All-Star Survivor: Alaska FAQ

by Mario Lanza

1. What is this project all about? What are you trying to do?

- This is a massive writing project, designed to test our writing skills, roleplaying skills, and knowledge of the TV show Survivor. Basically we are writing a fictional account of an "All-Star" Survivor show, and how it might play out. We picked sixteen Survivors, stuck them on teams, and we spent a great deal of time planning out HOW they would play, WHO they would get along with, and WHAT might happen. It's as much role-playing as it is writing, trying to get into the players' heads, from what we know about them so far, and trying to play as if we were them. It's also a bit like police profiling, where you try to predict a character's actions based on what you know about them. So that's the long answer. The short answer is that this is a fan fiction project designed to help people get through their Survivor withdrawl for the next few months.

If you are familiar with our last effort, All-Star Survivor: Hawaii, this is just more of the same. Think of it as a sequel.

2. Who are the All-Star Four?

- The All-Star Four are four columnists, put together by Mario Lanza, from the website Survivor-Central. The writers involved in this project are C.J. Blake, Ryan Crist, Mario Lanza and Amy "Kixxy" Lawson. We all write episodes, although Mario generally does final editing.

3. How did you pick the players used in the All-Star Game?

- We didn't use any of the 16 we used from Hawaii. Everyone was new, and from there we just took our favorite 16 (or the 16 best) that were left. We were happy that this was a particularly scheming group of players.

4. So who is going to win?

-We have no clue. We write one episode at a time. Once the plot starts to develop, we will just go with it and see where it takes us. It's very much an open-ended story. One episode just leads right on into the next, and we go from there. It's a serial novel, and we don't know how it will end when we start!

5. How do you decide who wins the challenges?

-It's a very complex algorithm, designed to take into effect each player's skill, stamina, heartrate, will, age, physical condition, charisma, etc. A sophisticated computer program at NASA factors all this in and spits out a probability chart.

Just kidding. We flip a coin. It keeps the game nice and random and we can't get too far ahead of ourselves that way.

6. How do you decide who gets kicked off each week?

- We decide a possible plot and subplot(s) for each tribe each episode. We plan it down to the boot picks, one for each team. This is based on a whole lot of scenario brainstorming and roleplaying, trying to get into each player's head and see how THEY would play, and who they would vote for. So we have 2 boot picks each week, and the random coin toss decides which team wins the immunity challenge. After that, it's just a matter of writing up the episode and making it as interesting and plausible as possible.

7. Who writes each episode?

- We rotate. Everybody shares idea, but generally one person writes each episode.

8. Why did you pick Alaska?

- Uh, because Hawaii was already used? No, just kidding. Alaska is a beautiful place, and has the misfortunate stereotype that people think it is frigid and arctic all year. It is actually quite nice in the summer, and there are miles and miles and miles of untamed wilderness. It's really been untouched by human beings in a lot of places.

9. How often are episodes published?

- We are aiming for every 4-5 days. Wish us luck!

10. Is Denali National Park a real place?

- Yes, it is HUGE. It's a popular tourist area too, but so big that we could theoretically find a place where no one goes in the backcountry. None of us has ever been there before though, so most of the descriptions are from books or websites.

One final note: With this version, moreso than the Hawaii one, we have to take some liberties with the characters. No one knows how players like Silas, Gina or Varner would play in the endgame, so all that is just a guess. Plus there may be some changes in the game which have not been seen before, we will kind of have to make our best guess how players would handle them, so bear with us. The goal is to keep it all realistic within the context of the characters we have created. So long as the story flows well and people believe it could really happen, we will be happy!