Book 5 - Prologue 18

Easy Writer

Book 5 - Prologue 18
Comic - Book 5 - Page 18

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ThisIsNotDan wrote:
Red wrote:
The pledge for the update covers the "Shine", which every Toolshed subscriber will have.

A special pledge for Rain or Shine is only created for update days without updates to cover the "Rain" part of the equation. Otherwise we'd be double dipping.


Just so we're clear then, "Rain or Shine" pledges are still being collected on update days, but they're classified and reported as regular Toolshed pledges rather than Rain or Shine pledges, right?

Rain or Shine pledges are marked as such. Other pledges are marked with the update they cover. You can view the pending pledges so far this period at the bottom of the subscription page.
Happy to see an update!

The artwork looks good, but seems a bit more detailed than in the past, which I don't have a hard opinion on yet. Seeing the characters rendered in this style would be the litmus test, at least for me.
For those who find this too realistic, perhaps using something like the cel-shading technique utilized in the Borderlands game engine would bring it back to an acceptably cartoonish style.
It was a pleasant surprise to see an update. We learn more about Paige; her history, how it shaped her, her specific talents. And the Archezoans, which clearly form an essential plot thread for this book.

I like how the Type writer explains both how Paige has learnt about the Archezoans, and the origin of her prolific writing.

The Genotype (Gino) pun, which oddly enough hasn't been mentioned yet, made me chuckle.

As for the art: I second the sentiment that this feels more gritty than cartoony, which I assume is not an art direction choice, but simply the best you can do now. In other words, this is not failure but progression. Therefore: cheers!


If the lack of art-at-the-desired-quality is holding back the writing, then how about doing what you did for the epilogues to book 1? Have the fanbase create fan art for each episode.

It would be a means to reconnect with a fanbase that is undoubtedly dwindling due to fewer updates, and actually get them more involved than they already were.

It might allow Rob to write more, which would mean more paid-for updates. And more story progression.

Whatever choice you make: all the very best to the entire team.
What a great surprise! Fun update, and while pictures are great, I also love all-text entries. As for the art, I really like this. It doesn't strike me as realistic in the same way that it has for others here; rather, I get a slightly retro feel from it, which I think fits with this particular setting. I love the watercolor feel and the texture. The sense of realism that others are getting could come from the fact that what we see here are merely objects, and very geometrical ones at that. There are no living things, no action taking place. Those could be a balance to the level of detail we get here. The only thing I'd change on this page is to make the books and paper appear slightly aged, unless, as a city fixture, that doesn't happen with things that come from the RTW. I guess it just looks like a contrast with what seems to me a worn quality in all the wood.

And who knows when, or if, Lord Osis will ever show up again, but for what it's worth, here's a note: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/lordosis
I like the update.

I especially like the story part of it. Paige looks like a really interesting character, and it'll be a bit of a shame when we have to leave her behind and return to the main story.

The floral designs on the note are gorgeous, but I don't think they're what you're asking about.

The one thing that strikes me odd with the ending picture is that, other than the bands of direct sunlight coming in through the blinds, the lighting seems oddly omnidirectional. For one example, the legs of the table look to be the same material as the surface, and they're the same colour. I would think that, even if the sunlight provided enough indirect lighting to not cast a lot of deep shadows, there'd at least be a diminishing of the light under the table, so the legs would be darker.

Aside from that, I'm loving the image. The typewriter, in particular, is beautifully rendered.
I like the art. I worry that anything that isn't textured will look odd when juxtaxposed with the textures. Whether you the artists want to solve it by giving people hints of complexion (blush or uneven melatonin), or the illusion thereof from applying the same wash that covers smooth white pages and metal Type-Writer, or reduce the level of detail in objects, is up to them. I am totes cool with things looking different, as long as the pieces of each page look like they belong together, ya know?

The Titans built the world to erase the past as soon as someone arrives who could learn from it, and their scripture says it is a sin to fight for the memory of the dead. But this may be a self serving piece of dogma, for finding out about the ancient past caused Paige to turn away from them.

Archie Type = archetype = idea that is used again and again. Is this the meaning of the sign 'arc' that one should take the Arkentools to mean? I want a Noah to bug about all the puns in Erfworld now.
Gino Type = genotype = what body type one has inherited. But he invented the means to Paige's archeology. Apparently, it is some weird Weirdomancy to prevent the past from being automagically erased.

I love the way you explained Paige's senses, without committing to those same senses being in every ruler. She will never again be alone in her city, for her city will also be there. Her sense will be a bit less useful unless she can also sense the difference between alone+1 and alone+2. She may have to publish sooner rather than later, too, as hiding her +1 is going to be hard.

There is a theory that the Awakened towers/temples come with a personality that complements the Ruler, that helps them become better. Stanly got someone to make him mellow out, then prodded to fix things when he wouldn't blow up. Charlie got a mom to make him do his chores before spacing out. Jil got someone thoughtful, who, when it came down to it, was willing to stop her in the only way it's possible to. (I mean by dropping rocks on her it's the only thing harder than her head lol.) Paige is... settled in. A homebody, a shut in, she converses more over the internet via letters than via realspace. I have no doubt that her city will kick her in the pants to do something. Whether it will help her with her own goals, or whether Paige will fight it and only finish because suddenly there is a looming deadline of discovery... or Noah forced to publish an incomplete work posthumously, I don't know.

Rob could bring this interesting places.
canabal wrote:
And who knows when, or if, Lord Osis will ever show up again, but for what it's worth, here's a note: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/lordosis

So all three of Paige's correspondents (King Dickie, Lord Osis, Ramses the Magnetic) appear to be males whose names have sexual associations. I think I heard about tapioca having those too somewhere, but I can't find it just now. I wonder if this is a new facet of Paige's personality we are getting hints of.

On the subject of art, people have been wondering about Arkentools and if/how they will look distinctive. I would guess and easy solution is to render the scene twice, once in the approved comic-ish style, and one in the simple 3D used before. (They still can do this, as can be seen in the Play with Stanley’s Tool update.) Then copy the Arkentool from the 3D image to the other one. But I have very little sense of what makes good art, so my opinions might not be worth much.

On the subject of art, I would worry about the gradual creep towards fancier art. Fancier art takes longer to do, which means we run the risk of fewer updates. Compare how the update rate for The Order of the Stick has gradually declined as the graphics quality has improved.
spriteless wrote:

Archie Type = archetype = idea that is used again and again. Is this the meaning of the sign 'arc' that one should take the Arkentools to mean? I want a Noah to bug about all the puns in Erfworld now.
Gino Type = genotype = what body type one has inherited. But he invented the means to Paige's archeology. Apparently, it is some weird Weirdomancy to prevent the past from being automagically erased.

Gino Type is also a visual pun on linotype (the machines being pronounced "Line O'Type"), which neatly explains his affinity with typesetting.
An update! Two, actually, by now. Most excellent....

Art feedback. First, that note is gorgeous. Nothing at all to complain about there. The second illustration is... well, I have three main comments. The first is that overall it's quite grainy. Looking back to book 2-4, the coloring used to be very smooth, with some texture/speckle coming in more recently. This scene here has a jarring jump in speckle, though. I'd suggest toning that down, particularly in the typewriter and other smooth objects. The wallpaper, on the other hand, looks fine. Wallpaper can get away with some speckle.

Comment 2 is:
Knott wrote:
also perhaps that the grain on the sides doesn't match the grain on the topside. At least as far as I've seen in regards to wooden tables. Also that might also be an issue with too much detail, you might get hung up in details you shouldn't be hung up over and shouldn't spend extra time in getting perfect.)

Whether or not the grains match each other, I don't think either texture fits very well with the established styles. Compare to the wood near the bottom of book 4 page 16 - some amount of wood grain is implied with just some simple lines in the baseboards, and there's no wood grain at all added to the crate.

Comment 3:
cloudbreaker wrote:
To add to some of the art suggestions, a simple line along the front-facing corner of the books and table would probably help immensely to give them that more cartoon-like feel. The lack of a line along that edge makes it feel much more 3-D than we are used to, especially with the textures present.

I might suggest adding black lines to any edge with an angle of at least 90 degrees, both exterior (the table, the windowsills, maybe the blinds and the book covers, if they can be tuned well enough to not merge into a single ultra-thick line) and interior (the back corner of the room, which I can't actually pinpoint at present). On the other hand, I think the lines in the stack of papers are very well done, so whatever you did there, keep that.
infiniplex wrote:
So all three of Paige's correspondents (King Dickie, Lord Osis, Ramses the Magnetic) appear to be males whose names have sexual associations. [..] I wonder if this is a new facet of Paige's personality we are getting hints of.

Good catch! Have a schmucker.

Rather though I think it says something about the type of reader that finds Paige's novels tantalizing, or that is attracted to a Mysterious Authoress.


Quote:
On the subject of art, I would worry about the gradual creep towards fancier art. Fancier art takes longer to do, which means we run the risk of fewer updates. Compare how the update rate for The Order of the Stick has gradually declined as the graphics quality has improved.

Art tends to improve simply because the artist becomes more skilled with each successive piece of art. More complex art takes more time, but that can be offset by parts of it becoming routine.

Practice really does make perfect.