Super I.T. Friends
Created By: Mike Manor
Four friends doing their best to save The Interverse.
"I didn't like Earth that much anyways." – Some person who littered a lot
Super I.T. Friends is an action/comedy about four buds sticking up for humanity inside a new digital wild west. After a avoidable catastrophic blight makes the earth uninhabitable, humanity uploads their consciousness into a virtual reality universe called The Interverse. The Interverse is the internet as a physical place. Memes are celebrities, and online communities are planets. Society itself has turned into an MMORPG, and like most MMORPGs, the Interverse is no utopia. The virtual government has been compromised by the same villain that ruined the earth. Huge chunks of the universe are lawless chaos, and that's where the Super I.T. Friends step in. The Super I.T. Friends are a group of loner pals brought together by helping the helpless, vanquishing villains, and their own survival.
Rose, The Outlaw
"I didn't lose, Dutch. I just haven't won yet." – Rose
Rose joined The Super IT Friends after being captured as a bounty. She bargained her membership/freedom by saving The Friends’ ship from imploding. She travels the Interverse in hopes of finding where her parents are. At 3AM, you'll find Rose wrist deep in grease modifying her arm cannon, maybe charting a new section of the deep Interverse, or learning a new school of coding. Rose is a tireless bookworm with a bottomless curiosity. She charges into danger, and follows her own moral compass. She’s a perfectionist and her high standards make her extremely sensitive to criticism. Rose was three when her parents went missing and since has been pursued by the lawless of the Interverse. Rose doesn't know it, but she's the only one who can permanently banish the evil that destroyed earth by unlocking the Interverse's original code. The original code grants god mode and control of every property in the Interverse. She is sought after by heroes and villains alike, looking to protect or capitalize on her potential power. Inside the Interverse, coding/hacking is like magic, and though Rose has infinite potential she has no real skill yet.
Felix, The Floaty Robot
"I don't feel comfortable accepting unless we read the whole terms and services agreement." – Felix
Felix is a discarded, experimental, overly-empathic, artificial intelligence program with a missing memory. Rose picked Felix out of a trash can. They're best friends. Felix loves to help, like a blocky cheerleader. If you asked him to move a chair, he’d apologize for not having arms. He’s the teams emotional backbone and find himself maternally taking care of everyone. He’s capable of remembering and learning anything, but he’s remarkably gullible. His missing memory puts him developmentally behind other AI, so he’s focused restoring full function. Felix has the ability to possess electronics, and also acts as a support by providing The Friends’ with information about their foes. Felix is especially protective of Rose, and as happy as he is to be with The Friends, that feeling of being discarded never quite leaves him. Most people want the earth to become habitable again, but Felix knows if that happens then everyone will return and he will be left behind. Rose knows this and has sworn to find a way to make Felix real. Felix joined The Friends in search of his memory and a way to exist outside of the Interverse.
Dutch, The Ronin
"Eat my memory? Okay. Then how will I remember how lovely you are?" – Dutch
Dutch tells everyone he founded The Super IT Friends for glory and cash, but that's far from the truth. He's an anxious extrovert, and a reckless charmer. His people pleasing ways get him in and out of trouble at about the same rate. Fortunately, Dutch thrives in chaos and has an eye for using it to his advantage, but he can be too showy for his own good. Out of The Friends, he is the most skilled fighter. He masterfully wields a unique, low level sword as a self imposed challenge. When he's with his friends, he's a hardcore nerd in every sense. He loves comics, card games, fantasy books, but around others he plays it cool. Dutch can be hot headed, and has trouble accepting love, but secretly values community. He became half robot as a result of his family name when his parents stood up for humanity on earth and paid with their lives. They captured Dutch and paralyzed half his body. Dutch truly started The Super IT Friends to get revenge, and though he has no body to return to, he swears the people who killed his family will die by his hands.
Guff, The Incomprehensible
"This is my new friend Snoot, he was serial killer so I invited him to our breakfast party." – Guff
The wild card. Co-Founder of The Super IT Friends, Guff is impulsive, grossly optimistic, and has a confused concept of danger. Plainly put: Guff is a sweet, dumb boy who wants the best for everyone, even those who would kill him. Guff is a pacifist, in combat he acts as a drummer boy by using a giant Midi keyboard for playing sick beats to motivate his friends. Guff is a friend to all and approaches life with a pure, whimsical, dog-like energy. During a funeral, you'd have to ask Guff to stop doing the Milly Rock. In his mind, no one should be sad, for a life is always worth celebrating. He is magnanimous to a fault, and his friends too often find others taking advantage. Guff’s exact origins are unknown to The Friends, but it’s clear he has never been to earth before. He was found by foster parents during an excursion to the outskirts of the Interverse. Unbeknownst to himself, Guff is a super weapon, sleeper agent, trained by the forces of evil. Inside him lies a malevolent power capable of destroying all of humanity. His conscious self wants to bring world peace, and become the greatest heroes the world has ever seen.
The Friendship is the Super I.T. Friends massive home base. It’s a unique, infinitely changing, Hogwarts-like vessel. The Friends only occupy %1 of it, and no one has ever full explored it. Upon discovering a mysterious inheritance, Guff instinctively blew it all on the ship despite not being able to fly it. The ship is self-sustaining, and sometimes spiritually responsive to the needs of Guff. Though the friends assume this is a weird quirk of the already strange ship, deep in the unexplored region of the vessel lies its primary AI which is the last copy of Guff’s deceased mother’s mind. The impulsive protective nature of the ship is its motherly instinct that has persisted despite repeated digitalization, and can still recognize Guff.
"Silence, flesh bag! I am not Peaches! I am Fluffernaught! King of the internet cats!" – Fluffernaught, King of the Internet Cats
Evil exists in all forms inside The Interverse. Sometimes it’s a parasitic quicksand that comes about from watching too many ViewTube videos. Other times it’s debugging an out of control algorithm bot or maybe it’s a bug that keeps transfiguring everyones body parts. Conflict also comes from interpersonal issues between The Friends themselves, like accidentally posting something from someones camera log. Super IT Friends has an ensemble cast of reoccurring Adventure Time-like side characters. Some villains are misguided fools, while others are quite mustache-twistingly evil. Below are a few examples:
List of Villainy
Fluffernaught, King of the Internet Cats – Fluffernaught is the viciously militant leader of the blindly devoted internet cats. The cats want to be left to their own cat interests, but are approached often due to their cuteness. When provoked, they fight until death with no question.
Glitchbeard, The Pirate Baron – Glitchbeard a pirate lord who sails across the universe pirating media, commandeering ships, and hunting for treasure. Him and his crew are arrogant, showy, and enjoy causing problems. They will do anything for a dollar, but when commissioned always screw over their employer.
Lank, The Deleter – The silent overseer of a desolate land that holds the nearly deleted known as the recycling bin. Lank was created as a part of The Interverse. She's currently banished to her own realm by the The Interverse's Primary AI system. Anything she touches is deleted forever. She was created to remove old unused information and speed up the universe, but instead went rogue and destroyed a chunk of digitalized humanity.
Father – Guff's "father" and owner of Murdercorp. He runs a board of dastardly, greedy, highbrow elitists, who got earth into this mess. He helped funnel everyone into The Interverse and wants to syphon all of human life and transform himself into a singular immortal god. Father is patient, rich as hell, and tests The Friends at a great distance. He is one of the few humans thriving on earth.
"I'm done with today, can we go to the Cute Subverse and pet some celestial pups?" – Rose
The Interverse is split in two, one side is friendly and mainstream, the other is seedy and unregulated. The center point being the densely populated New Yorkish city of Colossus. Both sides regularly grapple with one another. Bugs are physical creatures, online communities, websites, and digital services we're familiar with are represented as individual floating cities called Subverses.
Friendly Subverse Examples
Guggle Search Engine (Public transportation)
Mildly Interesting Subverse (Gallery of slightly cool things)
Gaming Subverse (Elaborate world of every conceivable game)
Evil Subverse Examples
Dark Net (Market of illegal Interverse items)
Hacking Subverse (City of universe breakers)
Pirate Bay (Pirate haven)
"I knew it was going to be sentient cat overlords." – Dutch
Every episode personifies how we experience technology in a physical space. The Friends get into trouble innocently enough, and get out elsewhere with a villain vanquished, a heart broken, or a friend gained. It's always just another day surviving in The Interverse. Most episodes are one off shorts and don't need to be watched in order. There are also plot development episodes which reveal more information about the characters pasts, and push the overall story arc forward.
"You gave that refrigerator an existential crisis. Come on Guff, lets go home." – Rose
EXAMPLE 1: GUGGLE
The Friends travel to the hellish DMV-like Subverse, Guggle to search for the name of a song they can’t remember. While waiting in line The Friends notice someone has hacked the algorithm bot to have a nightmarish customer service meltdown. The friends defeat and debug the algorithm and learn the name of the song.
EXAMPLE 2: LIKE & SUBSCRIBE
The Friends are making cookies aboard their ship when they realize Guff has fallen into a 500 ft ViewTube hole that’s slowly consuming him. Rose attempts to use a new coding skill to save Guff but it makes things worse and gets Dutch and Felix stuck. When Guff awakens to smell of cookies Rose promises him he can lick the spoon if he saves the others.
EXAMPLE 3: PATCHED
After downloading a fake Interverse update, The Friends get infected with a bug that randomly transfigures their body parts to animal parts / household objects. The Friends are seek to destroy the bug but are conflicted when the bug turns out to be a real sweetie.
EXAMPLE 4: I DON’t KNOW, IT WON’T TURN ON
The Friends take a simple trip to restart Old Lady Higgens printer when they realize her cats have other plans. After resetting the printer reveals a plan to kill Old Lady Higgens and turn her home into a ship to go live in a porn site. The Friends battle with the cats save Old Lady Higgens .
EXAMPLE 5: 99%
After a hacker bust, The Friends are traveling home via Loading Screen with a heap of treasure when they get halted at 99%. The Friends fall into the disconnected realm and seek a way home among it’s banished residents.
EXAMPLE 6: GOING POSTAL
After Guff accidentally posts a private photo of Dutch’s. The friends seek to cancel the delivery of the post between “Sent” and “Delivered” by defeating The Postman.
EXAMPLE 7: SPACEBOOK
After another infuriating interaction with SpaceBook, the friends try to delete their accounts, but must defeat Robot Lizard King, Zark Muckerburg and his bureaucratic maze to regain their information.
Other Episode Ideas
“But there’s hot singles, Rose! In our area!!” – Dutch
The Prince: Felix answers a Prince's spam email, and the friends are sent on quest to help him get back his fortune.
Social Vampire: After answering a disappearance call, the friends battle Dutch's ex-Tinder date "Chickbate".
Poltergeist: After Guff opens a mysterious chain letter, The Friends don't pass it on, and the ship gets haunted by a ghost.
Bamboozle: Pirate Lord, Glitchbeard steals a copy of Dutch’s favorite film, The IT Friends travel to the Pirate Bay to regain it.
PvP: Rose and Dutch both enter a fighting competition to take down a hacker, but instead focus on who among them is the better duelist.
Please Hold: The Friends get their money digitally stolen, and have to travel through the hellish realm of customer service.
E for No One: The Friends are tasked with saving a child's game subverse after it goes "Adult".
Hot Singularity: Dutch stops the ship at a mysterious island of babes. The Friends battle with their leader as she tries to eat Dutch's memory.
Anti-Virus: Feeling under appreciated, Felix stops maintaining the ship. Dutch installs an evil anti-virus replacement: Norton.
Candy Slush: Dutch and Felix get addicted to a game called Candy Slush. Rose and Guff must beat the game to free everyone.
Many people spend more time online than in reality. In an age of over-indulgence, this show aims to be a cathartic release of frustration and a celebration of our cultures inability to shake technology. Episodes are currently 2:20 seconds, aimed to be the first show ever designed for Twitter, however it is ideally adaptable into being a web series length, or into a traditional 11 minute episodic format. Pixel Art as a medium is cheap, fast, and popular. Many of my pixel art contemporaries have large social media followings with a viral level of popularity for their animated GIFs. The style appeals to young audiences as well as those who have any nostalgic feelings towards the earlier days of gaming. Here are examples of others using pixel art as a visual story telling medium:
Conclusion & About Me
When you're online where are you really? Super IT Friends aims to visualize that. It's designed to entertain light and heavy internet users alike by personifying the familiar moments we quietly experience with technology from opening a bad email, to dealing a toxic Fortnite teammate. Beyond the universe, the show is about doing good for goods sake. It's about friendship in the digital age. The internet is setting a global culture. I want to paint that picture.
Mike Manor has worked in online media for 10 years. His work has been featured in Sundance, IFC, Adweek, and E3. He has worked on visuals for Flying Lotus, Pi’erre Bourne, Young Nudy, Rich Brian, 21 Savage, and Anthony Fantano. He has worked on media with companies 88Rising, Atlantic Records, Colombia Records, Stonesthrow Records, Bethesda, and Machinima. Mike is heavily interested in playwriting, hiking, music, and being a good person.