On Building Universes

I doubt any of you noticed, but I made a small change to the Daily SPUF lately. I changed the main menu, adding a Links page, linking (duh) to other things that aabicus and myself have done, mostly just Youtube links. The offer is out there for any other regular contributors to put their own links there, but right now it’s a bit sparse. The only thing there that’s mine is a link to the Phoviverse.

The Phoviverse has been mentioned once here before. SilverWolf seemed to like it. Then I got an email from disguisedcyclone saying that he liked it too. Apart from those two, regular reads come from Davjo and Baxcaber, and the odd read from aabicus whenever he has time. Apart from that, I’m the only person who reads it.

I both love and hate the Phoviverse. I love the fact that I’ve made it all, that it’s my own personal universe where things aren’t too bad and everything belongs solely to me. I hate the fact that it’s cliched and stupid, and that I needlessly torture a lot of the characters. Despite how awesome it would be to visit my own worlds, I’d hate to meet Kayel. He’d probably whimper a little bit before using his telekinetic powers to pull out my spine in anger, considering how I’ve treated him. On the plus side, Kayel is now 100% a good guy, rather than the “evil bastards who always had bad shit happen to him because bad karma” character he used to be.

Seriously. I'm sorry, Kayel. Please don't hurt me with your unnatural magical powers.
Seriously. I’m sorry, Kayel. Please don’t hurt me with your unnatural magical powers.

The Phoviverse in general though has gone through so many damn changes it’s not even funny. SilverWolf mentioned in his article that the site you see is the MK3 version, and how there were four versions before then. But that doesn’t include the iterations before then, which included things like TF2 Medics and Bionicle and Robot Wars. The very first iteration of my imagination consisted of a world where humans all disappeared and the robots from Robot Wars and Battle Bots somehow gained sentience and built factories to duplicate themselves. Their biggest enemies were the Beanies, giant stuffed animals, led by a stripped tabby cat called Amber, that were also sentient and considered the robots a threat to their existence.

Later versions were less… strange. I’d always been a fan of dragons and dinosaurs, and my battle bots evolved into, well, dinosaurs. My introduction to Bionicle and vast amounts of plasticine helped built that world, as I could finally do more than just draw them – I could build and pose them too. Then the Bohrok came along and I had this strange world which Bohrok ruled everything.

The main character of the pre-Phoviverse worlds, Panic Attack, ended up re-imagined as a whole new race - the Banikans
The main character of the pre-Phoviverse worlds, Panic Attack, ended up re-imagined as a whole new race – the Banikans

Even TF2 comes into this. The MK1 Phoviverse was convoluted as heck. But it also contained the TF2 universe. In MK1, Earth is a planet ruled by RED and BLU, blissfully unaware that their solar system is nothing like what they thought, being part of a binary system and having ten other inhabitable planets nearby. Of course, world-building noob that I was, my favourite TF2 character was connected to my favourite Phoviverse character, Medic helped Teekay build a healing laser field in exchange for half a pint of his blood and Medic not telling everyone else about his existence. I’m not kidding, that was a Phoviverse MK1 storyline.

MK1.5 consisted of me slowly removing things that are copyrighted elsewhere, like Bohrok and Toa, replacing them with other, more unique beings, but MK2 was the really interesting and convoluted version of the Phoviverse.

You see, back in MK1, I had teams of four that would battle one another. I adapted this into MK2, with the Exaron (or the Dessaron for teams of 4), a battle arena system where no one would die, and they’d fight to solve conflicts rather than go to war. Which sounds cool, but I’d gone and created a good 30 or so races, many of which weren’t fleshed out past “like X race but with Y feature” and that didn’t satisfy me. Despite being how convoluted MK2 was, it was pretty much the basis of MK3, and got into the whole ‘Dessaron’ background story line.

Arkay is now technically the main character of the Phoviverse, but he started off as an angry xenophobe.
Arkay is now technically the main character of the Phoviverse, but he started off as an angry xenophobe.

So now we have MK3. MK3 is much more streamlined, but also far more in depth. There’s metaphysics involved, even if the source of said metaphysics is a fucking lunatic. The biggest change was the removal of Phovos as the main character, replacing her with the four Dessaron: Arkay, Elksia, Retvik and Tenuk, four beings with more personality than just “me but better”. Having less races has been a boon, I’ve got more detail on my least detailed MK3 race, the Bayvak, now than I did on my most detailed MK2 race, the Rethavok.

The most terrifying thing though is how the Phoviverse has… cured the voices in my head. You see, a lot of the main characters are parts of my personality. Originally, the lone main character, Phovos, was me in this made up universe. But my ‘new’ main characters all represent a small part of me. Tenuk (and to a point, Retvik) was always the authoritarian voice in my head that pushed me along a strict mortal path. Arkay was the sum of all my insecurities and confusion about the world. Elksia was always my lust and more ‘evil’ side. Now these characters are all more distinct, and actually have their own lives, meaning they leave me alone now.

It’s amazing though how all this has come from my silly little head.

On a final note, I’m not advertising any of this. I’ve been told I should monetize my writing, but I honestly don’t know how to. It’s just a nice little thing to think and write about. Whether you feel the same, I don’t know.

"Yeah you're shit, Medic." - Tenuk
“Yeah you’re shit, Medic.” – Tenuk


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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