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Temptress Alora's avatar

Hunter

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Thank you for asking! It has long been a dream of mine to establish a "brand", so to speak. What I mean by that is a name that will eventually come to be recognized and associated with unique presentations and enthralling storylines. Initially, I was focused solely on webcomics. Then it was visual novels. And, finally, adventure games. All of these mediums were missing something, however. Webcomics lacked the interactivity, visual novels the recognizably, and adventure games the modernity. It occurred to me, though, that perhaps there was a way to combine the three and give the resulting hybrid a bit of a new world spin via the modern marvel that is the internet.

Throughout all of this evolution of thought, there has always been one unfortunate yet glaring hangup: I cannot draw. I'm not one for dreaming small or reigning in my ideas, but the fact of the matter is that I can't really get anywhere on my own. Thus, I concluded that I would need to bring a partner along for the ride. And here we are!

I have several ideas that I've been kicking around for a while, but I've narrowed it down to a few which I believe would fit my self-imposed size constraint. There is another, much longer project that's actually my ultimate goal, but prudency -- and many, many other folk -- tells me that I should start small....er.

Project 1: Rewind
Type: Semi-Animated Webcomic
Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Crime, Drama
Summary: Jacob Harvey hasn't accomplished much in his life. He has consistently made the wrong decision at every turn, and at forty-something years old, he now finds himself living in a shitty apartment in a bad neighborhood alone. Following a series of events and figuring he has nothing left to lose, Jacob ends up making a "deal with the devil", so to speak, and is thrust back to a point in time during which he made one of his biggest mistakes. In addition to being given a second chance at life, Jacob makes a rather unexpected discovery: the cell phone he'd been carrying still seems to be broadcasting information from the future he left behind. Suddenly Jacob is faced with a new dilemma. Does he use his new-found wealth of information to selfishly acquire all of the things he'd always wished he had, or does he devote his restarted life to helping others? Well, no reason why he can't do both...

Project 2: The Revolving Door
Type: Semi-Animated Webcomic
Genre: Sci-fi, Suspense
Summary: I've lived in this town all my life. I wouldn't say it's so small that everybody knows everybody, but it's gotta be just a step up from that. I got lost trying out a new shortcut on my way home from school one day and I discovered this building I never knew existed. It had one of those spinning doors I've only ever seen in cities, and a lot of people seemed to be going in and out of it. Something about it made me curious, so I started riding past it every day on my way home. After a while, I realized there was something...different about the people coming out of the building. Not in a bad way like they'd been body snatched or anything, they just...I don't know. Didn't seem the same as when they'd went in.

Project 3: Open Your Eyes
Type: Interactive Webcomic with Adventure Game and Visual Novel Elements
Genre: Future Dystopic Utopia, Thriller, Mystery
Summary: You are a Sweeper, an assassin in an organization nobody knows exists tasked with the job of making sure it stays that way. Only, you don't know any of this. All you know when you wake up every morning is that you live in a perfect world where everyone has a perfect nuclear family and a job suited to their abilities and enough food on the table, where there's no crime or war or poverty and everyone lives by a strict schedule and is perfectly content to keep it that way. You have a job that you arrive at at promptly 9AM every day. You have no idea what it is until you get there and no recollection of it when you wake the next morning, but the drive to complete the job on schedule is always there. You are perfectly content with your life...Well, you WERE, until you started to become aware that something was wrong. And the more time passes, the more you realize how very NOT perfect this world is, and the stronger your desire to find out why and how it came to be this way grows.



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I am C! Just...C. Mostly because I haven't thought of a proper nom de plume yet. Only my partner may know the secret of my TRUE name!
...It's actually not that big of a secret.

As for what I am to this project, which I can only imagine was the actual purpose of this question, might I present this neat little list of attributes:

• Writing
• Simple Flash Programming
• Simple Flash Animation
• Some Graphic Design
• Some Website Design


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I think this question would be more accurate if it inquired as to what I'm looking for in a partner, but far be it from me to question your interviewing methods!

I believe another list is in order, but this time I'll be a bit more detailed.

Dedication: This is perhaps the most important attribute one can possess. This is a project that could take years to complete. I don't even presume to know what I'll be doing next year, so I wouldn't fault you for some unforeseen circumstance. But, if you know yourself to be the type of person who can't stick to one thing for an extended period of time, then perhaps this isn't the project for you.

Communication: Related to the above. I don't expect you to be available 24/7, but if you disappear for days or weeks at a time or consistently fail to meet your theoretical schedule with no reasonable explanation, how're we ever going to progress?

Rapport: We're going to be working together for quite a long while. It's important that we not only be on the same page in regards to the project, but that we get along swimmingly even outside of it.

Contribution: I'm not really looking for someone who'll just go along with whatever I say. If you disagree with something, tell me. If you think it could be done better, let me know how. If you have a completely new idea of your own, by all means lay it on the table! I may even leave certain designs completely up to you. This is a partnership, not a dictatorship.

Art Style: I don't have any strict guidelines for this, as there are several I would consider. However, there are a few that I do not believe would suit these projects at all. Particularly cartoony, generic/overly cute anime, and photo realistic.

Additional Skills: Not a requirement, but helpful nonetheless!

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That's a rather vague question. It's almost like the longer question you wanted to ask took up too much space.
...Is that a wall I hear breaking?

Anywho, I assume you mean "Where will these projects be displayed?". I plan on purchasing a domain once a satisfactory amount of content has been created. That is, enough that we could open it immediately rather than paying for a website that's just sitting there.


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In my "infinite wisdom" I have deduced that what you're actually asking me here is when I expect this to be completed. I also suspect that you may not have included this question at all were it not for completion's sake. But, I digress...

I don't like to give time frames so early in the game, but I will say that I absolutely want to have the website up and running before the end of this year. And, I would like to have at least one project finished -- as opposed to one finished and another started, as I'm 99.9% certain we won't be able to complete two in that time -- by the end of next year.

Once we get a feel for each other's availability and work habits, we can set about putting some sort of schedule together. And, once we've progressed far enough, we can look into expanding the group a bit in order to increase our productivity and efficiency. I want to keep it small, but there are a couple of things I just don't know how to do. Music and sound effect composition, for example.


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I'm somehow not surprised that the first complete question in a while is about money.
As far as compensation goes, I will not be able to offer any upfront. We are literally building this group up from nothing, and my starting budget is basically $0.

I will say, though, that I plan on splitting any money generated through these projects equally with my partner, even after they're completed. Others brought on board later on, however, will be paid separately. Which leads us neatly into the topic of financing...

Once we've got a project or two under our belt, I plan on pitching our largest project, Gatemaster! on Kickstarter. I envision this one being more interactive and involved than the other three I described, and thus I believe it will require more assistance. One of the main keys to succeeding on Kickstarter is having an established fan-base, which is why I think it's important we have something completed to show before we even attempt that route.

Of course, Kickstarter isn't necessarily a guarantee, so it might behoove us to consider other options as well. At this point, however, it is my main consideration.
Temptress Alora's avatar

Hunter

I hit submit before I meant to. Thankfully, everything seems to be in order now.
I tried to be more detailed upfront than I was in my other thread, but if you have any further questions about ANYTHING, post here or feel free to shoot me a PM!
Some of the wisest words I've ever read on getting an artist:

Quality, speed, free-ness/ low price. You can only have two of those things. You cannot have all three.

High quality, good speed? Can't get that for cheap, even if you promise to split the profit equally later on.

Want it fast (or alternatively, churned out on a regular basis) and can't pay? Fine, but you're not gonna get quality.

Have you been lucky enough to find a good, skilled artist who's willing to work for free? Congrats! Unfortunately, chances are you won't get the results on a timely basis, especially after the initial excitement dies down.

This is your brainchild. You are going to be 20x more passionate about it than any partner you bring onboard, so you can't expect them to be as dedicated without paying them up front. Even though you acknowledge the artist as a partner and not an outsider help, you have to admit in the end, the heart and soul of the project comes from YOU.

Also consider that in many cases, writing a scene only takes a fraction of the time required to draw the same scene. I acknowledge that planning a story before actually writing it out can take ages; I've been on both sides. I've got a webcomic that took over ten years of planning, and I still say the drawing part is much more labor intensive, hands down.

( This is not the best example to illustrate what I mean, but it's the only one I can think of off the top of my head at the moment. It's the about page of my friend's webcomic. See the dialogue part...)

I'm not saying you're not respecting the artist enough. I'm just saying your expectations might not be realistic.
Temptress Alora's avatar

Hunter

keiiii
Some of the wisest words I've ever read on getting an artist:

Quality, speed, free-ness/ low price. You can only have two of those things. You cannot have all three.

High quality, good speed? Can't get that for cheap, even if you promise to split the profit equally later on.

Want it fast (or alternatively, churned out on a regular basis) and can't pay? Fine, but you're not gonna get quality.

Have you been lucky enough to find a good, skilled artist who's willing to work for free? Congrats! Unfortunately, chances are you won't get the results on a timely basis, especially after the initial excitement dies down.

This is your brainchild. You are going to be 20x more passionate about it than any partner you bring onboard, so you can't expect them to be as dedicated without paying them up front. Even though you acknowledge the artist as a partner and not an outsider help, you have to admit in the end, the heart and soul of the project comes from YOU.

Also consider that in many cases, writing a scene only takes a fraction of the time required to draw the same scene. I acknowledge that planning a story before actually writing it out can take ages; I've been on both sides. I've got a webcomic that took over ten years of planning, and I still say the drawing part is much more labor intensive, hands down.

( This is not the best example to illustrate what I mean, but it's the only one I can think of off the top of my head at the moment. It's the about page of my friend's webcomic. See the dialogue part...)

I'm not saying you're not respecting the artist enough. I'm just saying your expectations might not be realistic.

I completely agree with you. While I have actually worked with artists in the past who were impressively talented, fast, AND willing to work for free, they eventually abandoned the project in favor of some other flight of fancy. I don't believe that it's impossible to have all of that plus dedication, but it's probably a rarity. What you described is certainly the more common circumstance.

Professional quality and 10 pages a week is not a necessity for me, though. I'm perfectly happy to accept good and decent as long as we're actually getting somewhere. I think perhaps you might have misinterpreted my words a bit in that regard, since I don't believe I ever actually specified quality and my only statement in regard to speed was the expression of my hope that we had something finished a year and a half from now. I don't think that's too unreasonable. razz

I do agree that no one will ever possess the same passion for my baby as I have, but that's actually a bit of the benefit to having a partnership where the artist has an equal voice, I think. Perhaps they will feel even a good fraction of my excitement if they're able to contribute rather than just drawing up scripts. Then it won't be 'my' story; it will be 'our' story.

I feel compelled to point out that what I describe as webcomics aren't always such in the traditional sense. I can't disagree that writing up a page of dialogue is less intensive than drawing a comic page, but that doesn't really encompass my vision. I didn't go into much detail above, but these "webcomics" will be a bit more involved than that. The incorporation of any interactive portions, animations, sound effects, what have you will fall on my shoulders. And, they won't always be set up in a way that melds with what one generally envisions a comic looking like. In this particular case, it isn't the artist doing all the work while the writer rides along on easy street. Not that I, as a writer, agree with that analogy in any other case, though, to be honest.
Temptress Alora
my hope that we had something finished a year and a half from now. I don't think that's too unreasonable. razz

You never know. I was expecting to finish my own comic under three years. Well, it's been well over five years and I'm still chugging along... (to be fair, there was about 12 months total of breaks in between, but still!)

Even one inked page a week is a huge commitment that's not easy to find. I hope you're not looking for more than one inked page a week. sweatdrop


Temptress Alora
Perhaps they will feel even a good fraction of my excitement if they're able to contribute rather than just drawing up scripts. Then it won't be 'my' story; it will be 'our' story.

That was the deal with another one of my artist buddies (EDIT: "artist's buddy"? I really need more sleep). He cared deeply for the story and the characters, yet was not able to keep up with the workload. (Here's the comic, BTW. Really pretty, although I can't say much about the story as I get the feeling that they didn't get far enough to get to the meaty parts.)


Temptress Alora
The incorporation of any interactive portions, animations, sound effects, what have you will fall on my shoulders. And, they won't always be set up in a way that melds with what one generally envisions a comic looking like.

I feel that you should show some samples of your work on those things, and give a more clear idea on what the project is going to look (and sound?) like in its finished form. For the latter, you could gather bits and pieces of media from the 'net and explain how each example fits in your vision for this project, if you can't find a single media that's close enough.
I am not up for a serious commitment like that but just for fun, since I haven't drawn on gaia for years, I would like to draw a picture for you. You know, like one of those fan drawings people put in between chapters or in the end of the book? If your up to it you can message me reference pics. And don't worry if you can only draw stick figures or sausage fingers. I won't judge. ;3
Temptress Alora's avatar

Hunter

keiiii

You never know. I was expecting to finish my own comic under three years. Well, it's been well over five years and I'm still chugging along... (to be fair, there was about 12 months total of breaks in between, but still!)

Even one inked page a week is a huge commitment that's not easy to find. I hope you're not looking for more than one inked page a week. sweatdrop

But how long is your comic? Assuming it's the one linked in your signature, it appears to be up to chapter 32. I don't plan on any of these being that long.

I'm not certain what sort of release schedule we'd be looking at, as I intend to work that out with my partner. Just for the sake of argument, though, I worked with an artist in the past who had no problem sticking to a two or three page a week schedule because the pages weren't all that complicated. It really depends what you're going for.


keiiii

That was the deal with another one of my artist's buddy. He cared deeply for the story and the characters, yet was not able to keep up with the workload. (Here's the comic, BTW. Really pretty, although I can't say much about the story as I get the feeling that they didn't get far enough to get to the meaty parts.)

Ohh, the artwork for that really is quite lovely. I really only quoted this to comment on that. : P But, I suppose I can also use this space to re-iterate that I'll be taking the artist's availability into consideration if and when a schedule is put into place. Just because it felt incomplete otherwise.

keiiii
I feel that you should show some samples of your work on those things, and give a more clear idea on what the project is going to look (and sound?) like in its finished form. For the latter, you could gather bits and pieces of media from the 'net and explain how each example fits in your vision for this project, if you can't find a single media that's close enough.

I don't really want to give too much away [here on the forum, because I of course have every intention of giving my partner full disclosure], but perhaps I can make an example illustrating what I mean? I'll try to have that by tomorrow.
Temptress Alora's avatar

Hunter

Hana0-0Usagi
I am not up for a serious commitment like that but just for fun, since I haven't drawn on gaia for years, I would like to draw a picture for you. You know, like one of those fan drawings people put in between chapters or in the end of the book? If your up to it you can message me reference pics. And don't worry if you can only draw stick figures or sausage fingers. I won't judge. ;3

Oh, that would be awesome! Honestly, any "reference" that I draw will look nothing like how I envision the characters. Not to mention the fact that I have no scanner and the carpet is currently serving as my mouse pad. ._.

Would a written description work?
Temptress Alora
keiiii

You never know. I was expecting to finish my own comic under three years. Well, it's been well over five years and I'm still chugging along... (to be fair, there was about 12 months total of breaks in between, but still!)

Even one inked page a week is a huge commitment that's not easy to find. I hope you're not looking for more than one inked page a week. sweatdrop

But how long is your comic? Assuming it's the one linked in your signature, it appears to be up to chapter 32. I don't plan on any of these being that long.

I'm not certain what sort of release schedule we'd be looking at, as I intend to work that out with my partner. Just for the sake of argument, though, I worked with an artist in the past who had no problem sticking to a two or three page a week schedule because the pages weren't all that complicated. It really depends what you're going for.

It's probably better to look at the page count instead of the chapter count, as some of the chapters are less than 10 pages long (two of them being less than five pages). I'm up to about 650 pages.

Also remember the other comic site I linked you -- what the writer thought was a couple of pages turned out to be like 30 comic pages. X_X After drawing 650+ pages of comic (not counting the crappy ones I did before this project), I still have no idea how to estimate a comic's page count without actually drawing the whole thing. Though maybe I'm just really bad at estimations? sweatdrop

Oh and about not having any references, piece-by-piece visual references are almost always better than not having any reference images. For example, one picture for the bangs, two more for the rest of the hair, one picture for the jacket, one picture for the eyes, etc. You get the idea.
Temptress Alora
Hana0-0Usagi
I am not up for a serious commitment like that but just for fun, since I haven't drawn on gaia for years, I would like to draw a picture for you. You know, like one of those fan drawings people put in between chapters or in the end of the book? If your up to it you can message me reference pics. And don't worry if you can only draw stick figures or sausage fingers. I won't judge. ;3

Oh, that would be awesome! Honestly, any "reference" that I draw will look nothing like how I envision the characters. Not to mention the fact that I have no scanner and the carpet is currently serving as my mouse pad. ._.

Would a written description work?

i work better with visuals, but i will try. just a heads up: i will end up taking my time. i have essays due, tests, and finals in the next two weeks. but after it should be fine! (i am half asleep, i dont care how my writing looks right now.) ttyl
Temptress Alora's avatar

Hunter

keiiii

I still have no idea how to estimate a comic's page count without actually drawing the whole thing. Though maybe I'm just really bad at estimations? sweatdrop

Oh and about not having any references, piece-by-piece visual references are almost always better than not having any reference images. For example, one picture for the bangs, two more for the rest of the hair, one picture for the jacket, one picture for the eyes, etc. You get the idea.

The simplest solution is to write with a page limit in mind, if that matters to you. The stories as I've described them certainly have the potential to be epics (in terms of length), but I'm imposing a bit of a constraint on myself because they are meant to be simpler, shorter projects than the one I'd ultimately like to do.

As for the references, that's actually what I generally do.
Temptress Alora's avatar

Hunter

Hana0-0Usagi

i work better with visuals, but i will try. just a heads up: i will end up taking my time. i have essays due, tests, and finals in the next two weeks. but after it should be fine! (i am half asleep, i dont care how my writing looks right now.) ttyl

That's perfectly fine with me! Take your time. I'm deciding which character I should send to you, though I already have one in mind.
There's another catch to this project: You want it animated/interactive. That's going to weed out a lot of artists that MIGHT fit the bill of being cheap/timely/high quality AND dedicated, because a lot of artists who fit that bill are not professionally trained, and won't have enough experience with animation techniques to get you what you want. Similarly, for the interactive project, it sounds like you might actually need someone who has a comp sci background. I'm not sure how easy it is to just pop off an interactive webcomic (not to mention the exponential branching/drawing of scenarios caused by readers' choices early on).

I was going to offer some art samples, but I'm not professional, and couldn't provide the tech aspect you're looking for. But I hope you DO find someone up to the challenge!
Temptress Alora's avatar

Hunter

iamyates
There's another catch to this project: You want it animated/interactive. That's going to weed out a lot of artists that MIGHT fit the bill of being cheap/timely/high quality AND dedicated, because a lot of artists who fit that bill are not professionally trained, and won't have enough experience with animation techniques to get you what you want. Similarly, for the interactive project, it sounds like you might actually need someone who has a comp sci background. I'm not sure how easy it is to just pop off an interactive webcomic (not to mention the exponential branching/drawing of scenarios caused by readers' choices early on).

I was going to offer some art samples, but I'm not professional, and couldn't provide the tech aspect you're looking for. But I hope you DO find someone up to the challenge!

If you'll notice, I mentioned in the "WHO ARE YOU" section above that I'm able to do simple Flash programming and animation. This was meant to illustrate that I would be handling the animation and interactivity, though I'm seeing now that perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I believe that what you're imagining might be more complicated than I intend for these projects to be. When I referred to the comics as semi-animated above, what I meant was that there won't be any full-out animations, and most pages will be static overall. Imagine something like, say, a scene where someone is discovering that they have telekinetic abilities for the first time. There might be a static image of that person staring intently at a glass, and a moving image of the glass shaking a bit before rolling over and falling on the floor (with accompanying glass shattering sound effect). Then a new image of the person with a changed expression, with a transition to sort of simulate animation. I completely pulled that scene out of the air, by the way. Has nothing to do with any of the comics (except for one of them involving super human abilities). : P

As for the interactivity, think of rummaging through a scene for clues and maybe some puzzles for the adventure game aspect. For the visual novel aspect, that will require some extra artwork. But, Open Your Eyes isn't a full visual novel; it's still mostly linear. I don't know how familiar with visual novels you are, but they tend to contain completely separate branching storylines. OYE will have some variations and potentially bad endings, but there's still mostly one path.

Was I able to assuage your doubts at all?
That's perfectly fine with me! Take your time. I'm deciding which character I should send to you, though I already have one in mind.
Oh, I forgot to say this, but I have a harder time with drawing guys. ^^" It would be much more rewarding for you to give me a female character.

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