that represents a mystery. That’s the fun in writing, creating our own special twists and turns to each story. That is what makes them as unique as every Guardian will be.
You're getting out in front of us in defining the raw space, here. How will you react if the world you create inside your own imaginations isn't a match-fit for the world of Destiny that unfolds in the game?
Aloki: To be honest, I will not be disappointed in the least. We all went into this knowing that we probably wouldn’t get every fact right, but that was ok. This is just me but, once I know that the facts of the game happen to be different than what I had written, I will just change them.
How did you go about selecting the finalists in your contest?
Aloki: Selecting the finalists was actually quite a joy. So many pieces of work had been entered that it was hard to believe that this was actually happening. In terms of selection, we all had a list of people that we liked. If one person was on all three lists, that person moved on. That was a rather rare event but it still occurred. Then we picked from people who were on two of the three lists. That was more common and quickly filled our slots, more so. It quickly became a stalemate among a few writers. So we chose the diplomatic approach and re-read the stories. After that, we came to our conclusions.
Your contestants are fortunate to have such diligent judges. What can we expect from your gardeners in the future?
Aloki: You can expect exactly what we have been doing from the very beginning: providing content for the community to read and enjoy.
As it turns out, that’s a promise that they can deliver on right now. We’re proud to present to you the seven finalists in the Black Garden Fan Fiction Festival. Each writer is a member of the Bungie Community. Each story is a labor of love. And, please remember, none of this is official Destiny canon. This is meant to be a fun opening act while we wait for the main attraction to begin.
The winner of the contest will receive a print of the Buried City on Mars, the chosen setting for each short story. It will be signed by our team as a gesture of solidarity from one group of storytellers to another. You can help choose the winning piece with a vote on this poll.
If fiction created by your fellow fans of Destiny seems like a welcome way to pass the time before we signal the call to invade our brave new world, this is one group that you should join. Of course, Bungie.net is home to many upstart alliances like this. You can find them all on our forum, or start one of your very own.