Redstar – DUG Interview Series 2019


4 years ago

Redstar – Lucky Bastards

Hello DUGies! Community member Jallen is conducting a new series of interviews with various members of the community. The goal of these interviews is to allow you to better understand who is behind the characters of DayzUnderground, and showcase the wealth of personalities and experiences we have here in the community.

Welcome back to the 2019 out-of-character interview series. Our third interviewee is Redstar, a long-serving community member and storyteller here on DayzUnderground. As a senior member of the Lucky Bastards, Redstar is often seen up north – tending to the community camp in Stary Yar. Out of the game, she is a regular in the public discord – hanging out, resolving conflict and engaging with the broader community.

How did you hear about DayzUnderground, and what made you want to apply for membership?

The original Lucky Bastards was formed from an old gaming clan looking to make the transfer from BF4 to DayZ back in 2016. We knew we wanted to belong to a bigger community with some form of rules and a certain amount of rp, so we started actively looking for one. When Hybris and Fluke found DUG they were intrigued by the “organic” aspect of RP advertised (even though we didn’t really understand exactly what it meant). While my friends were busy learning the ropes of DayZ I was co-managing an international MMO guild, and by the time I decided to let go of my fear of zombies the others were joining DUG, so I did as well.

Lucky Bastards RedStar banner

Was it hard for you to get into the RP and lore of the server initially? What made you want to get involved?

Yes, it was hard! We started off playing on DUG EU for about 15 months, which to be honest was a KOS fest and didn’t have any lore, so that period might be best disregarded RP wise. Even though we did make a serious effort to bring RP and storytelling to DUG EU, both in game and on the subreddit, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.

Since LB, even if we had grown during our time on the EU server, was a rather small autonomous community who by choice kept to ourselves, we had a hard time finding our place. I had a feeling the main part of the over-arching RP and story building happened on US times as well. We also did everything organically and without meta; we weren’t on TS or in any Fleep Channels and we didn’t know a lot of people. For a very long time we were known only to the few people who interacted with us in game.

I think I found the RP community kind of closed back then and perhaps still is. Maybe I had other expectations of it, or maybe it’s somehow inherent in the playstyle, perhaps there is a lesson to learn here; I don’t know. All I know is, being self-critical, I need to be better at inviting people into my RP and stories. RP is trust based to me though, because you in some ways give a part of yourself to the one you interact with and that’s sometimes hard and scary.

The complete chaos of the organic side of RP, where you don’t know who you have in front of you, what to expect or how to handle the relationships and situations is completely addictive.

Getting involved was not a choice as such, I thought that was the way everybody played on DUG! That was our expectation coming to the server and it stuck with me for a long time. We ended up in a situation where we met Black Paw and had an awesome interaction with them. They did a fantastic job explaining the state of the north IC to us, and I tried to hold my own while not getting executed. It was such a rush! A couple of days later we ended up in a shoot-out with the 506 and BP acted mediators. Mid peace negotiations in Yar the UN attacked and that cemented the relationship between all our groups. To this day I don’t know the full extent of the IC story and intentions, which is the way I want it to be because it still affects our relationship IC.

The complete chaos of the organic side of RP, where you don’t know who you have in front of you, what to expect or how to handle the relationships and situations is completely addictive.

You are a senior member of a prominent faction. What are the best and hardest parts of being involved in LB, both in and out of character?

OOC the best part is hanging out and laughing with my friends while playing; and to have friends to share my life and gaming experiences with. LB has always been a group of friends playing games together, it’s not a group where people come and go, we’re older than most other gamers, we have families and share values and ideas. We do this to relax and enjoy our spare time, this is our hobby and not something we want to fill with drama and disrespect.

IC the best thing for me, must be when everything just comes together and we all feel the bond between our characters, when we get a chance to actually RP with each other, or when we share an IC experience or can give someone else an RP experience.

The hardest thing (both IC and OOC) is to keep everyone happy and moving in the same direction. LB has no leader, we always try to do things as a group of friends with respect for each other. It’s not always smooth sailing, it takes compromise and maturity, especially when we have different playstyles and goals. Not all LB are RP’ers and to motivate or explain certain aspects or decisions based on IC events or relations; or disregard meta information is sometimes hard.

How similar is your character to you as a person? What would you say differentiates you from her the most?

Hahahaha! That’s a tough question for me to answer. I’m not a very good actress, so it’s hard for me to act convincingly as someone or something I am not. RedStar started out as somewhat of a copy of me, but since then she’s evolved into what she is today.

The character and the story are way more important than playing the game mechanics to me. The game is only a medium which I use to create a story.

She’s a lot braver than I am I think, but also more worried; she has to be considering the situation she’s in. Sometimes she’s more ill-tempered than I would be (and sometimes it’s the other way around). One of the most fulfilling things with portraying a character like her is that she can actually say some of the things I IRL can’t tell people because of social codes. She can put people down verbally sometimes and she doesn’t care because they deserve it. Sometimes she’s a smug, sanctimonious bastard and sometimes she shows people emotional sides that I would never show of myself.

I also adapted her to fit something I thought was missing on DUG. A character who’s not good, but lawful, who is loyal but not stupid, who is determined but has a “human” inside, and who’s evolving with what happens to her. The character and the story are way more important than playing the game mechanics to me. The game is only a medium which I use to create a story.

Let’s just say she’s an extension of me. It would be awesome to get other peoples view of her though, I don’t actually get that very often.

What part of your character do you find the hardest to depict?

The hardest thing is no doubt making emotions seem true! Except anger, anger is easy. Happiness can sometimes be hard, because RedStar isn’t a very “happy” character. In some situations I want to break down in laughter, but RedStar doesn’t think it’s funny at all, so I need to try to move on somehow. When that happens I tend to use sarcasm as a deflector or diversion.

I try to put myself in my characters shoes

Sorrow and fear are by far the hardest though, because they are very demanding of me as a person as well. They usually come out as anger…

I try to put myself in my characters shoes; if I was in the apocalypse and this happened what would I do, and then I put it through a RedStar filter of sorts. I think a lot when I’m not playing as well, analyse situations and characters I meet. Writing stories is a great catalyst for analysis and character development.

RedStar isn’t very trusting and social, and that’s a problem when new people come to Yar. I sometimes fear players will think I’m closed and boring and don’t want to interact, which isn’t exactly true, I do want to give everyone an experience; but my character doesn’t if that makes sense. Luckily there are other Bastards around who are a lot more accommodating!

My inability to express emotion was really why I started writing stories the way I do. I had just been through one of the most intense interactions to date; meeting Drekavac and Karlos in Kamensk and I was kind of new to writing stories and was really struggling to find an “in” to the story because I wanted to honor the people involved as well as give the rest of the community insight into what RP can give you. I had everything recorded and watching it all back I realized in terror I didn’t give them anything in terms of emotional response back. By all logic she should have been terrified after seeing someone get their face peeled off with a machete, but nothing in my voice gave that impression. After a few days in agony Hybris just told me to write the emotions instead, so I did.

What advice would you give to new role-players and storytellers on the server? What do you wish you had known earlier?

The first advice to RP’ers actually somewhat counteracts the thought of a community, but it’s too good to disregard; do everything organically and meta free! To interact with people, only knowing their character and what they tell you is an awesome experience. Dare to take the plunge and put yourself out there, mute your communications and be in the moment.

Secondly create your character and backstory based on what you want to do, and wander the map and talk to people. Find a few hooks to turn to if you get stuck, something you say or do if you encounter a difficult situation RP-wise. And develop your character, no one is one-dimensional, let interactions, encounters and situations affect who your character becomes, and reference to it to let people know they potentially have the power to influence you and that you care about the interaction they give you.

The Lucky Star Cargo Ship

Third piece of advice is to have the courage to immerse yourself and follow the story. To invite people to your story and to follow other people in theirs. It takes a lot of skill to listen and know when to act and when to react, that’s something I wish I had realized earlier and I’m definitely still learning. I think most RP’ers want to tell their story, if you show a bit of curiosity they will include you. The established RP’ers also need to actively include others in their stories; telling a story through interaction is a two way street.

I think my advice for storytellers is about the same actually; include other people and groups in your stories. And keep on writing, if something happens in game; write about it, that’s the only way to further story and it helps DUG as a community! There are several ways to create a story and several ways of giving perspective on events and interactions. I write in first person perspective and use my stories to give my characters view on things that has happened. I know that’s not for everyone, but for me it’s the only way I think.

To me a good storyteller don’t just write about what happened in game, they give their readers something else as well. Something that makes their story or character stand out, they go beyond what happened in game, and give context for those who weren’t there. The stories are supposed to push the lore forward, as well as include and spark interest in others. Mind you I’m in no way an expert on any of this, I just like to play around with words.

Finally; don’t rush and don’t give up. Some story lines spark more interest if they are given the time to mature. I’ve kept interactions secret for a year or more before I wrote about them. Timing and context are everything.

Your character has been alive for quite some time. Would you ever kill her off? What would your plans be if that happened?

Oh, yes! I have “Perma Rules” for her so when she dies she dies. Without a real fear of death, there’s no incentive to act as if the apocalyptic setting is real. She’s pragmatic, she wants to live, she doesn’t want to fight wars; I mean who would if they had a choice? There have been times when I’ve been in situations where I knew that if she’s killed here; she’s gone. Like when RISE attacked Yar (“RISE escalation” and “Corruption”) and we just held the place down, or with something that was said when the Cult last visited, real fear flew through my head because I knew this might be it. Perma-death needs to be story driven though, not necessarily my story, but a story.

If RedStar died, I’d still want to stay within LB so an evil character is out of the question. I try to avoid stereotypical characters, so perhaps I’d go for Lawful good, but with a twist. I have one or two at the back of my head just in case. If I wasn’t in LB, I’d go Lawful evil for sure!

RedStar Lucky Bastards Dayz Underground

RedStar wearing the distinct armband of the Lucky Bastards.

What has been your most memorable interaction to date? Why was it so good?

Needless to say we’ve had so many interactions and encounters over the years. There are some awesome RP’ers on DUG who will give you an experience if you let them. They listen to you and make you feel something, they don’t just push their story, they include you in it, and they draw you into their own immersion. And that takes skill!

Interactions don’t have to be epic to be memorable, they just have to give you that special feeling of experiencing the other character or story.

Interactions don’t have to be epic to be memorable, they just have to give you that special feeling of experiencing the other character or story. It’s really hard to explain, but some interactions are fun and can be intense, and some go on a deeper immersion level. Both kinds are brilliant in their own way.

There have been some awesome “sit around the fire and talk for hours” interactions (not necessarily including a fire) over the years that have been totally immersive. Like the DUGout at the stone circle; Kryštof the Preacher in Yar; FL and Heart in the Lumber yard; talking for hours with the very confused Dr. Smith in Yar, the talks with Walter and when John (as Jim) first came to Yar; just to mention a few.

I must say that the Kamensk meeting with Cultists Karlos and Drekavac was hands down the encounter that affected RedStar as a character most in her years in Chernarus, it sort of took her innocence when it comes to the Cult. She can look back on the person she was back then with contempt, because she’s a lot more jaded now. That’s a weird feeling to have within your character. What made it special was the surprise; the unknown; the intensity of the interaction and the feeling of being put in a completely chaotic situations without any control; where your choices actually matter for the rest of the story. Also creating something together, and -I’m not gonna lie- a feeling of being included or recognized in the community, made it a memory I will keep with me from DUG.

I can go on…

Who are some of your favorite storytellers on the subreddit? What makes their stories stand out?

Obviously Spootin stands out, because he’s an awesome storyteller and can paint a detailed picture of a situation like few others. He’s also very brave when it comes to the subjects he writes about. We’ve also had some really incredible story co-ops that I learnt a lot from.

Ace has written some fantastically emotional stories that just draw you in and makes you feel.

Jari’s stories makes Sayid alive and gives his character a complexity that affects how I act towards him in game. I think stories in some way gives a depth to a character that you know you would feel if you met the person IRL, but can be hard to depict due to limitations in the game mechanics.

I love reading, but I’m quite critical and I know what I like and don’t like. I like stories that stand out a bit, that has a twist or an onset or perspective that’s a bit different, or that play with words or paint a picture or has a flow that’s unusual; I like pieces that makes me think! Some people in this community have perhaps only written a few stories this year, but their work has appealed to me for either of the above reasons: Stanky, Hybris, John, Felix, Lewis, Shadow, Bonesaw, Wintermute, Darkish, Retro, Momo, Punky/Blitz, Chancy, Miri, Joe/Jallen and Altra. I most certainly will have forgotten someone, and I’m sorry. I always try to comment OOC or IC if I like a story.

If you ever stepped away from DUG in the future, how would you want to be remembered?

As a decent human being. I mean, that’s how you’d want to be remembered anywhere, isn’t it? And perhaps as someone who contributed a little to the stories and lore on the server, and someone who was interesting to interact with.